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03/29/2022

Guru puts 'plant-based' at the centre of a new marketing campaign

Communications will be supported by large-scale in-store activation program, with the support of Guru's exclusive Canadian distributor.
Michelle Warren
Editor, Convenience Store News Canada
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Guru, the organic energy drink brand, is rolling out a new campaign, "Made with Plants," that highlights its market position as a plant-based energy drink, while introducing its Guayusa Tropical Punch to Canadians from coast to coast after its successful launch in Quebec in late 2021.

Developed in collaboration with Sid Lee, the six-week integrated, omnichannel campaign will kick off at the end of March. It features Guru's full line-up of energy drinks (Original, Lite, Matcha, Yerba Mate and Guayusa Tropical Punch) and focuses on one of Guru's key differentiators: it’s entirely plant-based and organic list of ingredients.

The campaign will also be supported by the first large-scale in-store activation program, with the support of Guru's exclusive Canadian distributor.

In June 2021, Guru and PepsiCo Beverages Canada entered into an exclusive long-term national distribution agreement in Canada and effective October 4, 2021, PepsiCo Beverages Canada started selling, distributing, and merchandising Guru's organic, plant-based and better-for-you energy drinks to convenience, foodservice and retail customers nationwide. The agreement was designed to significantly broaden Guru's distribution and reach in Canada.

"Partnering with PepsiCo Beverages Canada at this stage of our growth for the Canadian distribution of our better-for-you energy drinks is a game changer for Guru and has the potential to accelerate our sales and distribution plans," Carl Goyette, president and CEO of Guru, said at the time. "This agreement is also a strong endorsement of Guru's growing brand profile, which is quickly setting the standard as the Canadian consumer's organic plant-based energy drink of choice. This is thanks to our differentiated brand and clean list of ingredients that delivers good taste and good energy,'' aid in a statement. 

"Guru quickly made its mark as a disruptive energy drink brand with ingredients that are organic and plant-based,'' said Mike Ruff, president of PepsiCo Beverages Canada. "As we continue to focus on being consumer-centric, this partnership will help us expand our energy drink portfolio and meet the rapid changes in consumer demand for more functional beverages.''

Guru launched in Montreal 1999 and today the company markets organic energy drinks in Canada and the United States through a distribution network of more than 21,000 points of sale. The PepsiCo deal has the potential to expose the product to new markets: PepsiCo products are enjoyed by consumers in more than 200 countries and territories around the world.

READ: Guru makes a splash in the U.S.

"Made with Plants is a bold campaign that introduces Guru's better-for-you products to consumers across Canada and marks the beginning of the next phase of our ambitious Canadian growth plan. This campaign puts forward a fresh take on how natural, plant-based energy can fuel a healthy and active lifestyle. With the objective of creating awareness, encouraging trial, and reinforcing the fact that Guru is the better-for-you option in the market, the campaign builds on Guru's momentum as the fastest-growing organic energy drink in Canada in the last 52 weeks,'' says Goyette.

"This campaign also marks the national launch of our most recent innovation, Guayusa Tropical Punch. The first phase of its launch in Quebec was a huge hit, with Guayusa now ranking as the #6 energy drink in Quebec's convenience and gas channel and as the industry's top innovation both in 2021 and 2022-to date. We are confident that this latest campaign, featuring our full range of botanicals-driven energy drinks, will help spread Good Energy across the country, thanks to GURU's great taste and an all-natural energy boost,'' Goyette added.

Recent internal data shared by the company shows Guru products' weighted distribution at more than 90% in the convenience and gas channel, and over 50% in the grocery, drug and mass channel in Canada (excluding Quebec), supporting this major marketing initiative.

The campaign will include a comprehensive mix of out-of-home banners, digital and print content on leading platforms, partnerships with select influencers, in addition to sampling events and activations in major cities across the country.