In the old days of HANS/MNST- we had folks on the Y-board reporting back about their store visits and the stocking of Monster Energy (store shelve depth and see through) at various grocery/store locations. If we share that same knowledge, each of our experiences regarding REED"S K's presence, that would be informative and hold some value judgment. In addition, do some side by side taste testing of REED'S K and the other brands. Personally, I found out what the best selling flavor was in the leaders portfolio and discovered that REED"S K is a better tasting and a more desirable beverage. GET TO WORK and TIA.
A couple encouraging sightings of Reed's K...
Came across all 8 flavors of Reed's K at a small independent grocery store on Lopez Island WA. They had about as much space as GT and were on promo for $2.79 each. Looked great to see all the colors together.
Stopped at a gas station on another island and they had 3 flavors (Goji, Raspberry Lemon Ginger, Hibiscus). They carried no other Kombucha.
Still frustrated by almost every bottle having some part of the label that is bubbled, crunched, or peeling off. Anybody ever find out if the company is doing anything about this? I hope they aren't still hand applying the labels.
Checked one Mom's Organic Market store in MD. It now carries all 8 flavors of Reed's K. The refrigerated shelf space dedicated to Reed's K grew by another foot in width yet again. And the stuff is still flying off the shelves like crazy.
The Fresh Market (ticker TFM): I'm from Seattle and have been waiting and waiting to see Reeds in WF. Still no joy there. I'm on the road and found it at TFM in Louisville, KY. Here is a summary:
Facing: 3 bottles, original flavors. Right next to 6 bottles facing for GT.
Appearance: They don't stick out very well due to clear labels. Much easier to notice GT.
Labels: I looked at approx 20 bottles. Every one of them had bad bubbles. It clearly makes the product seem sub par. Not a very good story written on back label either.
Bottle: Is fine... although it obviously looks like less product than GT... which seems fine given cheaper price.
Taste: Great. I bought one of each flavor.
Summary: Fix the label appearance and try to get more flavors on the shelves. Consider whether curved bottle is really a good idea or a bad one, especially if REEDS is paying more for it. Try asking customers.
Other: All staff were very familiar with Reeds Ginger Brews and Virgils. They had lots of shelf space and appeared to be selling well. Assistant manager said "we sell a lot".
On the Run convenience stores (part of a 9000 store chain) sell Virgil's sodas, at least in MD. On the Run's web site indicates it is owned by a Canadian convenience store company. Is this part of the reason for Reed's new distribution agreement for Canada?
Went to WF in Washington D.C. on Friday and they do have Reed's K and were nearly out on the shelf. I tried the hibiscus and GT/Synergies Gingerade K. I'm not a big fan of K, but I did like Reed's better. Reed's tastes like it's targeted to potential mainstream consumers like myself who had never heard of K until recently. Went back Saturday and they had restocked. Talked to a woman who was buying K for the first time and persuaded her to swap out her GT for Reed's.
Mom's Organic Market in MD added a new 6 ft tall 4 ft wide aisle edge shelf display completely stocked with Virgil's sodas. This is in addition to the Virgil's normally stocked in aisle row shelves. Virgil's 4 pack - $4.99. RGB 4 pack - $3.59 (after $1.67 Qty Discount); Reed's K - $2.59; GT K/Synergy - $3.29. K sales on fire as usual.
Whole Foods in Annapolis, MD finally has K in the cooler. The manager said it arrived last week. The 4 flavors are labeled with "I'm new try me" and selling for $3.19. The Lemon Ginger was almost gone already. The manager didn't have much input into how it's moving yet but did mention they sell truckloads of K. I'm very pleased to see that it has finally landed in this location. I must admit I was getting a little frustrated not seeing at this store.
Sentiment: Strong Buy
I was very disappointed that there was no K at the Whole Foods in Annapolis, MD today. There are no signs of it even being stocked in the store. The GT was selling like crazy right before my eyes. The store was way to busy to speak with a manager about the issue. If Reeds couldn't keep up with demand it would have been nice to see a spot still reserved for it. Does anybody have any updates from their local Whole Foods?
On a side note I have been to some small specialty stores in Annapolis that have Reeds K only.
Sentiment: Strong Buy
Nice work SB- I love, the Goji, LGR and HGG. All out of the park flavs in my opinion. There's no reason for these product not to be flying of the shelves. I'm still waiting to TT the new flavors.
boardy is right. i first bot hans in 2004(you can check my posts). i ran into it when they had a pr saying they were going off the german borse because of the naked shorting going on in europe. i had drank their sodas in high school in the 80's in cali and was now living in NH. so i went to some larger convenience stores and most didnt even carry it then(now it is of course ubiquitous). once retailer who did have it told me that certain customers were ordering it by the case directly thru his store-obviously something was special, and even tho they only had green monster there and the the thing was the chart looked so overbot in 04 i almost didnt buy it.
then i realized they were far from saturating the market obviously and bot it in 04. i do the same with reeds and others. check all the stores and get a sense of what is going on in the retail level. talk to store managers and owners and if they dont have it...tell them it is better tasting as it is and that people will indeed favor it.
some similarities, in a great flavor maker simply reinventing the niche with a better product, red bull got their #$%$ handed to them over the last 9 yrs. if CR can lay off the MJ and get good managers in to make the biz decisions the reed K should be a huge driver of incremental growth. he is no rodney sachs or hilton schlossburg, but he can mix a good drink.
Here in Bellingham, WA we have two co-ops. Both of them carry the original 4 flavors of kombucha with 2 facings each. They get about 1/4th the shelf space of GT. I can't tell how they are selling though.
The ginger brew and virgil's root-beer each have a full shelf (9 facings) at the Trader Joe's here. They seem to be their best selling sodas...
I am in the complete opposite area of the coutry (Tampa Bay) with a big pirate and rum drinking culture. Lots of people here buy Reed's and it is available everywhere. Lots of bars sell a 'dark and stormy' Reed's and Goslings rum. There are countless places here that specifically sell that drink mixed with Reed's. The three while foods between here and Sarasota have the Kombucha as well. I know that wsj had a recent article on the rise im popularity of rum and that ginger beer is a strong compliment to that trend.