Irish beverage company VitHit has entered into a series of major international distribution agreements, including the launch of 80 stores in Manhattan from Duane Reade’s Walgreens subsidiary.
Algreens, the largest drugstore chain in the United States with 9,000 stores, will use Manhattan stores as a test case for the Irish drink, said Gary Lavin, founder and CEO of VitHit.
The drink was also launched at 1,500 branches of Co-Op, Britain’s fifth largest retailer, as well as Woolworths Metro, the main branch of Australia’s largest retailer.
VitHit is also being launched at a number of new gas station chains, including Shell Netherlands, BP UK, Caltex and Endeavor in Australia, as well as 150 Eurogarages locations.
Data from Electronic Point of Sale (EPOS) for January showed VitHit to be among Ireland’s top five best-selling drinks in the comfort category for the first time, behind Lucozade Energy, Monster, Coca-Cola and Red Bull.
“We were above Lucozad Sport – it was a big moment for us,” said former professional rugby player Lavigne.
He said sales hit during the pandemic, but the company now expects strong growth.
When the pandemic struck, instead of pressing the panic button, we saw it as a business of opportunity. First and foremost, no one has lost their job.
“This challenge will end, and when it ends, we foresee a better and bigger future.
“If you don’t have a staff, your brand isn’t worth much – so we have a plan to reduce salaries moderately and spread them across the group. This way everyone felt the pain, but no one lost their income.
Management cut his salaries by 30%, while those of other employees were cut by 10%.
“We have assigned a few people to focus on future sales. We actually knew we were going to start a few months smaller, but we thought, what if we focused on getting new national store listings in other countries, rather than just protecting this? that we had? “”
Lavigne said the shift in focus has allowed the company to win “an incredible number of new accounts” that should help it grow strongly after the pandemic.
“For example, these new UK entries will strengthen our position as the top-selling functional drink and generate additional revenue that will lead to double-digit growth. Other growth poles are strengthening our presence in countries like Australia and the Netherlands, both. of which is part of a refocus in 2021.
End of work Sunday