BevNET Magazine March/April 2021

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Contents / March – April 2021 / Volume 19 / No. 2








6 First Drop Spicy SPACs

38 Bottled Water Nestlé Reshapes the Market (with Brand News)

8 Publisher’s Toast Let’s Forge Ahead

44 Powders Brands Chart Future of Changing Category (with Brand News)

12 Special Greg Steltenpohl: A Remembrance 36 Gerry’s Insights Essentia Overachieves

52 Craft Beer Cans, Bars, and Seltzers are Key Challenges for 2021

DEPARTMENTS 14 Bevscape/NOSHscape/Brewscape Deschutes Buys Boneyard, VMG Launches New Fund, and Oatly Goes Public 28 New Products Bubly, Spindrift, A-Shoc, Intelligentsia 32 Channel Check Craft by the Numbers

56 CBD Drinks Wait for Regulation Spurs Innovation (with Brand News)

SPECIAL SECTION 64 Functional Beverage Guide with services and suppliers

106 Promo Parade Monster Joins BIG3

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BevNET Magazine (ISSN 2165-6061, USPS 24-552) is published bi-monthly by, Inc. 65 Chapel Street Newton, MA 02458. Periodicals postage paid at Boston, MA and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to BevNET Magazine, Subscriber Services, 65 Chapel Street Newton, MA 02458



My Special Purpose This probably won’t be the first time we discuss the fact I’m writing today about an ever-expanding plague facing the American people, one that, since 2020, has grown to threaten more of us -- and the people we know and love -- each and every day. No one is immune: not finely conditioned athletes, not entrepreneurs, not celebrities, not rich investors, not even Rohan Oza. It’s the SPAC plague, and this Special Purpose Acquisition Contagion is everywhere: Signs of infection are fits of scanning SEC documents to see which collections of experienced operators have been gathered by former P&G executives, extreme willingness to combine back offices to realize efficiency in D2C ventures, celebrity board members, and an outbreak of acquisition targets to be named later. Who wouldn’t want to get infected by SPAC fever, though? The prospect of throwing your name out there with a willing group of institutional investors behind you, all eager to sell off the warrants they earn just by pledging a certain amount of money without actually committing it -- and then getting the potential upside of an actual transaction before the market actually understands how tired the eventual acquisition truly is -- it’s a temptation that I know I, personally can’t resist. So, I’m writing today to offer myself to sell out my soapbox in order to join (or, in fact, be the CEO) of a SPAC. I want my 20 percent! I, too, want to spend other people’s money around a whimsically broad concept to maximize return for a group of beneficiaries who haven’t quite been identified but are surely wealthier than you. Now, It’s not like I’m arriving on the scene empty-handed. I’m not just here to sell out based on reputation and low, low price. I’m the kind of fellow who brings ideas to the party, as well as a fine collection of leftover sample drinks that have been mouldering in the back of the BevNET closet. So to prove my worth, I’ve come up with a list of potential SPACs I’d like to see, or, you know, run! Tetra SPAC: This would be roll-up of boxed water brands, one of the few SPACS out there worth the paper they’re printed on. There are a bunch of these companies and they all seem to have the same idea but different marketing spheres of influence. They all want to clean up waste and stop plastic from polluting the oceans. Great cause, now let’s stop the inefficiency that comes from having the different varieties of essentially the same product fighting it out on special all year. The Spiked Seltzer SPACtacular: we all lived through the energy drink boom, the HPP boom, the functional vitaminwater wannabe boom, the coconut water boom; the fact is that when it comes to this kind of product, where varieties are ultimately going to be only as potent as the creativity of IFF and Sovereign Flavors, it’s about time we condensed all of these minor spiked seltzers into a national private label brand that could play against the Trulys and White Claws of the world, because you’re all just chasing them, anyway. Yes, it’s great fun to see craft brewers try to explain the difference between their ethanol-enhanced club soda and the big boys, but if you wanted something lovingly 6 BEVNET MAGAZINE – MARCH/APRIL JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2021 2018

prepared, you’d call your daughter’s college buddies and ask them what cheap vodka they used when they were adulterating that variety pack of LaCroix. Not convinced of my brilliance (read: cash-worthiness)? Resurrection SPAC: this company will do for dead or defunct brands what Dean Metropolous does for, well, for dead or defunct brands. Picking up names like Sweet Leaf, TaB, mix1, Surge, and the Houston Rockets, this SPAC would seek to profit not by returning the products to circulation but by creating a series of dues-paying fan clubs and embezzling from them. SPAC! Or my Mom Will Shoot!: Not, in fact, a crappy Sylvester Stallone movie, this SPAC will purchase home bartending gadgets and send them to the BevNET offices where they will be reviewed and broken by BevNET staff. Staff will then ingest shots and blame the destruction of said gadgets on investors and each other, before selling off options in exchange for pizza. The Phat Sack SPAC: This will be a roll up of a different kind, using shredded stock options from defunct CBD food and beverage brands as ground cover surrounding my backyard money tree. The clever names and healing vibes, plus the stored up optimism, will cause this tree to bloom and drop dividends on all who come to visit me, provided they have been vaccinated and are willing to bring either White Claw or lightly used beverage samples. Are these all too rollup dependent? What about individual brands? Resilience SPAC: Funded by Campbells shareholders, it allows Jeff Dunn the flexibility to return to relevance simply by saying the words “squeeze my carrots” in a crowded boardroom. Genius ensues. Knick-Knack-Paddy-Whack-SPAC: An incredible growth opportunity, this SPAC will purchase the assets of heavy plastic prestige packaging and shut down their factory, realizing massive tax incentives and selling them to large petroleum companies. Simon Sinek SPAC: Really, there’s only one question about investing in this one. If you don’t know what that question is, invest and find out. The Lance Collins’ Back SPAC: Doesn’t back the current company Lance has out there, but the next three he’s got lined up behind them. Hey Lance, rather than start up a new company, why don’t we just pick one up with a SPAC? For 20 percent, I’m sure we could be co-founders…. Photo by Samara Doole on Unsplash










Barry J. Nathanson PUBLISHER Jeffrey Klineman EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Martín Caballero MANAGING EDITOR Ray Latif CONTRIBUTING EDITOR Brad Avery REPORTER Justin Kendall NEWS EDITOR, BREWBOUND Carol Ortenberg EDITOR, NOSH Erin Cabrey REPORTER



It Seems that The Worst Is Over, Let’s Forge Ahead New York is starting to come to life. These past few days, the temperature has been in the 60’s, with sunshine galore. Buds are emerging on the bushes, trees, and plants as my beloved Central Park awakens from a brutal winter. Spring seems just around the corner. So is immunity: shots are going into arms at a breathtaking pace, with mine among those that is now fully vaccinated. We’re now able to see friends after 10 months of solitude. Life seems to be slowly returning to the way it was before Covid-19 changed all our lives. Life in New York is a reflection of the resiliency of our country. We’re tough and ready to rebound. It couldn’t happen at a better time. The recovery of our personal lives will hopefully be closely followed by a similar revival of the business environment as we knew it. I have heard so many sad stories of lost revenue, of the letting go of employees, of contracts delayed or canceled. Production shortfalls and supply side delays have been the norm over the past months. Too many companies tell me it’s hard to project and budget with so much uncertainty. In my own particular slice of the business world, I’ve never seen so many companies that still haven’t fi nalized their 8 BEVNET MAGAZINE – MARCH/APRIL 2021

marketing initiatives and allocated resources for their brands. Launches of new products or extensions of their present lineups are still being pushed back to later in the year. That was the message last fall; it shouldn’t be the message today. This is not a time for the weak of heart. The beverage marketplace has been relatively unscathed compared to so many other industries and we should be grateful for that. Even retail visits and sales seem to be coming back at a rapid pace. As guidelines are being relaxed in many states -- which I personally don’t agree with -- business should be getting closer to the pre-pandemic levels. Brands should be aggressive in going after retail and distributor space. Reaching our present and future customers with new messaging pertaining to our recovery should be a priority. There are great stories to share. Make your brand a story. Yes, we’re not out of the woods yet, but we should act like we are. The beverage business should be one of optimism through refreshment and nutrition. We are a standard bearer of our society of brands, and we should take the lead.







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Why Greg Inspired:

A Remembrance B Y JEFF K LINEMAN

Greg Steltenpohl, the innovative juice executive who twice brought progressive, environmentally and socially conscious brands to national prominence, was deep into a triumphant second act as a businessman -- and a force for good -- when he passed away in mid-March. This came too soon for all of us. Greg was a great person: an idealistic, humble, cool, caring, charismatic older brother to so many of the people he inspired. He was idolized as a pioneer not just because of what he created in Odwalla and Califi a, but because he bore the scars that came with having been one of the fi rst entrepreneurs through the door of the natural food business. With hip dignity, he wore both the triumphs and setbacks of a pioneer. Greg never stopped evolving, or helping the people and institutions around him evolve. It’s remarkable to me that a guy whose entire life seemed to center around the intellectual liberalism of San Francisco and Northern California could all of a sudden pick up and relocate to flashy Los Angeles, immediately finding community and fellow travelers, identify12 BEVNET MAGAZINE – MARCH/APRIL 2021

ing substance where others might find vapidity, then actively contributing to its cultural revival by linking the new Califia headquarters with the revival of the Downtown L.A. Arts District. Greg was part of the ballyhooed group of businesspeople in the late 1980s and early 1990s who pioneered the idea that companies could do well by doing good. Greg, Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, Gary Hirshberg, Steve Demos, Emanuel Bronner: their enterprises helped create the legend of this heroic, misfit rebel, the ones who injected social values into the world of consumer commerce. But I would posit that, among that group, Greg’s business career became legendary because he publicly wore the hard lessons as well as the easy ones. In the 1980s he had started Odwalla Juice, launching the fresh juice category in grocery and eventually taking the company public, in 1993. In 1996, at the height of its sales, an E. Coli outbreak traced to Odwalla’s apple juice killed one consumer, sickened others, and was eventually sold by investors to the Coca-Cola Company. As a company, Odwalla eventually pleaded guilty to

federal criminal charges, and paid millions of dollars in civil cases -- but the company also received praise for pulling its product quickly from shelves, offering to pay medical bills, and accepting responsibility for the outbreak before authorities officially blamed them. The trip to Califi a wasn’t a direct line from Odwalla. In fact, before that second company, Greg took his lumps with Adina for Life, a juice partnership that started as a socially conscious business, this time aimed at supporting fair-trade, organic, and natural ingredients indigenous to different countries and regions. Adina proved to be a case of too much too fast, with Greg and SoBe founder John Bello both on as executives and investors, it faltered under the weight of the personalities and stylistic differences involved. Late in the game, Greg had turned to highend ready-to-drink canned coffees in an attempt to gain traction for the brand; as its juice drinks, under Bello, started to seem more and more like a blustery SoBe 2.0, the coffee drinks that Greg favored seemed to be a recommitment to the idea that the substance, and the

mission, lay closer to the ground. He was burned by the experience for sure, but he later told me that the pivot to coffee was one of the keys to his vision for Califia. After a couple of quiet years, in 2010, Greg started to develop a plan for a juice manufacturing business in partnership with Berne Evans, a Bakersfield, California citrus farmer. But to really restart his career, Greg also had to overcome a major physical setback after receiving a liver transplant in the spring of 2012. Early in the business Greg shifted the emphasis at Califia away from juices and towards another prominent Bakersfield crop, California almonds, and the decision to make almond milk caught the industry and the consumer at the right time. Even early on, you could tell that Greg

and he continued to keep environmental activism at the forefront of the work he did in beverage. After the Odwalla debacle, he blamed the private equity investors who had ultimately gotten control of the company after the contamination crisis for forcing the sale to Coke. But he went into the fundraising process for Califia clear-eyed, with a determination that the money was going to enable him to take Califia where he wanted it to go, rather than where his investors might have planned. He surrounded himself with great, cool, interesting, determined and diverse employees and friends. He raised immense amounts of capital, and after passing the CEO job to Dave Ritterbush, he seemed to be settling in as an innovation and mission guide for the company as a board member. When news got out in September that he was giving

a cousin of mine from San Francisco whom I greatly admire, so we had people in common, and we spent a bunch of time talking. I felt like we shared a common, rebellious outlook that gave us a special bond -- but I think most people who spoke with Greg felt a special bond with him. Maybe we tired him out. I think most people who looked for those bonds really did have them, because his star qualities combined with his innate generosity and sense of fun to make him magnetic. He always drew people -- even if they wanted to make sure he wasn’t the actor Harry Dean Stanton. I’ll admit, there were times I thought up panels and conference presentations for Greg just to make sure that I got to spend time with him, either on the phone or on the stage. He always took time to speak with entrepreneurs,

was on to something, that Califia was going to make it, that this really was a second act. At coffee bars, almond milk offered a fast-growing alternative to dairy and soy milk, but rather than just offer the product as a coffee additive, he and his partners also started to sell highquality coffee drinks of their own, made with Califia’s almond milk. The brand combined voluptuous carafestyle bottles of its unsweetened products, professional-quality almond milk “Barista Blends” for coffee fanatics -- and great, innovative coffee products of its own that gave it legs in both the coffee and alt-dairy categories. Greg had cut his own path as an environmental sciences major at Stanford,

up the reins, I immediately worried for his health, but he assured me he was fine, the move was his plan, and we started discussing his grandson. I have so many memories of Greg as a person, but will never have enough memories of time spent with him. We shared drinks and meals, shared laughs, shared a love of Bob Dylan and weird jazz. He showed my kids his house because it looked like Hogwarts. He loved his grandson -- the last time we texted, he just kept sending me pictures. When I first met him, Greg was giving a talk on the ways that companies could responsibly and transparently handle their responsibilities to the public, using the E.Coli outbreak as an example. He had been old friends with

with the media, and he taught everyone immense amounts about business, strategy, style. He made you feel smarter when you spoke with him, that you understood business, that you were cooler than you were. I took pride in our bond. We all did. I would argue that the industry loved him, not because it loved what he stood for -- an idea that goes back to Ben & Jerry’s, back to Just Desserts, back to Patagonia and to Stonyfield, that an outstanding experience could also be one that does good for the world -- but because of the gut punches he’d taken in showing us the way. You’d look at Greg’s face, and you’d see wrinkles, and eyes that twinkled. It was the combination of the two that taught us so much. 13



Canopy Growth Launches CBD Sparkling Water in U.S. On March 2, Canadian cannabis manufacturer Canopy Growth announced the online launch of its first CBD-infused drink for the U.S. market: Quatreau, a four-SKU line of flavored zero-sugar sparkling waters containing 20mg of CBD per 12 oz. can. Quatreau’s initial flavor lineup includes Cucumber + Mint, Passionfruit + Guava, Ginger + Lime and Blueberry + Acai. The line debuted in Canada last year, where it has become the “top-selling ready-to-drink CBD beverage,” according to the company. In the U.S., Quatreau will be sold exclusively online (shipping to 32 states) for a suggested retail price of $3.99 per can. Beer and spirits conglomerate Constellation Brands owns a 38.6% stake in Canopy, having initially invested in 2017 before increasing its share last summer. In 2020, the company introduced multiple THC and CBD-infused drinks in Canada including Tweed, Houseplant and Deep Space. “We have proven our beverage strategy in Canada, where we are currently the market share leader in CBD-infused readyto-drink beverages,” said Canopy Growth President and Chief Product Officer Rade Kovacevic in a press release. “Beverages are fueling growth in the CBD category and we believe this product will resonate with U.S. consumers looking for a naturally flavored, zero sugar option.” According to the release, the launch date was chosen to coincide with the astrological event known as the “Age of Aquar-

Oatly Files for IPO Plant-based dairy alternative products maker Oatly submitted plans in late February for an initial public offering (IPO) to U.S. regulators. “We’ve taken the first official step towards pursuing a potential IPO by submitting a confidential F-1 registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission in the United States,” said Oatly spokesperson Sara Fletcher in a statement to BevNET on February 23. “However due to the confidentiality of the process we have no further comments.” The announcement follows reports in January that the Sweden-based company was exploring a potential $1 billion IPO. Oatly is reported by Reuters to have hired Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan and Credit Suisse as underwriters on the offering. Reuters reported that the brand could be valued as high as $2 billion. Oatly reported $51.2 million in retail dollar sales in the U.S. for the 52-week period ending December 27, 2020, according to market research firm IRI, up 14 BEVNET MAGAZINE – MARCH/APRIL 2021

ius,” meant to herald the beginning of a “brand-new age.” As such, the brand has partnered with celebrity astrologist Susan Miller for a digital awareness campaign. “Astrology has made a major pop culture comeback as people turn to the stars for guidance during what has been an unsettling, uncertain, and stressful time for many,” said Canopy Growth Vice President of Beverages Tara Rozalowsky. “With this campaign, we’re highlighting the role functional ingredients like CBD can play in helping people manage their stress, find moments of calm and prioritize wellness during this once-in-a-lifetime transitional period.” The introduction of Quatreau marks the second U.S. debut for a major Canadian cannabis brand with ties to the alcohol industry in a matter of months. In January, Truss CBD USA, a joint venture between majority owner Molson Coors and Canadian cannabis manufacturer HEXO, launched its own zero-sugar flavored sparkling water (also with 20mg of CBD) in Colorado. Meanwhile, Pabst Blue Ribbon announced in October its plans to introduce a “sessionable” non-alcoholic cannabis-infused seltzer in California in partnership with processor Vertosa. According to cannabis research firm The Brightfield Group, the U.S. CBD market is expected to reach $23.7 billion by 2023.

241.7% year-over-year. A 2020 report by Mergermarket said the global company generated over $200 million in revenue in 2019 and was expected to have doubled that last year. Though Oatly has been broadly recognized for bringing the oat milk trend to the U.S., exemplified by its on-premise launch strategy in 2017 that focused on placing the brand in premium chain cafes, the company’s oat milk business has faced stiff competition in retail. According to IRI, HP Hood-owned Planet Oat currently leads the category in MULO, up 203.6% year-over-year to $77.7 million. In 2019, Oatly expanded its U.S. business outside of beverage with the launch of a line of oat-based ice creams. The company has since added a line of nondairy yogurts. Last year, the company announced a partnership with Starbucks to place its oat milk in select stores around the country. Oatly has also partnered with coffee makers including Stumptown, Red Hat Coffee and most recently Intelligentsia to launch RTD oat milk latte lines in retail. Last July, Oatly raised $200 mil-

lion in an equity funding round led by Blackstone Growth, which also included investments from Oprah Winfrey, actress Natalie Portman and former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz. Oatly CEO Toni Petersson told BevNET at the time that the company had a long growth runway with just 19% ACV in the U.S. In addition to Blackstone, Roc Nation (owned by rapper Jay-Z), Orkila Capital and Rabobank’s Rabo Corporate Investments have also invested in the brand. A joint venture between Verlinvest and China Resources holds a controlling interest.

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Coca-Cola In Talks to Acquire BodyArmor

The Coca-Cola Company has begun the process of acquiring a controlling stake in sports drink brand BodyArmor. A spokesperson for Coca-Cola confirmed on February 19 that the company had notified U.S. antitrust regulators of its plans. Further details on the timing and terms of the deal were not disclosed. “We can confirm that The Coca-Cola Company has filed a pre-acquisition notification with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) relating to its intent to acquire a controlling interest in BodyArmor,” Coke said in a statement shared with BevNET. “In 2018, Coca-Cola became a shareholder in BodyArmor, in a deal that was structured to create value for both companies while also defining a path to ownership in the future. Until closing, both companies will continue to operate independently in accordance with their existing agreement.” In an email statement to BevNET, BodyArmor co-founder and chairman Mike Repole said: “Although Coca-Cola buying a controlling interest in BODYARMOR is a distinct possibility, reports that Coca-Cola is purchasing a controlling interest in BODYARMOR are premature. While this is one scenario for BODYARMOR, there are other potential options for the future of the business. He continued: “Our focus continues to be to build BODYARMOR into the #1 brand in active hydration. Our president Brent Hastie, our leadership team, 400+ passionate employees and I remain excited and committed to building this business with the Coca-Cola bottling system for future years to come.” Over the last decade, BodyArmor, named BevNET’s Brand of the Year in 2018, has emerged as the leading challenger brand to sports drinks’ two dominant forces, PepsiCo-owned Gatorade and Powerade. The brand’s profile has been raised through affiliation with athletes like MLB star Mike Trout and the late Kobe Bryant, a growing range of SKUs (including the newly launched BodyArmor Edge with caffeine) and its aggressive positioning as a natural alternative to chief rival Gatorade. According to data from Nielsen, dollar sales for BodyArmor are up 43.4% yearover-year through February 6, 2021, taking the company past the $1 billion mark. The brand has taken a 13.7% dollar share of the category during that time frame. In August 2018, Coke, which also owns Powerade, became BodyArmor’s secondlargest stakeholder behind co-founder and chairman Mike Repole; the beverage giant also began distributing the brand’s products through its nationwide distribution system. Keurig Dr Pepper, BodyArmor’s previous distribution partner, retains a 12.5% stake in the brand. If completed, the transaction would consolidate Coca-Cola and PepsiCo’s collective control of the U.S. sports drinks market, which has grown 14.4% year-over-year according to Nielsen. Outside of the two giants, the rest of the category would represent somewhere less than 1% of total dollar share. 15



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Flow Names Former Nestlé Waters Head Patarnello as CEO Alkaline spring water company Flow has named former Nestlé Waters head Maurizio Patarnello as CEO to oversee the brand’s global expansion. Patarnello joins Flow after more than 27 years with the Swiss conglomerate, most recently as CEO and chairman of Nestlé Waters where he oversaw brands including Nestlé Pure Life, Perrier, San Pellegrino, Poland Spring and Acqua Panna. He held the role from 2017 until his retirement in 2019. Patarnello became aware of Flow when he and the brand’s founder and former CEO Nicholas Reichenbach met in 2018 at the World Water Congress. Patarnello said he was impressed by Flow’s branding, design and fl avor and believed the brand’s emphasis on sustainability was helping to “change the standard of the industry.” After his retirement, he wanted to take on the task of scaling an entrepreneurial brand into a global competitor. “After 27-plus years of a corporate career, I wanted a new challenge,” Patarnello said. “The kind of challenge I was looking for was to take my experience in the category, and my knowledge and my passion, and to put it at the service of something completely different, innovative and with a strong purpose. So that’s where I am.” Reichenbach will remain with the company as executive chairman. He said Patarnello’s experience in the global bottled water category will allow Flow to grow at scale without making major mistakes. Though Patarnello said there is no way to “copy and paste” his Nestlé Waters strategy, he noted his knowledge will allow the brand to move swiftly as it seeks to dominate in the premium water segment. “I’m not stepping back, I’m stepping aside,” Reichenbach said. “Because Maurizio is a force of nature and I believe our partnership together will have a little bit of the yin and yang as we balance ourselves out.” The appointment comes after Flow announced in February it would take the company public this year on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) with a $50 million public offering. The IPO will be followed by a secondary offering on the NASDAQ within the next 12 months. “When Nicholas says we want to take it all the way, that’s what he means,” Patarnello said. “The decision to go public


is linked to having the resources available for the brand to fully use its potential.” Flow is currently available in over 30,000 retail doors in the U.S. and Canada, with much of its sales driven by the natural and specialty channels. Sales increased 44% in 2020 to over $25 million and the company aims to achieve 65% ACV in the grocery channel by 2022. Flow raised $45 million in a Series D funding round last year. In April, Flow is set to add 950 Target stores nationwide with four SKUs, including 1 Liter multiserve cartons, 500 mL six-packs and two fl avored variations. As well, 480 locations will carry the brand’s functional Collagen-Infused and Vitamin-Infused lines. According to chief revenue offi cer Tim Dwyer, the rollout is part of a new phase of distribution expansion that includes partnerships with 40 additional DSD houses to grow Flow’s footprint across the U.S., including Polar Beverage in the Northeast. Reichenbach noted Flow will also begin this spring tapping its celebrity investors and shareholders, including singer Shawn Mendes, with consumer facing ad campaigns to drive brand awareness. In addition to the water brand, Flow also owns over $100 million in assets, including its two artesian springs located in Canada and Virginia, making it among the only premium bottled water brands sourced in North America. The company also operates a subsidiary, Planet A CoPacking Solutions, which produces products for other Tetra Pak packaged beverage brands including Vita Coco and meal replacement orro. According to Patarnello, Flow is also exploring two additional production sites in North America in the near future. He noted that in addition to giving Flow a strategic base to scale its own business globally, the company hopes to expand the use of recyclable packaging throughout the beverage industry. “There are two strategic dimensions here,” Patarnello said. “On one hand this is taking Flow all the way. The other hand this is taking the packaging all the way. And that’s why we foresee for the future a potential expansion beyond the two premises that we have today and it will go hand in hand with the development to the brand.”



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Spindrift Goes Hard with Spiked Sparkling Water Line

In its ongoing mission to be the leading premium sparkling water brand on the market, Spindrift is going hard. The Newton, Massachusetts-based beverage brand announced the launch of Spindrift Spiked, an alcoholic hard seltzer line rolling out to stores in April. Following the brand’s core products, the new line is made with real fruit juice and contains alcohol fermented from cane sugar with a 4% ABV. The drinks are available in Mango, Lime, Pineapple and Half & Half (lemonade and tea) flavors. Each 12 oz. can contains 82 to 95 calories. The products will be sold in variety 12-packs for $25. The company will donate 1% of all sales as part of its commitment to environmental campaign 1% For The Planet. Spindrift has seen high, double-digit growth in the past year, up 78.9% to $77.7 million in the 52-week period ending February 20, according to market research firm Nielsen. In that time, the non-alcoholic sparkling water category has grown 22.8% to $3.3 billion, while the hard seltzer space has grown to $4.1 billion, per NielsenIQ. According to Spindrift founder and CEO Bill Creelman, the combined categories are expected to surpass $15 billion in retail by the end of 2022. While hard seltzer is a crowded category largely dominated by a few brands, namely White Claw and Truly, Creelman said he sees the space as an extension of the overall sparkling water space where Spindrift has been able to carve out market share as a premium alternative to the leading brands. “Sparkling water is the most important category in beverage in our lifetimes,” Creelman said. “Whereas flavored sparkling water was sort of where it started as the domain of carbonation lovers fleeing soda, we really see that as alcohol coming into sparkling water. You have, in the case of Spindrift, this profile of low calorie, really delicious, two ingredient product and the consumer is not willing to compromise anymore.” Spindrift, Creelman said, is orienting itself to be a “total sparkling water company,” playing in all areas of the category. In February, the company launched a line of lemonade sparkling waters, the first time in the brand’s history it unveiled a full subline. To stand apart from Spindrift’s core line, Spiked is packaged in slim cans and features numerous callouts on the packaging to its alcohol content. Creelman said the company aimed to develop a package that is “very distinctly Spindrift” while also feeling different than its current product. Spindrift Spiked aims to differentiate itself from competing hard seltzers much in the same way Spindrift’s flagship products 18 BEVNET MAGAZINE – MARCH/APRIL 2021

set themselves apart from the sea of naturally flavored sparkling waters: through the use of real fruit juice and no artificial ingredients. The liquid is colorful, unlike nearly all other hard seltzers which are clear, and the packaging and marketing call out its clean ingredient label. Creelman said that the company expects to draw early sales for Spiked from its existing consumer base, which it has tapped for feedback through its Drifter newsletter program and social media channels. While brands like White Claw and Truly may have carved out the bulk of the market share for hard seltzer to date, Creelman said Spindrift Spiked is targeting consumers who have yet to enter the category. Spindrift’s consumers, he noted, “overwhelmingly” requested the brand introduce a hard product, however, only 15% had even tried hard seltzers in the past — let alone on a regular basis. Sales of Spindrift’s core line, Creelman said, are 90% incremental to the sparkling water category, a point that the company hopes to duplicate in the alcohol space. “Among our followers, almost none of them drink hard sparkling water today,” Creelman said. “They’ve told us that there’s not a product that they really identify with out in the market. So this is our opportunity to offer that.” Spiked will launch mid-April in the Northeast and in Southern California. To support the rollout, Spindrift has partnered with California-based Stone Brewing and Massachusetts-based alcohol wholesalers Horizon Beverage Group to handle distribution. While many hard seltzer plays from established brands have come through partnerships with strategics — including AriZona and Heineken USA, Topo Chico and Molson Coors Beverage Company and Polar Seltzer and Harpoon — Creelman said the company has opted to handle the venture itself and plans to “engage in a small, but deep way in the market.” Creelman himself is no stranger to the alcohol space, either: he co-founded mixer brand Stirrings prior to launching Spindrift in 2010. As the line rolls out, Creelman said the company’s strategy is multi-pronged. First, Spindrift aims to launch Spiked in its existing accounts which also carry alcoholic beverages, including upwards of 2,500 accounts in the Massachusetts and Rhode Island area. Creelman himself said he will be driving around personally, much as he did when the brand first launched 11 years ago, to meet with accounts and sell the line. The company will also gauge interest from its national accounts prior to expanding outside of the test markets. “There’s going to be no point in time, going forward, where consumers are going to be willing to go back to putting lots of sugar or chemicals into their bodies,” he said. “So while spiked sparkling water sits in a different part of the store and it’s distributed very differently, from a consumer standpoint, they don’t see it that way. They have made a decision, many years ago, that they’re not going to put soda in the middle of the table anymore. And now they’re making that decision when it comes to hard sparkling water.”



Mood Food: Can Mindright Feed a “Happiness Hack?” Mindright wants consumers to “get in a good mood via superfoods” and now it’s got an even bigger megaphone to do so. The snack brand, which was co-founded by former Buff Bake CEO and investor Chris Bernard and athlete Rob Dyrdek (via his venture studio Dyrdek Machine), announced it had raised $1.8 million from a star studded slate of investors. It’s just one more step in the brand’s quest to help Americans find their happy place. Dyrdek himself has dabbled in the food and beverage world before, investing and helping create brands including Outstanding Foods, Momentous, Black Feather and Made By Science. The latest capital infusion comes from many of Dyrdek’s contacts including singer Joe Jonas (who now holds a board seat), “The Profit” Marcus Lemonis, musician Travis Barker, skateboarder Sean Malto and other entrepreneurs, athletes, producers and directors. Rather than simply trading equity for endorsement, Dyrdek said this model results in a more authentic partnership — and ultimately, upside for its investors. “For celebrities, it’s a place to potentially put your capital to get a nice return,” Dyrdek said. “So supporting that with skin in the game, versus doing a relationship with celebrities based just off of their name type of thing.” The brand launched in February with three bars: Blueberry Almond, Peanut Butter Cup and Toasted Coconut. Each bar contains mood enhancing adaptogens and nootropics (dubbed the “Happy Brain Blend”) including ashwagandha, ginseng, MCT oil, and cordyceps. Currently the line is sold online only with an MSRP of $32.99 per 12 count box.

Bernard said keeping the brand online for at least a year will allow the company to refine the concept while keeping risk low and costs down. In the second half of the year Mindright plans to debut new products, including a powdered beverage line that also contains caffeine. Though the bar category is crowded, and has seen sales drop during the Covid-19 pandemic, Bernard believes there’s also a lack of innovation in the set, which has largely focused on energy or protein. And while consumers have needed fewer ways to get protein into their diets over the last year, he said, interest in brain health has skyrocketed. “The reality of it is that basically every bar that came along and found success was at a point when there were too many bars,” Dydrek said. “To the mainstream consumer, nootropics are still a little daunting and clinical sounding.” Mindright’s branding is both whimsical and weird, offering a general promise of better mental health, without going too far into the science. The brand emphasizes high quality ingredient sources and a short ingredient list while not sacrificing taste, Bernard said. The end result is a website that talks about adaptogens next to tongue in cheek references to pop culture phenomena such as Tiger King. It’s a strategy that Dyrdrek says will allow the brand to stretch and reach more shoppers. “For me, as someone who has created a lot of brands… it’s this idea of how do you build something that has the foundation of all of the qualities that you would expect, but build it in a way that appeals to a mass audience,” he said. It’s [about] more energy and more fun.”

Investment Firms Launch CPG SPAC AF Ventures has joined the SPAC club. The CPG venture fund once known as Accel Foods has combined forces with two other firms to launch a publicly traded “blank check” company to target more consumer brands. Together with Scharf Brothers and Mistral Equity Partners, AF Acquisitions initially offered 20 million shares at $10 each, to raise up to $200 million for the initial public offering. The SPAC will look for an acquisition in the “better-for-you consumer packaged goods industry,” specifically food, beverage, health and wellness, beauty, pet or personal care sectors. The group is particularly interested in “digitally native brands, communities and platforms” that already have strong engagement and loyal customers, but that can be expanded into brick and mortar retailers as well. Targets will also have strong margins, dedicated customers and the ability to prove, through metrics, that there is (and will continue to be) consumer demand for their products. AF Acquisitions, trading under AFAQU, will be led by CEO Jordan Gaspar, one of the original managing partners at AF Ventures, alongside chairman Andrew Scharf, chief investment officer of family office Scharf Brothers, and CFO Christopher Bradley, a managing director at Mistral Equity Partners. Independent director nominees for AF Acquisitions include Andrew Heyer, CEO of Mistral Equity Partners, Mary Fox, general manager for North America consumer products at BIC and Nola Weinstein, global head of culture at brand experience at Twitter. The firm will be based in Palm Beach, where Scharf Brothers is located. 20 BEVNET MAGAZINE – MARCH/APRIL 2021

AF Ventures currently has 30 portfolio companies, including Goodfish, Wandering Bear Coffee, Good Day Chocolate and Kidfresh, with three exits since its inception in 2014. Scharf Brothers, which invested in public and private companies, private equity, hedge funds and real estate, has acquired, owned and operated 21 businesses across a variety of industries. The group has also played a role in two prior SPACs. Finally, Mistral Equity Partners, which invests in consumer, retail, restaurant, media and related technology and services businesses, has sponsored four previous SPACs. In the filing, the three firms note that they have worked together in the past. Over their history together, Scharf Brothers and Mistral Equity partners have invested in AF Ventures, sat on their investment committee, made co-investments with the fund or served on the board of directors of their portfolio brands. The three decided to launch a SPAC in order to offer companies a new way of obtaining capital beyond the traditional fund model. “We have decided to pursue this endeavor in order to expand on the vision of our partnership; to provide capital in creative and thoughtful ways to pioneering companies entering the next phase of accelerated growth,” the filing notes. As listed in the filing, AF Acquisitions is not prohibited from pursuing a transaction with a company that is affiliated with AF Ventures, Scharf Brothers, Mistral Equity Partners or any of the company’s officers or directors AF would not comment citing SEC regulations.

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Ka-Pop, Bubba’s Merge to Form Awakened Foods, Launch Co-Packing Division Colorado-based brands Ka-Pop! Snacks and Bubba’s Fine Foods announced a merger, forming holding company Awakened Foods which will include the two brands as well as a new co-packing division, Awakened Food Crafters. The deal will allow the two brands, which will continue to operate independently, to leverage their branding, R&D and operational expertise to grow their own businesses while also offering food companies co-packing by experienced CPG leaders familiar with the potential manufacturing pain points, Ka-Pop founder and Awakened Foods CEO Dustin Finkel said. Ka-Pop, launched in 2018, markets Ancient Grain Popped Chips and Puffs, while Bubba’s, launched in 2014, offers ketofriendly snacks and granolas. With Finkel in Awakened’s CEO role, Bubba’s founder and CEO Jeff Schmidgall will serve as the company’s COO. Ka-Pop will now manufacture its products at the Loveland, Colorado-based Awakened Food Crafters facility, where Schmidgall has been manufacturing Bubba’s products while also running a smaller scale co-packing and private label business. “In today’s world of COVID, there’s a challenge in ensuring that you can get the right funding for your business, ensuring stability in manufacturing and ensuring consistent resources,” Finkel said. “This is a huge opportunity for both brands to really accelerate our growth in a way that I think independently would

be much more difficult. The facility already has the ability to manufacture products like granola, nut mixes, cereal, baked goods, puffs, popped chips and other salty snacks, Finkel said, but is also willing to invest in equipment for other product types if the “opportunity is right for both sides,” he said. In addition to co-packing, Awakened Food Crafters also offers R&D support and strategic consulting, he said. To support the growth, the company has hired new staff and added a significant amount of new equipment to the co-packing facility, establishing a separate section of the facility to cater to allergen-free brands. While the co-packing facility has the capacity to work with larger national brands, Finkel said that he believes it will be a particularly appealing partner for emerging brands looking to innovate quickly. It’s a need the Awakened team feels other copackers are unable to meet. “One of the challenges for small brands using co-manufacturing is the lack of flexibility and speed to innovate quickly and do it in a nimble fashion so that they can throw it on the wall and see what sticks online,” Finkel said. “When someone calls and shares their struggles or their issues or their wants and desires, I can approach it from having done this for 15 to 17 years and starting my own company.”



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Good Eggs Closes $100M, Plans for Expansion It seems like the idea of a fresh-focused retail platform isn’t just a good egg but a golden egg. In February, ecommerce platform Good Eggs announced the close of a $100 million round of capital, an infusion that will help the company expand into a new geographic region, build out assortment and bring on more support for the growing business. The round was led by Glade Brook Capital Partners, with additional investment by GV (the investment arm of Google), Tao Capital Partners, Finistere Ventures and Rich’s alongside previous investors Benchmark Partners, Index Ventures, S2G, DNS Capital and Obvious Ventures. The company has raised $170 million since its restructuring in 2015, a move that resulted in CEO Bentley Hall taking the helm. Founded in 2011, Good Eggs originally focused on delivering produce, meat and other fresh items, expanding from its base in San Francisco to Los Angeles, New York City and New Orleans. After a period of rapid growth, the business was overwhelmed with the complexity of building out supply chains in multiple markets. Under Hall, the company scaled back to focus on the Bay Area, only expanding further from its headquarters to the East Bay with the opening of a second Oakland facility in early 2020. The company has also expanded its assortment, adding more pantry staples, meal kits, prepared meals and, most recently, alcohol. During his tenure, the company has achieved nine-figure revenues, the company reports, with “meal solutions” accounting for approximately one-fifth of total sales. Good Eggs opened its Oakland facility last February, just weeks before California was shut down under a shelter-in-place order due to the pandemic. Hall said that while working the kinks out of a new location, which was built from the ground up and used new technology systems, while dealing with a pandemic and increased demand was intense, but ultimately helped prove out the model. “It just set the tone for the whole year,” Hall said. “Like everyone in this space, the tailwinds are pretty large and the speed of the change, the magnitude of the consumer habit change, is such a fascinating thing to watch.” During the pandemic Good Eggs not only saw new consumers come aboard as well as existing consumers upping their orders. In March and April 2020 the average basket size for Good Eggs shoppers roughly doubled, Hall said, and since then sales have remained elevated, with the average basket size 25% to 50% higher than precovid norms. The company also doubled its new customer acquisition and tripled its unit economics. To support this growth, the company has added 400 staff members, largely in its warehouses and as delivery staff, since March 2020. It’s a shift being seen across the country, but California is perhaps an ideal market given its dense cities. According to data provided by Good Eggs, Goldman Sachs projects that the US online delivery market will reach $150 billion in sales by 2026, with California’s metro markets expected to account for 10% to 15% of that number. The pandemic also brought new types of shoppers onto the platform. Good Eggs, widened its target consumer base to include empty nesters who are concerned about venturing into stores as well as younger professionals who previously spent more on going out to eat, but are now looking for other culinary “adventures.” 22 BEVNET MAGAZINE – MARCH/APRIL 2021

The pandemic (and its resulting habit changes), Hall said, have meant that “expansion is both higher reward and lower risk.” It’s perhaps less of a surprise then that Good Eggs also announced that the company will expand to Los Angeles in 2021, with first orders shipping to consumers in the summer or fall. From there, the company will “thoughtfully” grow into the top five to ten West Coast metro markets, a move Hall says will take roughly five to ten years. “We will always have a belief that having deeper roots in fewer geographies is better then spreading ourselves thin across the country and bragging about how many cities we launched in,” Hall said. “That’s partially driven by Good Eggs history but partially driven by this category: regional grocers are powerful.” Helping with the expansion will be Vineet Mehra, who joined Good Eggs as Chief Growth and Customer Experience Officer from Walgreens Boots Alliance, where he was global CMO and chief customer officer. Hall said Mehra brings an ability to marry data with customer insights to help better understand and meet customer needs. That help will be vital as the brand thinks about expanding its assortment. Consumer research also revealed that while customers appreciated Good Eggs’ curation — the site has under 7,000 SKUs — they would purchase more from Good Eggs if presented with more options. The company is considering opening up a “marketplace model,” Hall said, where companies — such as an alcohol distributor — could offer their products to Good Eggs shoppers. The platform would have to carry less inventory for these partnerships, but still manage the delivery aspect for the products. “It’s about how do we work with partners that already have a longer tail of SKUs in a category that people are passionate about,” Hall said, “and how do we give our customers access to that inventory?” Despite increased competition from both independent companies such as Imperfect Foods, Misfit Markets and Hungry Root as well as larger players such as Sun Basket, Freshly (which was recently acquired by Nestle) and even Amazon, Hall said by beginning with produce and always keeping an eye on quality, Good Eggs has built out a loyal customer base that is willing to follow the company into new categories such as alcohol. “A lot of grocers when they have solutions, they either have a meal kit or they have prepared meals but they fail to recognize that it’s the same customer that sometimes wants to prepare an elaborate meal and sometimes wants a 15 minute dinner and sometimes can’t even heat a pan and just wants to stick it in the oven,” Hall said. “So we have breadth across all three of those because life, as we’ve all learned, changes every week.”



Deschutes Brewery Acquires Neighboring Boneyard Beer in Bend In March, Deschutes Brewery made the first acquisition in the 32-year-old craft brewery’s history striking a deal for another Bend, Oregon-based craft brewery, Boneyard Beer. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. However, the companies described the tie up as a “joint venture,” with both brands retaining their separate identities. “This is about a combination of companies, a combination of skill sets and assets and attitudes and all those kinds of things,” Deschutes founder Gary Fish said. “And we think that the sum is going to be greater than the total of the parts.” Fish summed up what Boneyard brings to Deschutes succinctly: “Attitude.” “Seriously, the whole Boneyard attitude, not just are they great brewers, but they’ve got a great brand, and it’s a younger, more relevant brand,” he said. “Our brand has aged, and we keep trying to bring the Deschutes brand to the younger consumer, and we’re having some success with that, but Boneyard is deeply rooted in that marketplace, and we’re excited, quite frankly, to learn from them.” Boneyard co-founder Tony Lawrence will become a shareholder in the surviving entity, as well as return to Deschutes, where he started his career in 1989, as an employee. He will be charged with managing the Boneyard brand moving forward. Boneyard staff joining Deschutes will be eligible to take part in Deschutes’ Employee Stock Ownership Plan. Conversations between Fish and Lawrence about linking their

businesses have gone on for “years.” “Casual conversations turned into more serious conversations, and serious conversations turned into more negotiations,” Fish explained. “But it was just conversations over beers that became something more.” Those conversations sped up last year when the pandemic shuttered on-site service at bars, restaurants and brewery taprooms. Prior to the pandemic, the decade-old Boneyard was content with producing around 30,000 barrels of draft-only beer annually, while avoiding major capital expenditure projects and infrastructure projects, Lawrence said. However, the pandemic wreaked havoc on that business model, forcing Boneyard to pivot to packaged product at a time when other beverage producers were also making the switch, leading to a multi-year can shortage. Lawrence said conversations with Fish and Deschutes “picked up a lot of speed” and a deal with Deschutes became “a no brainer.” “We made a 100% pivot from doing 30,000 barrels of draft to essentially zero in March and April,” Lawrence said. “While we were [a] 100% draft-only brewery, currently we’re probably 80-20 [cans to draft], maybe even a few months back 90-10 cans to draft. So my whole parking lot’s filled with kegs. That opened Pandora’s Box, and here we go.” Deschutes, the 11th largest Brewers Association-defined craft brewery by volume in 2019, will scale up Boneyard’s offerings, starting with RPM IPA, offer sales and marketing support, as well as work through supply chain constraints.

Diageo Acquires Lone River Ranch Water Maker Far West Spirits Diageo has acquired fast-growing hard seltzer maker Far West Spirits LLC, which produces the Lone River Ranch Water brand. Diageo funded the deal through existing cash resources. Katie Beal Brown, who founded Far West Spirits in 2019, will retain a minority interest in the company, as well as remain CEO of the brand. She will work with leadership at Diageo North America and Diageo Beer Company. Lone River’s portfolio of 80-calorie, 4% ABV hard seltzer offerings are a take on the traditional West Texas cocktail made with tequila, lime juice and sparkling water. Lone River’s flagship Original Ranch Water hard seltzer is made with organic blue agave nectar and lime juice. Lone River will give Diageo another key player in the $4 billion hard seltzer market to pair with Smirnoff Spiked Sparkling Seltzer, which ranked as the fifth best selling hard seltzer in off-premise retailers in 2020. Portfolio-wide Lone River sales in off-premise retailers year-todate through February 20 are up 100%, to nearly $1.2 million, according to NielsenIQ AOC plus liquor and convenience data provided by 3 Tier Beverages. The Lone River brand family is also the 14th largest hard seltzer brand family through the first two months of 2021. In 2020, Lone River posted $4.287 million in off-premise sales, although the company’s products only hit retail shelves on April 17, according to data from NielsenIQ provided by the Bump Williams Consulting Company. “We obviously had grown so quickly that I just knew there was 24 BEVNET MAGAZINE – MARCH/APRIL 2021

going to be an extent at how much we could realistically scale the business on our own, just due to our existing infrastructure, our own resources, and, quite frankly, even our kind of experience,” Beal Brown said. Discussions between Far West Spirits and Diageo started last fall. The timing couldn’t have been better for Far West, as large beer manufacturers such as Anheuser-Busch through its Karbach craft brewery and Heineken USA via its Dos Equis brand are preparing to enter the ranch water hard seltzer sub-segment. Beal Brown knew that competing with those larger companies would require more resources and scale than Far West had on its own. “So that was definitely a big motivating factor in addition to when you think about Diageo as a whole, I would argue that you’re not going to find a more credentialed company in the tequila space,” she said. “And so the fact that we have been really a first mover in the agave tequila-inspired hard seltzer category, it made a lot of sense in that regard, as well just knowing that their business has been very successful to date.” The initial focus for Far West under the Diageo banner will be expanding Lone River’s geographic footprint and providing the support to ensure the product is successful in markets outside of its home market of Texas, where the products are distributed by Ben E. Keith statewide. “I think our ambition is absolutely the same: We think this is a brand that has national potential,” Beal Brown said. “And the way that we get there is still to be announced. But we’re absolutely gunning for that.”

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Denizens Co-Founder Julie Verratti Appointed to Serve in US SBA Denizens Brewing co-founder and chief brand officer Julie Verratti joined the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) as associate administrator of field operations on March 1. Verratti has stepped away from her role with the brewery to take on the political appointment. In her new SBA role, Verratti will oversee the administration’s 68 field offices and 10 regional offices nationwide. The SBA’s office of field operations is responsible for “the direct execution of the Agency’s products and services for America’s small businesses,” according to the release. Those products and services include the Paycheck Protection Program, through which 81.2% of craft breweries received loans during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to national not-forprofit trade group the Brewers Association (BA). “I am a passionate and true believer that when government is run well, we can deliver positive impacts for people,” Verratti said. “I can’t wait to hit the ground running to work on behalf of America’s small businesses, so they can do what they do best, which is grow our economy and create jobs.” Speaking to Brewbound, Verratti said her role at Denizens will be divided between sales manager Ben Hunter and brewery co-founders Emily Bruno and Jeff Ramirez, Verratti’s wife and brother-in-law. Hunter will take on more responsibility of sales in Denizens’ home markets, while Ramirez, who has led

production, will take on wholesaler management and Bruno will assume some of the marketing responsibilities and other roles previously held by Verratti. “I’m optimistic for Denizens’ future. I am optimistic about the future of America, and I am hopeful that I’m going to be able to bring a positive impact to small businesses across the country in this new role,” Verratti said. Verratti, who has served on the BA’s board of directors since 2018, resigned her role on the board during a meeting on Thursday. She has also served as a member of the board of directors for the Brewers Association of Maryland since 2019. Before co-founding Denizens in 2014, Verratti worked at the SBA as a policy advisor and presidential management fellow. Her career also includes a stint as a staff member for the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, as well as time on political campaigns and at non-profit organizations. “My background, both having worked in government before, having done advocacy before, and then also having the lived experience of being a small business owner-operator for the last seven years — and especially during this time of COVID — this is a chance for me to hopefully bring the skills that I have and experience that I have to try to help,” Verratti said. “I just want to be helpful and be of service. When you’re being asked to serve your country, how do you say no to that?”




Sonic Branded Hard Seltzer Line Could Make Coop Ale Works a Player in the $4 Billion Segment

The May 1 launch of a line of hard seltzers branded with fastfood chain Sonic’s name and proprietary beverage flavors has the potential to make Oklahoma City craft brewery COOP Ale Works a player in the $4 billion hard seltzer segment, president Sean Mossman told Brewbound in March. Mossman’s definition of “a player” is a top five brand among the likes of market leaders White Claw (Mark Anthony Brands), Truly Hard Seltzer (Boston Beer Company), Bud Light Seltzer (Anheuser-Busch), Corona Hard Seltzer (Constellation Brands) and Smirnoff Spiked Sparkling Seltzer (Diageo). “Even scraps from the two big guys will significantly impact the future of this company,” he said. “We don’t think we’re going to be a scrap player; we think we’re going to be a playerplayer. But we’re going to be a player-player in a category that is going to double, and double again.” Becoming a contender at that level would transform COOP Ale Works’ business. In 2020, the company produced 20,000 barrels of product, up 21% compared to 2019. The journey starts in May with the launch of a pair of variety 12-packs. The “Citrus” pack features Cherry Limeade, Original Limeade, Classic Lemonade and Lemon Berry, while the “Tropical” pack includes Original Pineapple, Mango Guava, Ocean Water and Melon Medley. Cherry Limeade and Ocean Water — arguably Sonic’s most popular flavors — will also be sold in single-flavor 12-packs and 19.2 oz. single-serve cans. In Year One, Sonic Hard Seltzer will be sold in six states — Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri, Texas and Arkansas. Those six states — which Mossman said account for around 50% of the Sonic locations in the U.S. — will be the only ones to receive the seltzer in 2021. But COOP plans to ramp up the roll out a year from now during the spring resets with the 26 BEVNET MAGAZINE – MARCH/APRIL 2021

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addition of more than 20 states. “We entered into this agreement with Sonic with our eyes wide open,” he said. “We know what we’ve got is a partner that has instant brand equity in retail, and that instant brand equity is going to help us really leap past a lot of that brand building effort that a lot of new brands have, and there’s going to be instant credibility on the shelf.” Mossman said the idea for a partnership struck him last September while the brew team was developing a hard seltzer for the company’s Will & Wiley line that recreated Ocean Water, Sonic’s proprietary, bright blue, coconut-flavored soft drink. After seeing Harpoon Brewery’s partnership with Dunkin’, Mossman decided to contact Sonic to see if they’d sign off on a line of hard seltzers inspired by the drive-in burger chain. However, Sonic execs wanted a bigger partnership and came back with the idea of COOP licensing the brand name for a standalone hard seltzer line. The companies reached an agreement on December 28, and Mossman believes that COOP has since dialed in the liquid with the help of the Sonic team. “We worked behind the scenes for hours with the culinary team at Sonic on really mimicking Ocean Water flavor and that Ocean Water experience in the seltzer can,” he said. “And that’s been a really fulfilling process for everybody to have the support from to make sure that we were really delivering for the customer what their expectation was from a Sonic branded beverage.” COOP and Sonic’s partnership will join other hard seltzer marriages between breweries and soft drink producers. CocaCola and Molson Coors have teamed up to produce Topo Chico Hard Seltzer, which is rolling out in March. Heineken USA and AriZona Iced Tea partnered on the upcoming Sun Rise Hard Seltzer. And Mass. Bay Brewing, Harpoon’s parent company, has produced its Arctic Chill Hard Seltzer in cooperation with Polar Seltzer since early 2019. Mossman described a flurry of interest from wholesalers and retailers after 405 Magazine senior writer Greg Horton broke news of the partnership in a Twitter post in late February. Walmart, QuikTrip, OnCue, HEB, Kroger and other retailers have told Mossman their consumer bases overlap with Sonic’s, so they’re confident in the product and will be giving it space within their stores. That’s led Mossman and COOP to believe that their initial forecasts are more conservative than the opportunity in front of them. “You’re initially planning for a couple 100,000 CEs of growth, and then the conversation is what if it’s a half a million because that’s really a very likely scenario for Year One,” he said. For Mossman, he believes the floor for volume growth is 3x over the next two to three years. “But it can be in the 10-plus range as far as multiples and growth,” he added. “And that’s gonna invite some growing pains along the way. We’re just gonna have to fight through them. It’s gonna be a quantum leap but others have done it before, and we’re taking a lot of cues from businesses that have scaled fast.”





Intelligentsia Coffee has partnered with Oatly for a line of RTD oat milk lattes. The new line features a black Cold Coffee fl avor, as well as Oat Latte and Spiced Oat Latte varieties. Made with a custom blend of Ethiopian coffee beans, the Oat Latte features notes of sugar cookie and chocolate milk while the Spiced Latte is an adaptation of Intelligentsia’s best-selling seasonal drink from its cafe menus. The beverages are available in 11 oz. Tetra Pak Prism cartons for $3.99 per unit. For more information call (312) 563-0023.

Adrenaline Shoc (A Shoc) has added its first subline, Accelerator, featuring clean label products with 200 mg of caffeine per 16 oz. can. The line includes Orange Mango, Cherry Limeade and Island Guava flavors and each can features a thermogenic blend of green tea epigallocatechin gallate (EPCG), capsaicin and ashwagandha and added electrolytes from ocean minerals. The beverages contain zero sugar and no artificial flavors or coloring and retail for $TK per can. For more information call (888) 882-7462.

Lucky Jack has entered the oat milk latte space with a four-SKU line of RTD products featuring Caramel, Golden Milk + Turmeric, Mocha and Vanilla fl avors. The lattes are sold in 7.5 oz. cans, contain 130 mg of caffeine, 4-5 grams of sugar and 80 calories or less. They are shelf stable and additionally sweetened with erythritol. The line retails for $3.49 per can and $29.99 per 12-pack. For more information call (702) 331-3888.

Dairy Kids beverage maker good2grow has launched a line of Organic MILK, available in the brand’s re-closable tops featuring popular cartoon characters. The drinks are available in 8 oz. single-serve bottles in Strawberry and Chocolate fl avors. They will launch in select grocery and convenience retailers including Hannaford Supermarkets, Casey’s General Stores, Stripes Stores and Circle K Texas. The line retails for $3.99 per bottle. For more information call (678) 718-2000. Maple Hill Creamery has introduced a Reduced Sugar Chocolate Milk. The beverage uses grass-fed, organic milk and Fair Trade cocoa. The product contains 25% less sugar than leading chocolate milk brands and has 8 grams of protein. It is available in 32 oz. multi-serve cartons at Whole Foods Market, Natural Grocers and Vitamin Cottage stores. For more information call (518) 758-7777.


Juice WTRMLN WTR has launched a new Functional Blends line featuring four varieties: Hydration (watermelon and lime), Immunity (watermelon, pressed ginger juice, lime juice, turmeric and cayenne), Recover (watermelon, tart cherry, lime juice acerola juice and sea salt) and Antioxidant (watermelon, pressed strawberry juice, lime, pressed acerola juice and hibiscus). The drinks are available at Whole Foods, Target and Albertsons stores and retail for $3.49 per 12 oz. bottle. For more information email

Sparkling Water PepsiCo-owned brand Bubly is adding functionality to its sparkling water portfolio with Bubly Bounce, a line of caffeinated drinks available in five fl avors. Three SKUs -- Blood Orange Grapefruit, Mango Passion Fruit and Triple Berry -- are available nationwide in 16 oz. single-serve cans and in 24-packs of 12 oz. cans. Two more fl avors, Citrus Cherry and Blueberry Pomegranate, will be available exclusively in variety packs sold online and in the club channel. For more information call 1-800-433-2652. Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc. has introduced Ocean Spray Wave, a naturally caffeinated sparkling water made with a splash of real fruit juice. The new line of beverages is available in Strawberry & Lemon, Mango & Passionfruit, Mandarin & Blackberry and Cranberry & Pineapple varieties. Each 12 oz. can contains 50 mg

NEW PRODUCTS of naturally sourced caffeine from black tea and has zero grams of added sugar, no artificial flavors or preservatives and no artificial sweeteners. The drinks are available online and in store via Walmart and retail for $4.98 per 8-pack. For more information call 1-800-662-3263. Spindrift launched a three SKU line of lemonade sparkling waters, made with real fruit juice. Available in Target stores and online, the new drinks are available in Lemon Limeade, Pink Lemonade and Strawberry Lemonade flavors and retail for $5.99 per 8-pack of 12 oz. cans. The line contains less than one gram of sugar per unit and no added sweeteners. For more information call (617) 391-0356.

Sports Drinks BODYARMOR has released an energizing line, BODYARMOR Edge, containing 1,000 mg of electrolytes and 100mg of natural caffeine per 16.9 oz. bottle. The line is available in Berry Blitz, Tropical Chaos, Power Punch and Orange Frenzy fl avors and can be found in stores nationwide and online via Amazon. For more information call (718) 357-7402. GoodSport is a new sports drink brand with products made from ultra-filtered, deproteinized milk. The beverages contain 1,600 mg of electrolytes per 16.9 oz. bottle and are available in Citrus, Fruit Punch, Lemon Lime and Wild Berry flavors. The product is available directto-consumer through the brand’s website and on Amazon and retails for $2.79 per unit. For more information call 1-855-374-6547.

Tea Founded by a team of former Rockstar Energy employees, Weird Tea is a new line of RTD teas targeting the convenience channel. It is available in White Peach Oolong, Passion Fruit Black Tea, Moroccan Mint Green Tea — each containing 55 mg of caffeine per can — and non-caffeinated Chamomile Hemp Hibiscus Tea fl avors. Packaged in 16 oz. cans, each fl avor is organic certified, sweetened with cane sugar and contains 40-90 calories. The drinks retail for $2.79 and are also available online in 12-packs for $30. For more information call 1-800-409-4310.


RTD Cocktails RancH2O is a new line of premium canned cocktails available in four flavors: Ranch Water (tequila, soda water, and lime), Classic Marg (tequila, soda water, lime, and orange), Vodka Soda (vodka, soda water, and cranberry) and Gin Fizz (gin, soda water, and lime). Each 12 oz. can contains 120 calories and a 7.0% ABV except for Classic Marg which has an ABV of 6.5%. The drinks retail for $13.99-$15.99 per 4-pack. For more information email Spa Girl has launched a new Sparkling Cocktail Collection featuring sparkling vodka martinis available in Fresh, Strawberry and Pineapple varieties. Each 3 oz. serving contains 66 calories, 2 grams of carbohydrates and 2 grams of sugar. The line is vegan and gluten free. The products are available in 12-packs of 250 mL cans for $49.99 and 24-packs for $89.99. For more information call 855-747-8669.

Spirits Grey Goose has introduced its new Grey Goose Essences line of infused vodkas, made with real fruit and cold-distilled botanicals. Made with all-natural ingredients sourced from around the world -- including France, Spain, Thailand and Sri Lanka, the spirits are available in Strawberry & Lemongrass, White Peach & Rosemary and Watermelon & Basil varieties. The expressions feature an ABV of 30% and are available in 750 mL bottles for $29.99 per unit. For more information please visit

Non-Alc Spirits Aplós is a new hemp-based, non-alcoholic spirit containing 20 mg of broad-spectrum hemp per serving. The drink proposes to offer a calm and uplifting mood without the negative effects of alcohol. The debut flavor is citrus-forward and contains notes of ginger and rosemary. It is available online for $48 per 16.9 oz. bottle and in six-packs for $258. For more information call 833-442-7567.


SPOTLIGHT CATEGORY CRAFT BEER Elysian, Kona, even Goose Island are showing pretty strong growth here: maybe A-B isn’t so unhappy with its craft brand portfolio. We aren’t sure it’ll help them forget Shock Top, but in the meantime, it looks like Elysian’s got Founders in its sights. Meanwhile, up at New Belgium, looks like the Voodoo Ranger is in full effect. For more on Craft Beer’s immediate future, check out our story on page 52.




Blue Moon



Sierra Nevada



New Belgium



Samuel Adams


















Leinenkugel Specialty












Goose Island









Cigar City



Dogfish Head






Shock Top






Energy Drinks



Bottled Juices






Bottled Water



Liquid Drink Enhancers



SOURCE: IRI, a Chicago-based market research firm-@iriworldwide% 52 Weeks through 2/21/21








Sparkling Ice



Blue Diamond Almond Breeze



Private Label



Silk Almond



La Croix



Private Label












Califia Farms









Topo Chico





-4.4% 90.0%

San Pellegrino










All Mooala Brands Llc


All Malk Organics



Other Smith Foods Inc














Red Bull






Monster Energy






VPX Bang


-1.2% 5.2%

Miller Lite



Red Bull Sugar Free





Monster Energy Zero Ultra






Red Bull The Summer Edition



Bud Specialty














Red Bull The Yellow Edition





Red Bull The Blue Edition



Miller High Life Blue Moon

SOURCE: IRI, a Chicago-based market research firm-@iriworldwide% 52 Weeks through 2/21/21




5 Hour Energy







Stacker 2 Xtra



VPX Bang



Stacker 2




-26.4% -15.5%

Private Label Ee


VPX Redline Xtreme



Stacker 2 Extreme Energy



Stacker 2 Extreme





Gatorade Perform






G Zero



Gatorade Frost



Bodyarmor Superdrink






Gatorade Fierce


25.7% -51.2%

Powerade Ion4


Powerade Zero









Lipton Pure Leaf






Gold Peak






Lipton Brisk






Monster Rehab



Diet Snapple



Lipton Diet



Arizona Arnold Palmer






Starbucks Frappuccino


Starbucks Doubleshot



Java Monster



Coca Cola Dunkin



Starbucks Tripleshot



Java Monster 300






Private Label



Starbucks Doubleshot Light



Kitu Super Coffee



SOURCE: IRI, a Chicago-based market research firm-@iriworldwide% 52 Weeks through 2/21/21



Overachieving, on Many Fronts A couple of years ago a friend at Essentia Water handed me a wad of retail coupons for free product that became my ticket to getting into the market research business. When I’d see somebody contentedly drinking a bottle of the 9.5 pH ionized water – whether a fashionably attired millennial in a Whole Foods café or a working-class type on the subway in the farther reaches of Brooklyn – I’d approach them with the offer of a freebie. That gave me a moment to try to plumb their allegiance to the Seattle-based brand that’s been the star of the “functional” water segment. So what did I learn in the course of dispensing a couple dozen of the coupons to this diverse array of users? I’d boil it down to two core insights: 1 - Essentia drinkers really, really love that brand, and 2 - Not a single one could articulate to me how specifically that water makes them feel better. The premise, of course, is that it hydrates faster because – well, actually, I forget why, and the explanation has long been expunged from the website, which pretty much stops at informing you that you’re drinking “supercharged ionized alkaline water.” Why is Essentia’s high-pH water better? The answer to that FAQ is that it “provides the body with necessary hydration.” Reference to a five-year-old clinical study attesting to the brand’s ability to lower blood viscosity is similarly buried in the FAQs. But none of this necessarily matters, now that the company had dialed down its specific functional claims in favor of general lifestyle exhortations like “overachieving H2O.” So maybe it’s more of a breakthrough in brand building than in sports medicine, but it’s still a breakthrough. There seems to be a special place in American consumers’ hearts for beverage brands that offer a highly generalized promise of elevating their health and well-being, so that a brand positioned that way seems to break out every decade or so. Then it gets acquired, starts its slow fade and clears the way for the next one. Label readers at Sprouts and Whole Foods aside, these shoppers don’t necessarily care to understand how these elixirs work their magic. All they need is a general assurance that the drink is good for you – or that it signals that you’re a person who cares what she puts in her body – and that it tastes good, preferably while it’s also low in bad stuff like sugar, calories and artificial sweeteners. So Glaceau parlayed the pixie-dust levels of vitamins in Vitaminwater (and the “for taste” levels of electrolytes in sibling brand Smartwater) into a $4.1 billion exit to Coca-Cola. Bai didn’t seem to get much traction while it extolled how it was heroically rescuing coffee growers by buying their useless coffee fruit, but once it segued to being a generalized “antioxidant infusion” it picked up momentum, leading to a $1.7 billion exit to Dr Pepper Snapple Group. Essentia’s exit wasn’t quite of that magnitude (I’ve heard somewhere approaching $700 million) but it’s an impressive feat nevertheless. In fact, I was beginning to think the brand had gotten to a point where it might have been too big to find a buyer, in a period where many of the most obvious buyers seem to be on the sidelines for mega-M&A. That’s an issue worth discussing too. From what I’d heard, the company had been poking around for 36 BEVNET MAGAZINE – MARCH/APRIL 2021

a buyer for a while, seeking $1.5 billion or more – a rich multiple for a brand that did $192 million in sales last year. As I said, the planets didn’t seem to be aligned on this one. Coca-Cola is in general retrenchment mode on brands, and still riding Smartwater to good effect, even if that brand doesn’t seem to stretch well into trendy segments like Essentia’s alkaline bailiwick. PepsiCo really could use a high-end water as its art-gallery-in-a-bottle Life WTR falters but it’s still digesting its Rockstar acquisition at $3.85 billion and trying to finally get back in the game in energy. KDP is riding Core and Evian waters while promising investors it will keep paying down debt rather than doing anything crazy. (As “perfectly balanced” water, Core launched as the anti-Essentia, its point of difference being that it’s not really different from regular water. That positioning sleight of hand is worth its own column!) And again, seasoned beverage players like the Big 3 soda companies had to be wondering how heavily they could safely invest in an alkaline-water category that could be undermined at any time by an adverse medical study or two. That seemed to leave the best possibility as strategics looking to make a statement. They may not be looking to overpay, but hey, the higher the price, the bigger the statement, right? So the beer giants Anheuser-Busch InBev and Molson Coors, trying to signal their intent to play beyond beer, were likely to be in the mix. And then there was Nestle, hiving off its commodity water brands like Poland Spring and Arrowhead in order to confine its focus to high-end brands. It already boasts storied sourced imports like Pellegrino, Perrier and Acqua Panna, but how about a foray into functional water? For Nestle, landing Essentia – at a relatively modest multiple, no less – was the perfect solution. It adds a highend growth engine that doesn’t have to travel across an ocean in boats and, depending on how this plays out, maybe gets to piggyback its other water brands onto Essentia’s robust DSD network. As for Essentia’s founder and investors, they can exit with their heads held high, having created a brand that’s beloved among its adherents and navigated a severe pandemic and recession to a reasonably lucrative reward. Like their water, they overachieved in a brutally competitive sector.

Longtime beverage-watcher Gerry Khermouch is executive editor of Beverage Business Insights, a twice-weekly e-newsletter covering the nonalcoholic beverage sector.

Nestlé Resets Busy Market with Essentia Deal BY MARTÍN CABALLERO One year on from the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, bottled water has rediscovered its flow. Of course, there’s no denying it: sparkling water is where growth is truly exploding, as compared to incremental gains in the much bigger still water segment. The former grew 22% year-over-year through March 12, according to data from IRI, providing much of the push behind a 6.8% increase in the overall bottled water category. But with growth of 2.9% and 6% in convenience/PET and jug/bulk formats, respectively, still water carried its weight thanks to the strong showing from premium brands. While sales under the Vitaminwater banner stumbled, falling 3.6% year-over-year, Coca-Cola’s smartwater continues to be a strong bet, growing sales 2.4% to over $883 million. Fiji (+6.9%), CORE Hydration (+11.9%) and Evian (+8.4%) have also outperformed, each with a different positioning. According to data from Nielsen cited by Nestlé, premium waters grew 7% during the pandemic, in contrast to a 2% drop for non-premium brands. 38 BEVNET MAGAZINE – MARCH/APRIL 2021

As the country begins to enter the post-pandemic era, bottled water brands are looking for new ways to integrate themselves into consumers’ everyday healthy habits. And, thanks to a wave of new functional innovations this spring (see Brand News), along with Nestlé’s recent acquisition of Essentia, the forecast looks promising. Earlier this year, Nestlé reshaped the bottled water market in just a few deft moves, offloading its North American Waters (NWNA) portfolio -- Poland Spring, Deer Park, Ozarka, Ice Mountain, Zephyrhills and Arrowhead, plus the Nestlé Pure Life and Nestlé Splash brands and the delivery service ReadyRefresh -- for $4.3 billion in February before taking one of the category’s biggest independent pieces, Essentia, off the proverbial chessboard a few weeks later. The lasting impact of that deal on the overall segment is likely to be one of bigger issues to watch in 2021. For Essentia, the deal, rumored to be in the vicinity of $700 million, is validation for the execution-first strategy that helped propel the Bothell, Washington-based brand as the poster child for “premium hydration.” As bottled water ascended to the top of beverage category sales, Essentia found space to build a dynamic lifestyle oriented brand rationalized under a single, straightforward SKU — with an unremarkable bottle to boot. According to data from IRI, the brand’s MULO dollar sales grew to over $291 million year-over-year through March 12, 2021, but also led the category in volume sales growth (+5.1%) during that time.

Much of that cumulative growth can be attributed to the robust nationwide DSD network that Essentia has built over the past decade; how Nestlé leverages that system and its existing synergies moving forward remains a big question. On the other hand, Essentia should quickly benefit from Nestlé’s global industry expertise and experience, along with its own distribution prowess. At the time of NWNA’s sale in February, Nestlé CEO Mark Schneider said the move would enable the Swiss conglomerate to “create a more focused business around our international premium brands, local natural mineral waters and high-quality healthy hydration products.” And for the Swiss conglomerate, the deal says as much about its overall water strategy as it does about Essentia itself. In divesting itself of Poland Spring, Arrowhead and its spread of regional source water brands, all BOTTLED WATER BRAND








2.7% -6.6%























































of which saw sales declines this past year, Nestlé is betting that a single, significant high performer in the $2 billionplus premium water sub-category will be strong enough to make up the difference when efficiencies and cost savings are factored in. Some of the trends which Nestle had previously attempted to integrate into its regional brands — i.e. caffeine and other fl avor innovations — have been shifted to its premium sparkling brands Perrier and San Pellegrino; the former introduced Perrier Energize, a three-SKU line of fl avored sparkling waters with caffeine from green coffee and Yerba mate, earlier this spring. Elsewhere, Vital Proteins, which Nestlé acquired last June, markets collagen waters, shots and other types of on-trend functional beverages. With its bases in other growing beverage segments covered, it’s unlikely Nestlé will ask Essentia to change its winning formula. Amidst all the cash changing hands, the question of sourcing shouldn’t be overlooked either. For years, Poland Spring had gone out of its way to promote and defend its Maine spring source as emblematic of purity and quality, the apex coming with the introduction of premium subline ORIGIN in 2019. At the time, Nestlé indicated that the brand enjoyed high awareness and acceptance outside of the Northeast, yet in offloading it and other source brands for Essentia’s ionized tap water, that calculus seems to have changed. There’s more than one potential cause: Rising concerns over carbon output may have played a role in that evolution, while at the same time the enthusiasm for building a scientific case for alkaline water’s superiority seems to have waned (see Gerry’s Insights). Even some of the more recent success stories in sourced water — Flow, Liquid Death, Icelandic Glacial — have come from brands that have been more vocal about their sustainable packaging and environmental mission than where the water originated. Even Voss, which has loudly and proudly touted its Norwegian aquifer source since the brand’s inception, has shifted to domestic production for certain products in the U.S. and China in an effort to cut costs and carbon output. Slotting in Nestlé’s water portfolio alongside premium sourced brand Acqua Panna, which is mainly geared toward fi ne dining and

hospitality, Essentia won’t be tasked with shouldering more than it can handle. Essentia’s deal with Nestlé makes sense for a variety of reasons, but there’s also another factor at play: amidst the deeppocketed strategics for whom the acquisition was fi nancially feasible, their respective water portfolios are already pretty set. Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Keurig Dr Pepper (KDP) have all spent heavily to assemble their respective still and sparkling water portfolios over the past 15 years, and look more likely to fund their ambitions in the category by supporting existing brands rather than shopping around for new names. Considering Essentia’s slow development into a major player and the time it took to secure an exit (the brand had been working with Credit Suisse since around 2017 - although Piper Sandler ultimately closed the deal), the prospect of another significant exit in the premium water space feels like it could be some ways off — though the recent jockeying for space in non-alcoholic beverage between beer giants Molson Coors and AnheuserBusch InBev could add an interesting wrinkle to that plotline. With Essentia under new management, where does that leave the rest of the field? Toronto-based Flow looks eager to step in, having raised $45 million in private funding in 2020 before announcing plans to take the company public with the goal of adding a further $50 million to its war chest. The brand hasn’t been shy about its aggressive approach, from offering deep promo discounts to chasing DSD houses to add-

ing splashy names to its cap table — Gwenyth Paltrow, Shawn Mendes, Post Malone and most recently NBA superstar Russell Westbrook — but has backed that up with ownership of heavy assets, including two artesian springs and co-packing subsidiary Planet A, with a further two additional North American production sites currently being explored. In January, Flow chief revenue officer Tim Dwyer told BevNET that the company aims to have 65% ACV in the grocery channel by next year, and to double its current presence in 30,000 U.S. doors over the next 18 months. Leading the charge will be former Nestlé Waters chief Maurizio Patarnello, who joined the company as CEO in March. Other brands are teasing a different approach -- instead of shying away from discussions of single-use bottle waste, they’re embracing it. Zen WTR, with its bottle made from plastic recovered from the ocean, is on the higher-tech side, opposite brands like Liquid Death that are simply putting water in easy-to-recycle cans. Somewhere in the middle is the fast-rising Path (formerly Pathwater). In touting its reusable bottle as its point of differentiation, the brand has made the package a strong visual symbol of its sustainability mission, and is set to deepen that level of engagement with the introduction of add-on accessories such as sleeves and swing caps. Extending that symbolic appeal to brands, events and organizations with custom designed co-branded bottles has also provided another source of revenue and visibility.



Boxed Water is Better has added four new flavors — Blackberry, Cucumber, Grapefruit and Lemon — and has also improved its package’s renewable content, now with the most in the category. The brand also recently hit its goal of planting 1 million trees and is now going for 2 million.

saves the equivalent carbon emissions of driving two miles. This aluminum bottle complements Waiakea’s existing range of sustainable packaging options, from 100% rPET water bottles (made of post-consumer recycled materials) to its Pahu Nunui 15L water box.

AQUAhydrate has revamped its branding with a vivid packaging design, cutting-edge website and convenient storefront with direct-to-consumer fulfillment platform. The rebrand is in support of a new direction for the company and to set AQUAhydrate’s high-performance benefits apart from traditional premium waters.

Formerly known as Pathwater, PATH has changed its name and visual look in order to reach more consumers who are joining the “path” to end single-use plastic. To encourage consumers to refill and reuse its bottles, the company has launched new accessories including a new Bottle Sleeve ($5.99) and Swing Cap ($3.99) that work with its 20 oz and 25 oz bottles. PATH will be launching with Sprouts and CVS in Q2 2021.

TEN Alkaline Spring Water (10 pH) is now available in new 8-pack aluminum cans at select grocery outlets. The brand is working with its partners to address environmental sustainability and growing concerns over single-use plastics. Talking Rain Essentials Hydration, the premium alkaline water with a 9.5pH, is teaming up with the Waterboys initiative to support the sustainability and access of clean water around the world. In 2021, Talking Rain will be sponsoring well builds throughout the U.S. as part of the Waterboys’ domestic clean water program, Hometown H2O. Additionally, the company has pledged to donate $0.20 for every Talking Rain Essentials Hydration 12-pack case purchased to support the initiative. Zen WTR recently completed a regional DSD network expansion in the West Coast, East Coast and Gulf Coast regions including anchor DSD distributors such as Canada Dry Honickman, Cheerwine Group, Classic Distributing of Southern California, Columbia Distributing, Crescent Crown Distributing, Faust Distributing, Glazer’s Beer & Beverage, Houston Distributing Co., JJ Taylor, Kalil Bottling and Polar Beverages. This year, the brand is on pace to add >50,000 incremental retail doors including new distribution at Sprouts, Stop N Shop, CVS, and other retail chains. Waiakea Volcanic Water has announced the launch of its Hana Hou reusable aluminum bottle. The Hana Hou bottle can be refi lled 100+ times, and each refi ll 42 BEVNET MAGAZINE – MARCH/APRIL 2021

JUST’s line of 100% Adirondack Mountain spring water, packaged in plant-based refillable and recyclable cartons, are now available in three sizes and flavors. The brand has recently partnered with businesses and organizations prioritizing sustainability including Atrium Health, the Discovery Land Company, Safe Harbor Marinas, and Virginia State Parks. Sustainably sourced purified rainwater company Richard’s Rainwater has announced its expansion at Whole Foods expansion to seven regions in both sparkling and still starting March 1. The brand also launched at Thrive Market, becoming the first and only water brand on the site. This March, PepsiCo’s LIFE WTR released its first-ever line extension: LIFE WTR Immune Support, featuring 10% of the daily value for zinc per serving, plus electrolytes for taste. The product is available in 1L bottles at Walmart, 7-Eleven, CVS, Publix, Food Lion, and other select retailers, while its 700ml 12-pack can also be found on and The latest release from premium brand smartwater is a smartwater+, featuring three SKUs designed to deliver functional benefits through natural botanicals and adaptogenic herbs. “Clarity” features ginseng and green tea extracts, “tranquility” contains ashwagandha and tangerine extracts, and “renew” includes dandelion and lemon extracts.


the food and beverage industry evolves to meet the demand for functional, better-for-you products, the powdered beverage category is feeling fresh. Last year, hydration powder mix maker Liquid I.V. was acquired by Unilever for an undisclosed sum. According to market research firm IRI, the brand’s dollar sales grew 505% to $28.6 million in the 52-week period ending February 21, making it the number three brand in the sports drink mix category (overall up 28.3% to $137 million). Powdered beverage brands outside of the hydration and water enhancement space are also experiencing high performance and gaining the attention of strategics. Laird Superfoods -- maker of functional powdered creamers, protein and other drink mixes -- chased a $10 million investment from Danone Manifesto Ventures last spring with a $58.3 million IPO in the fall. In June, Nestlé Health Science acquired a majority stake in collagen powder maker Vital Proteins. But beyond these more sizable players, the category has seen an influx of innovations and startup activity over the past few years. In hydration and water enhancement, brands like Cure, Hydrant, Gainful and Beam have entered the market, alongside established RTD brands such as LifeAID. Energy drink mixes have also seen an uptick in sales, up 7.2% to $129.7 million per IRI and brands like CELSIUS have rolled out single-serve stick innovations. Within energy, brands owned by Chicago-based conglomerate Jel Sert have seen fast growth, including Pure Kick (up 266.4% to $3.1 million) and Hi C (up 2092.3% to $1.3 million). Amid the M&A activity, growth in the category has been driven by the convenience of the single-serve stick format, ecommerce sales and a demand for better-for-you, functional beverages. So the powdered category is fast evolving and quickly gaining the attention of investors. To learn more about the shifts in the space, we sat down with three entrepreneurs for a discussion on the category. Included in this panel are Lauren Picasso, the cofounder and CEO of Cure Hydration -- which last year raised $2.6 million in a seed funding round; Kevin Rutherford, CEO of Nuun, which has expanded its line of hydration powders to include tablets, sticks and tubs as well as energy, immunity and sleep sublines; and Ken

The Powder and the Glory:

Powdered beverages are experiencing a wave of innovation. What's behind the drive? By Brad Avery


Wegner, president of Jel Sert, which owns a number of powder brands including All Sport (which it acquired last year), Super C, and Flavor Aid as well as co-branded drink mixes with products such as Skittles and Starburst. BevNET: The powdered beverage category has seen significant growth in recent years. What have been some of the key drivers that are fueling this space? Kevin Rutherford: The ‘water enhancement’ category, I think, was really set to be disrupted. Looking back in time at some of the heritage brands from years ago, we’d say ‘these are a little bit outdated,’ and the trends of better-for-you have transitioned across the entire grocery store into all the aisles. Yet, here’s this section [powders] where it’s not really happening. So I think you’ve just come back to an overarching trend. It comes down to better efficacy in many cases, when you’ve got a powder or a tablet product, versus ready-to-drink. There is also a convenience aspect to it -- don’t get me wrong, clearly ready-to-drink has a convenience aspect to it -however, if you have access to water, then having single sachets or tablets in a tube, that’s pretty darn convenient to have with you. And then lastly, I think there’s also an undercurrent to watch out for in the business community of how do we transition to planet friendly. So there’s an undercurrent of negativity on plastic bottles in general. Lauren Picasso: When I started Cure three years ago, everyone thought I was crazy for starting a powdered beverage just because ready-to-drink is still such a larger category. But I chose the category for a few reasons. Coming from ecommerce, powder is super lightweight and cheap to ship online. And just seeing the rise of ecommerce, it’s incredibly difficult to make ready-to-drink work online and do that profitably. From a consumer standpoint, Kevin, you’re exactly right. Everyone is moving away from single-use plastic, everyone has their own water bottle. Back when we used to travel, you couldn’t bring a ready-to-drink through security. So I had started drinking powders and tablets for a while just so that I could actually bring it in my purse, take it on a plane with me and and have something that wasn’t so heavy. As a woman, I always felt powder is kind of like what my brothers drank growing up. They’d be drinking these protein powders full of creatine and junk. Now that the category is evolving, you’re seeing much cleaner, whole food ingredients. I think there’s been a lot of brands, outside of the hydration and energy categories, like Vital Proteins and Four Sigmatic, that have made this category a lot friendlier to non-athletes and to women. Ken Wegner: Certainly this space, including powdered sticks -- and some liquid water enhancers as well -- have seen some great growth just because of the overall growth of the bottled water category. But I think as people start becoming more active outside, kids start going back on the field to play sports and the weather warms up, I think you’re going to see that the single-serve stick pack and/or tablet form have a resurgence. I think Lauren touched on that, and in our view we’re seeing growth across pretty much every channel that we’re in. Certainly ecommerce

has seen tremendous growth, but also we’re seeing it in drug, we’re seeing it in dollar, we’re certainly seeing it in grocery. So we’ll see where that all goes in the future and how they redefine that space. But it’s a format that’s here to stay. And it’s one that we continue to invest in substantially within our operation. And we will continue to follow that plan, even from a brand development or acquisition perspective as we acquired All Sport a year ago. You said ‘As people get back out,’ which leads well into the question of how did COVID, in this past year, impact the category and has it done anything unexpected to the direction of powders? KW: Certainly COVID impacted pretty much everything. We all dealt with the pandemic shopping issues of a year ago and a lot of it was dealing in fear, not knowing how long you were going to be at home, and people just were buying anything and everything that was on the shelf. The interesting thing is that today, when we’re starting to compare against pandemic purchasing numbers, we’re seeing some elevation in our sales from two years ago. I don’t think any of us are going to get back to the levels of where things were from a pandemic shopping perspective, but when you start looking back at where we are today versus two years ago, we’re maintaining some of that growth. And it means that people are using the format more. They kind of got forced into it, because everybody bought everything, and I think now that people have utilized it and realized ‘Hey, this is good, my water actually tastes good’ or ‘I’m getting functionality out of it,’ there are more people that are utilizing it than there were two years ago. LP: We saw that same spike in March. And for us, we were a really new brand. Last year, we were only in about 100 stores. Because all these retailers were selling out of electrolyte products, it became a priority category for them, along with other health products, like immunity. And so we ended up getting into over 5,000 stores last year and saw tremendous growth just because of a lot of the retail and consumer interest. Even if customers discovered us only because of the pandemic, it’s sort of like any big change in your life: when you adopt a new product or create a new habit that came out of some major change, you’re actually pretty likely to stick with that habit afterwards. KR: The shopper behavior, we all know, has shifted. But here’s the thing, it’s shifted for a couple of reasons to meet an omni-experience world. So confidence and familiarity with buying online has clearly expanded; More people are doing it than ever before and more frequently. I think this is a real big shift that I think it bodes well for brands like ours that are doing well online. And that shift is in how we’ve created these self-imposed category lines. So traditionally here’s the category, this is where you play because there are four foot shelves, right? I’ve worked at retail, it’s a four foot shelf, you can’t expand it, it is what it is. So by doing that, we’ve kind of said to the consumer that you need to go to this section for this, this section for that. But in a point and click world that changes. When you think about powders and tablets as a source of volume in this category 45

explosion, now all of a sudden, ready-to-drink is also a source of volume because the consumers just point and click. I don’t physically have to move to a different part of the store. Omniexperience has blurred those lines. Ken, Jel Sert is a legacy company with a large brand portfolio. How does an organization like that pivot or evolve to meet this changing consumer behavior? KW: We continue to explore opportunities within our own brand space. We have our own brands that have been very successful. And we’ve added to that from a functionality perspective with our Super C brand and the All Sport brand that we acquired a year ago that plays heavily in the industrial space. But we’re now bringing it into retail with our Pure Kick brand, which is on the energy side primarily. But on top of that, for us, we still see a tremendous amount of opportunity. Not only with those brands, but with the licensed brands that we are continually bringing to the market; our Skittles item, our Starburst items have been unbelievable, doing really, really well in the category. And there are a lot of consumers out there that are still challenged from a budgetary perspective and if we’re doing something from a fun and flavor perspective, we certainly give them a great value. It’s also not only the great value that we bring to the consumer, with the price points, but also we bring a large margin to the retailer. I mean, we are the largest stick pack manufacturer, certainly in North America. And certainly one of the largest in the world. And it’s a capability that we continue to add to and we continue to develop our research and development lab, so our capabilities are very unique in the space.

in terms of where a powder product or a tablet can sell. So obviously ecommerce is much more economical, the margins are a lot higher than ready-to-drink, just given the weight of the product. But there’s so much more flexibility, because the product doesn’t require refrigeration. So we can sell anywhere from an Urban Outfitters or an Anthropologie to a Walmart. And we can sell in multiple different locations in the store. That sort of potential is really interesting to investors. Ken, you acquired All Sport last year. From your perspective, what are you thinking about in terms of being the acquirer, how you’ve thought about M&A and your ability to do that as well. KW: Certainly, there’s more money out there chasing fewer deals, right? The market’s been red hot as far as acquisition or investment opportunities. Certainly the stock market’s driven up a lot of people’s portfolios, so it’s allowed a lot of people to have more capital to put to use. Right now, we’re more focused on the brands that we have versus paying for something where the acquisition value may be higher than we think something is worth. So our investment going forward is going to be in our existing brands and it will be significant. Kevin, Nuun plays in the hydration space, but energy and other functionalities are a big focus, as well. What is your perspective on innovation and how functionality has had an impact on this category?

Lauren, there’s been an increase in investor interest in this category. From the startup perspective, you’re playing in a hot area, which is hydration. We just saw Unilever purchase Liquid I.V., and you raised $2.6 million last year. What are you seeing in terms of interest from investors and outside firms in the powdered beverage space? LP: I actually think the Liquid I.V. acquisition by Unilever was validating and is definitely a proof point that is showing that this category is growing really quickly. Investors are also starting to see the potential: There’s just so much flexibility 46 BEVNET MAGAZINE – MARCH/APRIL 2021

KR: For us, it all comes back to hydration and optimally hydrating you. So that is absolutely at the core of what we’re doing. To make sure we’re grounded on this, 75% or so of the population is chronically dehydrated, it really should be no surprise, because you can’t escape dehydration. So I set that problem up to say, that’s what we’re trying to do -- we need you to drink more water. So that leads to where you were going on the different innovation approaches and where we’re going with the functional need states. In this case, this needs to be something you want to do versus something you have to do. We just can’t can’t bend on that one. That sacrifice the consumer makes, you’ve got to take it away. Taste, we’re very obsessed with. Efficacy is a key one. So then what are the different needs states that we need to address? Hydration is the foundation across and then we then look at what need states are out there and we ask ‘have [other brands] done it the right way’ from a science perspective.

Truthfully, if we don’t fi nd a better way, from our perspective, on the science then we don’t do it. And if we can, then we go after it. So immunity is a good example of that. For us, we looked at immunity and we just thought it was like a big vitamin C arms race. At least that’s how it was marketed. And so we said, ‘Okay, let’s take a more balanced approach to that with hydration.’ We’ve kind of taken that model and applied it to different need states that we can enter. What about form factor? You all have products in single sticks. Nuun has tubs and tablets as well. What you are seeing in the market and how does it tie into all this innovation discussion we’ve been having? LP: We felt like the single-serve stick pack was just super portable and we knew it was a better seller. I think eventually we would certainly launch a tub so it’s not really a question of if but of when.

This is perhaps the overarching question of this discussion: What is the role powder beverages will play in consumers’ lives going forward? And with functionality a fast growing space, does indulgence and flavor still have room to grow? KW: These are ways of modifying something that means a great deal to a lot of people’s lives. Even if they’re using a reusable flask of some kind or a water bottle, it makes a lot of sense for them to utilize these types of products. We sell stick packs today at Walmart that go into a gallon of water and it’s been a very successful thing. LP: The question of if there’s room for indulgence and flavor in this space? I think absolutely, yes. We’re all more focused on function, and I think a lot of customers are looking for that functional additive to their water. But I also see a world in which they flavor their water just for the sake of drinking something delicious. KR: Totally agree with that on both counts. We hear this all the time, right? It actually is a little more prominent among women than men, but we hear that water is boring. I think that has really given a massive surge to the sparkling water category. I think there’s a movement around being pro-planet, reuse your water bottle, make water something you want to do. Let’s make it taste good. There’s clearly, clearly an opportunity there. So yeah, this category is not going away. Clearly this thing’s had a big boost and now it’s just early innings, this thing’s gonna take off. This conversation has been condensed and edited for clarity.

KW: For us, we have been powder manufacturers since literally the late 1920’s. So we’re almost 100 years in powders. Powder is our real focus, we’re really good at it, we sell sticks better than anybody out there does and more efficiently than anybody does. We do liquid water enhancers as well. We see that there could be some growth opportunity there, so we will grow liquid water enhancers over time within our portfolio. And I can’t even share with you, but we are bringing a new technology eventually to the category. I wish I could tell you about it now, but I can’t. KR: Powders are more familiar to the consumer, tablets are a little bit of a longer build and education process in the U.S. and Canada. If you go around the globe, that’s not the case. So I would say this: Yes, Nuun has all three forms. Stick powder is very familiar to the consumer, they get it. I think powder has its role for sure. I think our tubs, when I think of the value proposition, it’s better for the planet, because you just have less packaging. So that makes a ton of sense. And I think tablets, there’s some real advantages to it but tablets are tougher to work with behind the scenes. And I think we’ve got it dialed in. We’ve been around for a long time, so there’s a lot of institutional knowledge where we figured out how to get there. Maybe that’s why we continue to stick in there and why I think very few who launched tablets have stuck around. 48 BEVNET MAGAZINE – MARCH/APRIL 2021




Gatorade Perform






Liquid I V





G Zero



Private Label



Emergen C Hydration Plus



Nuun Hydration



Pedialyte Sport




Gatorade G2 Perform



Nuun Active



Celsius Live Fit



Skratch Labs



True Lemon









Cure Hydration



Gatorade G2



Propel Zero



Post Game



SOURCE: IRI, a Chicago-based market research firm-@iriworldwide% 52 Weeks through 2/21/21


Formulated to hydrate quickly and naturally with non-GMO ingredients, Stur Hydration+ electrolyte powders are packed with Antioxidants & B Vitamins for optimal performance. Both flavors -- Lemon Lime and Fruit Punch -- contain zero sugar, and are made without artificial ingredients, sweeteners or flavors. The line is currently rolling out at H-E-B, Ingles, ShopRite and on Amazon. This Spring, RSP Nutrition will be introducing Mango as the newest flavor in its vegan energy supplement, AminoLean. At launch, it will be available on and Amazon, followed by availability at Whole Foods and select Kroger banners. Both Sword Performance products, SWORD and SHIELD, are designed as allnatural hydration solutions to protect people from the dangers of dehydration and heat stress. Originally focused on elite athletes, Sword Performance now focuses on industrial athletes – the hard-working men and women in construction, manufacturing, utilities, military, and everywhere in between. ReNude’s Chagaccino is now available in convenient single-serving packets. The fully formulated Chagaccino powder features 750mg of Chaga mushrooms, raw cacao, ceylon cinnamon and monk fruit sweetener, transforming your morning brew to a sugarfree, vegan, keto friendly latte, either iced or hot.

Since shifting its attention to direct-toconsumer sales in March 2020, Cusa has seen a 400% year-over-year increase in DTC sales. The brand has continued to launch new products, including Mocha and Dirty Chai, and will launch new Jasmine Green and Earl Grey tea flavors this April. In December 2020, Cusa Tea also closed a round of Series B funding, raising $1 million, with 90% of the brand’s original investors reinvesting in this round. Hydrant’s latest release is SLEEP, a bedtime hydration mix that features a combination of electrolytes, Melatonin, Magnesium, Chamomile and other ingredients that promote deep sleep in a sweet and earthy Elderberry flavor, an ingredient also packed with antioxidants, nutrients and immunity boosting qualities. A 30-count pouch retails for $43.75. This March, Alani Nu celebrated its third anniversary with the release of its latest flavor: Island Crush Pre-Workout, a blend of pineapple coconut, dragon fruit and watermelon. Cure Hydration has released a variety pack, which includes the flavors of Lemon, Berry Pomegranate, Grapefruit and Watermelon, with each packing 4x the electrolytes of leading sports drinks.

To complement its existing line of CBD-infused products, beam has launched a first-ofits-kind hydration line called elevate, offering three curated solutions for hydration needs: balance, performance and recovery. The line is created with a core hydration formulation composed of coconut water, himalyan sea salt, potassium bicarbonate and sodium hyaluronate plus additional ingredients. Available for digestive balance, enhanced energy and supportive recovery, the formulas feature a unique stack of electrolytes entirely sourced from nature with added benefits.

Super C offers consumers functionality at a high value with its new 40-count Variety Pack. Super C is an easy way to enhance water with great tasting flavors while delivering 1,000mg of Vitamin C and 16 essential vitamins and minerals.

QULA is a pocket-sized tab that transforms water into delicious healthy kombucha, without the single-use bottle waste. The brand has been selected as a finalist in the 2021 World Food Innovation Awards.

SOS Hydration’s latest addition to its electrolyte drink mix product line is Coconut. Like all of the brand’s Active Electrolyte Drink Mix flavors, Coconut uses a medically developed formula


Drink Wholesome has updated and improved its four SKUs of protein powder: chocolate, mocha, peanut butter, and unflavored, all made with 100% real food ingredients and no additives or isolates.

equal to the hydration of an IV drip which contains 3x more electrolytes, 6x less sugar, and 6x less calories than competing brands for more effective fluid absorption and no gastrointestinal distress. Under a license agreement, Jel Sert is producing Sunkist Singles to Go! Drink Mixes, which offer the blend of citrus flavors consumers crave with the Vitamin C (1,000mg) they need. Sunkist Drink Mixes contain zero sugar, no aspartame and are naturally flavored to deliver the sweet and tangy citrus flavors. Nuun is officially entered the energy drink category with the introduction of Nuun Energy. Combining a balanced dose of caffeine with B-vitamins and adaptogens to refresh and recharge anytime, anywhere, Nuun Energy features active ingredients with holistic benefits, including: hydration optimization, a revitalizing lift, vitamin power and focus. Whether you’re at your desk or on the go, one tablet – available in four tasty flavors – delivers refreshing and sustained energy at your convenience. Joining the company’s portfolio of Non-GMO Verified, vegan, gluten-free and kosher products, Nuun Energy was built with purpose – providing a healthy energy drink substitute for athletes and nonathletes alike. Ladybird’s newest product, Dry Bombs Dairy-Free Collagen Creamer (7-9g of collagen protein per serving), will be on-shelf in New Season’s market in the Pacific Northwest in April. After strong consumer adoption at local retailers like H-E-B and United Market Street, the company plans to expand distribution in the months to come. Bulletproof’s newest product is Sleep Collagen, a powdered blend of collagen, melatonin and ayurvedic ingredients including chamomile and magnesium citrate. Tasting like Lucana Vanilla, the powder is recommended for mixing in warm water and aims to provide a restful sleep along with the benefits of collagen, supporting hair, nails, skin and joints. A 10.4 oz. tub retails for $33.99. 51

The Three Biggest Challenges Facing the Segment in 2021 By Jennifer Cirillo “On the road to recovery” -- it’s a common theme for beverage alcohol across America this year as the on-premise channel is slowly beginning to reopen. For craft brewers in particular, this is a positive development -- that’s where a majority of sales are still generated. Not that there hasn’t been resilience: While the beverage alcohol industry saw signifi cant losses in the onpremise, the shift to packaged alcohol was evident. Craft beer case sales, for example, were up 14.5 percent for the 52-week period ending Feb. 2, 2021 in the off-premise1, according to IRI, a Chicago-based market research fi rm. “Craft brewers were up and grew 52 BEVNET MAGAZINE – MARCH/APRIL 2021

share slightly in the off-premise,” says Bart Watson, chief economist for the Brewers Association, “so they did fi ne in packaged sales, but because they had such a large volume loss in the onpremise they weren’t able to make up that volume.” Watson predicts that craft brewers will see a volume loss of about nine percent overall for 2020 as the shift in sales went from draft beer to packaged beer. “Craft is down, but not down as much as anyone would have thought in March, April or May when sales were collapsing,” he continues. “There are a lot of positive stories where some breweries are only down 10 percent this year, which if

you lost half of your business from the on-premise shutting down, fi nishing the year only down 10 percent is impressive.” One thing is certain: the demand for craft beer didn’t waver. It was just a matter of how to get beer into the hands of consumers. Many craft brewers were nimble enough to engage in direct to consumer sales, which helped recover some losses. While the road to recovery is underway, it may not be until 2022 that craft beer reaches the growth success it had in 2019, when sales volume was up 3.6 percent while overall beer saw a loss of 1.6 percent, according to the Brewers Association.

So what needs to happen to get that growth back on track? In 2021, the top three challenges facing the craft beer segment are clear: the on-premise needs to come back 100 percent, craft brewers must navigate through the competitive landscape of packaged beverage alcohol, and everyone needs to fight to fi nd some aluminum cans.

1. OPENING OF THE ON-PREMISE Craft brewers get about 40 percent of their volume from the on-premise, according to Watson, so this channel is critical for the success of the segment. He estimates that about one-third of craft brewers in the U.S. sell beer exclusively at their brewery, one-third of craft brewers sell a mix of beer at their brewery and via the three-tier system, and another third sells product exclusively via the three-tier system.

The good news is, bars and restaurants are beginning to reopen. While no state is fully shut down with regards to the onpremise, few are operating at 100 percent. “The on-trade is not just going to be about government response,” says Watson, “but will also be about customers. A certain percentage of customers aren’t going to feel comfortable coming back to the on-trade until they are vaccinated, or they feel the public health situation is under control.” As some consumers will have developed new habits and some business may not be re-opening at all, there is no certainty of when there will be a full recovery, but Watson suggests a

“slow and steady trickle to normalcy” is in the not too distant future.

2. COMPETITION FOR SHELF SPACE In addition to hard seltzers, which have experienced phenomenal growth, there are new ready-to-drink products coming to market in a steady flow. While the number of products available to consumers today has increased, the available space on the shelf hasn’t -- so it’s been a challenge for craft brewers, amongst other producers, to secure facings.


“Consumer tastes have probably changed more in the past five years than in the 25 before that. Innovation in beverages and new flavors are hitting the market every day. In addition to the explosive growth of hard seltzer, we also have hard kombuchas, hard coffees and teas, flavored spirits, flavored malt beverages of every kind and Ready to Drink cocktails,” explains Nico Freccia, cofounder and COO of 21st Amendment Brewery (San Leandro, Calif.). “With all of these beverages jockeying for shelf space at retail, craft beer is getting squeezed more and more. It is harder now than it has been for possibly 20 years for craft beer brands to get shelf space at retail,” he says. Distribution wins have also been a challenge as wholesalers are having to pick and choose which products to take on board. However, one positive outcome of the pandemic has been the rise in direct to consumer sales. Breweries have set up drive-throughs or click and collect services to help get their beers to consumers. Interest in direct-to-consumer shipping of craft beer is strong and growing among regular craft beer drinkers, according to a new report released in March by Sovos ShipCompliant and the Brewers Association. The report revealed that 73 percent of craft beer drinkers said the pandemic has increased their Interest in direct to consumer beer. However, since only 13 states allow interstate direct shipments, it’s still a desert island kind of thirst. In recognition of this interest, the Brewers Association, in partnership with Sovos ShipCompliant, is offering its members a new interstate direct to consumer educational resource where brewers can easily fi nd out which states allow direct to consumer beer sales and understand requirements around licensing and excise taxation. There is an opportunity here, as only 13 percent of craft brewers are engaged in direct-to-consumer shipping, according to the Brewers Association, which surveyed 141 U.S. craft brewers in 38 states.

3. THE CAN CRISIS Meet the “Candemic.” It’s left a lot of craft brewers -- not to mention other beverage makers -- scrambling to meet their production goals. The Can Manufacturers Institute (CMI) president Robert Budway said in a statement: “The aluminum beverage can 54 BEVNET MAGAZINE – MARCH/APRIL 2021

manufacturing industry has seen unprecedented demand for our environmentally-friendly container prior to and during the COVID-19 pandemic… The latest CMI Can Shipments Report shows growth of beverage cans for 2020 up more than 6 percent. Can makers imported between 5 and 10 billion cans in 2020 from their overseas facilities to meet customer needs. And, can manufacturers expect to have add the capacity to produce 12 billion more cans by the end of 2021.” According to Freccia, the demand for cans skyrocketed last year due to the closure of the on-premise coupled with the rise in ready to drink beverages such as hard seltzers and cocktails-to-go. “With the Covid shutdowns reducing draft beer sales to a trickle, the increase in demand for aluminum cans was under even more pressure. Most craft brewers, especially smaller craft without contracts, are scrambling to fi nd sources for aluminum cans and this is heavily impacting their costs,” he says. Watson relays that while the availability of cans has been a challenge, what will happen over the summer is even more of a concern for the industry, as that’s when can volume typically ramps up. He says, “hopefully as on trade volume comes back those will be related to each other. If we have more onpremise volume, we will have less of a can shortage.” He goes on to note that there are a number of can manufacturing facilities being built that are scheduled to come “online” in the second half of the year, which should certainly help. But as the past year has shown, it’s a long way from “scheduled” to “finished,” -- so keep a cold one handy.

By Martín Caballero

Amidst Rising Post-COVID Demand, CBD Brands and Suppliers Juggle New Challenges and Opportunities In 2020, the concept of CBD as a treatment for anxiety was truly put to the test. Thanks to a global pandemic and economic depression, Americans had plenty of reason to seek relief from CBDinfused products -- and they did. In an online survey by Brightfield Group of 5,000 CBD consumers from June 2 to 24, 2020, 39% stated that they are using more CBD as a result of the pandemic. Among Millennials and Gen Z consumers, 47% plan on using upping their intake CBD in subsequent months. Thanks to depressed prices for raw hemp, the category is also bringing in new audi56 BEVNET MAGAZINE – MARCH/APRIL 2021

ences: more middle-income consumers (household income of $40,000 to $75,000) were using CBD in 2020 compared to 2019, and now represent around one-third of total U.S. consumers. Nevertheless, growth last year fell below pre-COVID projections. Although the total U.S. CBD market is still expected to reach $16.8 billion by 2025, there are some key factors affecting the way brands are behaving. As CBD beverage companies large and fall fi ght to have their say, major players like Molson Coors (via Canopy) and Tilray are starting to arrive in the U.S.

Additionally, with a still unclear regulatory landscape, startups are looking to diversify their portfolios and expand their appeal.

Format Flex for CBD The lack of federal oversight on CBD hasn’t stopped products from quickly proliferating across categories and channels, but there are growing signs that conditions are beginning to drag on brands and retailers working in the space. In response, a growing number of companies have looked to use nonhemp extensions.

For some, going beyond CBD is about making the broader connection with health and wellness — a much more crowded but inviting space. Nearly 40% of CBD consumers use infused products for general health and well-being, according to a Harris Poll in 2019, providing brands a rationale to to move into other, non-hemp areas, while the ongoing pandemic has accelerated the value of health and wellness associations even further. Boston-based Beam is one such company, having introduced its first non-CBD product, a three-SKU line of electrolyte drink powders, in February to complement its existing hempinfused salves, tinctures and capsules. At the time, Beam co-founder Matt Lombardi said the move was part of an intentional move to not become boxed in as a CBD company and deepen its credibility in holistic wellness by not putting hemp in every product. Similarly, the credibility that Colorado-based Weller had generated around its hemp-infused food and drink products allowed it to step into another trending health area — immunity support — last summer with a line of non-CBD flavored seltzers. Elsewhere, CBD-infused sports water line Defy also made a similar move by introducing its non-hemp alkaline water in February. Other CBD brands are feeling a similar pull from health and wellness trends, but also for more practical reasons: going outside hemp is a way to keep momentum going while cautious retail buyers and distributors await further guidance from the FDA. New York-based Cloud Water introduced its +Immunity


line in July, helping it make the leap from DSD for its CBD drinks (Big Geyser in New York and Hi Touch in SoCal and Exlusive Brands in Miami) to broadline distribution through KeHe and UNFI. CEO and co-founder Marc Siden said the company has been able to “cast a wider net” with distributor partners by offering a less expensive item (MSRP $2.79 – 2.99, compared to $3.99 – 4.99) that continues to build around its overall story of better-for-you hydration and functionality. That interest in turn helped the company secure $2.7 million in seed funding in March. Taking a slightly different tack, some CBD beverage brands are using their success to make their way into other infused formats. Having already launched a CBD energy drink, Daytrip introduced gummies in February; at the time, Daytrip CMO Lynn Furge noted that, for both consumers and the company itself, the barrier to entry to the category is low and the offering is easily understood.

Research and Regulations For Justin Singer, CEO of Caliper Ingredients, the absence of federal oversight for CBD in food and beverage products has done more than slow growth: it’s put consumers at risk. In its wake, the industry has been operating in a grey area in which credibility and validated scientific evidence has been in short supply, leaving shoppers with little information with which to distinguish good actors from bad.

“The space has a credibility problem, and the only option is to show your work,” said Singer. “This is a space where the industry has done itself a disservice with all the boosterism in the fi rst generation and unfounded claims and failure to accord to basic regulations around labeling. So it just became imperative if we were going to distinguish ourselves by being what we say we are to prove that in a way that’s unimpeachable.” The company, which manufactures and supplies CPG companies with soluble CBD ingredients, as well as marketing its own single-serve dissolvable powder packets, is attempting to change that narrative through research in partnership with publicly funded universities. In conjunction with Colorado State University, Caliper recently completed what it called the CBD industry’s fi rst human clinical study of commercially available CBD-infused food and supplement product pharmacokinetics, which is set to be published in a special edition of the medical journal Pharmaceuticals. Other ingredient suppliers are also conducting studies in parallel, attempting to nail down the value of a variety of cannabinoids and form factors. According to the CSU study, Caliper’s ingredients showed a better absorption rate than other standard CBD ingredient formulations. More specifically, they revealed that some of Caliper’s hypotheses — such as the idea that nano-sized particles would absorb faster than larger ones — were incorrect. Yet the act of submitting to a significant human trial may be the most important result from the study. “One feature of working with academic partners is that you don’t have control over analysis or publication of the results, and that’s one reason why a lot of companies won’t work with them,” he said. “The fact that these turned out to be very different was fascinating to us because it put even more meat on the bone to our contention that you have to do the work to make the claims, because people and products are unique.” Beyond serving to bolster its own reputation, Singer sees Caliper’s study as a way to help push for greater scientific scrutiny within CBD. Other groups and forces are contributing their own pressure: the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced a crackdown on deceptive marketing claims for CBD products in December. Meanwhile, Singer said, an unnamed retail partner asked Caliper to sign a letter of guarantee that it would not make any claims without evidence, which he took as a sign that the industry is beginning to police itself. To that end, Weller, which had been using Caliper for years as its supplier for hemp products, recently made the partnership public. The question remains if scientific due diligence will trump nice branding and shelf appeal for the average CBD consumer. But Singer bristles at the notion that the burden of education is on individual users rather than the FDA. “When it comes to food and drug, the consumer is not in a position to assess whether there’s a latent defect in the product — you can’t tell if Tylenol is fast acting just by looking,” he said. “The whole basis of these claims and the marketing dollars that go towards them is the belief that someone is policing whether there is a basis for making them. And that’s where the federal government just has to step in. There’s no substitute for it.” Well, maybe a non-CBD fallback plan is a substitute for the brands, but without clear direction, it’s going to be hard to know whether that strategy serves as a temporary, incremental pivot, or a life raft. 59


The latest release from Rhythm CBD Seltzers is Rhythm Dream, an end-of-day beverage leveraging natural blackberry and lavender flavors and melatonin to help travelers hit the snooze button and relax. The complete line also made its hotel debut in Phoenix’s art-centric boutique hotel,The FOUND:RE and the hotel’s on-site restaurant, MATCH Market & Bar. This spring, Colorado-based Freshies is adding CBD Paloma to its family of all-natural cocktail mixers, each featuring 100mg of CBD plus hemp extract per 750ml bottle. A second flavor, CBD Caramel Apple Cider, is set to follow in the fall and will complement its award-winning CBD Bloody Mary and CBD Margarita SKUs. NXT Water, the makers of Akeso CBD water, has added NHL legend Mark Messier to its team as an equity partner and brand captain. The former Edmonton Oiler and New York Ranger center, a six-time Stanley Cup champion, will work closely with the Akeso executive team on branding, advertising and marketing campaigns, social and digital content, opening up new sales and distribution channels as well as other initiatives. In collaboration with comedian and podcaster Joe Rogan, Kill Cliff has created the Flaming Joe, the latest addition to the country’s bestselling line of CBD beverages. The Flaming Joe has a bold and spicy flavor and contains 25mg of CBD, derived from 125mg of broadspectrum hemp, plus B vitamins, electrolytes and plant extracts. This March, Canopy Growth Corporation entered the U.S. CBD beverage category with the launch of Quatreau, a premium ready-todrink CBD-infused sparkling water. Quatreau contains 20 mg of premium, U.S. grown hempbased CBD and one of four refreshing flavors: Cucumber + Mint, Passionfruit + Guava, Ginger + Lime and Blueberry + Acai. With an MSRP of $3.99 per 12 ounce can, Quatreau is a functional zero-sugar drink that delivers a natural, low calorie beverage alternative at an accessible price point. CENTR offers two types of hemp-infused beverage products, beginning with its CENTR, an all-natural, sparkling, low-calorie, sugar-free hemp-derived CBD drink, and CENTR Sugar Free, each sold in 19 states. CENTR Instant 60 BEVNET MAGAZINE – MARCH/APRIL 2021

is now available this spring both online and through national distribution. In addition to launching a new flavor, Ginger Lemonade, VYBES has expanded its retail distribution to Hawaii, Utah, Arizona & Colorado, bringing its total state count to 34. The company has also made improvements to its online store, introducing free two hour delivery in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York City, Brooklyn & Chicago. The brand also launched a Mixed Pack case and an invite only loyalty program. Shimmerwood recently expanded shipping of its CBD infused Shimmer Seltzer to New York and Florida, adding to its current shipping locations in Connecticut, Rhode Island and Vermont. The company is moving production to its home state of Maine this spring and will be working with local distributors to stock retail stores, restaurants, dispensaries and more. As the CBD industry continues to grow, UPSY is one brand that is lowering their operating costs and passing the savings onto consumers. In February, UPSY permanently reduced the prices of all of its CBD products, some by as much as 40%, including both its Life Rocket Fuel and Align Balance Act beverage blends, which are available in convenient, on-the-go packets. Naturally flavored using real lemon, they are formulated with 20mg of pure, organic, hemp-derived CBD per packet. Last year, CBD Living released CBD Living Sparkling Water in four unique flavors not seen anywhere else on the market: Orange Grapefruit, Peach Honey, Strawberry Lavender and Apple Ginger. Each 12 oz can contains 25 mg of nano-CBD and is vegan, gluten-free, THC-free and certified Kosher. The line is available in stores and online and is sold in single cans, cases of 12, cases of 24 and a 4-can variety sample pack. This February, Mad Tasty launched a fourmonth OOH campaign beginning in its home markets of Los Angeles and Orange County, California. Through a partnership with OOH advertising company Boxi, Mad Tasty branded trucks are driving through key residential neighborhoods. Each truck covers 100-200 miles per day, 6-7 days per week and the brand expects to reach 50-55K people per day per truck.


To complement its existing line of CBD sports drinks, DEFY recently launched DEFY Water, a high-performance alkaline water, specifically to help reduce inflammation of the body during periods of extended rest. Ionized with an alkaline pH 9.5+, infused with vital electrolytes and minerals like calcium and magnesium, and created in a solar-powered facility, DEFY Water is aimed at meeting consumer demand for healthier, great-tasting, purified water. Women-owned CBD wellness and skincare brand B Great was recently named as one of the first CBD companies to be certified By the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council -- a certification process designed to confirm a business is at least 51% owned, operated and controlled by a woman or women. Tony-winning actress and singer Patina Miller also came on last year as an investor and partner in the company, which markets Relax Shots (with 20mg of full-spectrum hemp extract plus melatonin, ginkgo biloba and lavender water) and Focus Shots (15mg CBD with caffeine, vitamins B6, B12 and ginseng root). As its name suggests, The Hemp Division is a brand operated by tea purveyor Harney & Sons that is focused on natural CBDinfused beverages made with organic hemp from the company’s farm in Millerton, New York. The Hemp Division markets both ready-to-drink and loose leaf tea products; its latest release for 2021 is a black teabased blend that includes Kava root and 21mg of CBD per serving. Cannabis-infused social tonic Cann has relaunched a favorite seasonal flavor: Ginger Lemongrass. This flavor comes in two versions: the classic Cann with 2mg THC and 4mg CBD, and the “Hi-Boy”, which offers 5mg THC. Available in two blends, Relax (20mg of CBD) and Recover (10mg of CBD), CarryOn contains vitamins C and E, no added sugar, and features only 10 calories per 11.5 fl oz can. Both SKUs have a suggested retail price of $4.99. The latest new flavors from Recess – Blood Orange, Black Cherry, Coconut Lime – debuted in May, adding to its original three 62 BEVNET MAGAZINE – MARCH/APRIL 2021

flavors Peach Ginger, Pomegranate Hibiscus, and Blackberry Chai, which have all been recently reformulated. All flavors are made with real fruit, have less than 20 calories, less than 5 grams of sugar (with none added). The latest addition to Queen City Hemp’s CBD Seltzer lineup is Mango Lychee (20 mg hemp extract and 12 mg of CBD per can), and is also the premiere release in their “Jam in the Can” Series matching local musicians and to the line of seltzers. Scanning the QR code on the can links to a free song by upcoming musicians recorded live on site at Queen City Hemp in Cincinnati, OH that is guaranteed to jam. The new Mango Lychee Hemp Seltzer will be available April 2021 on Earlier this year, Caliper, in conjunction with Colorado State University (CSU), completed the CBD industry’s first human clinical study of commercially available CBD-infused food and supplement product pharmacokinetics. According to the study, Caliper’s suite of soluble cannabinoid ingredients demonstrated superior absorption versus other standard CBD ingredient formulations. This study represents the first human clinical substantiation of such a claim, as well as the first to do so using commercially available beverage, food, and supplement products. Isca is a new brand of ultra-premium CBD sodas that offer unmatched taste for a new kind of calm. The product features chef driven flavors developed by Michelin starred Chef Michael Caines including Pink Grapefruit and Rose, Tonic, Cola, and Ginger Ale. Each contains 20mg of U.S. grown premium hemp extract. New York-based Cloud Water today announced in March the close of a $2.7 million seed fundraising round set to fuel further expansion into the overall functional beverage space. The company assembled a diverse roster of individual investors, including Adam Fox of the New York Rangers, actors Liev Schrieber and Malik Yoba, and former NHL All-Star and current Montreal Canadiens executive Scott Mellanby. Also joining is former Glaceau board member Bruce Nierenberg, founder of B.I.N. Sales and Marketing.



BRAND LISTINGS Live Like You Give a Damn: Functional Beverages for your daily routine

Immunity Boosting Elderberry Kombucha

Altitude Beverages

Aqua ViTea Kombucha

We incorporate the benefits of CBD and super foods into your daily routine that tastes great and keeps you coming for more. The Everything Latte is the clean energy of organic coffee, calm and focus of CBD, and the benefits of superfoods in a can.

This fruity and tart beverage combines the well-researched immune boosting effects of elderberries with the naturally occurring probiotics, b vitamins, amino acids and minerals found in kombucha, creating a refreshing, beneficial beverage.

New AMAZ Organic Yerba Mate + Amazon Adaptogens

BEVNET 2020 Rising Stars Award Winner! Better Booch

New 64oz Size With Built-In Grip

Amaz Project, Inc


Sparkling Yerba Mate RTD Tea enhanced with a proprietary blend of Adaptogens and Super Plants from the Amazon Rainforest. Organic. Zero Calories. Zero Sugar. Vegan. Sustainably-sourced. Regenerative. Plantbased energy, focus, and immunity.

With the success of our Gallon size, AQUAhydrate continues to innovate in providing premium high-performance hydration. This unique 64oz size features a large-mouth cap and built-in grip to meet the hydration demands of the Everyday Warrior.

Aspire Healthy Energy Aspire Brands, Inc.


REJOY | Plant-Powered Functional Drinks Bliss Beverages

BRAND LISTINGS Pioneers in Revolutionizing Non-Alcoholic Craft Beer

New Cerebral Beverage Is Met With High Praise In Functional Category

Athletic Brewing Company

Breinfuel Two months into launch, consumers are reporting profoundly positive effects from new cerebral beverage, Breinfuel. The drink is designed to extend the release of caffeine and provide long-lasting focus, alertness, and productivity with no crash.

Athletic Brewing Company is reimagining beer for the modern, active adult. Their greattasting athletic craft brews let you enjoy the refreshing taste of craft beer, without the alcohol or the hangover.

Organic, sustainable, delicious kombucha. Big flavor. Small footprint.

C4 Smart Energy Natural Zero

Blue Ridge Bucha


Find Blue Ridge Bucha's kombucha on draft and in bottles throughout the Mid-Atlantic region and beyond. 6 core flavors + limited releases. 6 month shelf life. Certified non-alcoholic. USDA organic. Over one million bottles saved!

Infused with clinically-studied ingredients that provide a blend of benefits including increased focus and clarity paired with clean energy. Incredible naturally sweetened flavors with zero sugars, calories or carbs. Unlock your mental potential.

Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar Prebiotic Shots BRAGG Live Food Products, LLC

Get your daily dose of wellness on the go. Each 2-ounce, ready-to-sip shot contains one tablespoon of our raw, unfiltered Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar with gut-healthy proteins, enzymes, and good bacteria. We blend our ACV with functional ingredients for an instant prebiotic immunity boost. Available in 4 delicious flavors - Honey, Ginger Turmeric, Pineapple Cayenne, and Carrot Ginger. Visit for more.

Introducing Uplift: Yerba Mate + Probiotics Brew Dr.

Highest Electrolytes. Zero Compromise. BrightFox

A Brighter Tomorrow starts with BrightFox. Packed with a proprietary, scientific blend of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and electrolytes, we provide ultimate hydration without any of the bad. That’s right: zero calories, zero sugars, zero sweeteners, zero stimulants, zero coloring, and now zero preservatives. BrightFox has more than 2x the electrolytes as other popular sports drinks. Whether you need to jumpstart your morning with an energy boost, optimize your workout and replenish lost electrolytes, or fuel your night life with lasting hydration, BrightFox has you covered. BrightFox is also the only vitamin and electrolyte beverage available in both Still and Sparkling in three different flavors. For those craving something crisp and fresh: Cucumber Mint, for those looking for a fix of tartness: Grapefruit Ginger, and for those with wanting a fruity flair: Blueberry Vanilla. As well, our sparkling variant mixes beautifully with spirits-making for the most delicious, hydrating cocktails. Our resealable, eco-friendly packaging in aluminum bottles allows BrightFox to stay cold while minimizing our environmental impact. One BrightFox bottle recycles the equivalent of 400 plastic bottles! Optimize your hydration cycle with BrightFox. Keto, Gluten-free, Vegan certified


BRAND LISTINGS Meet water’s bubblier and more energetic best friend! BUBBL’R

Coffee Shop Quality Ready-to-Drink Cold Brew Cafe Grumpy


Brewed in-house with specialty grade 100% single-origin Colombian arabica coffee beans and filtered water. Energizing and naturally caffeinated. No preservatives, artificial ingredients or sugar. Available in Tetra Pak singles or 4-packs.

Cann is the #1 THC-infused drink in California (BDSA). Cann is reshaping social drinking with their microdosed tonics that deliver a light, uplifting buzz. Each Cann has 5 clean ingredients with a strength that is similar to a beer or glass of wine.

Califia Farms Debuts Mushroom Oat and Hemp Barista Blends

Electrolit Premium Hydration Electrolyte Beverage CAB Enterprises Inc


The future of drinking is here

CLEAN Cause - Sparkling Organic Yerba Mate

Califia Farms

CLEAN Cause Inc

Mushroom Oat Barista contains 3,000 mg of whole Cordyceps and 2,400 mg of Lion’s Mane mushrooms while Hemp Barista contains calcium and omega-3 ALA fatty acids. Available at Whole Foods and other leading national retailers with an MSRP of $5.99.

Each can of CLEAN Cause's sparkling organic yerba mate is packed with 160mg of Better Caffeine™ to empower the pursuit of everyday passions. 50% of the profits fund sober living scholarships, empowering recovery from drug & alcohol addiction.

Best-Tasting CBD Sparkling Water Available CBD Living

BRAND LISTINGS The Next Generation Electrolyte Drink CF Nutrition

Phocus Caffeinated Sparkling Water + L-theanine

All-Natural Sports Drink

Clear/Cut Phocus

Defiance Sport

Phocus is a premium sparkling water that can be found in over 2,000 retailers nationwide. It is infused with tea’s amino acid, L-theanine which ensures a calm, smooth caffeine release while helping you stay hydrated. Clean energy, refreshing taste.

The all-natural sports drink formulated with the 5 Essential Electrolytes lost in exercise plus 72 trace minerals, Red Spinach Extract for performance, and D-Ribose for recovery. All this with only 8 grams of carbs and 32 calories!

evian+ Sparkling Mineral Enhanced Drink Danone Waters of America

A Force of Nature CForce Bottling Co., LLC

Premium Structured Hydration Defiance Fuel 42 years is what it took to research and develop our flagship product, Defiance Fuel. Defiance Fuel is one of the finest Premium Structured Waters - stabilized and optimized to give athletes what they need in a daily hydration solution. 7.4+ PH.


Introducing Doctor D's Plus+ Line: Defense Sparkling Tonic Doctor D's Sparkling Probiotic Doctor D's Plus+ : A new line of drinks with Adaptogenic Herbs, Mushrooms, Raw & Live Probiotics. Defense Tonic Organic Plant Based Support for Immune & Digestive health. We make Healthy taste Delicious! Ethically sourced ingredients and packaging.

BRAND LISTINGS Organic Fermented Pineapple Probiotic De La Calle

Non-Alcoholic Gin-Style Drinks With L-Theanine Discoe Beverages

Hydration of the Fittest Defiance Fuel

Welcome to the wind-down™ Driftwell

Driftwell is a still enhanced water beverage designed with relaxation in mind. Flavored with a hint of blackberry lavender, Driftwell comes in a convenient 7.5 oz mini can and has no carbonation, no calories and no sugar. Each can also includes: • 200 mg of L-theanine, an ingredient shown to help promote relaxation and de-stress, helping individuals get into the right end of day mindset. • 10% of the daily amount of magnesium, a mineral that’s crucial to the body’s function. Defiance Fuel: 42 years is what it took to research and develop our flagship product, Defiance Fuel. Defiance Fuel is one of the finest Premium Structured Waters- stabilized and optimized to give athletes what they need in a daily hydration solution. 7.4+ PH.

We believe a well-rested world is a better world. That’s why we created Driftwell. Having a consistent end of day routine can help slow down your thoughts as you unwind, and Driftwell’s functional ingredients do just that.

Defiance Sport: The all-natural sports drink formulated with the 5 Essential Electrolytes lost in exercise plus 72 trace minerals, Red Spinach Extract for performance and D-Ribose for recovery. All this with only 8 grams of carbs and 32 calories! 71

BRAND LISTINGS ZYN - Immunity & Recovery Drinks Drink ZYN

Lightning-Fast Electrolyte Rehydration for Nightlife DrinkLyte Co. DrinkLyte is a new hydration brand making drinking alcohol healthier with its non-GMO, vegan, gluten-free, low-cal lightning-fast electrolyte beverages. Berry "MoonLyte" and peach "SunLyte" make up a memorable 2-step rehydration regimen. The No. 1 Alkaline Water in the U.S. Essentia Water Essentia is known for its unique ionization process that results in a pH of 9.5+ with a clean, smooth taste. It’s the #1 alkaline water & #1 selling bottled water in the natural channel in the U.S., available at more than 90,000 retailers.

BYLT: The Complete Sports Drink Elite Beverage Intl

NEW Citrus Ginger Zest Cold-Pressed Juice

Go Fast Sports & Beverage CO Go Fast High Octane hits the starting line with the ultimate energy boost. This Supercharge energy supplement boasts all natural caffeine (300mg) & sweeteners, zero calories, zero sugar and our top of the line superior mango taste. No preservatives! The first domestic US 0.0% ABV craft beer brand Hairless Dog Brewing Company We’re the first domestic US 0.0% ABV craft beer brand, with truly alcohol-free products. Our brews are flavor-forward so you celebrate an active social life while making healthy choices.

Hana Tonic: Organic Nausea Relief Shot

Evolution Fresh

Hana Tonic, LLC

New Citrus Ginger Zest is vibrant blend of sweet oranges, tangy grapefruit and spicy ginger, all cold-pressed at peak freshness for a uniquely flavorful juice that's packed with vitamin C for a delicious immunity boost.

Hana Tonic is a great tasting ginger shot that relieves nausea, eases digestion, and promotes daily wellness. Our blend of ginger, lemon, pineapple, & cayenne will have you feeling your best. USDA certified organic, packaged in glass, & shelf stable.

Naturally Alkaline Spring Water in a Planet-Friendly Pack


NEW -- GO FAST HIGH OCTANE " Super Charged Energy Supplement"

Cold-Crafted Functional Juice Shots

Flow Hydration

Happy Moose

Flow is sourced from its artesian springs right here in North America and contains naturally occurring electrolytes & essential minerals. B-Corp Certified and carbon neutral, Flow's packaging is 100% recyclable and made from 68% renewable resources.

Our shots deliver more functionality and bolder flavors than any other shot brand on the market. Each fresh ingredient is hand-picked and pressed within 3 days of harvest for maximum freshness & nutrient density. 100% post-consumer recycled bottles.

BRAND LISTINGS Introducing Coconut Smoothie Harmless Harvest

hellowater® defense - Patented Toxin Defense Beverage hellowater®


hellowater® defense powered by CYTO +, is a game changing toxin defense product that addresses the root cause of toxin overload by creating a shield that prevents incoming toxins. 0 Sugar, 0 Carbs, 3 Amazing Flavors. SHIELDS UP!

Hiyo social tonics are mindfully crafted with natural adaptogens, nootropics, and functional botanicals to be a better-thanalcohol alternative. With only 25 calories and 5 grams of sugar, Hiyo is the healthy choice in the 5PM occasion.

High Brew Coffee Sweet Cream Nitro Cold Brew

Naturally Alkaline, Hawaiian Lava Filtered, Ultra Premium Water Hawaii Volcanic Beverages

Organic Better-Than-Alcohol Alternative

Non-Alcoholic Calorie Free Sparkling Hop Water with only 1g Carbs

High Brew Coffee


A new NITRO is joining the High Brew family of cold brews! Each can is infused with fresh nitrogen at the point of consumption, which, together with just a splash of cream and 200mg of caffeine creates an indulgent, creamy, frothy nitro boost.

HOP WTR is a nonalcoholic calorie-free beverage brewed with hops, adaptogens, and nootropics to help you relax and unwind. Available in Classic, Mango & Blood Orange; it’s the healthy alternative to beer that gives you the chill feeling you deserve

Clean, Simple Ingredients. Meet Hoplark HopTea. Hoplark


BRAND LISTINGS RECOV R 180° - Functional Hydration

Naturally Alkaline Spring Water from Iceland

Recover 180

Icelandic Glacial

With 3X the electrolytes, 1/2 the calories, 1/3 the sugar of other leading sports drinks and no artificial colors/ flavors/sweeteners, RECOV R 180° will help you reset, recharge, recover, whether you’re on the field, on the go, or on the mend.

Icelandic Glacial is a premium natural spring water, bottled at the source from Iceland’s legendary Ölfus Spring, filtering through ancient lava rock to achieve naturally high alkalinity and low TDS. Certified CarbonNeutral for product and operation.

Organic Premium Tea

Circadian Beverages™ for Wellness. Organic. Made with Honey. INTENT

New Organic Smooth Energy + Focus Wellness Shot HUMANITEA Company


Introducing a new line of premium, organic teas in the following flavors: Green Tea with Passion Fruit and Kiwi; Hibiscus with Wildberry and Lime; Black Tea with Mango and Melon; Unsweetened Black Tea; Coconut Lemonade. "Great Tea with a Great Cause"

JUICERA produces our wellness shots with functionality and taste being top priority. Our new 2oz Smooth Energy + Wellness shot is the perfect source of clean energy and brain boosting organic ingredients. Perfect shot for all grocery and more!

The Ojai Valley - cold brew immunity shot with zinc & echinacea

Karma Wellness Water Elderberry Starfruit

Humblemaker Coffee Co.

Karma Culture (Karma Water)

Humblemaker adds a new offering to it’s roster of fresh, functional cold brew coffee shots: the Ojai Valley. A new, immunity-boosting shot infused with the 100% natural flavors of citrus and nutmeg. 115mg caffeine with zero sugar & zero calories.

Karma Wellness Water Elderberry Starfruit is meticulously formulated with 100% of 7 essential vitamins and nourishing adaptogens to deliver immune support. Karma’s patented, Push Cap better protects the active ingredients, assuring optimal potency.

HFactor Hydrogen Infused Water - 20 ounce

Organic Bubbly Probiotic Water - 0 Sugar, Billions of Probiotics

HyEdge, Inc.

Kaylee's Culture

HFactor is water infused with pure hydrogen & contains only 2 ingredients: pure water and pure hydrogen. And now, it’s available in a larger (20 oz.) carryanywhere hydro-pack that maintains the integrity and pureness of its hydrogen content.

A Healthy Bubbly Probiotic Water, w/ Organic Fruit Essence, ZERO Sugar, ZERO carbs, BILLIONS of Probiotics sweetened with Monk Fruit. 1st Functional Beverage FOR Kids and Adults alike!


CUT Sparkling Drink Combines Energy & Weight Loss Iovate Health Sciences

BRAND LISTINGS matcha LOVE ENERGY + The New Plant Based Drink Powered by Matcha ITO EN (North America) INC.

Kokomio Coconut Beverage Kokomio

Plant based energy drink, matcha LOVE ENERGY + is the newest addition to the award-winning matcha LOVE line by green tea experts- ITO EN. Powered by green tea & matcha blends with specific functional benefits in 3 flavors, SOOTHE, IMMUNITY & FOCUS, each energy drink contains 50 mg of natural caffeine for a gentle boost, Catechin antioxidants, Vitamin C and green tea’s unique L-theanine. The amino acid L-Theanine brings a sense of calm while staying alert and energized by tea’s natural caffeine. Harnessing the power of the superfood matcha and unique functional ingredients superfruit Acerola + Yuzu for IMMUNITY, Blueberry + Ginseng for FOCUS and Honey + Ginger for SOOTHE, each plant-based energy drink is only 5 calories per serving with 0 to 1 gram of natural sugar. Conveniently packaged in a slim 8.28 fl. oz recyclable steel can, the matcha LOVE ENERGY + line offers a refreshing and invigorating taste experience while helping maintain a healthy immunity defense. Using 100% Japanese matcha and absolutely no artificial ingredients, ITO EN’s commitment to quality products and global sustainability is unsurpassed through its support of tea farming communities and innovative products. Matcha LOVE can be enjoyed anywhere and anytime for a stress free life.

Organic Superfood Juices & Smoothies Karuna Beverages

Kite Organic, Sparkling Adaptogenic Tea is Steeped in Goodness. Kite


Winner of New Beverage Showdown 2020, Kite is certified organic and Steeped in Goodness™. Kite's Rise, Align and Unwind harness the bright, crisp flavors brewed from whole plants, contain zero sugar, and are Keto, Paleo and Whole30 Approved.

Koita’s premium, Italian, plant-based milks are non-GMO, shelf stable and clean tasting. All are nondairy, vegan and free of nasty additives. Organic Almond, Organic Almond + Coconut, Oat, Soy, Soy for Coffee, Rice and Organic Coconut.

Koia Smoothie, you'll love the sweet taste of less sugar.


Straight from Italy, A New Line of PlantBased Milks

HighDrate CBD Energy Waters


Kona Gold

Koia real fruit smoothies are packed with hydration, prebiotic fiber and 80% less sugar than the leading all-juice smoothie. Tastes how delicious less sugar can be.

HIGHDRATE CBD INFUSED ENERGY WATERS are a Zero Calorie water, infused with 10mg of CBD and contains 80mg of caffeine providing the body with the hydration and recovery it needs along with a clean boost of energy! Available in 6 delicious flavors!

BRAND LISTINGS Kona Gold Hemp Energy Drinks

Living Juice Cold Pressed Juice: Watermelon, Lime, Mint


Living Juice

MaKa Superfood

NXT Water

KONA GOLD's perfect balance of organic hemp, vitamins, and natural flavors provides the focus and energy you demand! Available in 8 delicious flavors and Zero Calories, KONA GOLD is the best selling Hemp Energy Drink on the market!

The newest member to the Living Juice product line: Watermelon, Lime, Mint. Our Watermelon juice is rich in antioxidants and vitamins, our Watermelon juice is a terrific pre and post workout option. Available now!

MaKa's USDA Organic Certified beverages are a delicious combo of wheatgrass, herbal tea, & fruit juices. MaKa's drinks are equivalent to 8, 1-oz fresh pressed wheatgrass shots, +Energized+ by yerba mate & guayusa, lightly carbonated, & shelf-stable.

The world's ONLY organic-broadspectrum, pure tasting performance beverage. Ultra purified, pH balanced, electrolyte-rich (like sports drinks) without any sugar, calories or artificial anything. 100% verifiable via on-pack blockchain backed QR code

OOH LA Lemin Lemonade

Chew Your Health! Liquid Core Gum Co.

Organic Beet-Apple-Rhubarb Cold Pressed Juice (10 fl oz)

Kona Gold LLC

Love Beets

OOH LA Lemin Lemonade is a betterfor-you lemonade with only 3g net carbs, 15 calories, and no sugar added. Naturally flavored, OOH LA Lemin is available in 4 great tasting flavors; Original, Blue Raspberry, Peach, and Strawberry.

This cold pressed juice is a subtly sweet & delicious 100% juice blend of certified organic beet, apple, rhubarb, lemon, and ginger. Made with no added sugars or preservatives and aimed to help hydrate and energize the body using real ingredients!

Organic Wheatgrass +Energized+

CANABIX Probiotic + Hemp Wellness Tea Medicinal Cannabis of America A new US Patent Pending Beverage formulated by internationally known Immunologist, Dr. Babak Baban, MS, Ph.D., MPH and a team of scientists. 30 mg of nano-emulsified CBD fights inflammation while probiotics aid digestion and absorption of nutrients. Clearly Kombucha

AKESO - Pure Hemp Powered Hydration for Mind + Body

Oaza Coffee: Energy, upgraded. Oaza Beverages, Inc. Oaza infuses electrolytes to strong Colombian dark roast coffee for enhanced hydration and energy. Oaza’s flavors are Black, Oatmilk, and Cacao Mocha, which are deliciously smooth and refreshing and just 0g sugar, and less than 40 calories.

Oh Hi CBD Sparkling Seltzer with 20mg CBD Molson Coors Non-Alc LLC With a crisp, refreshing taste and the lowest in sugar and calories, Clearly Kombucha is clearly a better kombucha for all.

Oh Hi Beverages Inc. Refresh, relax, and recover with the perfect dose of CBD Sparkling Seltzer. Oh Hi beverages are low sugar low cal, and perfect for your dayto-day activities. With 20mg of clean CBD isolate, our beverages are a healthy pleasure for your mind and body

Nexus - The Next Generation of Energy Drinks


Nexus Energy Drinks

Optimum Nutrition

It has taken nature millions of years to create the perfect ingredients. We spent thousands of hours with leading nutritionists and scientists combining them into powerful formulas. In just minutes you’ll feel the benefits and IGNITE YOUR CELLS!

ESSENTIAL AMIN.O. ENERGY® + ELECTROLYTES Sparkling Hydration Drink helps fuel active adults on the go. Each can provides energy from natural caffeine sources, amino acids to support recovery and electrolytes to support hydration.


BRAND LISTINGS HUZZAH Probiotic Seltzer Molson Coors Non-Alc LLC

Introducing mymuse organic enhanced water & tea with immunity support mymuse organic

Sparkling Water with a Kombucha Twist Mother Kombucha

Live Life More Hydrated with Nuun’s Functional Hydration System Nuun Hydration



Refresh your cold brew set with nootropic and adaptogenic innovation Pivot Colbrew

Made to Refill + Refuel. PATH

poppi - NEW Classic cola

Red Bull Summer Edition Dragon Fruit


Red Bull North America

This can is packed with a classic flavor you love plus prebiotics that’ll love you back. With just 5g of sugar, it’s a guthealthy soda that’s not only buddy buddy with your tastebuds but BFF with your belly too.

REZ The Restoration Beverage - Where Flavor and Function Meet


Just in time for the summer selling season, the limited edition Red Bull Summer Edition Dragon Fruit delivers the Wiiings of Red Bull Energy Drink with a burst of red berry, plum and notes of florals in a bright green can which will pop on shelf. Revive Sparking cans

Recovery Brands LLC

Revive Kombucha

REZ is a natural beverage made with plant-based glucosamine, turmeric, antioxidants, electrolytes, vitamins & minerals. REZ has 0-sugar, 10-calories, 1-carb, diabetic & keto friendly and has more immune supporting ingredients than any other beverage.

Wildly delicious, fun and good for you. Revive Sparkling cans are SHELF STABLE, with 5 billion probiotics, only 20 calories and 5 grams of sugar.

BRAND LISTINGS Pressed Juicery Delivers High-Quality Cold-Pressed Nutrition Pressed Juicery

Top-Selling REBBL Elixirs Now Have Immunity Support REBBL Inc.

Kombucha Tab with Apple Cider Vinegar, L-Theanine & 1g of Sugar NonGMO QULA

Introducing Recess Mood: Sparkling Water & Powders With Magnesium Recess


BRAND LISTINGS Plant Based Functional Beverages Remedy Organics

Bold, Smarter, Cleaner Energy

Organic Sparkling African Tea

Rowdy Energy

Sarilla Sparkling Beverage

Functionality and taste that differentiates. Made with natural caffeine from green tea, L-Theanine for laser focus and electrolytes for hydration. Twofold energy for the instant surge you need and slow release for the sustained energy you crave. All Natural Agua Frescas with Immunity Boost

RISE Organic Oat Milk - Original, Vanilla & Chocolate RISE Brewing Co


Born from the spirit of resilience comes Sarilla. Sparkling, ready-to-drink and refreshing, made with real tea leaves grown in cooperation with Rwandan genocide survivors. Certified organic and fair trade, Sarilla is a certified womanowned company. Elevating the Classics

Sarah's Homegrown


Sarah’s Homegrown agua frescas are sustainably farmed and all-natural with top trending fruit flavors, strawberry, mango and watermelon. Freshdispensed Bubbler beverages and private label programs available.

Seven is elevating the classics—craft brewed iced teas & lemonades with organic whole-leaf tea leaves—minus the use of GMOs, tea concentrates, HFCS or citric acid. Just real iced tea & lemonade with a lot less sugar. 7 flavors under 70 calories!

Grapefruit Rise Kombucha. A Refreshing Take On Energy. Rowdy Mermaid

BRAND LISTINGS Shamrock Farms unveils its latest blended innovation, Swirled Shamrock Farms

Shire City Herbals adds Elderberry Tonic to lineup of ACV Drinks Shire City Herbals

Shire City Herbals, makers of award-winning Fire Cider, proudly serves a broad range of intergenerational wellness enthusiasts who take a “food as medicine” approach to their health with a teaspoon or 1 oz shot in the morning as a daily ritual. The brand is a proven top performer in the growing Apple Cider Vinegar category and is committed to making the most potent shelf-stable health tonics featuring “the mother” and sustainably sourced whole, raw superfood ingredients. Now in its second decade of business, and following a holistic rebrand in 2020, the Massachusetts-based family-owned venture is introducing its newest functional wellness product, Elderberry Tonic. Elderberry Tonic will be added to the brand’s existing line-up of ACV-powered beverages which includes its three flavors of Fire Cider — Wildflower Honey, African Bronze Honey, and Honey-Free. The new flavor and formula includes raw apple cider vinegar, raw honey, whole elderberry juice, fresh ginger, tulsi, cinnamon, and clove and is set to launch Summer 2021 Shamrock Farms Swirled is an elevated and irresistible chocolate milk that blends creamy dairy and natural, plant-based ingredients. Available in two decadent flavors, Chocolate Coconut and Chocolate Almond Coconut, Swirled is a blissful blend of pure, fresh milk from Shamrock Farms’ family of local farms and premium cocoa, coconut cream and real almonds. The delicious drink is a great source of healthy fat and fiber and boasts 9 essential nutrients, including protein and calcium. Swirled joins Shamrock Farms’ full lineup of 12-ounce, on-the-go beverages. Also available in 32-ounce, look for Swirled in dairy cases including select Redner’s, Weis, Safeway, Albertsons and Giant Food stores. Shimmerwood Beverages Full Spectrum CBD Seltzer: Shimmer Seltzer

ALO Organic ZERO is plant based with BIG flavor and ZERO calories

Shimmerwood Beverages

SPI WEST PORT, INC ALO Organic ZERO is USDA certified organic, sugar-free, calorie-free, glutenfree, fat-free, and vegan. It is goodness from inside out. Sustainably farmed and organically crafted, ALO Drink is the original plantbased beverage.

Utilizing hand crafted cocktail bitters, artisan style shrubs and Maine-grown hemp, Shimmer Seltzer brings a flavorful full spectrum CBD seltzer to New England. Coming in 3 flavors: Razz Lime, Ginger Orange and Just Hemp, refresh and relax your way. Introducing ALO JÈN, flavored water infused with COLLAGEN + ALOE VERA

All Natural CBD Beverages



The world’s first collagen and aloe vera infused flavored water for your healthy lifestyle. ALO JÈN collagen drink in 3 delicious flavors with more soon. Apple & Lychee, Peach & Plum, Blood Orange & Lemon. 2500 mg of marine collagen in every bottle.

The delicious, refreshing, CBDinfused sparkling beverage. Available in four refreshing flavors. 20mg CBD isolate per can. All natural, no preservatives. 12oz. sleek printed cans. 1 year shelf-life. Volume manufacturing. Multistate distribution.


Soylent Complete Nutrition now comes in different flavors and formats. Soylent Nutrition, Inc.

BRAND LISTINGS Sparkling Botanical Tea Sparkling Botanicals by Rishi

New! Steaz Antioxidant Brew Yerba Mate- A Revitalizing New Brew of Tea

100% Plant-powered Energy Drink


teaRIOT Energy

Steaz Yerba Mate combines organic, fair trade, brewed yerba mate with coffee berry and acerola superfruit. Containing 165mg of natural caffeine and formulated with ingredients with vitamin C, it's a delicious Antioxidant Brew bursting with benefits.

teaRIOT Energy is a fast-growing, first-tomarket organic, 100% plant-powered energy drink brand delivering the same energy levels as traditional energy drinks through better ingredients & no added sugar to enhance focus and prolong energy levels.

New from Talking Rain: Talking Rain Essentials Hydration Talking Rain Beverage Company Talking Rain Essentials Hydration is an alkaline water centered on keeping consumers balanced and hydrated. Carefully crafted with a 9.5pH level and minerals and electrolytes, Essentials Hydration is available in a convenient one liter bottle.

Mude SuperLiquid TNC Drinks Mude Protect is one of 5 natural, functional drinks made with Plants. Vitamins. Water. That’s It! It contains our exclusive Immunoboost blend with complex B vitamins, polyphenols & minerals. Low sugar, low calorie, vegan, non-GMO & carbon neutral.


BRAND LISTINGS 10 pH Alkaline Water from America’s Purest Springs TEN Alkaline Spring Water

The Plug Drink 2.0 Launch - The Last Shot of The Night The Plug Drink

Sparkling Probiotic Water The Bu

The Beer with Benefits TNC Drinks So.Beer is a light refreshing alcoholfree lager that provides immune support. It contains our Immunoboost blend with B vitamins and minerals. It’s the perfect solution for when you want to make the most of your night & get an edge on tomorrow! True Nopal Prickly Pear Cactus Water True Nopal Ventures LLC True Nopal Prickly Pear Cactus Water is 100% all natural with no added sugars or sweeteners. True Nopal has less than half the calories & sugar as coconut water while providing electrolytes, potassium, magnesium & antioxidants!


HeartTunR Kombucha Spritz! Unity Vibration Kombucha HeartTunR offers a healthy, low-calorie, non-alcoholic, conscious & delicious 'Kombucha Spritz' for the calorieconscious beverage consumer. Made with intentionally-charged structured water, colloidal minerals, the finest organic herbs and kombucha! Super Green Tea with the Caffeine of Coffee + Nootropic Energy VIBAL ENERGY TEA At VIBAL®, we're all about POSITIVE ENERGY + GOOD VIBES. Inspiring you to be at your BEST, to follow your DREAMS, and be at your highest possible VIBES. Mindfully made with natural caffeine, ginseng, and L-theanine. Boost Your ViBES. ™

BRAND LISTINGS Ultima Replenisher Zero Sugar Electrolyte Hydration Mix Ultima Health Products, Inc

Introducing Vive Organic Pure Boost: For our super-root-super-fans

XL Energy Drink - your source of daily energy

Wellness Shots

XL Energy Drink Corp

Vive Organic is the pioneer in fresh-pressed, doctor-crafted, immunity wellness shots. This April, Vive is introducing the purest, freshest, strongest super root packed shot – Pure Boost, available in two flavors, Ginger & Turmeric.

Lightly carbonated and refreshing,XL Energy gives a classic taste and a boost of energy enhancing body and mind by improving concentration, awareness and reaction speed.XL offers different SKU's such as XL After with aloe and ginseng and XL Sugarfree

The Champagne of Kombucha

Zenify Natural Stress Relief - Non-GMO Project Verified

WILD TONIC® Jun Kombucha All Buzz, No Bite! WILD TONIC® Jun is redefining Kombucha through the unique use of organic honey, resulting in a signature smooth, refreshing taste. Available in cobalt blue glass bottles or 12oz slim cans for both non-alcohol and 5.6% ABV products. Support your Immunity with Uncle Matt’s Ultimate Immune Uncle Matt’s Organic

Zenify Zenify is the leader amongst stress relief beverages, it is Non-GMO, Gluten Free and caffeine free. Zenify also comes in a Zero Sugar formula, both of which contain 350mg of both GABA and L-theanine; the main stress reducing ingredient in green tea.

Wave Soda - Your New Favorite Healthy Soda Replacement Wave Soda


BRAND LISTINGS ZenWTR 9.5pH Water, 100% Recycled Certified Ocean-Bound Plastic Bottle ZenWTR Alkaline Water Vapor-distilled alkaline water and the world’s only beverage in a bottle made from 100% recycled, certified Ocean-Bound Plastic. Every ZenWTR prevents up to 5 bottles from reaching and polluting the ocean and 1% of sales goes to ocean conservation. Have it all with Zevia Zero Calorie Beverages Zevia Zevia offers a family of zero sugar, zero calorie beverages, full of craveable flavors and refreshing choices.


SUPPLIER & SERVICES LISTINGS Tea, Coffee & Specialty items A. Holliday & Company Inc.

Steviose® and Steviarome® Almendra Americas, LLC

For over 45 years, we've traveled the world to connect people with the finest products. At A. Holliday & Company, we source, test, and ship every product we carry. We supply bulk tea variety’s (extracts & leaf), coffees (extracts), antioxidants, herbal & superfruit extracts, natural caffeine, polyphenols, EGCG, Rooibos, coconut water powder, and our newest product, oil soluble tea polyphenols.

Almendra Americas, LLC is a natural taste technology and stevia extraction company. The company has worked with all aspects of stevia since 2002. They have a dedicated state-ofthe-art stevia manufacturing plant in Thailand, with FSSC 22000, HACCP, and GMP certifications. Steviose™ 100, our flagship product, contains >99.5% of Rebaudioside A and delivers clean sweetness without bitter notes.

Flavor Manufacturer Abelei Flavors

Nutrient-dense Milks +Proteins Axiom Foods

As a flavor manufacturer abelei creates delicious, application-specific flavors assisting our clients in getting to market faster with flavorings that fit their product requirements. Abelei specializes in creating great-tasting sweet brown, citrus fruit, soft fruit and other top-note flavors perfect for beverages, dairy, confectionery, bakery, pharmaceuticals, and nutraceutical applications.

Do you need suspension-grade, non-GMO verified, FDA GRAS plant proteins and whole grain-certified rice and oat milks made in the U.S.? Since 2005 Axiom Foods’ food technologists innovate sophisticated ingredient solutions for clean, allergen-friendly, effective, export-friendly beverage ingredient labels. Ask about the only clinically-backed, patented sports nutrition claims for plant proteins.

Organic Functional Ingredients Applied Food Sciences (AFS)


Protein-enriched juice drinks Arla Foods Ingredients

Protein-enriched juice drinks offer an exciting new wave in fortified and functional beverages. Now you can bring a new range of protein-fortified, regularly enjoyed juice products to market for the health-conscious consumer. Lacprodan® ISO.Clear is a functional whey protein isolate developed for protein fortification of functional beverages. Products formulated with Lacprodan® ISO.Clear taste and look just like juice should, but that’s not the only advantage: • No added sugar • Allows on-pack protein health claims • Suitable for a range of juice types • Can be fortified with e.g., vitamins, minerals, probiotics and other ingredients Delivering up to 6% of high-quality and natural whey protein, you’ll be able to provide, for example: • A new breakfast standard for the health-conscious consumer • A nourishing, on-the-go vitalizer for kids • A nutrition delivery drink for older age groups or patients needing extra protein • A more enjoyable, post-workout recovery drink Get in touch for formulation advice or request a sample.

Connecting Nutrition & Health BENEO Inc.

Real People. True Flavor. Callisons

From isotonic sports drinks to fizzy water and soft drinks,… Palatinose™ (isomaltulose) opens the door to nutritionally optimised and highly stable beverages. It has a low hygroscopicity and high acid and process stability. From a health perspective, it supports blood sugar management and keeps you going thanks to being a fully digestible and more slowly released source of carbohydrates.

Since 1903, Callisons has created authentic flavors using the highest quality, natural extracts directly from nature. Known as the leader in mint, Callisons develops a diverse portfolio of true flavors with a passion for the Beverage, Confection & Oral Care industries. As tastes change and the market expands, we evolve and innovate to always remain on the forefront of the next flavor revolution.

Beverage Industry Navigators BevSource

Fermentation. Redefined. Chr. Hansen

Nothing slows a beverage entrepreneur more than getting swallowed up by the details. BevSource will help you create and execute upon a custom operations strategy so you can focus on building your brand. Our expertise in development, quality testing, pilot- and full-scale production management is unparalleled. Take the stress out of developing and producing your beverage, & partner with BevSource.

Our SmartBev range of fermented beverage solutions offers 1) Convenient microbial formats for industrial size fermentation. 2) One-step, direct inoculation fermentation concepts with < 0.5% ethanol production 3) Reproducible process with known bacteria and yeast to ensure the same brew every time with full traceability 4) Refreshing and fruity beverages based on traditional fermentation expertise

SUPPLIER & SERVICES LISTINGS Functional Branded Ingredients Bioenergy Life Science (BLS)

Cannabinoid Ingredients Caliper Ingredients

BLS creates scientifically based, functional ingredients for healthier living. We are best known for the only patented & FDA GRAS-certified D-Ribose: Bioenergy Ribose®. Bioenergy Ribose is the true source of sustainable, cellular energy and is crucial to ATP production. Without sufficient ATP, nutrients entering the body may not be as well absorbed or as effective. Your body makes Ribose naturally but the process is very slow. Adding Bioenergy Ribose to your diet helps bypass that slow process and build ATP faster. This makes Bioenergy Ribose essential for people of all ages and gives them the energy needed for an active, healthy lifestyle. Bioenergy Ribose is easily incorporated into beverage formulations for many reasons. It is fully soluble and slightly sweet with no aftertaste. It is compatible with many ingredients and systems including other sugars, carbohydrates, fibers and sweeteners. It is a simple, 5-carbon monosaccharide that actually lowers blood sugar. It is a “good sugar” that creates natural energy. BLS wants to be your total solution provider by using our innovative ingredients to create applications and finished concepts; partnering with you to develop or refine new formulations and line extensions; and offering marketing support to further strengthen our partnership with you. Contact us to advance your business to the next level. Exotic fruit ingredients Brothers International Food


Functional Ingredient Chemi Nutra

SUPPLIER & SERVICES LISTINGS We Make Your Packaging Work Closure Systems International

Closure Systems International Inc (CSI) is a global leader in designing and manufacturing innovative closures for a wide range of applications in consumer and industrial markets. In addition to high-quality closures and capping equipment, CSI provides unparalleled customer and technical services for high-speed application systems. Major categories served include carbonated soft drinks, bottled water, juices, isotonics, teas, adult beverages, dairy, foods, pharmaceutical, and automotive fluids. CSI’s cutting-edge closure solutions help customers maximize profits by increasing the marketability of their brands and optimizing their total cost of operations. From reducing the impact of manufacturing operations to an industry-leading suite of sustainable closure profiles, CSI’s sustainability expertise and sustainable product offerings ensure customers stay on top of market trends and consumer demands. CSI is headquartered in Indianapolis, IN, and produces 50+ billion closures annually across its 9 manufacturing sites. Co-packers you can count on! CMC Beverage Solutions

Looking for Predictable and Reliable line time? CMC Beverage Solutions is so confident in our ability to run your beverage on time that we offer a BOLD ‘Line Time’ Guarantee*. Go to cmcbev. com/dependable to find out more. Bringing a beverage to life is not easy. Working with your co-packer should be EASY. At CMC Beverage Solutions our goal is to make the process EASY. CMC is located in Athens, GA just outside Atlanta, the transportation hub of the south, which makes southeastern distribution EASY (are you starting to see a theme here?). Capabilities: CMC offers RO water, tunnel pasteurization, post fill sleeving, variety packs, nitro dosing, and warehousing. We run 12 oz sleeks and standards, 16 oz, 250 and 200 ml with 200 ends. Product capabilities include: still and sparkling water, energy drinks, juices, functional and adaptogenic beverages, distilled spirits RTDs, malt beverages, nitro, and CBD. We are experts in the CBD canning and mixing process. We’re partnered with a lab for onsite CBD testing and formulation. Organic and Kosher certified. CANS! WE’VE GOT CANS! We have a steady supply of 12 oz sleeks. Go to to find out more, get a quote, set up an appointment, ask more questions, or just tell us a great story. It’s EASY, just the way it should be. Go to or reach out to us at 94 BEVNET MAGAZINE – MARCH/APRIL 2021

Canning Line Equipment CODI Manufacturing

Secondary Packaging Equipment Douglas Machine Inc

Codi Manufacturing is the proud producer of complete canning systems for craft beverage producers. We are your sole source for Depalletizers, Conveying, Counter Pressure Fillers, Labelers, PakTech Applicators, Pasteurizers, and a variety of other equipment to package your beverage in cans. Our Counter Pressure Filler offers accurate fill volumes, low oxygen absorption, and operational flexibility.

For 55+ years, Douglas has provided customers with high quality automated packaging solutions for paperboard, corrugated and shrink film. We specialize in the design and manufacture of case and tray packers, shrink wrap systems, cartoners, sleevers, variety pack systems and palletizers. Based in Alexandria, Minnesota, USA, Douglas is a 100% employee-owned company. Employee Owned, Customer Driven.

Speciality Hydrocolloids CP Kelco

Labels & Sleeved Cans DWS Printing Associates, Inc.

At CP Kelco, we unlock nature-powered success by applying ingredient innovation and problemsolving for food and beverage manufacturers around the world. With nature-based ingredients like pectin, carrageenan, xanthan gum, gellan gum, cellulose gum and now citrus fiber, we help you create products that engage, delight and reassure your customers.

Established in 1865, DWS is a 5th-generation family-owned and operated label printing and can-sleeving operation. Capabilities include Shrink Sleeves, Pressure Sensitive, Cut-&-Stack and Roll-Fed labels, and in-house Can-Sleeving. DWS is based in Long Island, New York and recently opened a new printing and can-sleeving facility in Austin, Texas. #TOMSTRONG

Probiotic Ingredients Deerland Probiotics & Enzymes

SUPPLIER & SERVICES LISTINGS Craft a Better Brewery Deutsche Beverage Technology

Extraction to Cold Brew Deutsche Process

Clean Label Ingredients Farbest Brands

Custom Beverage Development Flavorman

Farbest Brands can help you meet the demand for clean-label ingredients with a full range of high-quality dairy and plant proteins, gum acacia, vitamins, sweeteners, natural colors, as well as USDA-certified organic, and NON-GMO Project Verified ingredients No matter your budget, application, or label claim we can guide you to the ingredients that are right for you.

The Beverage Architects at Flavorman are ready to formulate your custom beverage. With nearly 30 years of technical expertise in beverage development, Flavorman can craft your beverage from the ground up and make it as flavorful as it is functional. Benefit from value-added services and resources designed for your success. Partner with the best in business. Change what the world is drinking.

Custom Flavor Development Flavor Dynamics, Inc.

FONA Flavor & Taste Solutions FONA International

We are the perfect choice for your beverage flavors. Our experienced team is guided by a commitment to creating innovative, superior quality products. Our "AA" BRC audit grade represents our commitment to food safety and quality assurance. Ask us for your clean label requirements, including Organic, Non GMO, Natural, Gluten free and Vegan. Our team is up to the challenge. Call us today.

Consumers want it all today and expect their beverages to do more for them. You’re balancing the demands of great taste, regulatory hurdles and consumer acceptance. The experts at FONA can help. From ideation to launch, we can create a seamless, winning path for you. We are FONA. Let us bring the best taste solutions to the table for you.

Custom Flavor Solutions Foodarom

We personalize flavor solutions to meet your needs and create flavor profiles that help your products to stand out above the rest. Our experienced team knows the functional beverage market and understands the impact your active ingredients have on taste. Our flavor development capabilities will help you stay ahead of the competition. We understand the complex issues manufacturers are facing and we offer support and coaching in formulation development. OUR JOB IS TO MAKE YOUR PRODUCT TASTE LIKE HEAVEN!


SUPPLIER & SERVICES LISTINGS Decorative Labels & Packaging Fort Dearborn Company

Prickly Pear Cactus Ingredient GAIA fruits

We’ve got you covered. Fort Dearborn Company offers shrink sleeve, stretch sleeve, pressure sensitive, roll-fed, in-mold and cut & stack labels, flexible packaging and promotional printing in a variety of substrates, inks and finishing options to support your beverage brand building objectives. We service brands large and small. Contact us today to discuss your application.

Prickly Pear strengthens the Immune System. It is been attributed with healing properties since it is rich in Bioflavonoids that have strong antioxidant properties and give this fruit its distinctive bright red-violet color, and help the body detoxify and reduce inflammation. GAIA fruits is your trusted supplier of prickly pear puree and concentrate as a functional ingredient to your beverage.

Coconut Ingredients Franklin Baker, Inc.

HOP FLAVOR - not just for beer Glacier Hops Ranch, Inc

Wellness in a Bottle Givaudan Taste & Wellbeing

As the global leader in taste and wellbeing, Givaudan recognizes that consumer interest in functional healthy beverages has never been greater. Heart health, immunity support and energy are some of the most desired wellness benefits that consumers seek in beverage products of all categories. By partnering with us to co-create your next functional beverage innovation, you have access to our vast array of clinical research and product expertise to help meet your consumer’s needs - including taste, natural colors and botanical ingredients for wellness. Franklin Baker, Inc. is the largest processor of coconut ingredients in the Philippines and the premier supplier to the global beverage & food market. Our extensive portfolio of coconut products including Coconut Water, Coconut Milk/ Cream, Coconut Concentrate, Creamed Coconut for your applications needs. Our extensive thirdparty certifications are unrivaled to the highest product standards.

Think you know the flavor of hops? If you think hops taste like beer, think again. Hopzoil is a refreshing flavor category that ranges from tropical fruit to freshly sliced grapefruit, piney/ resiny, tangerine, herbal spiciness and more. Extracted from fresh hops when ripe on the farm, these steam-distilled hop extracts are available in formats ranging from PURE to water-soluble MAJIK and HAZY.

Coffeeberry® Natural Caffeine FutureCeuticals


From traditional infusions to clinically researched extracts, our botanical ingredients deliver clear benefits and high performance in beverage applications. This includes, but is not limited to, enhanced waters, sports & energy drinks, juices, ready-to-drink-teas and coffees, and dairy & plant-based drinks. Visit to learn more about our expertise in functional beverages. While there, be sure to check out our Wellness in a Bottle webinar or listen to one of our many podcasts. Together, let’s shape the future of food. Natural Color Solutions GNT USA Inc.

Ingredients & Processing Aids Hydrite Chemical Co.

EXBERRY® by GNT is the leading brand of natural food coloring for the food and beverage industry. EXBERRY® colors are derived solely from fruits, vegetables, and edible plants through a process of chopping, pressing, filtering and blending. EXBERRY® products can be applied to a range of beverage categories including enhanced waters, carbonated soft drinks, dairy, and plant-based milks.

Hydrite offers expertise in manufacturing/ distribution, offering a variety of liquid and dry food/beverage ingredients, food/beverage plant sanitation, processing aids, commodities, foam control and water treatment chemistries. Hydrite provides creative solutions by offering an extensive product line coupled with technical support to address food safety and help maximize efficiency and quality.

Sales & Merchandising Service Ground Up Group

Custom Ingredient Blend Mfr IFPC

Ground Up Group is a sales & merchandising agency bringing natural brands to market in New York City, Southern California, & New England. We open new retail grocery locations, ensure shelves are well stocked, & develop additional store level points of distribution. Excellent store level execution, consistent communication with our brand partners, & team building are highly valued in our culture.

Over the last two generations, our family-owned company has grown from a sugar supplier to a one-stop ingredient shop. IFPC partners with beverage manufacturers across the country supplying quality ingredients, creating custom solutions, & providing expert advice. Our goal is to help you create the best products for your customers to ensure your business is successful.

SUPPLIER & SERVICES LISTINGS Aseptic Packaging GoodWest Industries

Portable Equipment to Promote Iowa Rotocast Plastics

Damn Good Bulk Japanese Matcha

IRP Inc. founded in 1986, is your trusted domestic supplier for a wide array of portable food and beverage equipment for POS promotion and event concessions. All rotomolded units and fabricated concessionaire equipment are made in the USA. IRP products can be seen in professional sporting arenas & stadiums in all 50 states, as well as convenience stores, grocers, restaurants, bars, and resorts.

Legendary ‘O.G.’ health guru Dr. Andrew Weil co-founded MATCHA.COM from a love for true traditional Japanese matcha. After tasting the unparalleled quality of Uji-Matcha, he was determined to set the bar higher for bulk matcha. We’ve tasted the rest, now taste the best! Dollar for dollar, grade for grade, you won’t find better bulk matcha. Industry-leading price and quality from a trusted source!

Mobile Canning Solutions Iron Heart Canning Co

Branding & Packaging Design McLean Design

IHC is your solution to guide you through the canning process! With over 250 MILLION cans filled to date, IHC offers unmatched Experience and Expertise. We service the Eastern US and deliver Quality you can count on – Guaranteed seams, All beverage types, All can sizes, Materials sourcing, & Co-Packaging Partners – whatever your situation we can get your product canned. IHC is your one stop shop!

Understanding our clients, their markets, their unique needs, and most importantly, their consumers’ subconscious desires, allows us to create truly compelling brands and packaging engineered to enrich consumers’ lives. We’ve driven over $60 Billion in revenue with businesses of all sizes. We are a team of highly-trained specialists united by the common compulsion to create triumphant brands.

GoodWest is a nationally recognized supplier of low-acid aseptic products including premium cold brew coffees, dairy, non-dairy and plant-based beverages. We specialize in bag-in-box applications including SIOC, tap boxes and dispenser box solutions. We are an SQF, Organic and Kosher certified facility. We offer formulation assistance and staff an R&D facility with pilot plant capabilities.

Master Crafted Culinary Matcha Ikeda Matcha

Clean & Natural Protection Lanxess Corporation

Looking to safeguard the quality and shelf-life of your beverage? LANXESS Corporation offers two unique and innovative technologies, Velcorin® and Nagardo®, that provide microbiological protection in a wide variety of beverages. Velcorin® (Dimethyl Dicarbonate) is a cold sterilization agent that kills microorganisms during production, resulting in cleaner and more stable beverages. Benefits of Velcorin® include: • No impact on sensory profile • Clean label solution • Compatibility with all types of common packaging • Cost-effective • Application-specific advice and services from Velcorin® team Unmatched Quality & Expertise Ikeda specializes in master-crafted Bulk Culinary Matcha by combining traditional farming, state-of-the-art manufacturing technology, and generations of knowledge. Our unmatched quality and expertise make Ikeda’s organic and non-organic matcha an umami, versatile, and nutritious option for beverages, supplement mixes and food. Our farms are in the fertile, volcanic soil of Kagoshima, Japan’s largest organic farming region. Each large-scale production run is curated by our 10th degree Chashi (Tea Master), who comes from generations of tea sommeliers and holds the highest designation of craftsmanship in tea. Matcha’s potential health benefits include EGCG catechins (antioxidants), stress-reducing L-theanine, caffeine without the jitters, and detoxing chlorophyll. Call us for info and a sample.

Nagardo® (Dacryopinax Spathularia) is a natural guardian that protects against beverage spoilage to secure and prolong shelf life. Benefits of Nagardo® include: • Achieve natural & consumer friendly claims • Efficient control of a broad range of spoilage organisms • No impact on sensory profile • Broad application in a variety of beverages • Easy integration into production process • Application-specific advice and services from Nagardo® team LANXESS Corporation hopes to conveniently meet all of your microbiological protection needs with our widely applicable technologies and services. For more information on Velcorin®, please visit For more information on Nagardo®, please visit 97


Monk fruit allows you to create great tasting, innovative products with significantly less sugar and calories - all from the goodness of fruit! Monk Fruit Corp. is the recognized industry leader, with the best quality and widest variety of monk fruit products and the majority share of the global monk fruit market (more than 3X our nearest competitor). Looking for monk fruit? Trust the monk.™

Achieve Your Sugar Reduction Goals Using De-Sugared 100% Fruit NewTree Fruit Company

Clean Label & Clincally Tested Natural Remedies

Using De-Sugared 100% Fruit as an ingredient maximizes nutrient density and achieves a zerosugar label. Our patented and commercialized culturing method delivers natural flavors and brilliant colors. In liquid or dry form for flexible application.

Flavor Manufacturer Mother Murphy's Flavors

Contract Manufacturer NOR-CAL BEVERAGE CO

Mother Murphy's is a full service flavor manufacturer dedicated to supporting customer needs through quality and flavor innovation. At Mother Murphy's we specialize in flavor and prototype development for the beverage and snack industries and have over 60,000 flavors in our portfolio. We have made the world taste better for 75 years!

Nor-Cal Beverage Company, Inc. is a full-service Contract Manufacturer with two production facilities in Northern and Southern California. Both locations offer a range of production capabilities and certifications. We also offer finished goods and distribution service centers positioned to supply West Coast fulfillment needs. Family owned / operated since 1937 and a Women's Owned Business.

Functional and Nutritional MORRE-TEC Industries, Inc.

MORRE-TEC Industries is a multifaceted manufacturer and supplier of ingredients to the pharma and cosmetic industries since 1987. Vitacyclix a division of MORRE-TEC Industries, formulates and manufactures a variety of unique water-soluble dry powders and liquid emulsions for the fortification of all types of beverages. Our products range from water soluble vitamins A, D and E, in both powder and liquid forms. We also have a full selection of vitamins, minerals, bioflavonoids, and protein, as well as vegan and kosher options, that can be customized to your specific needs.


Sustainable Packaging Handles PakTech


Continuous Inline Blending Statco-DSI Process Systems

Specializing in frozen & refrigerated pick & pack eCommerce order fulfillment. With warehouses in Ohio and California, we ship to 93% of the US with 2 Day Ground FedEx. Shipping D2C and small batch B2B (e.g 3-6 cases), we can help you reach your customers economically and eco-friendly.

Statco-DSI is the industry leader for continuous inline blending. We have experience blending carbonated soft drinks, bottled water, beer, alcoholic beverages, any application of 2 or more liquid streams, all with precise and repeatable outcomes. Whether it’s flavoring/aromatics, THC/CBD, sweeteners, vitamins, cleansers or lotions, Statco-DSI’s BlenZer has blended it.

Ideal Flax for Beverages Pizzey Ingredients

Fruit & Vegetable Ingredients Stiebs

Beverage Systems & Technology Techniblend

TechniBlend is a leading supplier of beverage processing equipment & systems utilizing cutting edge technology, innovative components & optimal design features for the beverage industry. With over 150-years of combined experience, TechniBlend continues to develop new & innovative technologies aimed to deliver beverage producers quicker changeovers, greater flexibility, higher yield & improved product quality while producing a great rate of return on investment. TechniBlend offers a variety of beverage blending & processing solutions designed to meet a wide range of throughput requirements. Our multi-stream blenders perfectly blend high to low beverage ratios including target brix, TA or other beverage parameters perfect for functional beverages, vitamin waters, and soft drinks.

Pizzey Ingredients’ BevPur™ Flax enhances beverages with the nutritional benefits of flaxseed while providing a smooth and rich texture. BevPur™ has a guaranteed shelf life of two years and is available in organic and conventional varieties (both are non-GMO and pesticide-free). BevPur™ is ideal for a variety of ready to mix and ready to drink beverages.

Stiebs, since 2005, has been devoted to sourcing, processing & delivering the world's finest plantbased products. We offer a full line of fruit & vegetable based ingredients as single strength juice, juice concentrate, purees, extracts & powders. From the beginning stages of product development to delivering an on-going supply of premium natural products, our team is here to help you succeed.

We provide Membrane Spray Diffusion and Nitro Deaeration technology for water, beverage ingredients, and finished products. Our full range of LoDO (Low Dissolved Oxygen) Deaeration technology is improving the beverage manufacturing process resulting in packaged DO of < 0.2ppm.

Filling and Closing Solutions Pneumatic Scale Angelus

Balancing Taste & Performance Synergy Flavors, Inc

Clean, Plant-Based Ingredients Top Health Ingredients, Inc.

Since 1895, Pneumatic Scale Angelus has designed and manufactured packaging equipment for filling, seaming, capping, and labeling applications. Our solutions set the standard for bottling and canning machines, scaled for the specific needs of a wide range of Beverage, Craft Beverage, Dairy, Food, and Pharmaceutical applications, and are fully supported by a global Service and Aftermarket network.

Synergy Flavors® is a global supplier of sweet flavors, vanilla, coffee, tea, and botanical essences and extracts. With more than 130 years of expertise and understanding of end-product development, Synergy blends art, science and market insights to create an array of exceptional taste profiles that strike the perfect balance of taste and performance for the functional beverage industry

Beverage & Food Development PTM Food

Award-Winning Package Design Watermark Design

PTM Food is your premier product development & manufacturing support firm. Our wide range of expertise, development, and creativity achieves an exciting point of difference between your product and competitors. We work hard to uncover key industry insights, developing products that have a competitive edge. Whether your project is simple or a complex one, we’re your team!

Watermark has been helping start up and established companies develop successful branding & package design since 2007. We offer exceptional artistry, experience and expertise. From developing your logo to your package and beyond into your marketing collateral, we can help you design an effective and exciting brand.


Our full range of beverage processing systems & solutions also include ProCarb inline carbonation & nitrogenation, CIP On-Demand, FLashPAS Flash Pasteurization, ABV blending & proofing, fully automated batch processes, and more. Our products, services, and technologies are worldclass solutions & guarantee you outstanding results.

Your Beverage Can Solution Co. West Coast Container, Inc.

For 25 years, WCC has been delivering competitively priced packaging solutions to customers large and small, while providing exceptional customer service. We have printed or brite aluminum cans, along with glass, plastic and closure solutions to meet your packaging needs. Delivery options include full truckloads or purchasing pallet quantities from our convenient warehouse network. Call us, today. Co-Pack and Can Supplier Wild Leaf Beverage

Wild Leaf Beverage is a world-class class co-packing and co-manufacturing company that specializes in both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, ready-to-drink beverages. With locations in Baltimore, Sacramento and Las Vegas, we can help you scale your production and package your beverage in aluminum cans of any size.








A. Holliday & Company Inc.

Christine Renken



(416) 225-2217




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Abelei Flavors

Eric Zabin



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Thomas Angel



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Gustavo Nader

Santa Monica


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Jackson Zapp



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Mike McCarney



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New Jersey


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Kyle Kulhanek



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Los Angeles


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Ham Lake


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Key Biscayne


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Doug Gellman



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Santa Barbara


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Colton Horn



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Ellie Hughes



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New York


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Tyler Hartmann



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Katrina Picon

Los Angeles


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Jolene Jacobs

Commerce City


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Cardiff by the Sea


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Andrew Silanskas



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Chase Hagerman



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Chr. Hansen

David Spector

Los Angeles


(267) 549-3294

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Chad Peffer



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Clear/Cut Phocus

Nick Walter



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Closure Systems International

Clint Rush



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CMC Beverage Solutions

Mark Rosenberger



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Andrew Ferguson



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CP Kelco Danone Waters of America De La Calle Deerland Probiotics & Enzymes Defiance Fuel Deutsche Beverage Technology 102 BEVNET MAGAZINE – MARCH/APRIL 2021

Cristina McGuire



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De La Calle

Los Angeles


(810) 569-8289

Leanne Levy



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Brian Burgdorf



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Deutsche Process

Tyler Marriott



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Discoe Beverages

Justin Discoe



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Doctor D's Sparkling Probiotic




Susan Dimson



(303) 775-0064

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Drink ZYN

Andrea Khan



(414) 745-6713




(510) 822-9027

Andy Staib

Deer Park


(516) 769-1907




(844) 426-2958

Essentia Water

Kazumi Mechling



(425) 402-9555

Evolution Fresh

Christina Larigan



(206) 318-7609

Farbest Brands

Cheryl Pasiut

Park Ridge


(201) 573-4900

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South Plainfield


(908) 822-8855

Phil Icsman



(502) 289-5549

Douglas Machine Inc

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Flavor Dynamics, Inc. Flavorman Flow Hydration




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John Fishel



(630) 578-8638


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Salt Lake City


(801) 975-2604

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Gwen Chapdelaine



(847) 427-5405

John Slade



(901) 881-6681

Ryan Wories



(888) 452-6853

Roberto Garfias

San Luis Potosí



Melissa Woodside



(415) 265-0666

Tom Britz



(406) 862-4677

Jeannette O'Brien



(914) 524-0600

Go Fast Sports & Beverage CO

Larry Brown

Wheat ridge


(720) 212-5872

GoodWest Industries

John Ludwig



(602) 531-5158

Ground Up Group Hairless Dog Brewing Company Hana Tonic, LLC

Jesse Silver

Los Angeles


(203) 524-2254

Jeff Hollander



(612) 799-1043

Renee Louis-Charles



(877) 385-7885

Happy Moose

Ryan Armistead

San Francisco


(704) 876-8909

Harmless Harvest

Gillian Goulart



(973) 769-7616

Hawaii Volcanic Beverages

Jason Donovan



(808) 639-9394

Rusty Jones



(217) 361-4756

hellowater® High Brew Coffee

Miles Aghajanian



(512) 853-9696


George Youmans

Santa Monica


(805) 390-9290


Lily Badger

Los Angeles


(202) 550-0735


Hodding Hall



(614) 551-3441





Recover 180 HUMANITEA Company

Joe Garza



(195) 196-6943

Humblemaker Coffee Co.

Chris Smith

Seal Beach


(562) 250-4111

Hydrite Chemical Co.

Jeff McShane



(262) 792-1450

HyEdge, Inc.

Steve Torres

New York


(347) 416-0776

Reza Mirza

Los Angeles


(424) 201-6800


Icelandic Glacial

Renee Famula

St. Louis


(800) 227-8427

Ikeda Matcha

Leslie Crumpler

Huntington Beach


(714) 907-4227


Dr. Amy Czyz



(602) 405-4420

Iovate Health Sciences

Dan Grasso



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Jeremy Olsgard



(563) 382-9636

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Roger Kissling - VP Sales



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(707) 327-6413


Lori Robinson



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Shanna Pagan



(585) 218-0022

ITO EN (North America) INC.

Angela Zeng

St Louis



Kaylee's Culture

Karuna Beverages

Kaylee McLaughlin

San Diego


(619) 987-0935


Time To Unwind Inc.





Chris Pruneda



(817) 996-5333


Julio Hernandez



(210) 323-1979


Alan Cohen




Kona Gold

Robert Clark



(321) 289-0631


Robert Clark



(321) 289-0631

Kona Gold LLC

Bill Stineman



(414) 550-9119

Lanxess Corporation

Michael Turpin



(817) 357-5851

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Scott Schaible



(720) 795-5547

Sandra Lee



(203) 650-0486

Living Juice Love Beets MaKa Superfood McLean Design Medicinal Cannabis of America





Brian Hill



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Walnut Creek


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Lane Goggin



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Tara Thompson



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St. Petersburg


(727) 470-0365

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Michael Oden



(336) 273-1737

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Jessica Qussar



(124) 888-4234

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Natural Remedies

Abey Thomas




Kimberly Anderson



(920) 366-9024

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West Sacramento


(916) 372-0600

Nuun Hydration

Tyler Smith

North Bend


(206) 219-9237

NewTree Fruit Company Nexus Energy Drinks

NXT Water Oaza Beverages, Inc. Oh Hi Beverages Inc.

Todd Waks

Las Vegas


(310) 422-1537

Jeff Burbank

Forest Hills


(585) 370-2772

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(970) 426-4660


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(949) 525-3698

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Jean Terminiello



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David Stroud



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Mary Ekman



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Gigi Lorence



(330) 923-0491

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John Wahl

New York


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Wall Township


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New York


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(949) 274-2211

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New York


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(201) 358-9000

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Erin Mand



(310) 713-9184


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(201) 540-9868

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Leah Adair



(415) 871-7365

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Melissa Kalimov



(909) 762-0513

Rowdy Energy

David Martin

San Diego


(877) 467-6939

Rowdy Mermaid

Sheila Rosen




Hilary Long



(618) 835-2536

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(828) 273-1352

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Santa Monica


(973) 714-3960

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Erin Gordon



(608) 279-2947

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Josh Ahadian



(508) 662-8999

Kimberly Allardyce



(413) 213-6700

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Los Angeles


(213) 293-8768

Spakling Botanicals- Customer Service



(877) 552-7977

Remedy Organics

Sarah's Homegrown Sarilla Sparkling Beverage SEVEN

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Brian Choi

South San Francisco


(650) 666-7777


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Newport Beach


(646) 345-5913

Statco-DSI Process Systems

Randy Smith

Huntington Beach


(714) 375-6300


Rachel Lurz





Brian Nova



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Chris Ricco



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Marina del Rey


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Derek Deubel



(262) 484-4090

George Sandrini

Boca Raton


(678) 438-9341

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(714) 306-5263

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Los Angeles


(818) 271-9171

Kelly Rourke



(813) 233-6278

Brittany DeMarco



(780) 439-1425

True Nopal Ventures LLC

Tom Zummo



(480) 636-8044

Ultima Health Products, Inc

Loretta Reilly



(914) 907-2245

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Glen Garrity



(352) 394-8737

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(734) 277-4063

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Darcey Lacy



(434) 295-5625

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San Marcos


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(310) 738-9894

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Bill Hazelwood



(928) 634-5434

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Maja Sponring

New York


(212) 594-3080


Adam Rosenfeld

Los Angeles



ZenWTR Alkaline Water

Jessica Qussar



(248) 884-2345




(310) 202-7000

Wild Leaf Beverage





BODYARMOR to Hydrate The Girls Academy As Official Sponsor

The Girls Academy (GA) announced in March that BODYARMOR Sports Drink will serve as the league’s first-ever Official Hydration partner for its inaugural 2020-2021 season. As part of the agreement, BODYARMOR will have a distinct presence at GA-sanctioned showcase events and the GA Talent ID events for the remaining 2020-2021 season. GA and BODYARMOR will collaborate on monthly social media campaign activations to deliver hydration tips to all members, while providing hydration products for players and coaches on and off the field. In addition, the BODYARMOR logo will be featured on coolers, table skirts, and squirt bottles on the GA sidelines throughout the season. In honor of International Women’s Day and to celebrate this partnership announcement, BODYARMOR hosted an Instagram Live session on March 8 featuring the founder of fitness lifestyle brand Love Squad, Ally Love, alongside Olympic gold medalist and two-time Women’s World Cup champion for the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team, Me-

gan Rapinoe (a partner of the brand since 2018). “Not only is BODYARMOR an impressive brand represented by inspiring and talented partners, the premium, better-for-you sports drink is one that we will be proud to provide our players at the height of their competitions,” said Ashlee Fontes-Comber, GA Board of Directors Commercial Lead. “A partnership with the Girls Academy — the only all-girls elite soccer development platform in the country — creates a one-of-a-kind opportunity for BODYARMOR to play a pivotal role in the hydration demands at GA showcase events for the best female youth athletes in the world.” The new agreement further increases the visibility of BODYARMOR and builds upon its existing foundation within the larger soccer community. In 2019, BODYARMOR was announced as the Official Sports Drink of Major League Soccer. “The Girls Academy is the gold-standard for development of girls soccer in the United States, and we couldn’t be more excited to partner with them as BODYARMOR continues to expand our footprint within the sports community,” said Michael Fedele, VP of Marketing at BODYARMOR. “As a go-to option for those in need of hydration, we’re thrilled to be able to provide better-for-you options to the future generation of female soccer stars both on and off the pitch.” The partnership with BODYARMOR Sports Drink is the first official collaboration between the GA and Soccer United Marketing (SUM). The GA is the only all-girls national youth soccer platform in the United States. The season kicked off in August with showcase and Talent ID events began in the spring.

BIOLYTE Partners with American Junior Golf Association Hydration beverage maker BIOLYTE – the “IV in a bottle” – will become the Preferred Hydration Drink of the Southeast of the American Junior Golf Association (AJGA), the association announced in March. Founded by Atlanta-based anesthesiologist Luther Rollins, one bottle of BIOLYTE is intended to provide the same amount of electrolytes as IV rehydration therapy (seven times more than other leading sports drinks and with only one-third of the sugar) plus natural ingredients that boost energy, ease stomach illness and reduce muscle cramps – helping consumers feel better on and off the golf course. “The AJGA prides itself on providing the best quality junior golf tournaments and partnering with the highest quality products,” said AJGA chief business officer Jason Etzen. “BIOLYTE fits perfectly into that philosophy. We are excited to be able to provide this incredible product with our junior golfers in events across many southern states.” As the Preferred Hydration Drink of Southeast AJGA events, BIOLYTE will provide product to more than 40 events over the


course of the three-year deal across Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and South Carolina. “We are extremely excited to be partnering with the American Junior Golf Association,” said BIOLYTE partnerships and outreach manager Hunter Bremer. “I grew up playing AJGA tournaments all over the country and was always very impressed with how well run the organization was across all levels. One of the things that stuck out to me when I played AJGA tournaments was their emphasis on hydration. Golfers sometimes forgot how strenuous the game can be on our bodies. Our goal at BIOLYTE is to help people feel better, and we can’t wait to help junior golfers across the southeast stay hydrated while performing at the highest level.”

The BIG3 Announces Monster As Official Energy Drink Partner Monster Energy was announced in February as the official energy drink of the BIG3, a pro basketball league founded by hip hop musician and actor Ice Cube and entertainment executive Jeff Kwatinetz. As the BIG3 prepares to return for its fourth season, fans will notice a series of enhancements to the league thanks to this new partnership with Monster Energy. This is the BIG3’s first partnership in the energy drink category. Key features of the partnership include a weekly “Monster Moment” highlighting, across broadcast partners and owned social channels, the most impressive play in the BIG3 slate of games. Monster Energy branding will also be visible both on and off the court and BIG3 players and coaches will be featured in Monster Energy point of sale promotions at key Monster Energy retailers across the country. “This partnership has been in the works for a long time and we’re thrilled to see it come to fruition as we’re gearing up to bring the fire this summer,” said BIG3 co-founders Ice Cube and Kwatinetz. “We see this as the perfect partner for our league – we are huge fans of Monster Energy and the work they’ve done in sports and entertainment.” “Monster Energy is the ideal partner for our league as

we prepare to bring the excitement of the Big3 back to the fans this summer,” said BIG3 CEO Chris Hannan. “Their cutting-edge brand aligns perfectly with the BIG3’s innovative vision and commitment to the sport. We know our fans will love the “Monster Moment” each week!” BIG3 is the official creator of the new global sport, FIREBALL3 and is returning for its fourth season this summer with a list of new enhancements. Known as a ground-breaking league that focuses on innovation, BIG3 implemented notable rules during its 2019 season which included lowering the minimum age of athletes from 27 to 22, opening the league to all nonprofessional and professional athletes that want to try out, and a first of its kind “Bring the Fire” rule that allows teams one challenge per half resulting in an ingame one-on-one. “Monster Energy is excited to be part of BIG3 basketball with its intensity and passion for providing an exciting live experience,” said Monster Energy’s CMO Dan McHugh. “It is the perfect alignment of two unconventional brands, and we look forward to working with the BIG3 team on programs that bring this sponsorship to life.”

BRÈINFÚEL Partners with Pro Poker Players Phill Hellmuth, Jonathan Little and Jeff Gross

is regarded by many as the best poker player in the world. Hellmuth holds the world record for most cash finishes at WSOP and most WSOP final tables. In 1989, a 24-year-old Hellmuth became the youngest WSOP Main Event champion in history at the time and in 2012 became the only WSOP Main Event champion to also win the WSOP Europe Main Event. Known for his competitive nature and boisterous personality, Hellmuth has become affectionately known as “The Poker Brat”. “Dr. Horn created Breinfuel to get himself through back-to-back eye surgeries,” Little said. “That origin story resonated with me. Not to equivalate poker to medicine, but the required calculations, laser focus and precision are shared between the two. Poker players are continuously gathering, imputing and crunching data over the course of a 12-hour day. That requires a tremendous amount of sustained energy. Simply put, Breinfuel makes it easier.” In his biggest single live tournament to date at the World Poker Tour (WPT) Foxwoods World Poker Finals, Little beat a field of 412 players, earning a $1.12 million victory. In an equally impressive performance, Little took home $1.066 million, winning the WPT Mirage Poker Showdown in 2007-2008. He is also the creator of, a leading Poker education platform where he offers valuable tips and lessons to poker players ranging from novice to rising stars. A lifelong board game and video games fanatic, Jeff Gross launched his poker career in college and was immediately drawn to the challenge of using his strategic mind to make real money. Gross has finished top two in the invite-only Premiere League Season VII with close calls for major tournament wins. He also won 2nd place in the WSOP and now primarily focuses on cash games.

BRÈINFÚEL (Breinfuel) – a functional, better-for-you cerebral beverage – is partnering with celebrated poker players Phil Hellmuth, Jonathan Little and Jeff Gross to cement itself as the performance beverage of choice in the world of poker. Within the partnership, each poker player will leverage their unique influence to share Breinfuel’s attributes with the masses throughout 2021 and beyond. “Hellmuth, Little and Gross are each masters of their craft. We couldn’t think of anyone better to spotlight and underscore the cognitive benefits of Breinfuel,” said Breinfuel founder Dr. Gerald Horn. “Too often, performance products focus only on physical endurance, when really stamina is rooted in the brain. The greatest poker strategy is only made better with increased and sustained focus.” Throughout the partnership, Hellmuth, Little and Gross will tout Breinfuel’s premium formulation and the four ingredient blends it contains – The Caffeine Blend, The Fuel Blend, The Brain-Booster Blend and The Antioxidant Blend. Players are incorporating Breinfuel in their training, while sharing ingredient profiles, efficacy and results with their followers. “I’ve won a lot of money playing with Breinfuel and the even caffeine spread over 10 hours is amazing,” Hellmuth said. “Breinfuel incorporates a thoughtful, functional and strategic formulation. It’s perfect for poker players, and perfect if you need to stay stable. Although I am the Poker Brat.” A 15-time World Series Poker (WSOP) champion, Phil Hellmuth


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