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Coffee Talk
Business Observer Friday, Jun. 7, 2019 3 years ago

Major grocer inks sweet deal with organic stevia sugar alternative maker

Naples-based Pyure Brands to offer stevia product in nearly 1,200 Publix stores.

A Southwest Florida brand grabbing national market share in the natural sugar alternative space is expanding its retail footprint in the Southeast. The latest victory for the company, Pyure Brands: securing room on Publix shelves.

Naples-based Pyure Brands' Organic Stevia Sweetener recently reached a deal to place the company’s 16-ounce package of stevia sweetener in 750 stores and its 80-count packet version in nearly 1,200 stores. It was an agreement more than two years in the making.

Already available in Walmart stores, the Publix presence represents the next growth phase for the company, nearing $15 million in annual sales.

“For Publix, they want brands that their customers want and they are willing to promote and do the bogos,” Pyure Brands Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing Mark Eisenacher tells Coffee Talk. “They also wanted us to first be in a financial position where we could do business with Publix, and that’s fair.”

In a contracting market, Pyure Organic Stevia is gaining market share. Eisenacher says overall revenue in the category is down 3.7% in the trailing 52 weeks through April 21. One of the biggest players in the category, Truvia, is down 14.4%. Meanwhile, Pyure Organic Stevia, he says, is up 50%.

It’s the marketing challenges of a small company carving a niche in a big category that has facilitated its growth. With a smaller marketing budget to work with, Pyure Brands targets its likely customers with precision.

“We are the challenge brand, so we have to make our money go farther and be more thoughtful in our marketing and advertising,” says Eisenacher. “The segmentation of this is the key. You don’t market to everybody. You market to diabetics, longevity seekers and women who are shopping for their family. We have a small percentage of the marketing budgets of Truvia or Cargill, so we are working the lifestyle angle and helping consumers understand what the product is, and Publix recognized that.”

Benjamin Fleischer founded Pyure Brands in Naples 11 years ago. The company has become the fastest-growing independent organic sweetener company in the U.S. 

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