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Distribution Roundup: Molly & You Bakes Up Business with Walmart

Meagan McGinnes

From microwavable mug cakes to seaweed-infused pasta, here is the latest in natural distribution news.

Molly & You Rebrands, Brings Mug Cakes to Walmart Nationwide

Molly & You is ready to go head to head with legacy baking mix brands like Duncan Heinz. , and its latest distribution win gets them one step closer to that goal. The brand’s mug cakes have been added to 1,100 Walmart locations nationwide. Though the mug cake mixes were in close to 4,000 stores before this latest win, Molly Wilson, founder and owner of Molly & you (formerly Molly & Drew), told NOSH that Walmart is the product’s first major retailer win beyond the specialty channel.

Molly & You started as a specialty brand focused on beer bread baking mixes. Inspired by Pinterest, the company expanded its portfolio to include single serve mug cake mixes. The mug cake mixes, which retail for $2.49 per pack, are available in seven flavors.

Wilson said while the beer bread mixes will continue to play a role in the company’s future, the mug cakes have opened the door to new consumers and retail accounts. This inspired the company to initiate a brand refresh in February. The brand’s packaging now features a new color scheme, product photography, and a name update.

“Our brand is just growing, our customers are becoming more sophisticated so this is a more sophisticated look,” Wilson said. “Drew was our shop dog and we were Molly & Drew, but we decided to let Drew retire… and bring the focus back to the brand and the consumer.”

For the rest of 2018, Wilson said the company will be focusing on scaling its current product line, and seeking investors to help the brand get to the next level.

Kumana Enters Retail With Safeway and Albertsons

Condiment maker Kumana is making its brick-and-mortar debut next month. The brand’s line of Venezuelan-inspired avocado sauces will be sold in 400 Safeway and Albertsons locations across Northern California and Portland regions as of June.

“By partnering with Safeway and Albertsons, we are excited to introduce our Avocado Sauces to consumers seeking diverse flavors for their evolving palettes,” Francisco Pavan, CEO of Kumana, said via a statement.

The news comes shortly after the California-based brand announced it was selected to be part of the current class for Springboard, Kraft Heinz’s incubator program. The brand also said it will be adding several hundred additional locations in the coming months.

Bubbies Brings Mochi Options to Whole Foods Nationwide

There’s a new mochi hitting Whole Foods shelves. Hawaii-based ice cream and frozen dessert company Bubbies announced earlier this month that it will be sold in Whole Foods nationwide. The retailer will stock the line in the freezer set as well as in its “mochi bars,” a self-serve mochi freezer.

“Mochi ice cream has been an incredibly popular product with Whole Foods Market shoppers,” Andy Sasser, Whole Foods senior category leader of prepared foods and bakery, said via a release. “We’re excited to introduce even more customers to this delicious, high quality product.”

Prior to the Bubbies partnership, mochi ice cream maker My/Mo was the supplier for Whole Foods’ mochi ice cream freezers. At the end of last year, that brand decided to focus on its own branded self-serve mochi bars, and its packaged mochi and pints.

Tribali Brings Grass-Fed Meat to Super Targets Nationwide

TRIBALÍ Foods launched two varieties of its meat patties in 185 Super Target locations earlier this month. The retailer t has taken on the brand’s Mediterranean Style Beef and Chipotle Chicken flavors — both of which are Paleo certified, Whole30 approved, Non-GMO Project Verified and free of gluten, dairy and soy.

The products retail for between $11.99 – $12.99 per box of four patties and are also sold in the South Pacific region of Whole Foods, Lassens and Erewhon.

Blue Evolution Gains First National Retail Partner

Seaweed-infused pasta and seasoning company Blue Evolution has gained a national retail partner in Sprouts Farmers Markets, which has added Blue Evolution’s seaweed infused penne and rotini pastas to its more than 300 store locations.

Blue Evolution, which launched at Natural Products Expo East 2017, makes its pasta products from only two ingredients: wheat and seaweed harvested from the Pacific coast. The brand’s goal is to help consumers easily add seaweed to their diets.

“Customers want more sustainable food choices from mission-based brands,” Beau Perry, founder and CEO of Blue Evolution, said in a statement. “The company is pioneering state of the art seaweed farming along the Pacific Coast of North America, and delivering that seaweed to customers via products they know and love, like pasta.”

Coconut Cloud Adds Publix to Retailer Lineup

A year after launching, Coconut Cloud is selling its original and vanilla shelf-stable creamers in 1,100 Publix supermarkets nationwide, the company announced.

Coconut Cloud first launched its dairy-free, dried coconut milk products in 700 retailers including select Sprouts, Lucky’s, Albertsons, and Safeway stores. The creamer powder, which retails for $7.99 per 6-ounce canister, has a two year shelf life. The company aims to bring “better-for-you” to the coffee creamer set, which historically has largely featured highly processed options.

Other notable distribution news includes:

  • Specialty food maker Dave’s Gourmet announced that its creamy hot sauce line will gain national distribution with Whole Foods this June. The creamy hot sauce launched in 2017 and is currently sold across retailers including Raleys, Central Market and some Safeway/Albertsons. Whole Foods also carries some of Dave’s pasta sauces and traditional hot sauces.
  • Premium salt and seasoning maker Twang told NOSH that its Twang-A-Rita cocktail rimming blends will be available in the mixer aisle at select Walmart locations. This brings the brand’s total store count to 1,365 stores across the nation.
  • Natural retailer Earth Fare will carry four different Seal the Seasons products — North Carolina Blueberries, Strawberries, Berry Blend and South Carolina Peaches — in the freezer aisle of its stores.
  • Massachusetts-based retailer Roche Brothers added local New England meal kit maker Just Add Cooking to all 20 of its locations. The kits, which retail for $18.99 to $21.99 for two servings, is the brand’s first move into retail.

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