Virtue Ice Tea has secured its first national grocery listing with online supermarket Ocado just nine months after launch.
The company, founded by 26-year-old Rahi Daneshmand, creates naturally low calorie (19kcal/100ml) ice teas, enriched with vitamins & minerals and free from refined sugars. It will sell two varieties in 330ml sleek cans through the online supermarket: Lemon and Strawberry & Peach, with RRP: £1.35.
Daneshmand was inspired to create Virtue from his own struggle with weight growing up. When looking at the soft drinks aisle, the majority of brands do you more harm than good, packed with either sugar or artificial sweeteners, which motivated Rahi to create a natural drinks brand which complements a healthy lifestyle.
The brand has generated high levels of consumer interest, with over 14,500 followers across social media. In addition to online marketing, the brand is running sampling campaigns and has benefitted from online fans and celebrities driving awareness.
Ice tea sales in the UK increased 19% year-on-year in 2014 to reach over £19 million, with sales forecast to grow to £31 million by 2019. In line with growing demand, Virtue is very well positioned as a better-for-you option in one of the fastest-growing soft drink categories.
The Ocado deal will increase accessibility to the drinks which are already stocked in Planet Organic, WH Smith Travel, Whistlestop, Camden Food Co and independent retailers. The brand is also exporting to Europe and the Middle East.