“This deal literally has the potential to double our Grace Beverage numbers in the next two years. The deal is barely a month old and already we are seeing an increase in our beverage sales”
GraceKennedy Group CEO Don Wehby in a release on the distribution deal with AriZona Beverages USA
In March 2015, GraceKennedy has struck a deal with American company AriZona Beverages USA (The Jamaica Gleaner, 2015, March 1), to distribute the Grace line of beverages, namely:
- Grace’s Tropical Rhythms
- Grace Aloe Drink
- Grace Coconut Water
AriZona Beverages, the same people responsible for those iced teas popular on Jamaica’s grocery shelves like GraceKennedy owned Hi-Lo, plans to distribute their beverages in US North East directly to major retail chains such as:
- Stop and Shop
That means New York and New Jersey, significant centers of Caribbean and Hispanic diasporas, will be able to get their Grace Coconut Water fix from these major outlets. This also includes convenience stores, restaurants and bars.
Similar to their purchase of La Fe in July 2014, which is now helping GraceKennedy to increase their sales via Amazon (Deer, 2015, October 31), this deal will help Aloe Vera reach mainstream markets of Americans in Texas.
GraceKennedy aims to go mainstream in the US of A, as they plan to not only sell their products to Jamaicans, but also to Americans hooked on online shopping (Deer, 2012, November 29) via Amazon.
Already, they’re setting up a Call Center (Deer, 2015, November 2), which is most likely being built to handle customer complaints for their products (Deer, 2015, December 17) as well as create a new line of business starting with clients (Deer, 2015, May 22) such as LIME and the JCF (Jamaica Constabulary Force).
So what is their secret weapon to tap into the mainstream market?
GraceKennedy & American Health Drink Market – Sodas dying, Health Consciousness rising
The obvious clues lies in the product line that GraceKenendy has chosen to promote. As it turns out, Americans and East Asians are getting more health conscious, and the executives at GraceKennedy know this.
Christmas normally see a lot of Americans purchasing sugar; not so this time, as many are opting for alternatives such as honey, agave, palm sugar and coconut sugar. This year, according to Nielsen Stats (Reuters, 2015, December 24), there has been a 4.4% drop in the purchase of sugar being sold by grocers for the first three quarters of 2015.
Americans are getting the message; sugar is bad for you and they are trying to get it out of their diet. Problem is, very few natural alternatives exist to HFCS (High Fructose Corn Syrup), HSCS (High Sucrose Corn Syrup) and artificial sweeteners (Deer, 2014, April 29) like Aspartame, which is in almost every product from ketchups to even soy sauce.
For Americans and people worldwide, being healthy means exercise and eating and drinking products that won’t make them fat. They are more concerned about calories and “artificial” ingredients, sugars than the previous Generation X (ages 29 to 45) and want more real exotic fruit essences and flavors.
The outlook for 2016 sees the growth of energy Drinks (Taylor, 2016, January 3) and water infused with the essence of fruits. Sports drinks for the serious Fitness tracker crowd are making as comeback, especially people wearing fitness trackers such as the (Deer, 2015, September 15) US$300 Garmin Forerunner 225.
Meanwhile the soda barons such as Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and Dr. Pepper have seen a decline since the start of 2011 (Purdy, 2015, December 19), around the same time Michelle Obama began campaigning against Sodas.
They are also finding no friends with Asian Government like India, Indonesia and Philippines, who have begun to look into the idea of implementing a soda sin tax (Tan, 2015, December 21) to curb the negative effects of the double-digit growth in the Soda barons namely Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and Dr. Pepper in their country.
Truth be told, all fruit flavours are chemicals, no matter the source, but the Millennial market is unconvinced, as their association with obesity is hard to dispute, as a Gallop poll indicates that 30% of Americans are fatter!
After all, albeit the flavouring compounds are the same molecular structure, whether they were extracted from plants or animal sources or made from chemicals, they might be having unforeseen effects on humans.
Gracekennedy’s Secret Wars – Aloe Vera to break into the American and Asian Health Drink Market
With eating health being expensive, GraceKennedy is hoping to tap into this market which is expanding rapidly since 2015 and is set to explode in 2016.
Their secret weapons; Jamaican fruit juices, coconut water and especially Aloe Vera (Little-White, 2010, January 16) which apparently has the following appealing properties:
- Fight infections
- Cleanse the body
- Boost the immune systems
- Alleviate the pain of Arthritis
- Improve skin colour
- Treat ulcers and heartburn
- Provide relive for dental problems
- Decrease bad cholesterol
- Maintain Blood sugar levels for diabetics
- Provide relief from constipation
Gracekennedy may also look to expanding into skincare products as well, as Aloe Vera in lotions, creams, powders and soaps has the following benefits:
- Vitamin E and collagen for skin elasticity and suppleness
- Anti-burning properties in Suntan lotions
- Little-White, H. (2010, January 16). Aloe Vera: nature’s gift to health. Retrieved from http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20100116/life/life4.html
- Deer, L. (2012, November 29). Amazon is Legally Blonde as the Kindle Fire HD Upgrade is CEO Bezos’s Confessions of an Online Shopaholic. Retrieved from http://geezam.com/amazon-is-legally-blonde-kindle-fire-hd/
- Brown, T.A. (2013, August 7). Aloe vera – the wonder herb. Retrieved from http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20130807/health/health2.html
- Robinson, C. (2013, August 20). Aloe Vera is good, but… Retrieved from http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Aloe-Vera-is-good–but—_14913567
- Deer, L. (2014, April 29). How to make Chocolate Syrup that Glows-in-the-Dark, the ultimate Ice Cream Party Treat. Retrieved from http://mythoughtsontechnologyandjamaica.blogspot.com/2014/04/how-to-make-chocolate-syrup-that-glows.html
- The Jamaica Gleaner. (2015, March 1). GraceKennedy USA signs distribution deal with AriZona Beverages. Retrieved from http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/business/20150301/gracekennedy-usa-signs-distribution-deal-arizona-beverages
- Deer, L. (2015, May 22). @LIMEJamaica’s 200-seat Call Center by December 2015 – Going with the Flow and JCF’s Real Time Emergency Call Centre heralds entry into BPO. Retrieved from http://mythoughtsontechnologyandjamaica.blogspot.com/2015/05/LIME-Jamaica-Call-Center-December-2015-JCF-Real-Time-Emergency-Call-Centre-BPO.html
- Deer, L. (2015, September 15). Why the Garmin Forerunner 225 is the Pro-Athelete’s Fitness Tracker. Retrieved from http://geezam.com/why-the-garmin-forerunner-225-is-the-pro-atheletes-fitness-tracker/
- Deer, L. (2015, October 31). How GraceKennedy will achieve 20% growth in the USA via Amazon. Retrieved from https://lindsworthdeer.wordpress.com/2015/10/31/how-gracekennedy-will-achieve-20-growth-in-the-usa-via-amazon/
- Deer, L. (2015, November 2). How to find work in Jamaica at Call Centers – GraceKennedy’s Call Center at CSO to open November 2015. Retrieved from http://mythoughtsontechnologyandjamaica.blogspot.com/2015/11/GraceKennedy-Call-Center-CSO-November-2015.html
- Deer, L. (2015, December 17). How to find work in Jamaica at Call Centers – GraceKennedy Call Center necessary for Product Customer Support. Retrieved from http://mythoughtsontechnologyandjamaica.blogspot.com/2015/12/GraceKennedy-Call-Center-necessary-Product-Customer-Support.html
- Purdy, C. (2015, December 19). US soda sales keep falling, and 2016 doesn’t look any better. Retrieved from http://qz.com/577594/us-soda-sales-keep-falling-and-2016-doesnt-look-any-better/
- Tan, H. (2015, December 21). Rush to curb emerging sugar high in Asia. Retrieved from http://www.cnbc.com/2015/12/21/asian-countries-consider-raising-taxes-on-sugary-drinks.html
- Reuters. (2015, December 24). Why Americans Aren’t Buying as Much Sugar This Year. Retrieved from http://fortune.com/2015/12/24/americans-sugar-baking/
- Taylor, K. (2016, January 3). The 4 biggest ways American beverage consumption will change in 2016. Retrieved from http://www.businessinsider.com.au/4-big-beverage-industry-trends-in-2016-2015-12