KonaRed Corporation (OTCBB: KRED) is an emerging, multi-product healthy beverage company who I believe you should put on your watch list for 5 key reasons: its distribution partnerships, critical retail penetration, product expansion, important supply agreements, and because they're a potential acquisition target.
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KRED manufactures and sells antioxidant-packed, Hawaiian coffee fruit-based juices and teas in popular retailers such as Whole Foods, 7-Eleven, Walgreens, and many other stores throughout Hawaii, California, and Canada.
KRED’s retail expansion milestone achievements in 2013 and year-to-date are impressive by any measure. In January, KonaRed joined forces with powerhouse beverage company Splash Beverage Group to help expand KonaRed product distribution throughout the US.
Splash Beverage Group is a heavy hitter with leaders whose experience includes Red Bull, E. & J. Gallo Winery, Marley Beverages, Sara Lee, and Nabisco. Splash Beverage Group is headed by seasoned beverage executives Robert Nistico and Kevin McClafferty, the successful former executive management team at Marley Beverage Company, one of the fastest-growing beverage start-ups in recent years. KRED also has a host of channel partners, distributors, and brokers that include FUNBeV Distributing, Verdi Consulting, and Paradise Beverages.
Retail Store Expansion
During the December 2013 quarter, KonaRed added three new locations, as its total surpassed 540 retail locations.
During the September 2013 quarter KonaRed's retail network reached approximately 539 stores, with the addition of approximately 86 new locations.Retail accounts that comprised these additional stores included Sprouts and Whole Foods in California and Down to Earth, Napili Market, and Safeway in Hawaii.
During the quarter June 2013, KonaRed added approximately 78 new locations to its retail network. New retail locations that began carrying KonaRed Original included more than 50 Albertsons stores in California and approximately 8 locations for Longs Drugs in Hawaii.
Prior to the beginning of April 1, 2013, KonaRed Original could be found in approximately 375 locations throughout Hawaii.Some of the retail accounts that comprised these locations included 7-Eleven, Aloha Island Mart, Foodland, and Kmart. Also during 2013 KonaRed Hawaiian coffee fruit powder continued to be used as a branded ingredient in all 32 Jamba Juice locations in Hawaii.
KonaRed utilizes Hawaiian coffee fruit as it’s main ingredient. The coffee fruit is scientifically proven to have more antioxidant capacity than blueberries, acai berries, cranberries, and pomegranates.
KonaRed products are distinguished from other players in the lucrative functional beverage sector like POM Wonderful and O.N.E. Coconut Water because of its antioxidant-packed main ingredient-the Hawaiian coffee fruit.
KRED intends to expand distribution of its green tea product and launch its coconut water and powders--which can be added to water and other beverages-during Q2 2014.
KRED recently entered into a 5-year supply agreement with Greenwell Farms of Hawaii to keep the coffee fruit coming, insuring that KonaRed will have a huge supply on hand to continue manufacturing products and to further expand its product line.
A Potential Acquisition Target
Large beverage companies have a track record of acquiring emerging but established specialty drink companies.Here are some examples.
Functional Beverage Ownership
·ZICO Coconut Water: purchased by Coke
·Odwalla: purchased by Coke
·Naked Juice: purchased by Pepsi
·Sambazon Acai: purchased by InBev
·O.N.E. Coconut Water: purchased by Pepsi
·Gatorade: owned by Pepsi
·Aquafina: owned by Pepsi
·NOS Energy Drink: owned by Coke
·Tropicana: owned by Pepsi
·Monster Energy: owned by Coke
·Honest Tea: owned by Coke
With high sugar drinks on the decline and the company differentiating itself by using antioxidant rich coffee fruit as its main ingredient, this new small cap, healthy beverage company has potential that easy to swallow, and is one to put on your watch list for 2014.