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Buoyed By First Beverage Tie, Purity Organic Adds Territory, Launches Coconut Water Line

Beverage Business INSIGHTS:

Buoyed by resources and expertise of investor First Beverage Group, SF-based Purity Organic is off to brisk start in 2012, launching coconut water line and selectively building DSD distribution for its core organic juice line.

Coconut Water launching in Original and Mango flavors in 17-oz resealable aseptic box just had first production run, concluding process that sales chief Dave Minnick said stretched back 3 years but got good boost once First Beverage came in a few months ago. Safeway already has agreed to pick up Original sku in all its stores, and other retailers also are demanding brand, he said. DSD interest also is running high, he said, particularly among houses that have fared well with Purity’s core organic juice line.

After cutting over from longtime NY house Exclusive to local NA giant Big Geyser at end of Feb, juice line is seeing burst of new placements, tapping into reservoir of goodwill at Geyser, which harbors fond recollections of heady run with First Beverage advisor Tom First on Nantucket Nectars line he co-created in 90s. Orange Mango sku that was recently reformulated to be more of a juice than functional entry at First’s behest has quickly proved best seller in NY. Recall that Tom First has played key role in recent rebranding of line that included flavor tweaks and new label (BBI, Jan 16). Around NY metro, brand has added new houses High-Grade in NJ, B&E Juice in Conn, G Housen in Vt, and Great State and its Blue Coast unit in Boston/NH. Brand also is advancing into Midwest, signing Detroit’s Intrastate and in advanced talks with other players. Still, tho co is supporting all those markets with feet on street, Dave took care to say it’s no landgrab, with focus on very targeted markets and little emphasis on retail chains beyond regional players like Tedeschi’s in New England.