News highlights, market trends, and original data analysis related to the U.S. retail food & beverage industry … by Jay Nargundkar
Until recently, Atlanta’s In Zone Brands was just the 13-year-old private-held maker of some moderately successful natural kids’ juice products like Tummy Ticklers and Belly Washers. The company was doing an estimated $70M in sales and was growing at a double-digit rate in recent years, but suffered from “disjointed and confusing” branding, CMO Carl Sweat admitted. Sweat decided to address this with an audacious move — coming up with a new brand name and packaging design under which he could combine his previous products and licensed characters.
He reached out to FUZE co-founder Paula Grant, now heading design agency Flood Creative, to tackle this project. The result maintained the fun, eye-catching character bottle tops featuring a universe of licensed characters from Disney, Mattel, Warner Bros., Nickelodeon, and more, certain to have something that appeals to any child. This time though, they would be used under a new unified name, “good 2 grow”, that connoted natural goodness, would have a cleaner and more professional label design, and would take advantage of photos (not drawings) of fruits on the package to emphasize “realness”. Compare above the before (left) and after (right).
Launched in early 2014, these new bottles apparently cost $1.66 each to make and retail for a suggested $2.99 in convenience stores, the main target market for good2grow. Sales are up 40-50% at outlets like QuikTrip, Casey’s, Sheetz and Wawa. Additionally, Nielsen scan data for the last 13 weeks through the end of September suggests that the top two (and 4 of the top 7) selling kids beverage SKUs in c-store are good2grow’s. Across all channels, while Nielsen may not be extremely precise for a new brand like this, it’s likely good2grow can hit around $150M in sales in its first year.
And In Zone’s not done innovating. When we ran into them at the Natural Products Expo East in September, they were touting the launch next spring of naturally-sweetened (with stevia) “Juicy Waters” and a kids’ electrolyte-infused water — the latter seemingly an ideal fit for the Little League/rec soccer market. It’s a safe bet to assume In Zone is “good to grow” rapidly, and expect its flagship brand to increasingly become a household name for families with young children!