Anheuser-Busch inks distribution deal with vitamin D drink ShineWater
ShineWater, a ready-to-drink vitamin D hydration beverage recently announced an agreement with Anheuser-Busch’s network of Wholly Owned Distributors (AB ONE) to distribute the brand throughout its geographic network on the West Coast, in the Northeast and in Oklahoma.
The distribution partnership will allow Shinewater to bring increased retail availability to more concentrated geographical areas and allow product fulfillment to meet increasing consumer demand for functional beverages.
Founded by former FDA physician Dr. Philip Davis, ShineWater was created to solve the widespread issue of vitamin D deficiency in the American diet.
Ryan Coon, ShineWater CMO, told NutraIngredients-USA that Davis was inspired to create ShineWater as a result of the largely unaddressed vitamin D deficiency he saw regularly among his patients.
“Dr. Davis felt that a hydration beverage would provide an easier, more accessible way for the everyday person to experience the health benefits of vitamin D, which wasn’t something available on the market,” said Coon. “There will always be brands attempting to capitalize on new health and wellness trends, but essential vitamins are the building blocks of a healthy body.”
What consumers want
Consumers are seeking out functional beverages because they are busier than ever and are interested in the convenience of on-the-go usability, said Coon. Additionally, the pandemic has caused people everywhere to reevaluate their health and what they’re putting into their bodies.
According to data from Brightfield Research, the top areas consumers are looking for in their functional beverages are health, immunity, digestive, hydration, energy, lower cholesterol, sleep, cognitive support, stress and inflammation. The top ingredients that they are looking for are vitamins C and D, calcium, vitamin B12, and probiotics, zinc, and turmeric.
“Consumers are also demanding increasing brand transparency from the products they purchase and the companies they are loyal to. At the core of everything we do is a mission to provide consumers with vitamin D education—and selling a product is secondary to that,” said Coon. “Life is busy and product education is not a responsibility that should fully fall on the consumer. Grassroots retail promotion also allows us to engage with consumers on a personal level by participating in their vitamin-D education and offering in-store sampling opportunities. We want to make informed and educated purchasing decisions an easier process.”
“Consumers sit at the center of everything we do at Anheuser-Busch. Meeting their changing needs is why we’re focused on expanding and innovating within our beyond beer portfolio,” said Scott King, VP of Marketplace, AB ONE at Anheuser-Busch.
Indeed, as beer sales decline, alcohol companies are seeking partnerships outside the beer box by leveraging their vast distribution networks.
In early 2020, ShineWater relocated its headquarters to Bay City, Michigan, and underwent several updates to its branding and distribution strategy—a move that paid off. Over the last year, ShineWater reported a 10-fold increase in sales across the country.
“When we reformulated, rebranded and relocated last year, it was our goal to set an industry wide example for delivering what consumers are looking for in a ready-to-drink hydration
beverage,” noted Coon.
The brand recently unveiled its newest addition, Watermelon Blackberry, to the current six-flavor lineup at Expo East. Coon said that in the coming months the company plans to launch new SKUs aimed at kids.
“We brought consumers ‘Sunshine in a Bottle’, and our next step might just include bringing sunshine in a pouch to households nationwide as well,” hinted Coon.