Som Sleep is a brand of canned liquid supplements formulated to help consumers sleep. Among its ingredients are L-Theanine, GABA, melatonin, magnesium, and vitamin B6, all of which are common ingredients in sleep-positioned supplements and have the support of some studies that link them to better sleep.
It launched last year, starting at specialty retailers like GNC as well as independent grocers. The company’s latest deal with Walmart, which will sell the product in 1,966 store nationwide, will expand its distribution footprint significantly.
"We are beyond proud to partner with such an established, prominent leader in the retail landscape to help serve millions of customers each day," the brand’s co-founder and president Abdul Khan said in a press release.
"As we continue to focus on our mission to help make it easier for people to sleep better, this is an important step in furthering our national brand footprint to extend our reach and distribution for customer access to Som Sleep."
The rise of RTD supplements in mass retail
Som Sleep’s Walmart deal mirrors the rise of ready-to-drink (or RTD) formats in the supplement space, and how mass retailers continue to become tougher competition for specialty supplement retailers to beat.
Energy and hydration used to be the main categories for RTD delivery in the supplements space. Now, a plethora of product manufacturers are making RTD supplements in categories ranging from protein to pre-workouts to ‘anti-energy’ such as sleep and relaxing.
Over-the-counter (OTC) products with either drugs or supplement facts panels dominate the sleep category. Data from Euromonitor International, a market research firm, estimated that OTC sleep aids (including melatonin) had $846 million in sales last year, while herbal and traditional sleep aids (such as valerian root, hops, or passionflower) made $51 million.
Som Sleep’s founders believe their product is a good in-between of the two categories.
“A beverage is a really accessible and flexible platform that we could use to present something that was not only efficacious to people, but also fit for their lifestyle,” co-founder and chief product officer Rob Brent told us last year.
“In addition to branding, packaging, and distribution strategy, the goal is to make something very easy. It’s not a powder you have to mix up, it’s not another pill you have to choke down—it’s a drink, sold in familiar places, where people can easily build it into their lives.”
Another RTD supplement brand that recently gained national distribution at Walmart is Kill Cliff with its sports recovery product called Recovery.