Bravo! Foods International has announced that it will begin shipping its new branded fortified milk drink to retail grocery, convenience and independent stores at the beginning of February.
The Starbust drink is the first fruit of a licensing agreement between Bravo! and Masterfoods USA which was announced in September 2004. A blend of vitamin-fortified low-fat milk and natural juice, it comes in an initial three flavors: strawberry, peach and orange.
Company CEO Roy Warren said that distribution for the line already exceeds current Slammers placements in 10,000 stores nationwide, with orders from ten major retail grocery chains that have 3,053 stores across 24 states.
Also in the pipeline are Slammers Milky Way, made with reduced fat fortified milk, and Slammers 3 Musketeers with low fat milk and no added sugar. All three new drinks will carry the branding of the associated candy products.
When the agreement was announced Bravo! account manager Bryce Boynton admitted to NutraIngredients-USA.com there was somewhat of a mixed message being given out because of the link up between a so-called healthy product and candy, but this does not seem to be affecting projections.
According to Warren: "As we further develop the line and initial product becomes available, we look forward to a considerable growth in sales to a number of immediate consumption channels, as well as to large scale retailers that have already placed high-volume orders".
Bravo! reported revenue of $825,000 for the third quarter of 2004, up from $335,000 for the same period of the previous year. In the second quarter it had reached record revenue of $1,4 million but recorded a net loss of $880,000 that was explained promotional, shipping and marketing costs associated with launching new products.
In September Boynton said that Bravo! was positioning itself as a "better for you" company.
"The trend in the US is towards health products, especially in the milk industry," he said. "Our role is to provide better for you products - they are all made from flavored milk and nutritious, but are not extreme health products."