Guru aims for the energy drink summit

The plant-based brand is expanding distribution to ski resorts to increase trial and reach active people outside Quebec.

Guru Organic Energy has struck up a new partnership that will see its better-for-you liquid hit the the slopes of B.C.’s Whistler Blackcomb and Quebec’s Bromont and Mont Sutton.

The partnership will put the energy drink in the hands of a key target: “people who are health-conscious and looking for a better-for-you option” while also being “very active outdoor enthusiasts,” says Amal Gayed, VP of brand and insights. “Whether they’re skiing or mountain biking, these are people who we are targeting,” she adds.

The deal was made possible in part through a distribution agreement between Guru and PepsiCo made in June 2021. The brand collaborated with PepsiCo to make the deal with the three ski resorts.

“As a Quebec-based brand, being in Bromont and Mont Sutton is a real achievement for us,” says Gayed. “And Whistler is one of the best mountains in Canada. These are great places to have exposure.”

The partnerships are part of an overarching strategy to drive trial of the organic energy drink in markets beyond Quebec, where it already has a strong presence. It has also been focused on building a strong presence in convenience nationally for the same reason. To that same end, the brand is also planning some sampling events at the three ski resorts, subject to COVID-19 restrictions and regulations.

“We really believe in the notion of liquid on lips. That’s what creates word of mouth, but it also allows us to communicate our message,” Gayed explains. “I think as we gain more awareness and notoriety in Canada, demand will also increase.”

The company just reported net Q4 revenue increased by 38% to $8.5 million, compared to $6.1 million for the same period a year ago. The increase is due to sales growth in Canada. .

For the twelve-month period, SG&A was $27.8 million, compared to $13.0 million for the same period a year ago. Selling and marketing expenses accounted for $5.4 million of the increase in SG&A, because of campaign spend on Quebec reality show, “Occupation Double” and media campaigns in Ontario and Western Canada.