Seven months after launching its first CBD beverages in retail stores in Denver, Truss CBD USA is expanding distribution of its Veryvell line into other parts of Colorado.
After a strong start in the Denver metro under distribution from Molson Coors-owned Coors Distributing Company, the line of non-alcohol sparkling CBD beverages will roll out to other distributors and independent retailers across the state later this month and August.
Produced by Truss CBD USA, a joint venture between Molson Coors Beverage Company and Canada's HEXO Corp., Veryvell is the company's first entry into the U.S. CBD market and the latest example of Molson Coors' ambitions beyond the beer aisle.
'This is a big opportunity for us to show that other distributors are willing to step in the ring on CBD, with Veryvell representing the first CBD brand they'll be carrying,' says Jane Armstrong Hockman, Truss CBD USA's general manager. 'It's a vote of confidence from the network that will set us up for long-term success.'
Enthusiasm from retailers and distributors is rooted in three primary factors, Hockman says: Profit, potential and incrementality.
'They're seeing that a CBD beverage is almost 100% incremental to their portfolios,' she says.
Mike Pfalmer, president of the distribution company Keg 1 Colorado, says adding the Truss portfolio provides his company 'with the opportunity to align with our No. 1 partner on a path forward in a new product category.'
Keg 1 Colorado, he says, has been monitoring the CBD category in Colorado, and 'while we don't know how big it will be or when it will land, we do know it's coming.'
Made with adaptogens, Veryvell is derived from hemp, has zero calories and zero sugar. It comes in three flavors, each suited to a specific consumer need:
Focus (Grapefruit Tarragon): a combination of grapefruit and tarragon with ginseng and guarana
Mind & Body (Strawberry Hibiscus): a blend of strawberry and hibiscus with ashwagandha and elderberry
Unwind (Blueberry Lavender): a mix of blueberry and lavender with ashwagandha and L-Theanine
The expansion comes after a successful start for Veryvell, which landed in 97% of its target retailers with all three of its flavors.
'To see that kind of targeted success is very encouraging, and it's one of our early wins,' says Greg Allen, Truss CBD USA's sales and distribution manager. 'Whether consumers are choosing because of the flavor profile or their occasion based on our adaptogens, they've shown a lot of interest and enthusiasm. One of our big selling points is that there's a flavor for every occasion.'
While the vast majority of Truss products thus far have been sold in independent retail stores, the company is beginning to focus on on-premise accounts like bars and taverns as they re-open post-pandemic, Allen says. 'We are committed to building the on-premise, and we're excited about the potential of expanding the non-alc menu thru CBD mocktails and bartender creativity.'
Still, he says, the company expects most volume to move in the off-premise, particularly as more consumers become comfortable with CBD, and increasingly gravitate toward the product.
'More and more people are trying it and they like the idea of it,' Allen says. 'In our first six-plus months in market, we've gained a lot of learnings. And we're ready to put them to work. We're ready to go and hit the ground running to set ourselves and our partners up for success over the long-term.'