In 2020, BD flagged a young brand called Lemon Perfect that was picked up by distribution rainmaker Big Geyser and launched with some trepidation in New York City as the pandemic swept into the US. BD checked in with founder Yanni Hufnagel this month to see how the Beechwood Capital-backed brand has done since. He said he expects the shelf-stable, flavored lemon water to generate $60 million at retail this year, up from $25 million in 2021 and $6.5 million in 2020. The brand ended 2021 with 17,000 points of distribution, up from 3,500 in 2020. Outside of the Whole Foods and the natural channel, key retailers include Target, Publix, Mariano’s, and Fred Meyers. More are expected this year. Lemon Perfect’s current thrust is to drive product trial and “aggressive on-trade promotions,” Hufnagel said. “We want to win the street fight.” Sales are predominantly in the grocery channel. While talks with club store retailers are underway for a possible debut this year, the convenience retail channel won’t be a focus before 2023, he said. The brand is looking to add a 16-oz bottle that would work better in convenience. Lemon Perfect currently is packaged only in a slender 12-oz plastic bottle. The brand also is considering a 12-oz multipack.
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