Increased leverage for soft herbal drink

Related tags Coffee

A line of herb enhanced soft drinks will receive wider distribution
in Canada with V-Net Beverage, the acquisitive supplier of Rush
Cola, signing an agreement with natural foods marketer Tree of

The distribution deal will give the low calorie herbal drink direct access to 20,000 food chains and retailers.

"With the announcement of our distribution program with Tree of Life​, V-Net officially enters into the highly prized Cola category with a special emphasis on products that feature low-carbs and are enhanced with herbs,"​ said Robert Corr, President of V-Net Beverage.

Tree Of Life's vast distribution network and extensive sales force will give us incredible access to all of the major beverage markets in Canada, he added.

Tree of Life operates three distribution warehouses in Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver. The new deal is due to kick off in June this year. According to US beverage firm V-Net, Rush Cola products are low calorie, soft drinks enhanced with herbs.

The mother of Tree of Life, Dutch wellness foods producer Royal Wessanen had a turbulent year in 2003, with results shifting from profit to loss. But in February 2004 the company claimed that moderate growth in Europe and the restructuring of its US operations will have a positive impact on 2004 sales figures.

Operating profits plummeted from €125 million in 2002 to losses of €51.2 million in 2003, due mainly to exceptional losses of €57.1 million. These exceptionals came almost entirely from the Tree of Life NA unit - perennially the weakest unit for Wessanen - and related to a number of different items.

In a drive to grow rapidly through acquisitions and an agressive 'roll up' strategy of the highly fragmented speciality beverage industry, V-Net recently acquired Palm Springs Bottling company - a copacker for Hansen Natural Corporation, and iced coffee maker Buzzy's Coffee company from VentureNet Capital Group.

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