Irish beverage company VitHit has entered into a series of major international distribution deals, including the launch of 80 stores in Manhattan from Duane Reade’s Walgreens subsidiary.
Gary Lavigne, VitHit founder and CEO, said Algreens, the largest pharmacy chain in the United States with 9,000 stores, will use Manhattan stores as a test case for Irish drinks.
The drink was also launched in 1,500 branches of Co-Op, the fifth largest retailer in Great Britain, as well as Woolworths Metro, the flagship arm of Australia’s largest retailer.
VitHit is also launching at a number of new gas station chains, including Shell Netherlands, BP UK, Caltex and Endeavor in Australia and also at 150 Eurogarages locations.
Data from the Electronic Point of Sale (EPOS) for January showed VitHit broke into the top five selling drinks in Ireland for the first time in the comfort category, behind Lucozade Energy, Monster, Coca-Cola and Red Bull.
“We were above Locosad Sport – that was a big moment for us,” said former professional rugby player Lavigne.
He said sales have been hit during the pandemic, but that the company is now expecting strong growth.
When the pandemic struck, instead of hitting the panic button, we saw a company of opportunity. First, and most importantly, no one has lost their job.
This challenge will end, and when it ends, we plan for a better and bigger future.
“If you don’t have people, your brand isn’t worth much – so we have a plan to moderately cut wages and spread it across the group. That way everyone felt the pain, but nobody lost their income.”
Management reduced their salaries by 30%, while those of other employees were reduced by 10%.
“We hired quite a few people to focus on future sales. We already knew we were about to start a few months smaller, but we thought, what if we focus on getting new national store listings in other countries, rather than just protecting what we have?” “
Lavigne said the shift in focus has resulted in the company winning an “incredible amount of new accounts” that should help it grow strongly after the pandemic.
“For example, these new entries in the UK will strengthen our position as a best selling functional drink and generate additional revenue that will lead to double-digit growth. Other areas of growth are increasing our presence in countries like Australia and the Netherlands, alike. Part of it is a refocusing in the year 2015. 2021.
End of work on Sunday