The announcement comes not long after major drug retailer CVS signed on to carry Phocus in over 800 stores nationwide in June. The new deal with the two grocers adds over 200 new stores to Phocus' footprint.
Phocus’ beverages, unsweetened and sparkly, are part of the booming flavored sparkling water category, reminiscent of products from brands like LaCroix and PepsiCo’s Bubly. Data from Wells Fargo revealed that sparkling flavored waters were among the strongest performers in the non-alcoholic beverages category over the past year, with dollar sales up 15.4% in the 52 weeks to July 13.
The addition of 75 mg caffeine and L-theanine in an 11.5 ounce serving, a differentiator in the sparkling water category, effectively poises the brand as an energy drink as well—another strong category with sales up 9.9% in the latest 52 weeks, according to Wells Fargo.
The product has a Nutrition Facts panel, which means, like Monster Energy and Red Bull, Phocus does not use any structure-function claims around cognitive health or sports performance, although its name and branding borrows typologies from nootropic supplements, another booming category.
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In a press release, the company said its branding and distribution strategy was designed to target “health-conscious, trend-savvy consumers.”
“It's no secret that consumers are moving away from sugar and sweetened beverages, and are looking for healthier caffeine sources,” Tom O’Grady CEO and Co-Founder of Phocus, said in the press release.
“Lucky’s Market and GIANT have done an excellent job of studying their customer’s preferences and bringing in products that meet their needs. 2019 has been a banner year for Phocus, thanks to incredible customer loyalty and the unwavering support from our retail partners that are driving our expansion.”
Prior to its growth through CVS, GIANT, and Lucky’s, Phocus also became available throughout New York, including all five boroughs of New York City, Long Island, Westchester and Putnam County, through distributor Big Geyser Inc., which signed on to carry fast-growing energy drink brand Celsius to the area in the second quarter of this year.
Clear Cut Phocus, the company behind the product, is headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky. Flavors include blood orange, grapefruit, yuzu & lime, cucumber, and peach.