Local beverage brand Karma Cola has signed a distribution deal with worldwide restaurant chain Wagamama. The Auckland-based business will be stocked in six Wagamama branches throughout the UK by the end of April, and will eventually be rolled out to all 120 restaurants if sales targets are met.
The chain will stock the company’s new Lemongrass Gingerella, a lemongrass ginger ale designed in collaboration with Wagamama.
“Part of the benefit of building a relationship with an outlet like this is that we can do something that is unique to them, get it on their menu and it gets us known,” said Simon Coley, Karma Cola co-founder and director. “It's an opportunity for us to be a lot more relevant. We have to prove we can deliver on it - I'm excited, always a little intrepid because with these things you can't totally predict the future but I'm confident we can replicate what we've seen in the past.”
A drink collaboration is nothing new for Karma Cola – they worked on a chilli-infused cola for food truck The Lucky Taco and developed a similar product for UK-based Mexican restaurant chain Wahaca. The deal with Wagamama is ten times the size of the Wahaca deal.
“I'm a fan of what Karma Cola is doing both ethically and with well-sourced, flavourful ingredients,” said Wagamama CEO Steven Mangleshot. “We're really excited about it and proud that, like all their drinks, money from every bottle sold of Lemongrass Gingerella will go back to the Karma Cola Foundation to help with grassroots community activist programmes, something we feel passionate about.”