Christopher J. Reed founded Reed's in 1989, filling bottles of his Original Ginger Brew one at a time and affixing the labels by hand. Now, the company sells drinks, candy and ice cream to about 14,000 retailers nationwide, and last year it saw revenue grow from $25 million to $30 million. Reed's introduced kombucha drinks in 2012, which accounted for 8% of the year's revenue. Reed believes that number will grow to 15% this year.
Geyser Beverage, based outside San Francisco, will distribute Reed's beverages including its Ginger Beer and newly launched Culture Club Kombucha line. Neal Cohane, sales and marketing senior vice president, said: "Our partnership with Geyser will ensure consumers will not only be able to find our Reed's and Virgil's brands in the city of San Francisco, but our new Reed's Culture Club Kombucha will soon be found in many specialty stores and eateries throughout the Bay Area."
Associated Wholesale Grocers will distribute Reed's Ginger Brews and Virgil's Sodas under an agreement between the cooperative and Reed's. AWG and its subsidiaries deliver to retail outlets in 24 states, including 1,900 member stores and 600 affiliates.
Quality Food Centers, a division of Kroger, will be putting Reed's natural and organic products, including Reed's Ginger Brew, on its shelves. A Reed's executive said the enhanced partnership will help bring its products into the mainstream.