Kiwi nut butter company Fix & Fogg has signed a major distribution deal with America's second-largest natural grocer to be stocked in 360 supermarkets in 36 states.
The Wellington-based company signed the deal with Sprouts Farmers Market in December and its product was stocked on the Arizona-headquartered chain's store shelves last week.
Fix & Fogg, which was founded by former lawyers Roman and Andrea Jewell in 2013, started its expansion into the United States by selling its jars of product on Amazon.
The brand has since opened a small shop front in Houston and is in early talks with other major stockists.
Chief executive Roman Jewell said the brand, which makes almond and cashew nut spreads, among others, would continue to expand further into the US market.
By the end of the year, the company expects to have product on shelves in 1000 stores.
"The plan is to build out our sales and distribution in America," Jewell told the Herald. "We're very focused on [being stocked in] what we call natural retail chains.
"The market size in New Zealand for spreads is about $51 million per annum, across all spreads; honeys, jams and nut butters, but the peanut butter market in America alone is worth over US$2 billion a year. We've looked at that market and said 'we don't need to own it, we don't need a majority share in it', we just need our small niche segment."
The deal for ranging across all Sprouts Farmers Market stores puts the firm on track to sell "tens of thousands" of product in the US annually, Jewell said.
Fix & Fogg began sending its product to the US - to Amazon warehouses - in 2017 and had in that time grown a following and sold more than 60,000 jars. It now has a team of three based in Houston, and is focused on growing its local grocery and retail presence.
The business used Amazon as a springboard into the market and to understand what the American consumer wanted from a nut spread, Jewell said.
Its products are also stocked in 10 of gourmet grocery chain Central Market's stores in Texas.
New Zealand is currently Fix & Fogg's largest market, with more than 400 stockists around the country, but the US was on track to become its biggest market within the next 12 to 24 months, Jewell said.
The business also exports product to around 70 supermarkets in Singapore.
Fix & Fogg is New Zealand's second-largest nut butter company after Nelson-based Pics.
It started out as a small-scale operation, selling its spreads at local farmer's markets around Wellington before expanding into specialty food stores and later supermarkets. It now has retail shop fronts in Wellington and Auckland and employs 43 staff.