Well Juicery sees opportunity beyond grocery

From Shopper Marketing Report: The fresh pressed brand is coming to Starbucks to tap interest in ginger drinks.

Well Juicery Canada Ltd--Well Juicery available in all StarbucksCold-pressed juicer Well is hoping a Starbucks partnership perks interest in the brand as it fine tunes its better-for-you messaging.

A hand-picked selection of Well’s made-in-Canada cold press juices are now available at over 1,300 Starbucks locations across the country, made using exclusively fresh fruit, vegetables and “superfoods,” with zero added sugar or water.

“The importance of Starbucks from a brand recognition standpoint is super-important to Well,” according to Jeff Tumbach, the brand’s founder and COO.

Well is in most national grocery banners, having made the jump beginning in 2014 after production expanded beyond Tumbach’s own apartment.

“Our business actually grew during COVID,” he says, particularly with products that are ginger-based, which have taken off thanks to people prioritizing health and wellness during lockdowns, as well as a grocery keeping it accessible to customers during shutdowns.

But he adds that the Starbucks deal “speaks to the importance of food service, which can be such a high value or high through-put location than your average grocery store.” That’s especially true for Starbucks, which has a solid base of health-focused customers and an established selection of better-for-you products those customers look to.

Well has also innovated its offering with the addition of new wellness shots, and also sparkling lemonades, nitro coffees and organic vodka lemonades made with cold pressed juice, that it’s bringing to market stateside (see, below).

Well-vodka-image

When the brand launched in 2014, he says he was lucky to reap the benefits of a nascent interest in juice cleanses. Eating fresh and local were also two aspects that helped spur the business, especially after Calgary Co-op picked up the beverage under a “made local” prime shelf space.

“We were servicing these locations daily,” he says, and did not have to take on slotting/listing fees or incur expenses of a traditional shopper asset like a wobbler or dangler. To draw attention at shelf, its made simple, colourful, standout packaging, though Tumbach says he primarily built interest through rigorous liquid-to-lips sampling.

Eventually, once Well got around to fine tuning the technical side of cold-pressed juices, it was able to extend shelf life beyond its initial three days, which provided a further boost to its fortunes.

And Tumbach admits that while the bigger players use natural flavours and concentrates, which Well eschews - using products that are 100% fruits, vegetables, minerals antioxidants and superfoods - as a brand it’s still working on conveying its better-for-you proposition.  “We really just try to stay the course with what we do best, staying to our craft,” Tumbuch says.

When it comes to the smaller competitive set, it includes the likes of Toronto’s Greenhouse, which also started in 2014 and uses the same cold pressing methods, but which went with a boutique retail angle, rather than a wholesale oriented approach, Tumbach says.