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Many of the competing products on the shelves have the benefit of what's called 'direct store delivery' — where delivery reps come in regularly to restock and rotate products. Empty shelves are lost sales. But those distribution services are expensive and out of reach for many small manufacturers, according to Gary Hemphill, director of research with the Beverage Marketing Corporation.
"'Those systems are closed off to a lot of start-ups because they're dominated by the big companies, by the Pepsis and the Cokes,' he said. 'It's tricky to get in because those companies would prefer to be distributing their own products, because it's more profitable for them that way.'"
—Marketplace (January 3, 2017)