BevNET Magazine July/August 2021

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Contents / July – August 2021 / Volume 19 / No. 4








6 First Drop Dates on Calendar

44 Iced Tea Crossing Categories to Brew Difference (with Brand News)

10 Publisher’s Toast Barry’s Happy 4th 40 Gerry’s Insights Best. Category. Ever.

54 Sports Drinks Getting Specific About Function (with Brand News)


62 Spirits Defining the RTD Conversation

12 Bevscape/NOSHscape/Brewscape New Barn, Harmless Harvest Sell; Zevia Preps for IPO


32 New Products Reed’s adds Mocktails; Kevita adds Shots

69 Natural Beverage Guide

36 Channel Check Independence and Partnership 110 Promo Parade Jagermeister and Post Malone Miss You

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Inking the Calendar It’s early July as I write this but -- I shudder to note -- the fall industry shows are appearing on the horizon. Our travel coordinator is starting to yell at me about assigning team members to cover Expo East and a late-scheduled Fancy Food Show in Manhattan, both in September, while NACS is coming around in October. Meanwhile, back at the BevNETCave, after a long haul of virtual conferences -- thanks for tuning in! -- we’re planning the lineups for the return of our own live winter event in Santa Monica. (Programming Note: Brewbound Live is happening Nov. 30 & Dec. 1; NOSH Live is Dec. 2 & 3, while BevNET Live is on Dec. 6 & 7 -- check our sites for speaker announcements, ticket info, and the usual rah-rah. We can’t wait to see you.) The return of live events by no means indicates anything is truly getting “back to normal” -- one of my favorite e-lines of the pandemic was from a LinkedIn-er who asked if there had EVER been a time brands in retail businesses could consider “normal.” But the big gears are starting to turn. To wit: New York restaurants are back in business, all Major League Baseball parks are open at full capacity, and my kids have stopped reflexively putting their masks on when we hit the beach. While we travel to industry events, schools and colleges will be in session. Traffic is back. It’s not so much a sense of getting back to things as they used to be -- especially since one of the salient takeaways of this period has been that what “things used to be” means different things for different groups of Americans, and it’s not all positive. But at least with regard to COVID-19, there’s a sense that the marketplace is in the process of moving on. Living in the shadow of risk, however, many brands faced a choice: evolve or die. So they developed habits, innovations, business patterns that have evolutionary potential. Some brands have learned to thrive in the last 18 months in a variety of arenas: many went online via direct to consumer or specialized e-marketplaces like Thrive; some developed different form factors -- powders, bag-in-box; others zeroed in on diet specialization, particularly around ketogenic diets. But like a heat-loving plant that endures a rainy season, although they survived the storm by drawing on unfamiliar resources, it’s not clear what the stress did to the rootstock. Which of these changes will linger as evolution? I’d say it will take the next 18 months to truly see the marketplace unwind the effects of the past 18 months. We know the overall economy is picking back up, of course, but we also see infl ation and equipment delays, worker shortages and other shocks that can easily cut the recovery momentum from under the feet of individual companies. On the fi nancing side, it seems like we can’t stop writing about deals -- but the nature of those deals is evolving. It’s no secret that there’s a growing market for SPACs and other IPOs -- both for mature food and beverage brands and for new companies that seem to be heavily in the direct-to6 BEVNET MAGAZINE – JULY/AUGUST JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2021 2018

consumer space. But should DTC equal IPO? Are mature companies ready to go public, or are they just happening to satisfy investors? With a two-year time limit the general requirement for most SPACs to invest in an actual company, the next 18 months will either be a chorus of SPACquisitions or a string of “time’s up!” declarations. Also under scrutiny: the precarious state of the longestablished primrose path, the sale or partnership with a big strategic entity. In just the past two years, brands like Suja, Zico, ScharffenBerger, Peeled, Ballast Point and Bolthouse Farms have been sold back to the private markets from which they emerged, scraped off the balance sheet by the Big Food companies that thought they were investing in the next generation of brands. How do those companies create value for their next set of investors -- and how much brand equity is there for a comeback? After 18 months, there should be a clearer understanding as to if those brands can return to form. Other industry trends that will be clarified in the next 18 months include a reading on the ceiling for the flood of brands into the spiked seltzer category and the general direction of CBD-infused products. As regulatory agencies catch up to their pre-COVID backlog, we’ll see if these brands have to continue to pivot away from their initial core ingredient and toward other functional herbs, or if they’ll fi nally be able to get the retailers and distributors to stop backing away. For brands based in wellness, the move away from gyms and toward home exercise creates a new set of visibility challenges. CPG brands were, for the most part, much luckier than other food sectors when it came to the past 18 months -- one only needs to look at the restaurant business to see how bad it could have been. Nevertheless, survival came through clever pivots and hard work. Congratulations on not just surviving, but evolving your models and showing your worth to a community that needed nourishment and fl avor. Just be aware: normal isn’t normal. Even as the calendar fi lls, the only certainty is that each day will bring new questions. 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 was a glorious 4 for so many reasons th

Earlier this month, we celebrated the 4th of July up at my daughter’s house in the Catskills, in the tiny hamlet of Margaretville, which is, all in all, not a bad place to be. We ventured into town for a carnival and to watch the fireworks with my 29 month-old granddaughter Isabel. It was a spectacular display and watching her reaction was priceless. There was so much joy, excitement and wonderment on her face and in her eyes. With thousands of other people there taking it all in too, I truly felt that we’re almost all the way back. Since we were in the town, and then back in the city, I decided to log my annual visits to some of the many retail venues, familiar and unfamiliar, that I have used as a measuring stick to see the marketplace. Over the years I’ve gone into the same stores and spoken with the same personnel about their beverage volume, selection and any trends that they can ascertain. They are usually a pretty good barometer of where the business is headed, although sometimes they are distracted by people stealing candy. Among those I frequently canvassed were Fairway, Whole Foods, Key Foods, 7-Eleven, CVS and too many delis and bodegas to mention. This was a regular exercise for me on my walks around the city, but that too stopped with COVID. I was glad to see and chat with old faces again. 10 BEVNET MAGAZINE – JULY/AUGUST 2021

Almost all of them were cautiously optimistic that they were approaching pre-pandemic levels. The volume hasn’t fully returned, but the feeling was that it is close. Stocking the shelves and receiving deliveries in a timely manner was an issue: they said there was a shortage of drivers and in-store workers as many have opted to not return. A few said workers had been disincentivized due to extended unemployment benefits, but they were confident that when it ran out there would be many people ready to come back to the workforce. They have also returned to the store hours that were the standard prior to March 2020. This is sad for me as there are no more senior hours, which I thoroughly enjoyed. It seemed that most wanted to stock brands that were around before the pandemic hit. They were wary of taking on newer products, as they wanted the choices to be easy for their regular customers. The new selections would have to wait for the fall. Most of all there was a heightened sense of civility and appreciation between the store workers and the customers. That is a benefit that has come out of COVID, probably the only one. We’re not out of the woods yet, but we’re getting there. Go get your vaccinations!







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Ohza Closes $4M Round Led by CircleUp Ready-to-drink cocktail maker Ohza announced in June the closing of a $4 million funding round led by CircleUp Growth Partners. The financing is expected to help the brand scale nationwide as it partners with distributors such as Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits and Breakthru Beverage group. Launched in 2019, Ohza is a Boston-based RTD cocktail maker specializing in champagne-based drinks such as mimosas and bellinis. The brand is currently available in roughly 2,500 stores in 42 states, with its footprint deepest in the Northeast through retailers such as Whole Foods, Wegmans, Hannafords, Market Basket, Shaws, Roche Bros. and Star Market, in addition to a slew of independent accounts. Ohza’s product portfolio includes Classic Mimosa, Cranberry Mimosa, Mango Mimosa and Classic Bellini flavors. Each 12 oz. can contains 130-140 calories, 30% juice and have a 5% ABV. The products retail for $9.99 per 4-pack. According to founder and CEO Ryan Ayotte, the brand is now working on growing its presence across the country, with a focus on states such as California, Florida, Arizona, Washington, Indiana and Georgia. In January, Ohza brought on former Constellation Brands regional sales director Matt Giese as EVP of sales and beer industry vet Jeff Janisse as its director of national accounts. Ayotte said their combined experience in the beverage alcohol industry has helped to open doors for Ohza — including making connections to major distributors and national retail chains. “Between the two of them they’ve each had over 20 years experience in either wine, spirits or beer and both have different skill sets,” Ayotte said. “So I think that brings a lot of value to the table when we are entering these markets and really feel like we know what we’re doing despite being a young brand.” In addition to CircleUp, the round included funding from Branch Venture Group, Ruttenberg Gordon Investments, Riverside Ventures and individuals such as 10K Projects founder Elliot Grainge and existing investor Austin Rosen, founder of Electric Feel Management. CircleUp Growth Partners general partner Pat Robinson has also joined Ohza’s board of directors. Ayotte said CircleUp will be able to support Ohza through access to market data and help guide the company on hiring and budget among other strategic decisions. “[CircleUp will] really allow us to do what we do best, and that’s to create the brand, be scrappy and do things, and not try to dictate everything going on,” Ayotte said. “Same with 12 BEVNET MAGAZINE – JULY/AUGUST 2021

everyone else, too. I think they’re all really great believers in what we’re building and it’s nice to have that support when you need it.” In addition to expanding in retail, Ayotte said Ohza will also work to expand its direct-to-consumer online business and hire “proven” ecommerce brand builders. As well, some of the financing will go towards marketing and R&D initiatives, he added. The RTD cocktail category has emerged in recent years as consumers seek new and better-for-you alcohol innovations like hard seltzer and canned wine. With that, investors are beginning to pay more attention to the space. Last year, 18 RTD alcoholic beverages (including seltzers, wines and cocktails) received institutional investment totalling $31 million, Thomas Sineau, manager of consumer retail at CB Insights, told BevNET. So far, 14 brands have received investments totaling $47 million to date in 2021, including Ohza, as well as companies like canned wine maker Bev ($14 million), Two Robbers Hard Seltzer ($6 million), sparkling tequila soda Onda ($5 million) and seltzer brand Mighty Swell. Sineau noted that CB Insights’ tally of investments only includes brands that publicly announced their financing or shared their data with the firm. Sineau said that the total number of deals in this year is on track to nearly double from 2020, but noted that the size and number of investments in the category is still relatively small compared to broader food and beverage financing activity. Many of these brands are early stage and thus require smaller investments, he said. While the rise of hard seltzer brands is now beginning to point investors in the direction of RTD cocktails, most of these investments went to seltzer brands with cocktails only beginning to receive attention. Much of the growth in RTD cocktails today is coming from ecommerce sales, Sineau said. However, Ayotte believes for Ohza to grow the brand needs to build an omnichannel strategy both online and in brick-and-mortar to succeed. Ayotte said he has already seen some grocery buyers overhaul beer coolers to make more room for RTD cocktail displays (notably Market Basket). But while Ayotte envisions a marketplace where the category can eventually mirror craft beer — with dozens of highly differentiated brands all coexisting on shelf — he noted it is still difficult to secure cold box space in the bulk of stores. “On one hand, because it’s such a new category and it’s sort of a cross-section of everything, it is a challenge,” Ayotte said. “It’s not as straightforward as ‘Oh, you have an IPA, every store you’re in it goes in the IPA section.’ But I think, over time, more and more people are of the conviction that canned cocktails are here to stay.”

Danone Manifesto Ventures Acquires Majority Stake in Harmless Harvest

Danone Manifesto Ventures (DMV) announced in June that it has acquired a majority stake in premium coconut products maker Harmless Harvest. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Harmless Harvest is the first U.S. investment to become majority-owned by DMV, the venture arm of French multinational corporation Danone, the company said in a press release. In 2017, DMV led a $30 million funding round in Harmless Harvest, participating alongside Mousse Partners and AF Ventures among others. “It has been a privilege to be part of the Harmless Harvest success story over the past few years, as the company has continued to grow, innovate, and pioneer more responsible business practices,” said Laurent Marcel, CEO of Danone Manifesto Ventures, in a press release. “We are thrilled to further the partnership with a group of people who aim to be harmless to the planet and society and share our vision of a healthy and sustainable food system.” Launched in 2016, DMV primarily invests in food, beverage and food tech companies focused on health and sustainability. At the time of its initial investment, Harmless Harvest was the sixth brand added to the DMV portfolio, which includes companies such as Kona Deep, Halsa, Forager Project, Laird Superfood, HowGood and AF Ventures. Harmless Harvest was founded in 2009 by Justin Guilbert and Douglas Riboud with a line of premium organic coconut waters. In 2018, the company brought on current CEO Ben Mand and since then has expanded its product portfolio to include flavored and functional coconut waters, smoothies and coconut-based yogurt alternatives. The expanded product portfolio has also accompanied a shift in strategy. Last year, Mand told BevNET that the company is aiming to grow its footprint within existing accounts with its plant-based yogurt cups. As of October 2020, he said the brand had a roughly 90% ACV in the natural channel and was over 50% in MULO, prompting a new focus on ecommerce. Earlier this year, the company launched an Energizing Coconut Water line, with caffeine from tea, which Mand said is positioned to drive ecommerce sales. According to DMV, Harmless Harvest is expected to generate $100 million in sales this year. MULO and convenience channel data from market research firm IRI show that Harmless Harvest products classified as bottled fruit juice were up 59.6% to $14.8 million in the 52-week period ending June 13, while products categorized as “all other fruit juice” were down 0.8% to $19.6 million. The acquisition comes at a time where the coconut water category is beginning to see new growth after multiple flat years, in large part driven by All Market Incowned Vita Coco, which earlier this month became the subject of IPO rumors. In January, Zico relaunched months after it was discontinued by The Coca-Cola Company, but now faces a “slow, methodical” rebuild as it attempts to meet its past sales heights, according to founder Mark Rampolla. 13

BEVSCAPE Zevia Files for IPO In late June, sugar-free soda maker Zevia fi led for an IPO to list on the New York Stock Exchange. The California-based company has applied to list under the ticker symbol ZVIA. The company has retained Goldman Sachs & Co., Bank of America Securities and Morgan Stanley to serve as lead bookrunning managers for the proposed offering. Stephens Inc., BMO Capital Markets and Wells Fargo Securities will act as joint bookrunners. The fi ling does not state how many shares Zevia will offer and does not give an estimated public offering price. Founded in 2007, Zevia produces zero calorie soft drinks naturally sweetened with stevia. In addition to sodas, the company also produces energy drinks, iced teas, cocktail mixers, kids fruit drinks and sparkling waters. In 2010, the company was purchased by Paddy Spence, who currently serves as chairman and CEO. In March, Zevia was incorporated as a Delaware public benefit corporation and is also a certified B Corp. Speaking to BevNET, Spence said that he believes the company’s B Corp certification and focus on zero calorie beverages positions the company for the market. He noted that consumers reducing their sugar intake is a global phenomenon. “We believe that our positioning as a B Corp that’s focused on the global challenges of sugar, plastic and affordability in an important message when combined with our products and their leadership position in the channels in which they compete,” Spence said. “And so really, it’s the ability to continue our social impact mission.” Spence said that in addition to being zero sugar and sustainable through its focus on using recyclable aluminum packaging, Zevia has also benefited from being broadly affordable, noting that the brand is in the 37th percentile of price per ounce. The brand, he said, has “a really strong value structure” that appeals to a broad range of consumers. According to the filing, Zevia reported $110 million in net sales in 2020, up 29% from 2019, while gross profit grew 34% to $49.6 million. In 2010, Zevia earned just $7 million in net sales, representing a 10-year compound annual growth rate of 32%. The company reported retail dollar sales of $128 million in 2020. As of last year, Zevia was sold in 22,043 stores, up from 18,136 locations in 2018. Average retail sales per store rose to $5,789 in 2020, up from $4,204 in 2018. Zevia is outpacing the broader zero calorie CSD category, up 25% in the 52-week period ending May 16, compared to 9% growth for the category, per SPINS data shared by the company. In December, Zevia raised $200 million in a minority investment from Canadian fi rm Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), which the company planned to use to fuel a global expansion. However, Spence said that Zevia has not yet expanded outside of the U.S. and Canada. Spence also suggested that the company was considering going public, telling BevNET at the time of the investment that CDPQ supported an IPO. 14 BEVNET MAGAZINE – JULY/AUGUST 2021

In addition to the public offering, Zevia announced that it has brought on former Red Bull North America president and CMO Amy Taylor to serve as president, beginning Monday, and as a member of the board of directors. Boston Beer Company SVP of supply chain Quincy Troupe has also been added to the board of directors. Taylor previously spent two decades with Red Bull North America, including two years as president and CMO, but was fi red from the company amid controversy over its lack of a public statement in response to the murder of George Floyd in 2020. In addition to overseeing the energy drink’s marketing, Taylor has been a longtime advocate for social justice and founded Red Bull’s Inclusion and Diversity initiative as well as serving as an executive committee member for The Trevor Project. Troupe has served as SVP of supply chain at Boston Beer Company since 2016 and previously held leadership positions at Campbell Soup Company and Mars. Spence noted Troupe’s role in “nurturing” innovative product launches at Boston Beer, highlighting his work on the Twisted Tea and Truly Hard Seltzer brands. “Bringing Amy and Quincy to our board, and Amy to our leadership team, is also indicative of our commitment to this business and leverages talented experts from the bigger beverage industry,” Spence said. Zevia’s fi ling follows a number of recent public fi lings by health and wellness focused food and beverage companies, including Oatly, Flow Alkaline Spring Water, Laird Superfood and Beyond Meat. Last week, media reports suggested Vita Coco parent company All Market Inc. is currently exploring an IPO and could fi le within the next few months.

BEVSCAPE VYBES Branches Beyond CBD With Adaptogenic Elixir Line California-based VYBES has released its first line extension, a sparkling Adaptogenic Elixir that does not contain CBD. VYBES Adaptogenic Elixir is a functional sparkling beverage aimed at supporting natural anxiety relief and relaxation. The formula contains a blend of eight ingredients designed to work in harmony to “improve mood, mental clarity and the body’s immunity and vitality,” according to press materials. Those ingredients include four aimed at the mind — ashwagandha (100mg), L-theanine (50mg), rhodiola (100mg), Ltyrosine (50mg) — and four for the body — elderberry (50mg), vitamin C (250mg), zinc (25mg) and red ginseng (25mg), according to VYBES founder and CEO Jonathan Eppers. The new shelf-stable line has soft launched at retailers in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Denver in three flavors: Apricot Lemon, Pineapple Ginger and Watermelon Lime. The product is further distinguished from VYBES’ core CBD line through the use of a 11 oz. amber glass bottle with a twist-off crown cap and screen-printed label. The suggested retail price is $4.99 per unit (compared to $5.99 for the core VYBES line). Having entered the beverage business with VYBES after experiencing the benefits of CBD in his personal life, Eppers sees the launch of VYBES Adaptogenic Elixir as a way to expand the company’s reach into wellness and mental health in particular. “I’m a real big believer in functional wellness, and that’s where I see VYBES evolving as we are coming into our third year,” he said. “This is something that I always intended to do, to launch another beverage that didn’t have CBD in it, so I don’t see this as cannibalizing our CBD line but as really expanding the market of plant-derived functional wellness.” Along with protecting the integrity of the adaptogens, the apothecary-style bottle is intentionally designed to look medicinal, Eppers said. Flavor wise, the new SKUs are designed to be “light and refreshing” with a robust level of carbonation. As brands like Recess, beam, DEFY and Cloud Water have shown, introducing a non-CBD product is also a way to sidestep complex legal questions around its use as an ingredient: Despite consumer interest, the slow and uneven rollout of rules regulating the safe use of CBD as an ingredient in food and beverage products has hampered VYBES’ ability to maximize its growth potential, Eppers said. To that point, he added that the new Adaptogenic Elixir line will launch in some retail accounts in which the company’s CBD products were previously pulled from: specifically juice bars, hotels, gyms and coffee shops. However, he framed the move into non-CBD drinks as an acceleration of the company’s existing goals of bringing new consumers into the brand and category, this time with more familiar ingredients and a lower price point. Following the initial rollout, Eppers said VYBES will look to take the line from independent stores to national chain grocers such as Wegmans and Sprouts over the next 12 months. Though the drink does contain L-tyrosine, which Eppers described as boosting mental alertness and clarity, the caffeine16 BEVNET MAGAZINE – JULY/AUGUST 2021

free line is mainly centered around the theme of mental health and anti-anxiety, and is designed for anytime use rather than a specific occasion. “Some of these aren’t necessarily new ingredients but they are being used now for the first time in ways to mimic existing ingredients on the market that may have some side effects that are kind of counter to where society is going,” he said. “We just try to use ingredients that improve mental health, and I think that’s where adaptogens and cannabinoids have shown the most promise.” Like many during the pandemic, VYBES leaned into ecommerce to offset losses in brick-and-mortar retail; according to Eppers, online sales, which were 3% of the total business pre-COVID, are now at 18%. In that channel, the brand offers 6-packs and delivery within 24 hours for most customers, while its monthly subscriber base is growing at around 50% each month (around 400 total since launching in December), according to Eppers. However, he emphasized that VYBES’ primary focus is in retail. The products are currently sold in 38 states nationwide, having recently entered Colorado and Tennessee (the latter as an on-premise item with I Love Juice Bar) and launched with Atlantic Naturals in the Northeast (Maine, New Hampshire and parts of Massachusetts). VYBES is one of a growing list of beverage brands that, after emerging as buzzed-about early pioneers of the category during its boom several years back, have made the shift into non-CBD products. Meanwhile, adaptogen-boosted relaxation and mood enhancing drinks are having something of a moment themselves: see PepsiCo’s launch of two in-house developed functional CSDs, Driftwell and Soulboost, plus new innovations from Kin Euphorics and smartwater. According to an April trends report from research firm The Brightfield Group, 18% of U.S. consumers reported looking for stress reduction claims in products that they buy, while 14% reported looking for items that promote relaxation.

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Snowing In Space, Grit Coffee Merge Operations Under Bread & Table

Many food and beverage makers often look to adjacent categories for their first brand extension. However, caffeinated bar maker Verb is making a larger leap for its first foray beyond bars: EDM, which stands for Energizing Drink Mix (not electronic dance music). The new line promises consumers a jolt of energy from caffeine, not a bass drop. Verb’s expansion into drink mixes follows the close of a previously unannounced $8 million funding round earlier this year, which will support the brand’s move into energizing food and beverage products. The funding round included investment from Melitas Ventures, Valor Siren Ventures, CircleUp Growth Partners and returning investor Global Founders Capital. The latest funding round follows seed rounds in 2019 and 2018 and brings Verb’s total capital raised to date to approximately $13 million. Verb’s flagship energy bar line, first launched in 2018, recorded a 300% increase in sales last year. Verb co-founder and CEO Matt Czarnecki said the growth gave the brand confidence that there was an unmet consumer need for energy products. The company settled on drink mixes after conducting consumer research and launched its Energizing Drink Mix — in Raspberry Lemon, Mango Tangerine and Cherry Lime flavors — for $19.95 per 12-pack. The line will initially be sold direct-to-consumer via Verb’s website. “We conducted thousands of surveys and hundreds of inperson interviews with our customers and realized that this was a real need-state for lots of people and a product category that we felt we could really disrupt,” Czarnecki said. The allulose-sweetened mixes contain five grams of collagen, B vitamins and 65 grams of caffeine from organic green tea. This caffeine content, in line with its energy bar line, is relatively low compared to similar offerings from Nuun, Hydrant and Liquid I.V., which range from 80 to 100 mg. Czarnecki said the caffeine content is intended to create a “balanced energy effect” that many energy drinks don’t offer, while also containing no added sugar. Although the move from bars to energy drinks seems like a significant shift for Verb, the line helps the brand reach more consumers as a direct competitor to other caffeinated food and beverage offerings, rather than just bar brands, he added. “Really from day one, we’ve strived to become a holistic energy brand and to help our customers live vibrant and energized lives,” Czarnecki said. “When we look at the competitive

set, we’re looking at brands like Red Bull and 5-hour [Energy] and Celsius, and less so brands like Clif.” Additionally, the new funding will go toward growing Verb’s 30-person team, which is relocating this summer from Boston to New York City. The company also plans to invest in research and development to expand its EDM line and launch new offerings. While its current products all contain caffeine, Czarnecki said the brand’s mission is about “more than just caffeine” and will offer products with different benefits and functionalities in the future. The direct-to-consumer channel will remain the brand’s focus for the time being, having benefited them during the pandemic, when in-store bar sales declined. Czarnecki credits this growth not only to shifting consumer shopping behaviors during the pandemic but also the close connection the brand has formed with its consumers through a text commerce platform, social media following and subscriber base. “It’s one thing to test [products] in the kitchen, but it’s a completely different thing to put them out into the real world,” Czarnecki said. “We feel that by having super direct relationships with our customers, we can actually iterate and improve upon a product from the get go.”




New Barn Acquired by NestFresh

New Barn Organics didn’t buy the farm, it sold it. The company revealed in June it had sold its assets to egg producer NestFresh earlier in the year. It’s a move that will allow the two companies to offer retailers — and consumers — a larger suite of fresh items and hopefully offer New Barn’s shareholders a greater fi nancial upside. Founded in 2015, New Barn began with a small line of organic almond milk, which eventually grew to include a barista version, a non-dairy Buttery Spread and New Barn branded heritage eggs — which are a collaboration with NestFresh. Now owned by Tim Luberski, NestFresh was started as a family-owned business in 1991. The company, which sources from small farms across the country, produces shell eggs, hard cooked eggs and liquid eggs in pasture raised, organic, non-GMO verified and soy-free varieties. New Barn previously raised $3.75 million in 2018, in a round led by New Food SPV, an investment company created to serve as a funding arm for the company and created by New Barn CEO and chairman Ted Robb, with Almanac Ventures also taking part. An October 2018 SEC form for the round noted the company had an “estimated $15 million pre-money valuation.” In total, the company raised just over $5.5 million. Though New Barn saw rapid growth, Robb said, the company has struggled with supply chain and operational issues. The brand tried to become an all encompassing vegan creamery, launching — and subsequently sunsetting — frozen desserts, coffee beans, cold brew coffee, coconut milk and almond based dips. As a result of this uneven growth, in December 2019 the company decided that it would scale back to focus on West Coast retailers, reducing its footprint by over 2,000 stores nationwide. There was a plan to also layer in food service accounts, but the pandemic quickly put an end to that goal. Ultimately, Robb said, the company “just never could quite get our feet under us” and decided to use last year’s reset to look for a partner that could help it expand strategically. In early 2020 NestFresh — which had previously supplied the eggs used in New Barn’s ice cream — approached the 18 BEVNET MAGAZINE – JULY/AUGUST 2021

company about licensing the brand for a line of regenerative organic certified eggs. It was those discussions that eventually led to the current deal, Robb said. Though New Barn spoke to private equity fi rms, and considered simply raising more capital, ultimately a larger partnership seemed like the best path forward. “For me, raising capital and trying to manage all of that plus expanding — it was just so much to do as a little business,” Robb said. “NestFresh has a whole team and infrastructure and trucks and cold storage and all the things we were always having to hold together.” The deal has an unusual structure. Though NestFresh acquired the assets of New Barn — which includes the brand, recipes, products and customer relationships — for an upfront payment, the company itself is still owned by the existing shareholders. However, rather than continuing to make products, New Barn will instead generate capital from an “evergreen” (or perpetual) royalty paid to the company by NestFresh for every product sold. If the company eventually sells again, the shareholders would see returns. “We formulated a deal around a long term win and that looks like either New Barn grows back to scale and our shareholders benefited from an evergreen royalty or someone comes along and says ‘we’ve got to have this brand,’ we all agree to sell it and there’s some upside,” Robb said. Moving forward, NestFresh’s sales team will also represent New Barn — the two also share a broker in Presence Marketing. Robb himself will remain with NestFresh for at least a year and continue to assist with innovation, which may include bringing back some of New Barn’s previously discontinued products. He added that a move beyond almonds and new branding will also be forthcoming.

NOSHSCAPE Sambazon Secures $45M Investment, Will Launch Sambazon Hospitality Group to Complement Retail Line Acai food and beverage brand Sambazon announced in May that it had secured a $45 million investment from NextWorld LLC through its growth equity fund NextWorld Evergreen LP. The company will use the new funding to grow its omnichannel presence, expanding across retail and ecommerce while also growing its cafe business. Two members of the NextWorld team — managing partner David Fife and partner Tiffany Obenchain — will join Sambazon’s board of directors as part of the deal. The funding round follows an $8 million funding round closed in December 2020, and brings the company’s total net capital raised to date to $60 million, according to co-founder and CEO Ryan Black. A portion of the minority investment was used to exit long-term investors, Black said. “It was time to accelerate our next stage of growth with a mission aligned partner who valued our vertically integrated supply chain and how we aim to translate that positive vibration into both on- and off-premise retail locations,” Black said. “Nextworld’s vision and commitment to both profit and purpose was a perfect fit.” Sambazon fi rst launched in 2000 with acai-based juices, energy drinks and ready-to-drink smoothies, and expanded into food with frozen superfruit packs and sorbets. It has shifted its focus from beverages in recent years, doubling down on better-for-you frozen treats with the launch of vegan frozen acai bites in 2018 and ready-to-eat acai bowls introduced last summer. Its organic and fair trade products are sold in over 25,000 locations across natural and conventional grocery and club channels in 45 countries, and it also operates a cafe in Cardiff, California. Sambazon has established a vertically integrated supply chain for its berries and a manufacturing facility in Brazil, using recent funding to triple its production capacity, including constructing a second manufacturing plant in the Brazilian Amazon Rainforest. Fife was fi rst connected with Sambazon through the company’s board members and CPG veterans Alan Murray and Blair Kellison, fi rst meeting with Black last summer. As a mission-driven brand with a strong growth rate, Sambazon “checked a lot of boxes” for NextWorld, whose investment portfolio also includes sustainable chocolate maker Alter Eco and ice cream brand Van Leeuwen, Fife said. While the company has been around for over 20 years, its latest growth and place as a leader in acai in multiple channels made now the right time to invest, according to Fife. As an evergreen fund, NextWorld will be able to “be patient and think long term” about Sambazon’s growth, Fife said, noting that the company grew its sales by 20% over the past year and is on track to do over $100 million in sales this year. “[Black] was looking to continue to accelerate the growth away from just being a juice company into being more of a 20 BEVNET MAGAZINE – JULY/AUGUST 2021

solid CPG omnichannel platform play and was looking for an investor that was aligned around that,” Fife said. Going forward, Fife said he and NextWorld will be very active in the company, with NextWorld positioning itself as the “long term capital partner” to the founders. NextWorld aims to “reboot the board” with new members, as Fife said he and Obenchain are ready to “hit the ground running” as the company enters its next growth phase. This next growth phase starts with doubling down on its CPG business as it builds its presence in MULO and natural retailers, Fife said. This also means launching new products: the brand is growing its frozen treat offerings with the launch of Acai Smoothie Pops, offered in Blueberry and Strawberry Banana fl avors, which have rolled out exclusively at Whole Foods. For future innovations, the company will shift its attention from the drink cooler. Black said the company will aim to launch frozen fruit and frozen breakfast items, as well as plant-based novelties and snacks. “We believe that convenience and organic nutrition coupled with the delicious powers of açai are, and will continue to be, a winning combination,” Black said. Beyond CPG, the company is also focusing on its cafe business. According to Black, it will use the new funding to launch the Sambazon Hospitality Group, launching Acai Bowl Shops and Kiosks this year offering acai bowls and smoothies. It recently revamped its Cardiff, California cafe as a prototype for this venture, which could include companyowned locations and eventually a franchise model, Fife said. This combination of grocery and physical cafe and shops has proved to be a lucrative model for brands, particularly for its portfolio company Van Leeuwen, Fife noted. It’ll also be rolling out “turnkey branded concepts” of its acai bowls in foodservice, Black said, that can be used by other cafes and shops. “In an omnichannel world, one of the best ways to drive your velocities — because everyone talks about selling, but it’s really about sell through — is the combination of having physical retail and on the shelf CPG products,” Fife said.

NOSHSCAPE Sweet Deal: Hershey’s Acquires Lily’s Low-sugar chocolate brand Lily’s was acquired by The Hershey Company for an undisclosed fee in May. Investment bank Houlihan Lokey represented Lily’s. Launched in 2012 by Cynthia Tice, Lily’s debuted in Whole Foods Market with four different low-sugar chocolate bars. When VMG invested in the brand in 2018, the company had expanded to baking chips and had added several new bar SKUs, but only had four full time employees. At the time, according to a LinkedIn post by Houlihan Lokey VP Brandon Ng, the company had less than $30 million in sales. Post investment, VMG brought in a skilled executive team, including CPG veteran Jane Miller as CEO along with CFO Lonna Borden (former CFO at Justin’s and Izze), SVP of Operations Phil Mason (formerly of Thanasi, Evol and Nestle), VP of Marketing Sarah Meis (former VP of marketing for Van’s Natural Foods and Purely Elizabeth) and SVP of sales Seth Monette (formerly of Cookie Chips, Interbake and General Mills). Lily’s also underwent a rebranding, with more modern, colorful packaging designed by Bex Brands. Since then, the company has been on an innovation tear, with its bar offerings alone growing to 18 options across milk, dark and, recently launched, white chocolate bases. Lily’s also further built out its baking assortment, adding baking bars and flavored chips in varieties like butterscotch, mint, and salted caramel, and added snacking options such as chocolate covered nuts and popcorn. Not every launch was successful — with the low-sugar goal a difficult one to tackle — the brand’s nut butter cups had to be reformulated and relaunched and its low-sugar cookies are no longer available for sale on its website. The deal will allow Hershey’s to strengthen its presence in baking as well as better-for-you (which the company refers to as BFY) confectionery, the company said in a release. The move comes after Hershey’s divested from its premium baking brands Scharffen Berger and Dagoba in 2020. “Hershey is focused on developing a BFY confection portfolio that offers a variety of choices to meet the evolving needs of our consumers,” Chuck Raup, Hershey’s US president, said in the release. “Lily’s is a great strategic complement to our existing offerings in this growing segment of the confection category.” Hershey’s also noted that it sees the BFY confection set as “under-developed.” Still, there has been plenty of interest in the space by both consumers and investors alike. Most notably, in January of this year, Mondelez acquired chocolate and snacking brand Hu Products. Though Hu also aims for sugar-conscious consumers, it differs from Lily’s by using organic unrefined coconut sugar instead of Lily’s erythritol, stevia and inulin combination for sweetness. Meanwhile, on the sugar candy side, in October of last year TPG acquired gummy brand Smart Sweets, which uses allulose or erythritol in its product lines. There have also been newer low-sugar entrants, including MidDay Squares, ChocXo and Skinny Dipped. Additionally estab-


lished brands, such as Ghirardelli and Guittard, have also launched their own low-sugar options, while snacking brands including Perfect Snacks, High Key and Quest have tried to enter the BFY confection space as well. The deal comes after Hershey’s revealed a new strategy for the BFY subsegment earlier this year. Calling out its history with “portion controlled choices” such as the Hershey’s Kiss, the company announced a five pronged approach including: offering more portion controlled treats, extending its core brands into BFY offerings, investing internally and externally in R&D opportunities in sugar reduction, looking to partnerships and licensing deals, and seeking new brands via M&A. As evidence of this strategy, the company also disclosed its C7 Ventures had co-led a round of funding in Bonumose, Inc., a start-up company working with rare and natural sugars. The venture arm had previously also invested in upcycled cacao brand Blue Stripes Group. Hershey’s has seen varying degrees of success via M&A as a tactic, particularly as it worked to move from confectionery into the broader snacking space. While Pirate’s Booty has been accretive for the company’s Amplify Snack Brands division, other brands have struggled. Last year Hershey’s sold meat snack brand KRAVE back to its original owners, Jon Sebastiani’s Sonoma Brands, after several years of lackluster performance. Meanwhile 2016 acquisition Bark Thins also has been moved to several different teams. The company did not immediately disclose where and how Lily’s will be integrated into the larger Hershey’s platform — either under its traditional confectionery team or under Amplified. A press release by Hershey’s noted the company’s headquarters are “based today” in Boulder, Colorado — possibly alluding to a move or integration. The confection category has had a rocky past year, with the Covid-19 pandemic reducing in-store impulse purchases and scuttling social gatherings such as Halloween, Easter, and Valentine’s Day celebrations. Still, according to research firm Mintel, there’s still plenty of hunger for reduced sugar options. In a March report the firm noted that 23% of US consumers are concerned about added sweeteners in candy and confectionery, and one in five sugar confectionery eaters in the US have cut back on their consumption in the past year. “The war on sugar will remain a challenging battleground as our research reveals that consumers overwhelmingly want to keep their usual chocolate products without sugar reduction,” the report noted, “In the year post-COVID, expect to see a divide among global chocolate consumers – those that take their health and wellness seriously, reducing or eliminating chocolate consumption, and those that prioritize the indulgence and comfort that chocolate can bring.”

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Bar Maker Verb Expands Its ‘Holistic Energy’ Platform Many food and beverage makers often look to adjacent categories for their first brand extension. However, caffeinated bar maker Verb is making a larger leap for its first foray beyond bars: EDM, which stands for Energizing Drink Mix (not electronic dance music). The new line promises consumers a jolt of energy from caffeine, not a bass drop. Verb’s expansion into drink mixes follows the close of a previously unannounced $8 million funding round earlier this year, which will support the brand’s move into energizing food and beverage products. The funding round included investment from Melitas Ventures, Valor Siren Ventures, CircleUp Growth Partners and returning investor Global Founders Capital. The latest funding round follows seed rounds in 2019 and 2018 and brings Verb’s total capital raised to date to approximately $13 million. Verb’s flagship energy bar line, first launched in 2018, recorded a 300% increase in sales last year. Verb co-founder and CEO Matt Czarnecki said the growth gave the brand confidence that there was an unmet consumer need for energy products. The company settled on drink mixes after conducting consumer research and launched its Energizing Drink Mix — in Raspberry Lemon, Mango Tangerine and Cherry Lime flavors — for $19.95 per 12-pack. The line will initially be sold direct-to-consumer via Verb’s website. “We conducted thousands of surveys and hundreds of in-person interviews with our customers and realized that this was a real need-state for lots of people and a product category that we felt we could really disrupt,” Czarnecki said. The allulose-sweetened mixes contain five grams of collagen, B vitamins and 65 grams of caffeine from organic green tea. This caffeine content, in line with its energy bar line, is relatively low compared to similar offerings from Nuun, Hydrant and Liquid I.V., which range from 80 to 100 mg. Czarnecki said the caffeine content is intended to create a “balanced energy effect” that many energy drinks don’t offer, while also containing no added sugar. Although the move from bars to energy drinks seems like a significant shift for Verb, the line helps the brand reach more consumers as a direct competitor to other caffeinated food and beverage offerings, rather than just bar brands, he added. “Really from day one, we’ve strived to become a holistic energy brand and to help our customers live vibrant and energized lives,” Czarnecki said. “When we look at the competitive set, we’re looking at brands like Red Bull and 5-hour [Energy] and Celsius, and less so brands like Clif.” Additionally, the new funding will go toward growing Verb’s 30-person team, which is relocating this summer from Boston to New York City. The company also plans to invest in research and development to expand its EDM line and launch new offerings. While its current products all contain caffeine, Czarnecki said the brand’s mission is about “more than just caffeine” and will offer products with different benefits and functionalities in the future. The direct-to-consumer channel will remain the brand’s focus for the time being, having benefited them during the pandemic, when in-store bar sales declined. Czarnecki credits this growth not only to shifting consumer shopping behaviors during the pandemic but also the close connection the brand has formed with its consumers through a text commerce platform, social media following and subscriber base. “It’s one thing to test [products] in the kitchen, but it’s a completely different thing to put them out into the real world,” Czarnecki said. “We feel that by having super direct relationships with our customers, we can actually iterate and improve upon a product from the get go.”




Firestone Walker Strikes Deal for Cali-Squeeze Brand In a year when craft beer volumes declined for the first time in the modern craft era, drinker interest in craft beer did not abate, Brewers Association (BA) chief economist Bart Watson said during an early July presentation of the trade group’s annual consumer poll. “Sales trend does not equal the demand trend,” he said. “Simply put, I think there’s a lot of good things that we see in the survey — that the fundamental demand for craft has remained strong through COVID, even if sales took a hit, if we saw that channel shift from on-trade and at-the-brewery sales to off-trade and package sales.” The number of legal drinking age adults who consume craft beer has reached its highest point (44%, up 1% from 2019) since the BA began commissioning The Harris Poll to survey U.S. craft beer consumers in 2015. Of them, the number of people who say they drink craft beer weekly has also reached its zenith — 50%, an increase of 1% since 2019. “Not only is the total pie of craft drinkers increasing, but according to this survey, at least within that people who drink craft, are shifting their balance of drinking toward more craft,” Watson said. However, the gap between people who report drinking more craft and those who report drinking less is narrowing. A seven-point split separated those who reported drinking more and those who drank less, down from 9% in 2020 and 17% in 2019. Watson attributed this to craft beer drinkers straying from craft beer to other beverage alcohol categories. “We continue to see craft drinkers who say that they’re drinking less craft, the No. 1 reason that they cite for drinking less craft is that they’re drinking more of other beverage alcohol,” he said. The survey also found that craft drinkers are what Watson described as “omni-biborous.” What that means is 24 BEVNET MAGAZINE – JULY/AUGUST 2021

that nearly all (94%) of weekly craft beer drinkers say they drink from at least one other beverage alcohol category each week. The most frequent segment for noncraft consumption was non-craft domestic beer (69%), followed by wine (67%), imports (65%), spirits (62%), flavored malt beverages (54%), hard seltzer (52%) and hard cider (42%). Craft is stealing the most share from other beer; 8.8% of consumers who said they’re drinking more craft beer said they’re doing so because they are drinking less non-craft, which is more than twice the rate of drinkers who said they are drinking less craft because they’re drinking non-craft (4.2%). Hard seltzer posted a similar ratio: 5.8% of respondents who are drinking more craft said it’s because they’re drinking less hard seltzer, while only 2.3% of respondents said they’re drinking less craft and more hard seltzer. Wine is the largest benefactor of lost craft share, with 4.4% of respondents reporting drinking less craft and more wine; however, 5.4% of respondents said they are drinking more craft and less wine. Cannabis had a similarly close split, with 2.7% of respondents saying they’re drinking more craft and consuming less cannabis, and 2.5% saying they’re consuming more cannabis and less craft. In the 2021 survey, the rate of weekly craft drinkers who reported also consuming hard seltzer weekly increased 2%, to 34%. Craft drinkers who also drink hard seltzer weekly nearly doubled from 2019-2020, increasing from 17% to 32%. Meanwhile, the rate of weekly craft drinkers who reported also consuming wine declined by 2%, to 48%. The 50% rate of 2020 was wine’s peak since 2018, when 43% of regular craft drinkers reported also drinking wine weekly. Asked why they continue to buy craft beer, drinkers’ top reason is still the beer itself. “The No. 1 reason that people buy craft is still the beer — taste, flavor,” Watson said. “Every year we’ve done this, 95%+ of people have said, ‘That is a reason that I drink craft.’ There’s other variants of that too — freshness or aroma — that all score very, very highly.” Some consumers said they purchase craft beer for what Watson dubbed its “value components” — that it’s local and independently owned. Recognition of the BA seal, the upside-down bottle insignia the BA allows its members to include on packaging and marketing materials to demonstrate their membership and independence, has increased 14%, to 68% among weekly craft drinkers. A majority of non-weekly craft drinkers (52%) also reported recognizing the seal.

Lynne Weaver to Buy Back Three Weavers From CANarchy Craft rollup CANarchy Craft Brewery Collective and Three Weavers Brewing Company founder Lynne Weaver reached an agreement in early June in which Weaver and her investment group will reacquire the Inglewood, California-based craft brewery. With the split from CANarchy, Weaver will “pursue her vision of a Three Weavers branded brewery, tasting room and restaurants within Hollywood Park’s retail district,” the company said in a release. Weaver said conversations about buying back Three Weavers started in January and culminated in the “asset acquisition,” which includes “everything Three Weavers,” including the intellectual property, equipment and location. Weaver added that she will maintain her equity in CANarchy. CANarchy — whose craft brands includes Oskar Blues, Cigar City, Deep Ellum, Squatters, Wasatch, and Perrin — acquired the Inglewood, California-based craft brewery in July 2018 in a deal that chief operating officer Matt Fraser told Brewbound was “cash-free and debt-free.” He added at the time that the company paid off the debt Three Weavers took on to build its brewery at the time. Weaver, along with about a dozen Three Weavers investors, exchanged their shares in Three Weavers for equity in CANarchy at the time of the sale. According to a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing from July 2018, CANarchy offered $18,473,301 in equity as part of the rollup’s merger with Three Weavers.

Weaver declined to share who is involved in the investor group, but described them as “a lot of the same folks who have been with me from the very beginning who believe in what I believe.” That vision includes the construction of a Three Weavers branded brewery, tasting room and restaurant within the Hollywood Park retail district near SoFi Stadium in Inglewood. “As I went through the process of forming this opportunity, I always had in my head that I can make it whatever I really envisioned,” she said. “But at the end of the day, what felt right was really for it to be Three Weavers. And that came to a head at one point.” Weaver said CANarchy CEO Tony Short and the team understood the opportunity at Hollywood Park for Three Weavers “but we just couldn’t figure out a way to be able to make this work.” Those conversations shifted to CANarchy offering the opportunity for Weaver to purchase the brewery that she founded in 2013 in order to pursue the Hollywood Park project. The goal now is to open Three Weavers’ Hollywood Park location by the end of 2022, although it could be as late as March 2023. CANarchy was the nation’s sixth largest craft brewery by volume in 2020, with production output of 489,626 barrels, according to data in the May/June 2021 issue of the Brewers Association’s New Brewer. The company’s volume increased 2% last year, and it holds a 2.13% share of the segment, according to the BA.


BREWSCAPE BA 2021 Consumer Survey: 94% of Weekly Craft Drinkers Drink Other Bev-Alc Categories In a year when craft beer volumes declined for the first time in the modern craft era, drinker interest in craft beer did not abate, Brewers Association (BA) chief economist Bart Watson said during an early July presentation of the trade group’s annual consumer poll. “Sales trend does not equal the demand trend,” he said. “Simply put, I think there’s a lot of good things that we see in the survey — that the fundamental demand for craft has remained strong through COVID, even if sales took a hit, if we saw that channel shift from on-trade and at-the-brewery sales to off-trade and package sales.” The number of legal drinking age adults who consume craft beer has reached its highest point (44%, up 1% from 2019) since the BA began commissioning The Harris Poll to survey U.S. craft beer consumers in 2015. Of them, the number of people who say they drink craft beer weekly has also reached its zenith — 50%, an increase of 1% since 2019. “Not only is the total pie of craft drinkers increasing, but according to this survey, at least within that people who drink craft, are shifting their balance of drinking toward more craft,” Watson said. However, the gap between people who report drinking more craft and those who report drinking less is narrowing. A sevenpoint split separated those who reported drinking more and those who drank less, down from 9% in 2020 and 17% in 2019. Watson attributed this to craft beer drinkers straying from craft beer to other beverage alcohol categories. “We continue to see craft drinkers who say that they’re drinking less craft, the No. 1 reason that they cite for drinking less craft is that they’re drinking more of other beverage alcohol,” he said. The survey also found that craft drinkers are what Watson described as “omni-biborous.” What that means is that nearly all (94%) of weekly craft beer drinkers say they drink from at least one other beverage alcohol category each week. The most frequent segment for non-craft consumption was non-craft

Anheuser-Busch Appoints Brendan Whitworth as North America Zone President Anheuser-Busch InBev has pulled from within its ranks for its next North American Zone and U.S. CEO, naming Brendan Whitworth to the post. Whitworth, who has worked within A-B since 2013, had served as the world’s largest beer manufacturer’s U.S. chief sales officer. He took the reins July 1 from Michel Doukeris, who supplanted Carlos Brito as CEO of A-B InBev global. 26 BEVNET MAGAZINE – JULY/AUGUST 2021

domestic beer (69%), followed by wine (67%), imports (65%), spirits (62%), flavored malt beverages (54%), hard seltzer (52%) and hard cider (42%). Craft is stealing the most share from other beer; 8.8% of consumers who said they’re drinking more craft beer said they’re doing so because they are drinking less non-craft, which is more than twice the rate of drinkers who said they are drinking less craft because they’re drinking non-craft (4.2%). Hard seltzer posted a similar ratio: 5.8% of respondents who are drinking more craft said it’s because they’re drinking less hard seltzer, while only 2.3% of respondents said they’re drinking less craft and more hard seltzer. Wine is the largest benefactor of lost craft share, with 4.4% of respondents reporting drinking less craft and more wine; however, 5.4% of respondents said they are drinking more craft and less wine. Cannabis had a similarly close split, with 2.7% of respondents saying they’re drinking more craft and consuming less cannabis, and 2.5% saying they’re consuming more cannabis and less craft. In the 2021 survey, the rate of weekly craft drinkers who reported also consuming hard seltzer weekly increased 2%, to 34%. Craft drinkers who also drink hard seltzer weekly nearly doubled from 2019-2020, increasing from 17% to 32%. Meanwhile, the rate of weekly craft drinkers who reported also consuming wine declined by 2%, to 48%. The 50% rate of 2020 was wine’s peak since 2018, when 43% of regular craft drinkers reported also drinking wine weekly. Asked why they continue to buy craft beer, drinkers’ top reason is still the beer itself. “The No. 1 reason that people buy craft is still the beer — taste, flavor,” Watson said. “Every year we’ve done this, 95%+ of people have said, ‘That is a reason that I drink craft.’ There’s other variants of that too — freshness or aroma — that all score very, very highly.” Some consumers said they purchase craft beer for what Watson dubbed its “value components” — that it’s local and independently owned. Recognition of the BA seal, the upsidedown bottle insignia the BA allows its members to include on packaging and marketing materials to demonstrate their membership and independence, has increased 14%, to 68% among weekly craft drinkers. A majority of non-weekly craft drinkers (52%) also reported recognizing the seal. “Over the last four years, Brendan has helped to shape and drive our 10-year commercial strategy. His market insights, consumer-first mindset, and strong leadership have been invaluable assets on our journey to lead industry growth,” Doukeris said in a press release. Whitworth’s successor as chief sales officer will be named at a later date, the company said.

BREWSCAPE Denver Craft Beer Bar Falling Rock Tap House Permanently Closed After 24 years in business, iconic Denver craft beer bar the Falling Rock Tap House permanently closed June 27. Owners Chris, Steve and Al Black made the announcement in a blog post titled “So long and thanks for all the beers.” They acknowledged that the news “may come as a shock” to some of their patrons, but the COVID-19 pandemic’s effect on the Falling Rock’s business “has just been the icing on the cake of the last five years.” “A year-long construction project that caused a 30% drop in sales, changes in the neighborhood that have impacted our business negatively (like crazy late-night crowds and decreased office usage), continued increasing competition from our suppliers, challenges in finding kitchen staff plus rapidly increasing costs all have added up to a financially unsustainable situation,” they wrote. “After consultations with our landlords (who have bent over backwards during COVID to help us and have been amazing for the last 24 years to work with) we have all decided that us closing will allow both parties to move on without causing financial harm to either one.” The Blacks thanked their customers, staff and craft brewery partners for the last 24 years. They offered “special thanks” to Crooked Stave Artisan Distributing, Elite Brands and California’s Russian River for their help over the years.

The Blacks also thanked the customers who purchased beer from their cellar sale and those who donated to a GoFundMe campaign earlier this year that raised $18,900 from 177 donors, but fell shy of its $30,000 goal. “You got us through the winter and gave us a shot at surviving, I’m sorry that we didn’t ultimately succeed but you have our undying gratitude,” the Blacks wrote. “Thank You.” Natalie Cilurzo, Russian River co-owner and president, called Falling Rock’s impending closure “absolutely heartbreaking news.” “Chris and Cheryl have become good friends which makes it even sadder knowing what a painful decision this was to make and how devastated they are feeling,” she told Brewbound. “Before Falling Rock opened, Rock Bottom was pretty much the only place to hang out in Denver during GABF. Once Chris opened his specialty import and craft beer-centric bar in LoDo, we all flocked to see it that first year and never stopped being the gathering place whenever we are in Denver.” The cancellation of 2020’s GABF due to the COVID-19 pandemic proved to be more adversity for Falling Rock.

Duvel USA Taps Seraf De Smedt as President, Names New Leadership Team Duvel Moortgat named Seraf De Smedt president of Duvel USA, the parent company of Boulevard Brewing and Brewery Ommegang, in early June. De Smedt assumed the top role in the company from Boulevard founder John McDonald, who returned to retirement. McDonald temporarily paused his retirement in January when Jeff Krum resigned as president in the midst of a sexual harassment and toxic workplace scandal that rocked the Kansas City, Missouri-headquartered craft brewery that also brought about the dismissal of the company’s chief financial officer and three additional employees, as well as the resignation of VP of marketing Natalie Gershon. “Since Boulevard became part of the Duvel Moortgat family of breweries in late 2013, Seraf has been an instrumental leader for our company,” McDonald said in a release. “He has always 28 BEVNET MAGAZINE – JULY/AUGUST 2021

worked closely with our U.S. operations, so having him take over the reins as president gives me great confidence that we are set up for a successful future.” De Smedt, who has served as chief finance and administration officer for Duvel Moortgat since 2013, will split time between the U.S. and Belgium, working with the U.S. leadership team while also overseeing the Duvel’s global finance team. Rounding out Duvel USA’s leadership team are: • Bobby Dykstra, executive vice president of sales and marketing; • Rick DeBar, general manager of Brewery Ommegang; • Steven Pauwels, brewmaster of Boulevard; • Dali Grabar, director of engineering for Boulevard; • Julie Weeks, vice president of communications and culture; • Stephanie Walker, director of human resources.

Lord Hobo Leadership Moves: Brian Walsh Takes Over as CEO

Lord Hobo Brewing Co. appointed industry veteran Brian Walsh as the Woburn, Massachusetts-based craft brewery’s new CEO in mid-June. Walsh, who last served as CEO of Smuttynose Brewing Company, assumed the post from Lord Hobo founder Daniel Lanigan, who will remain a member of the company’s board of directors. Speaking to Brewbound, Walsh said his goal is to bring stability to Lord Hobo and fi x the brewery’s foundation. For Lord Hobo employees, that means “an ongoing open-door policy” for them to bring issues directly to Walsh. “We take this very seriously,” he said of the allegations levied on social media. Part of Walsh’s plan to reboot Lord Hobo includes reorganizing the company’s leadership structure with eight department heads, including the human resources manager, reporting directly to him. Those department heads will be assembled from the brewery’s existing workforce, with an eye on gender equity to ensure representation within its leadership team. Among those leaders will be long-time employee Kate Ballenger, who will continue as head of retail operations and general manager. Walsh believes this will help provide stability within the organization and foster “an open and honest” dialogue with their teams. Walsh is encouraging employees to report any misconduct to those eight department heads, who will share the information with him and the company’s HR manager. In addition to Walsh’s hiring, Lord Hobo appointed long-time beer industry exec Simon Thorpe and Wendy Nowokunski, a director of the private investment fi rm that acquired a stake in Lord Hobo in 2017, to the brewery’s board of directors. The leadership moves at Lord Hobo follow Lanigan’s name appearing in posts among the thousands of Instagram stories shared by both Brienne Allan (@ratmagnet) and Embolden Act Advance (@EmboldenActAdvance) from women who have experienced harassment, misogyny and assaults while working in the beer industry. Lanigan was specifically referenced in at least three posts making allegations that he made advances to female employees.

Following those stories, Nathan Whipple, then-Lord Hobo president, posted an apology to the company’s social media accounts, announced an investigation into the allegations and affi rmed the brewery’s commitment “to providing a safe community, free of harassment, bullying and discrimination in all forms for our employees, industry partners, and customers.” Walsh steps into the lead role of a brewery that was once among the fastest growing in the U.S., with distribution in 15 states. Lord Hobo’s production declined 36%, to 30,075 barrels of beer, in 2020, according to production data in the Brewers Association’s May/June issue of The New Brewer. Those declines indicate the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Lord Hobo’s at-the-brewery and draft businesses. At Smuttynose, Walsh helped lead the post-bankruptcy turnaround of the New Hampshire craft brewery. He brings several years of high-level executive experience to Lord Hobo, including stints as president and CEO of both Pittsburgh Brewing Co. and Long Trail Brewing Co. prior to taking the reins of Smuttynose. In the early 2000s, he served as VP and general manager of Labatt USA’s northeast division.


BREWSCAPE SweetWater to Take Over Red Truck Brewing’s Fort Collins Production Facility The westward expansion of Atlanta’s SweetWater Brewing Company under Canadian cannabis firm Tilray continues. After adding distribution in Colorado earlier this year, the company will go deeper in the Centennial State with the acquisition of a 32,450 sq. ft. production facility, taproom and restaurant in Fort Collins that had housed the U.S. operations of Canada’s Red Truck Brewing Company since May 2017, and Fort Collins Brewery before it. In addition to the new production facility, the company has also opened the SweetWater Mountain Taphouse at Denver International Airport as part of a partnership with Concessions International (CI). The Denver airport is SweetWater’s second airport bar collaboration with CI, following the SweetWater Last Call Bar and Grill at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. SweetWater founder and CEO Freddy Bensch said in a press release that the Colorado expansion “truly brings things full circle,” returning the team to where their brewing careers began at Boulder Brewing Company in 1992. “We have a lot of respect for the beers and brewers from Colorado and look forward to raising a glass in this great state,” he said. “There’s not a more perfect location to expand our brand and help grow the reach of our heady, high-quality brews

Molson Coors Ceases Production of Coors Hard Seltzer in US The river has run its course for Coors Seltzer. In a message to the company’s wholesalers, Molson Coors chief marketing officer Michelle St. Jacques and U.S. sales president Kevin Doyle announced the company will cease production of Coors Seltzer, asking wholesalers to sell through remaining inventory. The company pointed to the struggles of beer-branded hard seltzer line extensions — while also noting the success of its Vizzy Hard Seltzer — as the reasons behind the decision to discontinue Coors Seltzer, which launched in September 2020. Citing proprietary data, St. Jacques and Doyle noted that Anheuser-Busch InBev’s Bud Light Seltzer has declined 5.2%, and Constellation Brands’ Corona Hard Seltzer has declined 26.1% in the four-week period ending June 27 compared to the same time last year. In the same period, sales of Vizzy Hard Seltzer have increased 66% compared to last year. “You can see the clear contrast in performance when compared to brands that have seen the most success over time, such as White Claw and Truly, and those that have enjoyed more recent successes, like Vizzy Hard Seltzer and Topo Chico Hard Seltzer,” St. Jacques and Doyle wrote. “That’s why we’ve made the decision to discontinue Coors Seltzer in the U.S. and commit our energy, resources, material supply and shelf space to Vizzy and Topo Chico Hard Seltzer.” The company is asking wholesalers to replace Coors Seltzer with 30 BEVNET MAGAZINE – JULY/AUGUST 2021

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with beer drinkers throughout the West Coast.” The move appears to be a little abrupt. In mid-June, the Coloradoan reported that Red Truck had pitched an expanded beer garden to the city of Fort Collins. That story noted that the brewery’s taproom and restaurant, then known as the Truck Stop, had been closed to the public since March 2020. Social media posts indicated that the company was still producing beer for distribution. SweetWater said it will offer Red Truck employees roles with the company and hire additional workers. The facility will produce cans and kegs of core offerings such as 420 Extra Pale Ale and H.A.Z.Y. IPA and specialty offerings for distribution in the western U.S. The brewery “will undergo an extensive renovation,” including “enhancements to the brewing and packaging areas,” and a “facelift for the taproom and restaurants.” SweetWater will also honor existing contract brewing arrangements that are ongoing at the facility. Year-to-date through June 13, off-premise dollar sales of SweetWater 420 Extra Pale Ale have declined -12.6%, to nearly $8.7 million, according to market research firm IRI. Those numbers come against the backdrop of tough year-ago pandemic-driven comps and a largely reopened on-premise channel. 420’s dollar share of the craft beer market so far this year has declined -0.05%, to 0.39%, the firm reported. SweetWater produced 226,639 barrels of beer in 2020, a decline of -13%, according to the Brewers Association’s (BA) New Brewer magazine. That made SweetWater the 11th largest BA-defined craft brewery by volume. Topo Chico and Vizzy at retail, which it said are the No. 3 and No. 5 growth brands in the hard seltzer segment over the last four weeks. Off-premise dollar sales of the Coors Seltzer variety pack have totaled $24.4 million at multi-outlet food and convenience retailers since launching in September 2020 through June 13, according to market research firm IRI. Coors Selzer was available in a variety 12-pack featuring Lemon Lime, Mango, Black Cherry, and Grapefruit flavors. Each 12 oz. slim can checked in at 4.5% ABV and contained 90 calories. Touted as a hard seltzer “with a mission,” Coors Seltzer partnered with Change the Course, a non-profit organization that focuses on preserving rivers. Each purchase of a Coors Seltzer 12-pack triggered a donation from Molson Coors to Change the Course that would provide the services to restore 500 gallons of fresh river water, up to 5 billion gallons through the end of 2021. Despite its frosty reception in the U.S., Molson Coors will continue producing Coors Seltzer for the Canadian market, where the brand holds a 3.7% share and is the sixth-best selling brand in the segment four months after its launch, Doyle and St. Jacques wrote. Vizzy is also available in Canada, but Topo Chico is not. “It’s never easy to discontinue a brand that you’ve poured your heart and soul into,” St. Jacques and Doyle wrote. “However, if a brand isn’t performing up to our expectations, we will pivot quickly and shift resources where they can make a bigger impact.” Indeed, the discontinuance appears to be a swift decision, as in June the company announced the release of Orange Cream Pop Coors Seltzer.



CSDs Reeds introduced two new zero sugar Ginger Ale Mocktails: Shirley Tempting (cherry and pomegranate) and Transfusion (grape). The mocktails have 2,000 mg of ginger, zero calories and are certified ketogenic-friendly. Both products are available at retailers such as Sprouts, Ingles, Meijer and Fresh Thyme for $30 per 12-pack of 12 oz. cans. For more information call (800) 997-3337. MTN Dew has added two new fl avors – Baja Punch, Baja Flash – to its Baja tropical line. The new items are available in 20 oz. bottles for $1.99. For more information call (800) 433-2652. Beverage brand Virgil’s expanded its zerosugar line with the addition of Grapefruit, Dr. Better and Ginger Ale sodas. The new zero sugar fl avors are available in 12-packs of 12 oz. cans for $30. For more information call (800) 997-3337.

Creamers Expanding its plant-based dairy portfolio, Laird Superfood introduced Aloha Oat & Macadamia Nut creamer and powdered milk offerings. Both products come in a shelfstable, powdered format made from a base of oats and macadamia nuts. Both products retail for $9.95 with the creamer packaged in an 8 oz. pouch and the milk in a 6.8 oz. pouch. For more information call (888) 670-6796.

Functional As part of the new company’s range of Japanese-inspired cold remedies, OEM introduced a hemp and vitamin-infused electrolyte drink containing L-theanine and CBD. OEM products are made with natural ingredients and are allergen free. The OEM drink pack is available in a six-pack for $29. For more information email CBD beverage brand Cloud Water launched a new hemp-free Immunity line with flavors including Blood Orange & Coconut, Black32 BEVNET MAGAZINE – JULY/AUGUST 2021

berry, Lemon & Rosemary and Grapefruit, Mint & Basil, with 20 calories in each 12 oz can. Cloud Water Immunity is available for purchase in a 12-pack for $39.95. For more information email Aurora Elixirs and Artet teamed up to launch the limited-edition, sparkling hemp aperitif Mediterranean Citrus & Chamomile. This non-psychoactive, zero-proof beverage is fl avored with grapefruit, coriander, orange peel and oak. Each 6.7 oz. bottle contains 25 calories and 6 grams of sugar and is available online in a four-pack for $20. For more information email San Diego-based Nova Easy Kombucha expanded its portfolio with two fitness-focused, non-alcoholic kombucha varieties: POWER, a preworkout beverage and RECOVERY, a probiotic and hydration drink. POWER contains yuzu lemon and guarana while RECOVERY is made with ginger and lime fl avors. Nova Easy Kombucha is available at select retailers throughout California. For more information call (858) 294-3175.

Powdered Beverages Iconic Protein introduced Keto Collagen Coffee to its protein powder portfolio. The product is made with MCT Oil, adaptogens such as Lion’s Mane and Reishi mushrooms and contains 0 grams of sugar. Keto Collagen Coffee is available for $34.99 per 8 oz. tub. For more information email Functional beverage brand ZYN introduced a line of Daily Wellness Drink Mixes in four fl avors: Strawberry Yuzu, Blackberry Dragon Fruit, Passion Fruit Lemonade and Mango Pomegranate. The electrolyte powders contain 10 calories per stick and are available for $29.99 per 20 sticks. For more information call (866) 376-5996.

Cannabis Drinks Colorado-based cannabis beverage producer Oh Hi completed its Budtender’s Reserve line with the introduction of Sucker Punch. Suck-

NEW PRODUCTS er Punch is a berry fl avored energy drink containing 100 mg of water-soluble THC, 140 mg of caffeine and added electrolytes. The Budtender’s Reserve line is available at select dispensaries across Colorado for $19.29 per 16 oz. bottle. For more information call (970) 426-4660. Cannabis brand House of Saka launched a non-alcoholic sparkling Chardonnay cannabis-infused mimosa. The mimosa is fl avored with orange peel and nectarine and is available at select dispensaries across California for $8 per 6.3 oz. bottle. For more information email

Juice Shots KeVita expanded its probiotic portfolio with a line of shots in three flavors: Beet Lemon, Blueberry Mint and Turmeric Ginger. The probiotic shots contain KeVita’s water kefi r culture and 3 grams of prebiotic fiber per bottle. They are available at select retailers nationwide and online for $2.98. For more information call (888) 310-6106.

Sports Drinks Cheribundi expanded its performance beverage line with an immunity boosting product containing tart cherry juice, echinacea and B vitamins. The immunity drink is available at retailers nationwide such as Kroger, Publix, and Walmart for $27 per 12-pack of 8 oz. bottles. For more information email info@ Through a partnership with Austin FC Major League Soccer, C4 Energy added a limited edition Mango Lime fl avor. C4 Energy Mango Lime will be available all season at Austin FC’s new stadium and at select retailers in Austin and San Antonio for $29.99 for a 12-pack of 16 oz. cans. For more information email In celebration of “The Greatest of All Time,” Gatorade has released a special collection of six limited Champions Edition collectors bottles inspired by legendary heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali. Each features imagery inspired by some of 34 BEVNET MAGAZINE – JULY/AUGUST 2021

Ali’s iconic bouts, and also contain a QR code that allows consumers to scan for a chance to win exclusive apparel from the Gatorade x Muhammad Ali Capsule Collection launched earlier this spring. For more information, please contact Gatorade at 1-800-884-2867.

RTD Cocktails San Diego-based Yerba Mate brand Kové debuted a line of hard tea seltzers. The line is packaged in 12 oz. cans (5% ABV) available in four fl avors: Passion Berry, Lemonade IcedTea, Mojito, and Mango Colada. Kove Hard Yerba Mate seltzers are available in four-packs for $9.99 at select retailers in the San Diego area and in 12-packs for $29.99 online for shipping within California. For more information email Proof Point debuted with a line of hard seltzers available in four flavor combinations: whiskey seltzer with blackberry lemon, rum seltzer with mango pineapple, vodka seltzer with lime, and tequila seltzer with grapefruit. The seltzers contain 100 calories and are available in four-packs of 12 oz. cans (5% ABV) for $10.49. For more information email

Spirits Ohio-based Watershed Distillery released two new bourbon products: Watershed’s Bottledin-Bond and Watershed Distillery Bourbon. The latter is made by blending Watershed’s standard bourbon with its six-year apple brandy fi nished bourbon and is bottled at 90 proof. The Bottled-in-Bond bourbon (50% ABV) is available for a suggested retail price of $49.99 and Watershed Distillery Bourbon (45% ABV) is available for a suggested retail price of $39.99. For more information call (614) 357-1936. Jim Beam introduced Jim Beam Orange: a Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey blended with orange fl avors. The new offering combines sweet citrus oak and light char fl avors. Jim Beam Orange is available at select retailers nationwide for a suggested retail price of $15.99 per 750mL bottle (32.5% ABV). For more information call (800) 468-9716.



Two roads to growth for independent brands are represented here. More than 10 years after Coke acquired Honest Tea, Honest Kids has become the key sub-line for the brand, outselling teas at retail and giving its acquirer consistent, steady growth. Meanwhile, Vita Coco is reportedly pricing an IPO — it runs its category, and there’s revenue hidden in private label. Both Honest and Vita Coco are strong in food service. The question is, which early investors are happier? Inventages (Honest Tea) or Verlinvest (Vita Coco)?








Capri Sun



Vita Coco


Kool Aid Jammers



Juicy Juice



Honest Kids



Apple & Eve



Hi C



Private Label






Vita Coco Pressed






Capri Sun



Private Label



Minute Maid






Capri Sun Nick Jr Paw Patrol









Capri Sun Organic


Capri Sun Adventures




Motts For Tots








-24.5% -9.0%

Hawaiian Punch



Minute Maid



Apple & Eve Organics


Apple & Eve Fruitables



Apple & Eve Sesame Street Organics



Kool Aid Ghoul Aid Jammers






Ocean Spray Growing Goodness









Tree Top



Kool Aid Jammers Sour






Kool Aid Jammers Retro






Alpina Avena



Juicy Juice Organics





















SOURCE: IRI, a Chicago-based market research firm-@iriworldwide% 52 Weeks through 6/13/21









Sparkling Ice


Private Label



Starbucks Frappuccino




Starbucks Doubleshot


La Croix




Java Monster






Coca Cola Dunkin






Starbucks Tripleshot



Topo Chico



Java Monster 300






Private Label



San Pellegrino



Kitu Super Coffee






Vpx Bang






Starbucks Doubleshot Light










Private Label



Lipton Pure Leaf










Glaceau Smart Water



Gold Peak









Nestle Pure Life



Lipton Brisk



Poland Spring






Glaceau Vitamin Water



Monster Rehab






Diet Snapple



Deer Park



Lipton Diet






Arizona Arnold Palmer



SOURCE: IRI, a Chicago-based market research firm-@iriworldwide% 52 Weeks through 6/13/21














Miller Lite









Bud Specialty






Miller High Life



Blue Moon






Blue Moon



New Belgium



Sierra Nevada



Samuel Adams





-3.8% 6.5%












Leinenkugel Specialty






Red Bull



Monster Energy



VPX Bang



Red Bull Sugar Free



Red Bull The Summer Edition



Monster Juice






Red Bull The Yellow Edition



Red Bull The Blue Edition



Reign Total Body Fuel






Living Essentials Llc



Nve Pharma Inc



Tweaker Energy Drink



Vital Pharma Inc





Private Label 5 Hour Energy Extra Strength



5 Hour Energy






Stacker 2 Xtra



VPX Bang



SOURCE: IRI, a Chicago-based market research firm-@iriworldwide% 52 Weeks through 6/13/21



The Category That Keeps on Giving I once had an editor who banned the use in our newsroom of the word “ever,” in the sense of “the biggest ever” or “the most ever” or “the richest ever.” “It’s the biggest, or the most, or the richest,” he reasoned. “Why do we need ‘ever’? Isn’t that obvious?” There actually was a counterargument to be made, but he was a decent guy prone to a single brainstorm a year, and if this was it for that year, who was going to quibble? So “ever” exited our lexicon forever, or at least as long as I was there, which was several more years. I thought of that edict as I started writing this column about the best beverage category – ever. That would have to be energy drinks. And in innovation terms, by now it’s been the best category for what seems to be ever and ever. We’re heading onto 25 years since Red Bull established its beachhead in the U.S. and Monster and Rockstar followed it in, and the category remains an extraordinary bastion of growth, margin and creativity. Really, how many other categories could you ever say that about after their early growth stage? Are there any? And yet, it’s anything but stagnant. There are trends and brands bubbling up that won’t allow the big incumbents to get complacent. Even as I write this, Monster Beverage is readying its first plant-based entry, True North, targeting the REI outdoorsy crowd. The word “Monster” appears nowhere on the packaging. The category has some intrinsic factors that give it an edge. It’s a functional category in which the function is entirely clear and obvious, and the effect just about immediate. Most other functional categories, from collagen to CBD, require some leap of faith on the user’s part. Not energy. You either get jacked or you don’t. It also targets a demo – young guys lurking in c-stores – that’s most likely to give the purveyors a pass on issues like sugar and weird active ingredients and artificial flavors. And it was a class of product that beer wholesalers – the first distribution channel to embrace the drinks – could easily comprehend. It didn’t require them to visit alien parts of the store, or yoga studios or independent coffee shops. Just c-stores, a core channel for beer. They did great selling Red Bull in bars and clubs, too. Of course, a lot of the credit goes beyond a receptive environment to the creators of the brands themselves. Besides the drinks themselves, they created whole new avenues of marketing. Red Bull’s oddball TV ads would have to be the least influential part of the mix, alongside its brilliant activations of alt-sports athletes and Felix Baumgartner (the daredevil who parachuted from outer space) and the broad cultural sweep of its in-house media machine. By now Monster’s fearsome “claw” motif has been tattooed on thousands of bodies and its moves into sports like drifting and video gaming reached users in a way that paid TV ads wouldn’t. Other new categories, like iced tea and bottled water, similarly started with a burst of creative energy but descended quickly into a morass of innovation inertia and discount pricing. What was different about this one? As I’ve noted before in this space, a crucial difference would have to be that, until very recently, all the key conventional energy players have remained independent. In saying this, I’m not disparaging the big beverage companies, because 40 BEVNET MAGAZINE – JULY/AUGUST 2021

they’ve been astute enough to recognize their limitations and establish partnerships with brands like Monster, Rockstar and Bang that would allow them continued independence in marketing, innovation and pricing. Key brands maintain very different strategies. Red Bull rides a minimal amount of innovation to consistently strong, double-digit growth rates, for an extraordinary degree of efficiency. Coming from a European base where DSD doesn’t exist in the same way as here, Red Bull seems to be pursuing some manifest destiny of self-distribution in every major metro, a view I find narrow and short-sighted. So far, though, it’s hard to argue it’s failing, and the focus that garnered certainly stood the brand in good stead during the pandemic. Monster Beverage throws a lot more new stuff at the wall for a slightly lower growth rate but it still has to rate as a vibrantly healthy brand. While it’s weathered occasional strains with its partner Coca-Cola, it’s ridden the red system to a remarkable presence overseas, and Coke’s domestic refranchising has put the brand in the hands of a new breed of more energetic, alert bottler. And just as Pepsi’s ally Rockstar seemed to be losing its fastball, along came Bang Energy, injecting a new burst of energy as it inaugurated that segment we call performance or fitness energy, incorporating ingredients from the supplement aisle like creatine and branch-chain amino acids. Still, there’s no room for complacency. A large share of the incumbents’ sales still reside in those convenience stores, to younger male consumers. What about the rest of us? After a lot of false signals in the past, there are signs now that the category is broadening its reach, even if it’s not necessarily Red Bull, Monster, Rockstar or Bang that are connecting with these other consumers. After a decade and a half in the wilderness, Celsius seems to have found its rhythm as a female-leaning fitness drink and Congo’s Alani Nu is showing signs of breaking out with a similar demo. Though Bang Energy has been weathering a troubled marriage to its new distribution partner Pepsi, other performance brands like C4 are growing fast. I would imagine that the inner councils of Red Bull and Monster are full of discussions about whether those brands are connecting as well with entry-level consumers or risking becoming “your father’s brand.” Meanwhile, the very edginess that so brilliantly brought them this far is becoming a liability in a cancel culture where any missteps are instantly amplified on social media. Meanwhile, other segments continue to make incursions into energy, potentially with more success than in the past. One of the latest breakout brands, Body Armor sports drinks, has launched an energy extension, as has a previous breakout brand, Bai. And while ready-to-drink coffees haven’t yet ignited, they continue to pose a threat to energy, with their inherently more natural formulations, artisanal stories and links to rich café culture. Throw in plant-based plays like Guayaki, Yerbae and Runa, and it’s possible the segment we call energy may be entering its most fertile period – ever. Longtime beverage-watcher Gerry Khermouch is executive editor of Beverage Business Insights, a twice-weekly e-newsletter covering the nonalcoholic beverage sector.


Colorado-based Freshies Food Co. launched a line of functional cocktail mixers infused with CBD and broad-spectrum hemp extracts. The expansion includes CBD margaritas, palomas, and bloody mary mixers which are available at retailers in select states and through the company’s website. Pickle makers Tru Pickles debuted Tru Elixirs: a line of CBD-infused gourmet pickle juice shooters. Each 2 oz. bottle has 20 mg of CBD as well as CBG and other cannabinoids. Pickle juice has 10 times more electrolytes than traditional sports drinks. The pickle juice shooters are available in select states and on their website. Garden of Flavor introduced Aloe Collagen to its energy elixir line. Aloe Collagen blends cold-pressed juice with caffeine from Guayusa and living probiotic cultures to support digestion, and contains 10 grams of protein, 2 grams of sugar and 25 calories. Marine collagen is intended to promote skin and joint elasticity and provide nutrient-dense protein. The entire energy elixir line is available for purchase at Whole Foods, Heinen’s and online. Revamping its clean energy drink line with a new canned format, Tru also reformulated its Defend and Rescue shots with immunity support and added electrolytes while also introducing a 2 oz. aluminum shot package for both products. The new formula contains no artificial colors, flavors, preservatives or sweeteners. California-based brand UP TO GOOD introduced a new mission-driven beverage, Sparkling Cascara, made with upcycled coffee fruits (cascara) that offer a sustainable caffeine boost along with antioxidant benefits. UP TO GOOD’s low calorie and low sugar formula boosts mood and promotes brain health and focus, and comes in three flavors: Original Cascara, Lemon Ginger and Hibiscus Berry. Phocus has added four new flavors – Root Beer, Cherry Cola, Crisp Apple, and Mixed Berry – to its lineup. Like all other Phocus offerings, these new flavors contain 75mg of caffeine from tea in each can, combined with the addition of the naturally occurring amino acid L-Theanine, for a smooth release of energy. 42 BEVNET MAGAZINE – JULY/AUGUST 2021

Beverage brand Alani introduced a new Cherry Slush flavor to its Nu energy drink line which is available for purchase at Target and from their newest nationwide retail partner, Sam’s Club. Alani also debuted the Alani Seltz line, a low calorie spiked seltzer available in Mimosa, Peach Please, Frozen Lemonade and Hawaiian Shaved Ice flavors. For this year’s annual Summer Edition release, Red Bull has launched Dragon Fruit, with a pairing of red fruits and florals. Red Bull Summer Edition Dragon Fruit is available in 8.4 fl oz and 12 fl oz matte green cans. This limited-edition taste is available for purchase nationwide while supplies last. Casamara Club is now offering its best-selling Alta flavor in cans. Casamara Club are spritzy, alcohol-free amaro club soda with 15 calories and 4 grams of sugar per bottle and available nationwide. The sodas are an alcohol alternative that aids digestion and assists in a better sleeping experience. Hiyo debuted as a mood-boosting social tonic that serves as a better-than-alcohol alternative. The brand initially rolled out with three flavors – Peach Mango, Watermelon Lime, Blackberry Lemon – each containing a blend of nootropics, adaptogens, and herbal extracts. REZ rebranded as a natural, plant-based beverage made with lots of functional ingredients that offer “Great Taste with Benefits,” specifically highlighting the products’ immune-boosting ingredients. REZ is distributed by UNFI, KeHE & DSD. Coffee-alternative brand Rasa released its newest product: Calm, blended with notes of date and vanilla on a “roasty” base. Rasa’s Calm is intended to deliver relaxation through a clinical dose of ashwagandha, blue vervain and blue lotus. Turveda Prebiotic Super Sodas launched at Erewhon and Sprouts in California. Additionally the soda is on track to launch in Southern Pacific WholeFoods stores in September. The brand has gained distribution with KeHe, UNFI and Hi-Touch Distribution and currently offer four flavors: WELLNESS (Turmeric Lemon Ginger), CHILL (Lavender Vanilla Ashwagandha) and IMMUNITY (BloodOrange PassionFruit Amla Berry).

H Y B R I D T H E O R Y:

Tea Brands Embrace Cross-Category Definitions By Brad Avery

Iced tea can at times be among the simplest of refreshments. The category conjures up images of a tall, cool ice-filled glass of sweet (or not-so-sweet) drink. But as ready-to-drink tea sales rebound from pandemic challenges, the market for traditional-styled products remains crowded and dominated by a handful of brands. As tea startups look to stake out their share of stomach, they increasingly have to do more than just refresh. According to SPINS, the ready-to-drink tea category (plus select mixes and iced tea bags) grew 8.2% in MULO to $4.2 billion during the 52-week period ending June 13. Of that, refrigerated products made up $1 billion (up 7.3%), while shelf stable drinks accounted for $2.7 billion (up 10%). But those numbers don’t necessarily represent a broad range of high-performance companies. 44 BEVNET MAGAZINE – JULY/AUGUST 2021

Over $3.5 billion of those sales come from just the top five brands: Pure Leaf, AriZona, Lipton, Gold Peak and Snapple. According to IRI, Pure Leaf (which is manufactured by Lipton and PepsiCo) leads the category, with sales up 13.5% to $910 million in the 52-week period ending June 13, followed by AriZona, which grew 2.2% to $598 million in the same period. Even among the other high performing brands outside the top five, the category is still weighted towards the same select conglomerates. The Coca-Cola Company, for example, also owns Peace Tea (up 20.8%) and Honest Tea (down 20.4%) in addition to Gold Peak. While RTD tea sales in retail have remained solid, the pandemic also had a significant drag on the category last year by hitting the pause button on the businesses of restaurants and other

image credit: Anja Liotta for Shaka Tea

on-premise accounts. A December report by Euromonitor International stated that the RTD tea category had faced declining sales in 2019; while the retail business rebounded in 2020, the closure of on-premise accounts resulted in double digit declines for the category’s total sales. In particular, unit price growth suffered since prices are typically higher for on-premise stores and consumer stockpiling led shoppers to focus on multipack formats -bringing down the overall average. But as the category is steeped in broader beverage trends towards wellness, functionality, and low and no sugar products, which could help during the recovery, the Euromonitor report noted.

“In general, the COVID-19 pandemic has strengthened brand movements which were already present within the category,” the report stated. “More indulgent RTD tea brands with higher sugar content have continued to lose share in 2020, whilst kombucha brands and more healthpositioned brands have increased.” Likewise, Whipstitch Capital managing partner Mike Burgmaier, speaking from an M&A perspective, pointed to strong growth in the kombucha category as one of the most promising avenues for tea-based beverages, while teabased energy drinks and yerba mate likewise are poised for strong growth. Acquisitions of traditional iced tea brands are sparse, he said, and two of the most high profile acquisitions in recent memory -- Honest Tea by Coke and Sweet Leaf by Nestle -- are now a decade in the past.


But products like Hoplark HopTea and yerba mate brand Guayaki, that bend category definitions, are both posting strong growth and present a path forward, he said. In particular, Burgmaier praised Hoplark, which makes a line of teas brewed with hops, giving the drinks the texture of a full-f lavored, non-alcoholic beer, as providing a major point of differentiation in the category that is resulting in strong sales. While they all service different niches, kombucha, yerba mate and more unique brewed products like Hoplark are all expanding the use occasions for tea, helping put them in a different space than other tea startups fighting to draw market share from Coke, Pepsi and AriZona. “Basic tea is a very difficult prospect, because there’s so many big players that just absolutely dominate,” Burgmaier said. “It’s a relatively low-priced product that is available everywhere. So you obviously have to differentiate your offering. Being extremely low calorie, low sugar or zero sugar -- that’s almost a must have if you’re going to break out and differentiate. Having some type of functional angle, I think, is also very important.” EXPANDING TEA For Hawaii-based Shaka Tea, positioning its line of organic, zero sugar and caffeine-free teas as a functional beverage has been key to the brand’s growth, according to husband and wife co-founders Harrison Rice and Bella Hughes. The five-year-old startup announced in July that its four SKU line of iced teas are now available in over 6,000 stores nationwide. Sales are up 240% year-over-year the company has grown to over 20 employees, its founders say.

image credit: Anja Liotta for Shaka Tea

While its glass-bottled drinks contain just Hawaii-grown tea, f lavoring, and monk fruit -- putting it in that traditional iced tea category -- the company has leaned on other marketing messages, including friendliness to Keto and Plant-Based diets to drive trial and bring in health-minded consumers. As well, Hughes said the brand’s focus on noncaffeination has been a consistent selling point, especially for consumers seeking midday refreshment that won’t keep them up all night. While Shaka is hardly the only caffeinefree beverage on the market, the brand has married the trait into its overall clean label positioning to present the brand as something akin to a complete health package. “Every single thing you put in your body has to have some health benefit now, because everything is about immunity,” Hughes said, noting that the brand’s retail expansion comes as buyers have been more “focused” in their selections. Shaka Tea is now looking to expand its platform with a new 2 oz. tea-based Immunity Shot. Set to launch this fall, the passion fruit-f lavored shot contains turmeric and antioxidant-rich tea mamaki. According to Hughes, the product will roll out in a limited run in Hawaii, including in the hospitality channel, before expanding elsewhere. The better-for-you shots category has seen an inf lux of innovation over the past few years, including from brands like Ethan’s and So Good So You, and the unique format has helped to drive sales growth for slowing categories like juice. But Shaka aims to be among the first to introduce a tea-based shot to the market, marking another way for a startup tea brand to expand its business. An increasing number of brand marketed as better-foryou plays are also now hitting the mainstream. In March, startup brand Weird Tea launched into the convenience channel with a line of sweetened, organic canned teas. Founder Jason May -- the former CMO of Rockstar Energy 48 BEVNET MAGAZINE – JULY/AUGUST 2021

Drinks -- said he plans to disrupt the category by marrying the ethos of premium boutique teas with vibrant branding targeted towards the mainstream. Established tea brands are also now looking to extend their offerings with new emphasis on function and wellness: Rishi Tea, primarily a loose leaf and sachet tea seller, launched its ready-todrink Sparkling Botanicals brand last year and Honest Tea debuted a yerba mate line in May. Earlier this year, Novamex-owned canned iced tea Steaz announced a brand refresh that included new positioning as an “antioxidant brew,” added zero sugar products and a new line of yerba mate based extensions. The products were also reformulated to remove ingredients that “didn’t make sense,” including inulin and erythritol, according to Mike Fransz, director of marketing at Nova Naturals, the Novamex beverage division that also includes brands like C2O and Tio. Historically Steaz’s footprint has been deepest within the natural channel, but Fransz said the rebrand is now helping to break deeper into the conventional channel, including Big Y, Giant Carlisle and HyVee, with several larger retail chains slated to go online this fall. The broader portfolio is also growing the company’s place on the shelf within existing natural accounts: the yerba mate line, which launched as a Whole Foods exclusive in the fall, is poised to enter new accounts later this year, primarily within the natural and specialty channel. “For the last 15, 16 years Steaz has really crafted what we call ‘f lavorful teas for the mind, body and soul,’” Fransz said. “The introduction of yerba mate is just really the fun expansion of that and continuing to drive value to the consumer by focusing on great taste in a unique way that delivers upon something that fits their mind, body and soul.” That would be more than refreshment, indeed.


Lemonade maker Swoon debuted its first tea product: Peach Iced Tea, a zero-sugar f lavor sweetened with monk fruit. Swoon’s Peach Iced Tea will be sold online for $1.99 per can or in cases of 12 cans for $29.99 or $25.99 with a subscription. For every case of Swoon Lemonade sold online, the brand will donate one can to NYC’s Madison Boys & Girls Club, which serves over 5,000 kids and teens annually with Clubhouses in communities in New York. AriZona introduced two new products to its portfolio: a reduced calorie and sugar formulation and a carbonated canned Santa Fe Arnold Palmer. The diet line is available in Raspberry, Peach and Lemon f lavors. The Santa Fe Arnold Palmer contains one calorie, no sugar and is made with a splash of real fruit and tea. The Matcha LOVE Energy+ line is the latest addition to ITO EN’s energy tea portfolio with offerings intended to boost immunity, focus and soothe. Made with a green tea and matcha blend, each 8.2 oz. can contains 50 mg of caffeine, catechin antioxidants, Vitamin C and L -Theanine. The new line is available in f lavor combinations such as Honey & Ginger, Acerola and Yuzu and Blueberry & Ginseng. Pin Energy Tea launched its plant powered, naturally caffeinated and L -theanine infused energy tea in Miami and New York. The LA-based beverage startup makes its tea with moringa leaves and green tea that is rich in antioxidants and vitamins. Pin is also launching a sparkling line later this year. Joi’s introduced a Moringa Sweet Tea, an organic, zero sugar natural energy drink without caffeine. The beverage is now available online and in select retail locations in California.


Zest Tea has introduced two new f lavors in its zero sugar and zero calorie plantpowered energy line. The new f lavors include Cucumber Melon and Blood Orange Mango. Zest’s sparkling RTD products are currently available in over 1,500 stores across the Mid Atlantic and New England with plans for expansion into the Southeast, Texas and California regions over the next year. Tsai Bev Group has transitioned its product from bottles to 12 oz. slim cans. The new package is expected to be finished by the end of July in Canada, and will debut in the U.S. soon after. Heavenly Hibiscus is the fifth addition to the lineup for Special Leaf Iced Tea, a ready-to-drink olive leaf iced tea, brewed and bottled in San Antonio, Texas. Wize Iced Tea is working on a third production run to increase the f lavors in all three of its SKUs: Hint of Lemon, Mango and Grapefruit. Additionally Wize Iced Tea is in three Save on Foods stores and are working towards expanding to additional stores. Hoplark HopTea is now available at Target, Publix, Safeway Denver, Fresh Thyme, Sprouts, and Giant Martins. Shaka Tea recently debuted in select Costco regions including in Arizona, Colorado and San Diego and recently signed with Classic, Golden-Reyes, Valley Wide Beverage, Columbia Distribution and Z.T. Distribution. In August, Shaka Tea will be debuting its new Immunity shot, blending Hawaiian herbal mamaki leaves with Hawaiian turmeric and vitamins. Spritz Tea has expanded distribution of its softly sparkling craft tea infusions throughout the midwest with the support of KeHE and UNFI. The brand also raised a seed round of funding to begin expanding distribution throughout its home region.


Amidst changes in category identity, sports drink brands are exploring new ways to fit in consumers’ daily routines.


For sports drinks brands, every day is looking like game day. The category’s evolution has been well-documented up to this point: once considered an almost medicinal format used exclusively for fueling athletic performance and highintensity thirst-quenching, traditional isotonic sports drinks are now part of the greater beverage diaspora, available everywhere from c-stores to soda fountains. As legacy brands have seen their products transcend sports, they’ve been joined by a new generation of companies that look to more intentionally migrate the category into new areas via callouts to hydration, immunity, energy and plant-based ingredients. When placed alongside each other, it can be difficult at times to see where the sports drink category ends and the broader functional water or healthy refreshment segment begins. But maybe that’s the point. Over the years, the concept of exercise and fitness has moved beyond activities like weight lifting and jogging to include everything from yoga to high intensity interval training (HITT) to Cross Fit and Peloton — and sports drink makers have responded. Rather than offering a unified, one-size-fits-all solution, brands are expanding their range of options to meet users across multiple day parts and use occasions, delivering targeted functional benefits and product experiences that can be part of a daily routine. Regardless of the individual strategy, the good news for any sports drink brand is that the category continues to expand. According to data from IRI through June 24, 2021, MULO (including c-store) sales for the segment grew 15.9% yearover-year, surpassing $8.4 billion in total dollar sales. That includes both RTD products and powders. A “Solution for Any Occasion” As the category’s dominant player, Gatorade has both the advantage of a front-runner position and the added pressure of meeting the expectations of a changing consumer base. Over recent years, the company has sought to expand

beyond its core line with a variety of innovations — added protein, zero sugar and caffeine among them — designed to keep consumers interacting with the brand over the course of multiple day parts and use occasions. In the words of Gatorade’s senior Vice President and general manager Brett O’Brien, the brand’s widening suite of products allows consumers to make their own choices about if and how they fit into that individual’s specific schedule and routine. “For us, it’s all about options,” said O’Brien. “The future of sports fuel is centered around personalization – the notion that what I need is different from what my teammate needs. In other words, there isn’t a one-size fits all approach for today’s athletes. Our portfolio represents that – personalization and choice.” At its core, Gatorade’s product development strategy has centered around layering ingredients (and functional benefits) on top of the base offering of “electrolytes for hydration (and) carbohydrates for fuel,” according to O’Brien. From there, the brand can create products that

products,” O’Brien noted. “We’re developing new products based on what athletes are asking for and trust them to optimize their personal nutrition plan. Again, two athletes on the same team may consume a completely different set of products based on their nutrition needs, flavor preferences, recovery protocol, and other factors].” But as Gatorade continues to tick the boxes for various callouts — organic ingredients and antioxidants being two others — its room for further growth may eventually grow limited. In May, the company launched Gatorlyte (think Pedialyte-type products) , a three-SKU line of rapid hydration sports drinks aimed at the convenience channel. According to Carolyn Braff, head of brand strategy at Gatorade, the product is designed to serve short-duration exercise occasions or individuals who may sweat heavily, as opposed to drinking the core Gatorade line when “fueling” for high intensity sports. The difference? The latter contains more carbohydrates — 36 grams, compared to just 8 grams per 20 oz. bottle for Gatorlyte.

“represent the spectrum of use cases an athlete can have”: so after downing a Gatorade Endurance mid-game, there’s the option for consumers to move to sugar-free Gatorade Zero for recovery or caffeine-added BOLT24 for a quick energy boost, for example. Meanwhile, the brand’s “smart bottle” system, Gx, takes that personalization to the next level by offering a reusable bottle, which can be customized online to feature pro team logos or individual user names, that can be reloaded with single-use fl avor pods from across Gatorade’s various product lines. Yet O’Brien noted that the company has been careful in how explicitly it guides users on how to use its various products. Rather than using package labels text or marketing campaigns to shape consumption behaviors, the idea is rather to leverage Gatorade’s credibility within the athletic community to tailor an experience that feels more personal. The recently launched Gx smartphone app is part of that strategy: developed in collaboration with the Gatorade Sports Science Institute (GSSI), it combines workout analytics and physiological profi le to establish a customized preparation and recovery plan, complete with a schedule and targeted progression goals. “We don’t instruct athletes on how and when to use our

While that may seem like a slight difference to the casual consumer, O’Brien noted that Gatorlyte was developed based on insights and feedback from athletes who were actively searching for a rapid hydration product. In fact, Gatorlyte was already being used in powder form on “NFL sidelines and in the top endurance races in the world” for years before being adapted into a ready-to-drink format. What drives our innovation pipeline is athlete testing, direct feedback and usage with the best athletes in the world. It informs everything we do, from new products to new flavors, to new form factors,” he said. “Knowing every athlete is looking for something a little different, we strive to offer a solution for any occasion.” Elsewhere, Gatorade’s chief rival BODYARMOR -- now the category’s second largest player, surpassing Coke’s Powerade — has taken a slightly different tactic in its efforts to reach users throughout the day. The brand’s latest innovation, BODYARMOR Edge, introduced in February, showcases the brand leveraging its credibility in the space to expand its platform and transcend the category’s traditional boundaries. The 4-SKU line features 100 mg of natural caffeine and over 1,100 mg of electrolytes per 20 oz. bottle


One Solution, Multiple Occasions While building products around specific use occasions is one approach, it’s not the only way to go. For Pennsylvania-based brand ROAR Organic, the strategy has been the opposite. In June, after gathering feedback and conducting extensive consumer research, the company debuted a new formulation for its flavored hydration drinks that features 100% daily value of vitamins B5, B6, B12 and C, plus antioxidants in the form of vitamins A and E. Billed as a “complete hydration solution,” the four-SKU line aligns with broader health and wellness trends — organic ingredients, low sugar, reduced calories — rather than specific sports or athletics-related callouts. The motivation? ROAR’s core consumers were already using the product for refreshment and hydration throughout the day on their own. Post-makeover, the drink’s formulation and its packaging, which has also been revamped, is meant to emphasize “anytime” use. According to CEO Alexandra Galindez, the brand has no plans to start adding targeted SKUs or attempt to change consumer behavior. Rather, by diverting from the approach taken by others in the general sports drink category, ROAR stands out simply by being different. It’s not necessarily a path that brands like Vitaminwater or Bai have gone down previously, but with ROAR’s targeted female demographic, it’s an identity that the company has room to grow with. “That’s just not who we want to be,” Galindez said in reference to the category’s isotonic giants during an interview earlier this year. “If you take a look at the brand now, you can see that it’s a beverage that you would drink all day.” Though Edge isn’t BODYARMOR’s fi rst platform extension, the product’s performance thus far suggests that consumers are buying into the brand’s vision. During a fi reside chat in April with Bonnie Herzog, managing director at Goldman Sachs Equity Research, BODYARMOR cofounder and chairman Mike Repole said the line is expected to generate between $125-150 million in sales and is on pace for around $93 million in revenue in its fi rst year; for comparison, he noted, it took seven years for core line to reach $100 million. Alongside the company’s other lines — reduced sugar Lyte is projected to sell between $300-350 million and BODYARMOR Sports Water is expected to reach $150 million — the performance of Edge thus far is fueling the company’s projections that the sports drink segment will surpass $10 billion by 2024 and $15 billion by 2030. “There’s been an awakening in this category where it had been fl at for many years and now it is growing in double digits,” BODYARMOR president Brent Hastie told Herzog: “Brands like BODYARMOR have come in and reshaped how you can address those needs, and drive incremental growth. One of the strongest data points we have about our brand is that 75-80% of growth is incremental.” Outside of RTDs, targeting specific use occasions has also been a boon for powdered products like nuun, Hydrant and Liquid I.V. When combined with a convenient and travel-friendly form factor, the concept of using throughout the day becomes more intuitive, i.e. throwing a sleepboosting powder stick in your travel bag, or keeping a tube of dissolvable tablets in your gym bag. 58 BEVNET MAGAZINE – JULY/AUGUST 2021




Gatorade Perform






G Zero



Bodyarmor Superdrink



Gatorade Frost






Gatorade Fierce



Powerade Ion4






Powerade Zero






Bodyarmor Lyte Superdrink



Powerade Zero Ion4



Gatorade G2 Perform



Bodyarmor Lyte



Gatorade Perform Series



Gatorade G2



Gatorade Bolt 24



G Gatorade



Private Label



SOURCE: IRI, a Chicago-based market research firm-@iriworldwide% 52 Weeks through 6/13/21


ATAQ launched a 6-pack of watermelon f lavored electrolyte hydration drink mixes and pineapple power + endurance booster shot. ATAQ’s hydration drink formula includes betaine, and a balanced ratio of four parts potassium, three parts sodium, two parts magnesium and one part calcium. The 2 oz. shots are made with S7, CurcuWin, Zynamite extract and AstraGin extract and are shelf-stable. Liquid Hydration launched two new f lavors: Strawberry Banana and Peach, both of which have zero added sugar. The beverage is formulated with 5% watermelon juice, 50 mg plant-based branch chain amino acids, natural sweeteners, natural f lavors, and six essential vitamins. Kombuchade, a Kombucha-based sports drink now has all four of its SKUs – Lavender Lemonade, Super Berry, Wild Guava and Mango Turmeric – available at all Whole Foods Market locations across Illinois. ROAR Organic is now fortified with 100% daily value of vitamins B5, B6, B12 and C, as well as vitamins A and E. This reformulation comes from market research showing that ROAR consumers are actively seeking vitamins and antioxidants at a higher level than electrolytes alone. The new Complete Hydration beverages also include a bold new packaging design. IVUSION Beverage Company announced a new website launch with a new e-commerce platform. The new site contains a modern design with several tools, such as product information, information on joining IVUSION’s wholesale community, and a section to apply for their ambassador program. IVUSION now offers multiple methods of payment on their product page. Kill Cliff launched its 10th Anniversary Commemorative Can celebrating not only their anniversary but also for


hitting the $1 million donation milestone to their offi cial charity partner, the Navy SEAL Foundation. The NSF Commemorative Can is available in their two most popular Ignite fl avors, Fruit Punch Knockout and Cherry Lime Grenade. Protein2o announced its electrolyte expansion with a revamp of their existing fl avors and the addition of two new fl avors: Tropical Coconut and Mixed Berry. These new 15 gram protein + electrolyte fl avors contain no sugar, natural fl avors, colors or sweeteners and will be available in 4-packs at Walmart, in cases via e-commerce and in single 16.9 oz bottles throughout the country at retailers like Hy-Vee, Albertsons, Winco, Rite Aid and many others. GO BODY launched a new RTM plantbased recovery powder called GO BODY Hydrating Essential Aminos. The new product is available in three fl avors: Galactic Blast, Fresh Squeezed Citrus and Raspberry Lemonade Berri Fit released new branding and packaging to emphasize its fl avors and natural ingredients. Berri Fit is made with plant-based electrolytes, including coconut water and organic juices, and is gently sweetened with manuka honey and agave nectar. Berri Fit is available nationwide in Rite Aid and Whole Foods stores throughout the Northeast, Northern California and SoPac, as well as independent retailers in the natural channel. LIFEAID Beverage Co. introduced FITAID Strawberry Lemonade, the fi rst fl avor variation of the brand’s most popular product in their portfolio. FITAID contains BCAAs, Glucosamine, CoQ10 and Omega-3s. Cure Hydration is now available at all Erewhon locations. The product launched July 1 and can be found at the Cure end cap displays and in the nutrition aisle.

Spirited Discussion:



verybody’s talking about RTDs, and for good reason. The ready-to-drink (RTD) beverage alcohol segment is absolutely exploding, with that growth triggering a slew of new brands and products entering the market. But as this avalanche of RTDs continues to hit shelves nationwide, the very defi nition of the category remains up for debate. Global data and analytics company Nielsen churns out detailed analytical reports on everything from television to retail, but even they can’t provide a universal defi nition. So what gives? It covers a lot, of course, and with the pace of innovation, it’s crossing a lot of categories, from both alcohol and non-alcohol companies. “There defi nitely is not one standard defi nition, and the defi nition varies across most of our clients,” says Danelle Kosmal, Nielsen’s vice president of Beverage Alcohol Practice. “The most common defi nition that we use for ready-to-drink alcohol products includes hard seltzers, single-serve ready-to-drink spirit cocktails, flavored malt beverages, hard tea, hard kombucha, wine-based cocktails, canned wine, and wine that comes in smaller non-glass packaging,” going on to say there are even new categories emerging from within the segment, like frozen products. “This defi nition changes and is tweaked often, as new products come into the market, creating subsegments of ready-to-drink products that have never existed before,” Kosmal adds. “For example, hard lemonade seltzers, hard tea seltzers, and ranch water seltzers are three new subsegments of seltzers and RTD that we created this year.” And then the label -- “readyto-drink” -- itself is misleadingly broad. After all, technically, anything you can open and drink

I've Developed There definitely is Skill Set not A one standard That Otherand Local definition, the Companies definition varies Just Aren't across most of Able To ourOffer. clients – Danelle Kosmal


as-is is “ready to drink.” Ashley Campbell, brand manager for Tequila Cazadores, embraces this more expansive term -although maybe not for Cazadores’ core spirits offerings. “Simply put, RTDs are single-serve beverages that are ready to be consumed immediately upon opening. They are perfect, easy drinks that can be enjoyed for any occasion, anywhere with family and friends,” Campbell says. Morgan Robbatt, president of the hard kombucha brand KYLA, agrees. “For us, ready-to-drink is any beverage that offers convenience in consumption – be it by uncapping a bottle or popping a can open,” says Robbatt. “When the concept fi rst originated, cocktails dominated the space, but as the industry expands with new innovations, so must the category. RTD for us is equivalent to ‘hassle-free’ and the liquid stands on its own when consumed as-is.” The beverage alcohol industry does tend to primarily, or at least initially, refer to RTDs as spirits-based, pre-mixed, and often canned cocktails. But as Kosmal and Robbatt point out, RTDs can also be malt-based or even include alternative alcohols like hard seltzer or kombucha, depending on who you ask. As always, it’s important to consider the source. Nielsen categorizes hard seltzers as an RTD, but alcohol e-commerce platform Drizly nestles their hard seltzer offerings under “Specialty Beer & Alternatives.” Alcohol retailer BevMo, meanwhile, internally breaks down RTDs by base spirit; as explained by Beer & DSO Beverage category manager Amy Gutierrez. “RTD for spirits in our system are called Prepared Cocktails, which include all flavors and sizes, under one class header,” Gutierrez says. “RTD for beer in our system are called Malt Beverages, which include all malt and seltzers, with sub


descriptions, under the main class. RTD for wine in our system is under the varietal of the actual wine, with a sub description of single serve, whether a single can of wine or 12-pk or 4-pk package.” She goes on to say as the umbrella term “RTD” continues to evolve, BevMo is currently in the process of redefi ning these segments “to make it easier for the customer to shop on our website.” Essentially, their method of fi ltering between products is more driven by user experience on the site in order to make the purchasing process as easy as possible. Liz Paquette, Head of Consumer Insights at Drizly, says they have a slightly narrower defi nition of what constitutes a ready-to-drink. “Drizly defi nes RTDs as pre-mixed drinks that have a liquor base. They are intended to be consumed directly and have a similar ABV to beer/ wine (typically below 40%),” according to Paquette. This is similar to Minibar’s online shopping and delivery platform, which also categorizes RTDs under “Liquor” while keeping products like hard seltzers and hard teas under the Beer category. Piotr Jurjewicz, Chief Marketing Officer at FIFCO USA (a brewing conglomerate based in New York) takes a bit more of an esoteric approach when it comes to defi ning what RTDs actually are, explaining the category is driven by consumer demand for convenience and flavor above all other factors. “RTDs provide a consumer-centric experience that delivers the taste people want in a

convenient package,” says Jurjewicz. “However, the most defi ning characteristics of RTDs are their combinations of features and benefits borrowed from different categories… Innovation in RTDs starts with an open view toward satisfying consumers’ needs and tastes preferences fi rst and then delivering new product solutions that can be easily consumed.” Despite analytic fi rms and retailers each defi ning the category in individual ways, some producers, like Elenita, feel RTDs are best characterized specifically as spirits-based. “We think it’s important to defi ne RTD as something that is spirit based – no malt, no fi ltered beer, no wine, no fermented cane sugar, no kombucha,” says Elenita co-founders Jordan Dil and Mikel Noriega. “This is important because it seems like a lot of consumers are confused or are unsure of what they are purchasing and consuming. We’re seeing that they drink brands thinking it is a vodka or tequila soda when they are actually drinking malted rice or sugar. The RTD category, by defi nition, should be higher quality than what we are seeing of the seltzer segment.” Quality remains relatively subjective, but many RTD brands continue to promote a fi rst-to-market position as a way to stand apart from competition, whether they are formally categorized as an RTD by everyone or not. “A big reason we approached a spirit as complex as mezcal was because we wanted to be the fi rst” of the sparkling mezcal drinks, say Elenita’s founders. “[W]e looked at the RTD/seltzer space and realized the potential to create something just as pure, artisanal and elevated as a bottled mezcal in this exciting emerging space that attracted a lot of loyalty and attention in an exciting and growing consumer segment.” KYLA’s Robbatt agrees, explaining that their “Riviera Series” of brewed cocktails, which don’t have a kombucha base, is currently the sole probioticbased RTD cocktail product on the market. Their motivation for launching the new line was to capture the health conscious consumer with a “better for you” beverage that still mimics a traditional cocktail. With beverage alcohol trend fi rm IWSR reporting a 43% increase in global consumption of RTDs in 2020, as well as predicting 20+% growth YoY through 2024, it’s fair to say RTDs are probably going to continue to exist in a bit of a squishy space, especially now that consumers have had a taste of the cocktail experience at home. Direct-to-consumer sales of RTDs, like most


alcohol segments, increased dramatically during COVID-19’s extended shutdowns, and the ability to marry familiar flavors with a safe, off-premise experience provided a convenient way to have your highball and drink it too. Some large beverage alcohol companies, like Jim Beam, decided to join the party once they saw how much demand existed, launching a line of canned Highball cocktails designed to appeal to both existing bourbon fans as well as those new to the spirit. Still, without a formally agreed upon definition across the industry, this mix of “traditional” spirits-based canned cocktails are likely to continue to coexist next to malt-based and other alternative alcohols promoting themselves all as ready-todrinks, as consumers seek convenience and flavor over base alcohol. Even as previously ironclad definitions differentiating between beverage alcohol segments continue to evolve, Robatt predicts that RTDs will maintain their trajectory. “This segment will continue to grow as consumers continue to prioritize convenience and products they can take on the go, and the offerings continue to get better,” she says. In short, despite disagreement on what “ready-to-drink” really means, it’s likely we’ll see more products branded as such in the future.




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Brighter Tonic

Cafe Grumpy

All three flavors of Brighter Tonic contain 30 grams of organic apple cider vinegar, a hint of organic maple syrup and natural plant oils for a gut-boosting acetic acid-powered quick fix. Each refreshing citrus elixir has only 30 calories.

Drink straight up, over ice or with a splash of your favorite milk. No preservatives, artificial ingredients or sugar. Roasted and brewed in Brooklyn, NY with specialty grade arabica coffee beans. Sustainable Tetra Pak packaging.

Brewery on the creek in Austin, Tx brews Wild Kombucha for 15+ years! Buddha's Brew Kombucha As one of the first Kombucha breweries in the nation - we continue to brew Authentic Kombucha, handcrafted from wild, living culture strains and bottled Full Strength and Raw. Enjoy a Wildly Delicious Kombucha bubbling with billions of Live Cultures!

Califia Farms Oat Barista Blend Califia Farms Pro and home baristas: If you thought nothing could beat the taste and texture of dairy milk in your espresso drinks, think again. This naturally rich and creamy oat milk whips up frothy, full-bodied lattes with a delicate, malty taste.


BRAND LISTINGS C4 Smart Energy Natural Zero C4®

CLEAN Cause - Organic Sparkling Yerba Mate CLEAN Cause Inc

Clean Cause is on a mission to support individuals in recovery from alcohol and drug addiction by donating 50% of profits to fund sober living scholarships. Coined “CLEAN Kickstarts,” these are intended to bridge the critical gap between rehab & reintegration. The CLEAN Cause product line consists of 9 amazing tasting, USDA organic certified, sparkling yerba maté beverages that come in low & zero calorie options. Each 16-ounce can is packed with 160mgs of organic caffeine to power your everyday passions all the while supporting individuals recovering from alcohol & drug addiction. CLEAN Cause’s 40 plus employees are dedicated to building a brand that empowers consumers to leverage their purchases that ultimately support individuals in recovery from alcohol & drug addiction. Best-Tasting CBD Beverages CBD Living

The future of drinking is here Cann

Cloud Water Brands

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.

Organic Cloud Water + Immunity line comes in 3 incredible flavors: Grapefruit Mint & Basil, Blackberry Lemon & Rosemary, and Blood Orange & Coconut. Sweetened with organic wildflower honey, each can contains 20 calories and only 5g of unrefined sugar

Phocus Caffeinated Sparkling Water


Organic Sparkling Water With Immune Support

NEW Citrus Ginger Zest Cold-Pressed Juice

Clear/Cut Phocus

Evolution Fresh

Phocus is a delicious, health-conscious, thoughtfully caffeinated sparkling water. Infused with a boost of natural tea caffeine and the balance of L-theanine, you get the clean energy you want without the sugar, calories, or crash.

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.

BRAND LISTINGS Lassi: Yogurt Smoothie DAH!

All Natural Small Batch Craft Tea Excel Bottling Company

Organic Fermented Pineapple Probiotic De La Calle Co.

Untouched Water. Unmatched Profits. FIJI Water

FIJI® Water, Earth’s Finest Water and America’s No. 1 premium imported bottled water brand, is backed by Earth’s Finest® campaign: a $30-million integrated marketing effort that includes national TV, social media, digital, PR, events, in-store activations and FSIs. With this kind of support, there’s no question FIJI Water will continue to attract Earth’s Finest customers. Now available direct to you, order now and get ready to drink in the profits. Only FIJI Water was born in the purest clouds high above the islands of Fiji. It fell through a remote tropical rain forest, 1,600 miles from the nearest continent. It filtered through ancient volcanic rock, naturally gathering minerals and double the electrolytes as the two top premium bottled water brands. And it’s protected from impurities in a sustainable artesian aquifer, hundreds of feet below the surface. FIJI Water can’t be replicated, because nature perfected it. We just bottled it. For the latest updates on FIJI Water, please visit


BRAND LISTINGS Naturally Alkaline Spring Water in a Planet-Friendly Pack Flow Hydration

Sarah’s Homegrown Fresh Dispensed Beverages Frey Farms

Flow is 100% naturally alkaline spring water sourced from its artesian springs right here in North America. We believe that the water you drink matters. To our bodies. To our communities. To the planet. That’s why Flow is committed to giving you high quality, sustainably sourced, alkaline spring water in renewable plant-based, 100% recyclable packaging. B Corp Certified with the highest Overall B Impact Score in the industry, Flow products are designed to have a low carbon footprint and made with energy-efficient processes. By choosing Flow over traditional plastic bottles, customers have helped avoid over 130 million new plastic bottles from entering the environment. Flow offers a wide variety of wellness-oriented products. Flow’s organic flavored waters contain no sugar, no calories, no juice and no sweeteners. Launched in 2020, Flow’s collagen-infused spring waters have 10g of collagen per serving, to help support healthy skin, nails, hair and joints. Later this year, Flow will debut a vitamin-infused lineup to support a healthy immune system.

Tsamma Watermelon Juice Frey Farms

All Natural Sodas Made With Real Ingredients and Sweetened With Honey Fresh Fizz Sodas

GT's Living Foods

Fresh Fizz Sodas - a new line of 100% natural sodas made with juices, spices, herbs and honey. No refined sugars. No preservatives. Certified Kosher. Flavors like Lemon Mint, Cherry Cola, Jalapeno Lime, Pineapple, Hibiscus Ginger, and Date Cardamom.

SYNERGY California Citrus brings the bright flavor of kumquat together with fresh ginger and smooth vanilla. Fully fermented for 30 days, SYNERGY raw Kombucha is potent with 9 billion living probiotics to aid digestion and boost immune health.

ALIVE Ancient Mushroom Elixir


New SYNERGY Raw Kombucha: California Citrus

New SYNERGY Raw Kombucha: Lemon Berry

GT's Living Foods

GT's Living Foods

ALIVE is an antioxidant-rich sparkling tea made from three of the most powerful adaptogenic mushrooms: Reishi, Chaga, and Turkey Tail. This elixir helps the body fight free radicals, combat oxidative stress, and prevent cellular degradation.

SYNERGY Lemon Berry is authentic raw Kombucha with the fresh taste of lemon and mixed berries. Each bottle is packed with nutrients to support gut health and immunity, including 9 billion living probiotics, organic acids, active enzymes, and aminos.


GURU Top-Performing plant-based energy drink Yerba Mate now available! Guru Organic Energy Corp

Available in Canada since late 2020, GURU Yerba Mate is ranked as one of the best performing new product launches in Canada. GURU Yerba Mate is available for delivery across U.S. grocery, natural, c-stores and drug channels through GURU’s distribution partners and online, via Amazon and Certified Organic Cold Brew Groundwork Coffee

H2Om Water with Intention - The Best Tasting Water in the World H2Om International, Inc. Premium Natural Spring Water Est. 2006 The World's First Interactive Water. No flavors or additives. R-PET eco-friendly bottles. pH of 7.4 Featured in TIME, WSJ, and at The Chopra Center. Perfect for a healthy mind, body, spirit lifestyle! H2Ommm! H2OPS - The Original Craft Brewed Hop Water Since 2014

Ultimate Toxin Defense Beverage hellowater hellowater® Defense Powered by CYTO +™ is a game changing patented technology. CYTO+ creates a shield against incoming toxins by working with and bolstering our primary chemical processing engine, Cytochrome P450. goodbye toxins. hellowater®. Hoptonic Sparkling Tea



The refreshing alternative to beer. Brewed from the whole hop for true hop character. No added flavors, essences or oils. Naturally zero alcohol, zero calories, unsweetened, caffeine and gluten free. Enjoy the flavor of hops anytime or anywhere.

Hoptonic's mission is to sustainably brew a distinctly refreshing sparkling tea. We utilize perennial botanical ingredients which promotes regenerative agriculture. What's good for the earth is good for humans.


BRAND LISTINGS Introducing our Coconut Smoothies Harmless Harvest

Sparkling Hoplark Water Hoplark

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

Organic Premium Tea

Icelandic Glacial Premium Naturally Alkaline Spring Water HUMANITEA Company

Icelandic Glacial

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"

Sustainably sourced from Iceland’s Ölfus Spring, Icelandic Glacial has a naturally low mineral content and alkaline pH of 8.4. Shielded from pollution by an impenetrable barrier of lava rock, the spring produces water so pure that nothing is added.

Zero Tastes Better™

America's First Bottled Barley Tea Humblemaker Coffee Co. Zero Tastes Better™ - Our fresh & functional wellness cold brew coffee shots contain zero sugars, zero calories and zero sweeteners brewed with natural ingredients & organic coffee.


Inaka Tea Company This beloved East Asian refreshment is now available in the U.S. Made from roasted grains grown in North America, our teas are naturally caffeine-free, antioxidant rich, and traditionally brewed. Available in 3 flavors. 5-30 calories per bottle.

BRAND LISTINGS Karma Wellness Water Elderberry Starfruit

Leaner Creamer Debuts Its Line of Liquid Creamers

Karma Culture (Karma Water)

The real coconut experience. Kokomio

Leaner Creamer

Karma Wellness Water Elderberry Starfruit is meticulously formulated with 110% of 7 essential vitamins and nourishing adaptogens to deliver immune support. Karma's patented Push Cap better protects the active ingredients, assuring optimal potency.

Leaner Creamer expands its successful brand into the refrigerated space with its delicious Liquid Creamers. Non-dairy, sugar-free, infused with functional supplements to lean up your cup of joe. Available in Original, French Vanilla, and Hazelnut.

Billions of Probiotics - Thirst Quenching 0 Calories - 0 Sugar

Packed with flavor. Zero sugar. Perfectly refreshing.

Kaylee’s Culture

Lemon Perfect

Lightly carbonated Probiotic Water the whole family can enjoy! 3 Delicious Flavors - Sweetened with Monk Fruit. 100% Organic! Veteran Spouse Owned!

Lemon Perfect is a zero-sugar coldpressed lemon water that’s packed with naturally refreshing flavor and superfruit benefits. Healthy hydration is more convenient, delicious, and blissful than ever. USDA Organic & Keto Certified.

New Koia Smoothie Glowing Greens Koia


Chew Your Coffee Liquid Core Gum Co.

BRAND LISTINGS A breakthrough hemp-extract line of tasty beverages MAD TASTY

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

MaKa Organic RTD Wheatgrass +Energized+

Myracle Kitchen Organic Barista Mylk now available in USA Nurture Brands LLC

Upgrade your Sparkling Water with The Fastest Growing Brand in Natural

MaKa Superfood

Nixie Sparkling Water

MaKa's USDA Organic Certified beverages are a delicious combo of wheatgrass, herbal tea, and fruit juices. Each drink is equiv. to 8, 1oz pressed wheatgrass shots, +Energized+ with 90mg caffeine from yerba mate & guayusa, and lightly carbonated.

Nixie is a line of delicious and consciously crafted sparkling waters that are USDA Organic Certified and non-GMO! Launched by the founders of Late July Snacks, Nixie uses organic botanical and fruit flavors for a vibrant and refreshing taste.

Sparking Water With A Kombucha Twist

Oaza: Coffee You Love. Hydration You Need. Energy You Feel.

Mother Kombucha

Oaza Cold Brew

Here's a refreshing idea. Delicately flavored sparkling water with the added benefits of organic kombucha. Rich in B vitamins and organic acids for a healthy gut - with only 4 calories and 1 gram of sugar per can.

Hydrate Your Coffee with Oaza Cold Brew. Each can is infused with electrolytes for improved hydration and energy. Oaza comes in Black, Oatmilk, and Mocha, which are deliciously smooth and refreshing and just 0g sugar with less than 30 calories.



Eliminating 1 billion plastic bottles in 5 years Open Water

Pivot Coldbrew

10,000 year volcanic filtration! European mountaintops! Clouds! We think all these water brands are missing the point. Open Water is deliciously pure, but we'd prefer to talk about something that *actually* matters: keeping plastic out oceans.

Functional coffee that tastes good + makes you feel good. Arabica coffee blended with nootropics + adaptogens to create good energy that gives a cognitive boost, improves focus - all without the jitters. NonGMO + No/ Low Sugar + LowCal + Vegan + Keto

Oatmilk Gets a Makeover with Picnik Vanilla Oatmilk Adaptogen Creamer

A New Kind of Soda OLIPOP

Refreshing RTD Cold Brew Coffee with Nootropics + Adaptogens

Why Pocas Ginger Brew? Meet All Natural Ginger Brew with Superfoods!



Meet Picnik’s newest functional creamer! This vanilla oatmilk, adaptogen, and collagen blend was created to keep you focused and energized, yet calm and balanced. Always unsweetened and made with 100% pure MCT oil. PS: It’s also gluten & dairy-free!

Pocas Ginger Brew is an all-natural, non-GMO, caffeinefree ginger drink that's been shaken and infused with superfoods like turmeric, moringa, and ginseng. Indulge in rich flavors of ginger and sweetened with cane sugar; it is a true game-changer.

Official Bottled Water Partner of Lollapalooza 2021 PATH

PATH®, the only bottled water company in the industry that offers electrolyte-enhanced purified water in a 100% refillable and sustainable aluminum bottle. Offering the convenience of bottled water, a healthy alternative to sugary beverages, and leading the fight against single-use plastic bottles that are harmful to our planet. Go to to learn more. 82 BEVNET MAGAZINE – JULY/AUGUST 2021

BRAND LISTINGS Organic Sparkling Botanical Beverage Petal Sparkling Botanicals

Organic Dairy-Free Lattes Pop & Bottle


BRAND LISTINGS poppi - NEW Classic cola

Introducing REBBL POP, A Sparkling Prebiotic Soda.



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.

Every can of organic REBBL POP™ is packed with deliciously refreshing, nutrient-dense, plantpowered ingredients that support Immunity and Digestive Health. Enjoy 4 refreshing flavors with only 5g of sugar and 50 calories.



Natural Plant-Based Hydration


Recovery Brands LLC

THE STACK: Combining caffeine and L-theanine, REBBL Stacked Coffee™ delivers smooth, balanced energy with sustained focus. Layered with Lion’s Mane, Reishi, MCTs and creamy Oat Milk, this plant-powered drink supports your Immunity and all day thrive.

REZ is a natural, plant-based beverage made with turmeric, antioxidants, electrolytes, vitamins & minerals. REZ has 0-sugar, 10-calories, 1-carb. REZ offers immune support, diabetic friendly, keto approved, shelf stable, kosher and TASTE GREAT!!



Natural Alkaline Spring Water Bottled at the Source Proud Source Water

BRAND LISTINGS Great Tasting Mixers Make Great Tasting Drinks Regatta Craft Mixers Our award-winning Classic Ginger Beer is made with all natural ingredients, no high fructose corn syrup and sweetened with pure cane sugar. Now available in 6-packs of 7.5 oz. sleek cans and distributed in grocer, liquor channels, and DTC.

African-Inspired Sparkling Organic Tea

Shimmer Seltzer Full Spectrum CBD Seltzer Flavored by Cocktail Bitters

Sparkling Live Cultured Remedy Kombucha Remedy Drinks

Shimmerwood Beverages Shimmer Seltzer uses New England sourced hemp, hand crafted cocktail bitters and fruit shrubs to create 3 distinct SKUs: Razz Lime, Ginger Orange and Just Hemp. Our mixology approach highlights our CBD with premium ingredients for a full flavor. SHINEWATER. All Natural. Vibrant Flavor. Zero sugar. Vitamin D.



Awarded with the Specialty Food Association Best new RTD Sofi in 2020, Sarilla is made with real Rwandan tea leaves and certified organic ingredients. White tea w ginger, green tea w hibiscus, black / silver tea with lemon or apple juice.

Sunshine In A Bottle! 100% of the daily recommended value of Vitamin D. ShineWater is naturally sweetened with zero added sugar. ShineWater has key electrolytes including Potassium, Magnesium, and Zinc. No artificial colors or flavors.

Immune Boosting Natural Focus Energy Drink - Organic Keto Paleo ZERO’s Rebellious Beverage Company

Wildly Delicious, Good-for-you-fizz in 4 NEW Super Tasty flavors! revive drinks


BRAND LISTINGS 100% Plant-Powered Energy Drink. RIOT Energy

Kombucha and Adaptonic Sparkling Immunity Tonics Rowdy Mermaid

Quit the chemicals, go all in on 100% plant-powered energy. Same level of energy as traditional energy drinks. Better ingredients. Zero added sugar, sweetened with real fruit Certified Radical: both USDA Organic & Whole food, Plant-based Certified

The purest vanilla in the world meets the best tasting Oat Milk Latte. RISE Brewing Co

First chocolate chia milk. A delicious treat that's also nutricious! SOW- Seeds of Wellness The Plant-Based Milk variety now drawing a lot of attention is made with whole chia seed, a superseed famous for its abundant hearthealthy omega-3, high-quality protein, and fiber content. Seeds of Wellness (SOW) Milks come in 4 flavors. ALO Drink is the Original Plant-Based Beverage.


Introducing ALO JÈN, flavored water infused with COLLAGEN + ALOE VERA SPI WEST PORT, INC For women and men, skin with healthy levels of collagen isn't just more youthful, it's stronger. We have married 2500 mg of our proprietary marine collagen peptides, plus aloe vera with a splash of fruit juice. From the popular makers of ALO Drink.

All Natural CBD Beverages



Enjoy the tantalizing tastes of our brilliant blends. ALO takes natural aloe vera juice and pulp that we harvest on our organic farm and combines them with a splash of real fruit juices and other inspiring ingredients. Non-GMO. Gluten and fat-free.

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.

BRAND LISTINGS Award Winning - Sparkling Botanical Tea Sparkling Botanicals by Rishi

Coffee Simplified. Convenience Meets Quality. Steeped Coffee

Spindrift Spiked Sparkling Water: A Cleaner Twist on Hard Seltzer Spindrift Spiked Co., LLC

Perfect Hydration Alkaline Water & Fruit-Forward KOE Kombucha Stratus Group

Yup, we finally did it. After two years in the making, Spindrift® is proud to announce the launch of Spindrift Spiked™, a cleaner twist on hard seltzer. Like their original sparkling water, Spindrift Spiked is made with just sparkling water and real squeezed fruit - but now includes the fun addition of alcohol from cane sugar. By using real fruit rather than artificial flavors, natural flavors or sweeteners, Spindrift Spiked tastes delicious, clean, and endlessly drinkable. At only 82 to 95 calories per can, Spindrift Spiked is perfect for vibrant, full-of-life moments when 4% ABV feels just right. Available in 12 fl oz cans in four flavor-rich, real-fruit varieties: Mango, Lime, Pineapple, and Half & Half. Spindrift is donating 1% of Spiked sales to environmental not-for-profits through its membership to 1% For the Planet. 88 BEVNET MAGAZINE – JULY/AUGUST 2021


Take Two Debuts Shelf-Stable Line of Barleymilk Take Two Foods

80% of what we taste comes from our sense of smell. Our proprietary scented ring is infused with all-natural, foodgrade oils. Nothing more than reverse osmosis purified water in the bottle. Enjoy the sensation of flavor without the dietary baggage. Outrageously Delicious Plant-based Specialty Coffee with Adaptogens

Plant-milk from upcycled grain, Barleymilk creates second chances for food, people, & the planet. Providing 3-5g of protein and MCTs, Barleymilk is available in three low sugar & creamy flavors, like Original & Barista. Lattes that shrink landfills. Discover the Power of NXT LVL HYDROGEN WATER with QUAD-C

Taika Taika is the world’s first perfectly calibrated blend of craft coffee and adaptogens designed to make you feel awake, aware and inspired. Our products are plant-based, with no added sugar and a unique blend of adaptogens and functional mushrooms.

A Fresh Source of Vitamin C

Organic Iced Tea The Granny Squibb Company

Vive Organic Vive's new Immunity Boost Vitamin C wellness shot is a trifecta of immuneboosting functional superfoods like ginger, turmeric, and acerola cherry, which acts as a potent fresh source of Vitamin C offering 200% Daily Value!

Based on a 100 year-old family recipe, Granny Squibb's is Organic, non-GMO, kosher, gluten-free, and vegan friendly. With both sweetened and unsweetened SKUs, Granny Squibb's is a classic iced tea that's better and better for you. The Plug Drink 2.0 Launch - The Last Shot of The Night The Plug Drink

Takeover Industries Inc. Our drink is the next generation in performance hydration for everyone from athletes to seniors looking to achieve optimal health, performance and overall wellness. We packaged our drink in a slim 12oz. recyclable BPA free wide-mouth aluminum can.

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

True Nopal Prickly Pear Cactus Water True Nopal Ventures LLC


True Nopal Prickly Pear Cactus Water is 100% all natural with no added sugar or sweeteners. True Nopal has less than 1/2 the calories & sugar as coconut water while providing electrolytes, potassium, magnesium and antioxidants!

Waiakea Hawaiian Volcanic Water's New Refillable Aluminum Bottles Waiakea, Inc Waiakea was founded in 2012 adapting an unparalleled platform of healthy, sustainable, and ethical attributes and initiatives. In addition to the well-known rPET bottles, Waiakea is launching new, refillable aluminum bottles.

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

VOSS+ Water That Works Harder For You VOSS Water

WorkSmart: Adaptogenic Sparkling Water & CBD Water & Hemp Water Untitled Art

For Anxious Minds, CBD & Adaptogens VYBES


BRAND LISTINGS The All Natural Better-For-You Soda Wave Soda

ZenWTR Alkaline Water in 100% Recycled Ocean-Bound Plastic Bottle ZenWTR Alkaline Water

WTRMLN WTR Is Cold Pressed Delicious Hydration WTRMLN WTR by Caribe Juice Inc

WEIRD TEA - Organic, Amazing Tasting, and a High Five for YOU! Weird Beverages LLC

Your Super

Weird Tea launches Summer 2021 in Austin, Texas and Southern California with four incredible and unique flavors. We want to refresh you, make you smile, and give you a high five. Check us out on the digitals at www. and Let's Get Weird!

Gut Feeling is a plant-based prebiotic superfood mix made with Celery, Jerusalem Artichoke, Lemon, Apple, Ginger, and naturally digestive enzymes that support overall gut health. The mix is organic, nongmo, and contains no sweeteners or additives.

Yerbaé - Plant-Based Energy

WTRMLN WTR is on a mission to bring the powers of the watermelon superfruit to all humans. Watermelon juice is nature’s perfect sports drink because it offers delicious hydration from naturally occurring electrolytes and is packed with nutrients. Consisting of only cold pressed watermelon flesh & rind, filtered water, and a touch of lime juice, WTRMLN WTR has no added sugars or flavors. Each bottle is loaded with Lycopene, L-Citrulline and has 6 times the electrolytes of leading sports drinks, which is vital for muscle health and recovery after a vigorous workout. It is also all-natural, gluten free, non-GMO, vegan, and Kosher. WTRMLN WTR is currently available in four new mouthwatering functional blends: HYDRATION Original, IMMUNITY Ginger*, ANTIOXIDANT Strawberry*, and RECOVERY Tart Cherry*. *Contains 300% DV Vitamin C, blending the functionality of a “shot” with naturally delicious watermelon juice for year-round replenishment. Our melons are on a mission and sourced from small farmers whenever possible. To minimize waste, we seek out imperfect melons that might otherwise be wasted and use the entire melon except for the skin. WTRMLN WTR is naturally delicious hydration that tastes and feels good. That’s why we call it Liquid Love. 92 BEVNET MAGAZINE – JULY/AUGUST 2021

Gut Feeling Instant All Natural Superfood Celery Juice

Zenify Natural Stress Relief - Non-GMO Project Verified

Yerbae, LLC


Increase your focus, feel revitalized, and be ready for anything with Yerbaé! At home, or on the go, Yerbaé gives you the plantbased energy boost you need to tackle your day. Restore your balance and unlock your Can-Do Attitude with Yerbaé.

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.

Zevia Zero Calorie Beverages Zevia Zevia is the zero sugar brand consumers trust for naturally sweetened beverages made with simple, plant-based ingredients. We are excited to introduce the newest addition to our soda line, Creamy Root Beer.


SUPPLIER & SERVICES LISTINGS Your Total Solution Provider Bioenergy Life Science (BLS)

Tea, Coffee & Specialty items A. Holliday & Company Inc.

Scientific & Regulatory AIBMR Life Sciences, Inc.

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.

AIBMR is an industry-leading scientific and regulatory consulting firm, founded in 1978. AIBMR offers key services specifically tailored to the natural products marketplace, including toxicology studies, GRAS Independent Conclusions, FDA GRAS & NDI Notifications, label reviews, claims substantiation, FDA & FTC compliance, and manuscript preparation & publication.

Flavor Manufacturer Abelei Flavors

Nutrient-Dense Proteins +Milks Axiom Foods

We’re re-imagining the possibilities for dietary supplements, functional foods, beverages, cosmetics and personal care products. Great things can happen when you sharpen your competitive edge with Bioenergy Ribose and RiaGev because our ingredients do more, and they do it better. (Cue the music and fanfare!)

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 neutral, suspendible, functional, FDA GRAS plant proteins, PLUS whole graincertified 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)


Do you want more sales? Then forget what you thought you knew about energy products. Bioenergy Ribose is a healthy, functional sugar that increases cellular energy by enhancing the body’s ability to make ATP. The backbone for custom energy blends, it boosts the performance of other energy ingredients, such as CoQ10. This is THE go-to ingredient for noticeable sustained energy, without any unwanted side effects. Healthy aging is an enormous opportunity. Even those taking NR will be sold on RiaGev, our newest ingredient. It’s the next big thing in healthy aging because it uniquely increases ATP, NAD and glutathione production simultaneously. Science shows RiaGev supports concentration and motivation while reducing fatigue. Consumers are likelier to notice the difference. Contact us to advance your business to the next level. Your Tropical Fruit Partners Brothers International LLC

SUPPLIER & SERVICES LISTINGS Your CBD Ingredient Provider Caliper Ingredients

Sleeved Cans Nationwide CanSource LLC

Caliper Ingredients develops, manufactures, and distributes a proprietary suite of standardized, clean-label, shelf-stable formulations of watersoluble hemp-derived cannabinoids, including CBD. Caliper is designed for rapid go-to-market and scalable manufacturing, mixing easily into food, beverage, supplement, personal care, and pet applications. We are invested in doing things the right way.

With a decade of experience, CanSource is the leading provider of shrink-sleeved cans in the U.S. We make ordering cans easy. With 5 locations across the US (CA, OR, CO, PA, NC), we deliver shrink-sleeved cans to you with quick turnaround times and minimum orders as low as half a pallet. Our custom can sleeving solutions elevate your craft beverages so your cans look as great as they taste

Real People. True Flavor. Callisons

Functional Ingredient Chemi Nutra

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, pharmaceuticals, and automotive fluids. 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.

CholineAid® Alpha-Glyceryl Phosphoryl Choline (Alpha-GPC) is a potent, all-natural, non-stimulating nootropic ingredient that is a powerful precursor for acetylcholine, the brain and body's primary neurotransmitter. It is clinically proven to boost physical and mental performance. In addition, it is tasteless, completely water soluble, USP, and affirmed as Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS).

Shopify + Development Strategy Chelsea and Rachel Co.

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 your solution. 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 our goal is to make the process EASY. CMC Beverage Solutions is located in Athens, GA just outside of Atlanta, the transportation hub of the south which makes southeastern distribution EASY (are you starting to see a theme here?) Capabilities: RO water, tunnel pasteurization, post fill sleeving, variety packs, nitro dosing, and warehousing. We run 12 oz sleeks and standards, 16 oz, and 200 and 250 ml with 200 ends. Products: still and sparkling water, energy drinks, juices, functional and adaptogenic beverages, distilled spirits RTDs, malt beverages, nitro, and CBD drinks. CBD Specialists. CMC has a third party onsite lab for 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, listen to tall tales or tell us a great story. It’s EASY, just the way it should be. 96 BEVNET MAGAZINE – JULY/AUGUST 2021

Go to or reach out to us at

SUPPLIER & SERVICES LISTINGS Speciality Hydrocolloids CP Kelco

Custom Flavor Development Flavor Dynamics, Inc.

FONA Flavor & Taste Solutions FONA International

Co-Packing & Co-Manufacturing Green Mountain Beverage

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.

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 today want it all. 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. Design, develop and scale up using our Beverage Innovation Studios in Geneva, IL and Irvine, CA. We are FONA. Let us bring the best taste solutions to the table for you.

Green Mountain Beverage offers a full range of contract production and packaging services. With over 30 years of beverage manufacturing, we are uniquely positioned to meet your needs for quality, scalability, and production capacity for canned, kegged, or bottled (RTD, FMB, cider, beer, wine) alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Let us show you why co-packing with us makes sense for you.

Support Gut Health with DE111 Deerland Probiotics & Enzymes

Natural Beverage Development Flavorman

Decorative Labels & Packaging Fort Dearborn Company

Nut Butter Goodness at GDNIS! Grower Direct Nut Ingr. Supply

With the rise of health-conscious consumer, Deerland’s DE111® highly stable, spore-based probiotic enhances functional foods and beverages with clinically-backed health claims to support Immunity and Digestion in children and adults, Cardiovascular health and Improved Body Composition and Performance. DE111 survives harsh environments like the stomach and many processing conditions.

Natural beverages are tricky—but the benefits they provide won’t matter if nobody drinks them! Luckily, the Beverage Architects at Flavorman can make your natural beverage as flavorful as it is functional. With nearly 30 years in the business, Flavorman is the best partner to custom formulate your natural beverage to your unique specifications. Together, we'll change what the world is drinking.

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.

Nut Butter in bulk and in ecofriendly (5g bucket replacement) MetaPails for healthy plant based beverages. Silky smooth nut butter - Almond, Walnut, Pecan, Pistachio. Also great addition to smoothies, yogurts, ice creams, baked goods. Can do jarred nut butter Private Label like our Nutty Gourmet brand. Also, roasted and seasoned nut capabilities. Certified Organic. OU Kosher. Thank GDNIS!

Coconut Ingredients Franklin Baker, Inc.

Custom Ingredient Blend Mfr IFPC

Franklin Baker, Inc. is the largest processor of coconut ingredients in the Philippines and the premier supplier to the global beverage & food market. Franklin Baker offers an extensive portfolio of coconut products including Coconut Water, Coconut Milk/Cream, Coconut Concentrate, Creamed Coconut. Our extensive third-party certifications are unrivaled to the highest product standards.

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.

Natural Color Solutions GNT USA Inc.

Portable Equipment to Promote Iowa Rotocast Plastics

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.

IRP, founded in 1986, is a manufacturer of fabricated concessionaire foodservice equipment and promotional POP displays. IRP is proud to be a domestic manufacturer, which ensures quality control, adherence to regulatory guidelines, and quicker lead times. Equipment is highly durable with proven longevity, which in turn eliminates the landfill waste created from competitor's "disposable" solutions.

Natural Functional Energy Doehler North America

Increased consumer demand for natural functional energy drinks requires exciting taste sensations as well as healthier options. Guayusa, a plant-based extract that provides naturallyoccurring caffeine, is rapidly trending with its “super leaf” status & functionality. Dive into this dynamic market & partner with Doehler for innovative energy drinks with extraordinary flavors using natural ingredients. Plus, our ready-to-use compounds drive quality, taste, & cost containment, while reducing development & production time. Doehler is a global producer, marketer & provider of technology-driven natural ingredients, ingredient systems & integrated solutions for the food & beverage industry. Our integrated approach & broad product portfolio are ideal for innovative & safe food & beverage applications. Our product portfolio of natural ingredients ranges from natural flavors, natural colors, health ingredients, pulses & cereal ingredients, dairy & plant-based ingredients, fermented ingredients, dry fruit & vegetable ingredients, fruit & vegetable ingredients to ingredient systems. “WE BRING IDEAS TO LIFE.” briefly describes Doehler’s holistic, strategic & entrepreneurial approach to innovation. This comprises market intelligence, trend monitoring, the development of innovative products & product applications, advice on food safety & microbiology, food law as well as Sensory & Consumer Science.


SUPPLIER & SERVICES LISTINGS Mobile Canning Solutions Iron Heart Canning Co

Your Bulk Matcha Source MATCHA.COM

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! has an extensive network of farms and producers in Japan that Dr. Weil (our founder) has cultivated over the last few decades. We work with you one-on-one to come up with the perfect matcha grade to beat your price target and exceed your quality expectations. Dr. Weil created with a single mission to import the highest quality, besttasting matcha found anywhere.

Coffee, Tea & Botanical Extracts Javo Beverages

Branding & Packaging Design McLean Design


Celebrating over 60 years in business, and 10+ years in their Made in the USA manufacturing facility in Rockmart, Georgia, Miura has become the world leader in steam boiler innovation and technology and a favorite of the Beverage and Food industry. Miura’s once-through watertube boilers are exceptionally reliable, efficient, safe, and feature a range of impressive benefits including: Cold start to full steam in less than 5 minutes, which allows users to turn units on/off quickly depending on load requirements, while conserving resources and reducing energy costs; enhanced operational reliability; modular, space-saving design; advanced controls and remote monitoring; and a best-in-industry safety record with zero catastrophic vessel failures resulting in casualty.

Founded in 2001, Javo is an extraction company that uses proprietary technology and product development processes to produce fresh, cleanlabeled coffee, tea and botanical extracts for the food and beverage industry.

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.

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

In 2020, Miura, along with Hartford Steam Boiler and Armstrong Services introduced Steam as a Service (SaaS), a turnkey, fully-financed solution that meets the steam requirements of a range of users by designing, building, operating, maintaining, and continuously optimizing their steam generation onsite. Miura boilers are available in two series:The LX Gas/Low NOx Series, Low and High Pressure Steam Boiler (from 50 -300HP) uses natural gas or propane and are compactly-designed.The EX Gas/Oil Series High Pressure Steam Boilers (from 100HP and 50HP increments up to 300HP) are the most versatile boilers in the world. Trust the monk.™ MONK FRUIT CORP.

100% FRUIT JUICE. ZERO SUGAR. NewTree Fruit Company

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.™

Using De-Sugared Fruit as an ingredient is a natural way to maximize nutrient density, maintain great flavor/color, and achieve a zero sugar label. Can be used with water, dairy, or juice based drinks. Let's create a category disruptor together!

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 and operated since 1937 also Women's Owned Business.

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 98 BEVNET MAGAZINE – JULY/AUGUST 2021

SUPPLIER & SERVICES LISTINGS Sustainable Packaging Handles PakTech

Turmeric for Joint Health Natural Remedies

Turmacin® is an innovative, clinically researched, and patented ingredient that brings the joint and cartilage health benefits of turmeric to functional beverages. Turmacin® has the backing of five clinical studies and several preclinical studies. It is standardized to contain Turmerosaccharides™ and does not contain curcuminoids. Turmacin® is applicable as a functional ingredient in beverages (non-alcoholic) at levels of 50 mg per serving. Turmacin® is GRAS, BSCG Certified Drug-Free, Non-GMO project verified, Kosher, Halal, USDA & EU organic certified. With more than 21 million doses sold globally, Turmacin® is the best ingredient to differentiate your beverage and provide real value to your customers Natural, Clean Label Flavors Omega Ingredients Ltd

Specialty Beverage Insurance Personal Coverage, Inc.

We are Omega Ingredients, Award Winning Creators of Natural Flavors & Clean Label Ingredients for Manufacturers of Food, Flavor & Beverage Products Worldwide. Our focus is on 100% Pure & Natural ingredients, helping to create your next beverage from ‘Source to Sip’. We specialize in the innovative fusion of biochemistry & natural materials to provide the finest extracts & natural flavors.

You will receive personal attention regardless of company size. Great place for education. Product offerings include General Liability, Excess Liability, Commercial Property, Domestic and Ocean Cargo, Product Recall, Workers Compensation and Commercial Auto insurance. We are licensed in many states. Very familiar with contract requirements and working with US subsidiaries of foreign entities.

Beverage Management Software Orchestra Software

Ideal Flax for Beverages Pizzey Ingredients

Turn the many-headed beast of running a beverage business into something much more manageable and profitable. Orchestrated all-inone software solution provides a single source of truth for operations, data, and decision making to increase efficiency, reduce risk, and empower with real-time insights to drive your business forward. Let’s talk about how we can help you run your business like a pro.

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.


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SUPPLIER & SERVICES LISTINGS Filling and Closing Solutions Pneumatic Scale Angelus

NEW Half-height Depalletizer Ska Fabricating

It’s a Matter of Taste! Sensient Flavors & Extracts

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.

Introducing Ska Fabricating’s newest innovation in depalletizing: The Nimbus. This cutting-edge, low-cost depalletizer features a stowable rotary table to further reduce the machine’s footprint when not in use and the same pallet-lift and layer-sweep design used on our Can-i-Bus. This combination creates a compact, efficient depal that's optimized for small spaces and lower speed applications.

Sensient Flavors and Extracts offers value-added flavors, systems and extracts that bring life to products. We inspire our customers to deliver products that offer multi-sensory experiences that are “just picked from nature.” Thanks to our wide-ranging product library, development teams and cutting-edge facilities, we’re able to implement thoughtful solutions for complex challenges.

Beverage & Food Development PTM Food

The Craft of Flavoring Sovereign Flavors, Inc.

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!

At Sovereign Flavors, it is our mission to craft the best tasting finished beverages and highest quality flavors in the industry. Our experienced beverage technologists formulate a variety of finished drinks, according to your needs and specifications, while our flavor chemists create custom flavors (natural, organic, non-GMO, or TTB) that can be used in a variety of different applications.

Sweetness Ingredients Pyure Brands, LLC

With industry-leading expertise in the savory, beverage and sweet markets, we provide comprehensive solutions that meet our customers’ flavor, color, and functionality requirements. At Sensient Flavors & Extracts, we use our advanced proprietary development technologies to create fresh, unique flavor systems. Additionally, we have a complete line of masking & flavor enhancing technologies. Particularly in beverage, we have a TrueBoost portfolio that enhances mouthfeel & creaminess, and a natural extract portfolio from named sources. We are experts in the science, art and innovation of taste. We are market-savvy influencers, grounded in facts and driven by the needs & occasion of our consumers. We are problem solvers, and you are what makes us a collaborator, and a true partner. Together, we can solve the most challenging product puzzles and together, we can make products that are delicious, craveable and truly inspired.

Blending and process equipment Statco-DSI Process Systems

Show Your Label's TRU Story Synergy Flavors, Inc

Statco-DSI is a full service provider to the food and beverage industry, with specialties in dry powder mixing and continuous inline blending, as well as de-aeration and carbonation. Working out of 11 offices coast to coast, we are one of the nation's largest sanitary processing equipment distributors and systems integrators in the U.S. market.

Synergy Flavors is a supplier of flavors, extracts and essences for the global food & beverage industry. Made from the named source, our natural essences, extracts, and organic certified flavors profiles fit the strictest label requirements while matching today’s trending flavors, including coffee, tea, fruit, herbal, floral and other botanical profiles. Contact us to learn more.

Fruit & Vegetable Ingredients Stiebs

Sweet Taste + Healthfulness Tate & Lyle

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.

Unlock better-for-you beverages with our comprehensive and synergistic sweetener toolbox. Consumers demand natural sweetness, and you need the right partner to help you create world-class products. Whatever your challenge, Tate & Lyle can help you reduce sugar and calories with great taste, achieving a clean label at the right cost in use.

Pyure Brands sells clean label high & low intensity sweeteners, no-sugar-added chocolate inclusions & coatings and sugar-free baking mixes for snack food applications. Pyure is distinguished for pioneering the first-to-market third party certified Stevia, Erythritol, Allulose & No-SugarAdded Chocolate Chips & Compounds in North America. Pyure is trusted for taste & quality by millions of producers, marketers & consumers who insist on reducing sugar consumption without sacrificing taste. Our team of innovation, sourcing, regulatory, logistics & cobranding experts have over 80 years of experience creating & supporting our manufacturing, foodservice, retail & direct to consumer partners. Visit or email directly now. Sweet.


SUPPLIER & SERVICES LISTINGS Plant-Based Ingredients SunOpta

Targeted Retail Execution, a Trax Retail co.

Beverage Systems & Technology Techniblend, Inc

Flavorful.Sustainable.Safe. The Coffee Cherry Co.

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, higher yield & improved processes.

Upcycled Coffee Cherry is a showcase ingredient for RTD still and sparkling beverages, blending with ground coffee, custom tea blends and more. Plant-based functional nutrition, appealing flavor notes of dried stone fruit, berry, tea, earthiness and citrus, and traceable sustainability to drive Millennial/Gen Z purchasing decisions. Three particle sizes optimized for various applications.

Sustainable Carton Packaging Tetra Pak Inc.

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

Tetra Pak is a world leading food processing and packaging solutions company, with integrated processing, packaging, and distribution solutions. We offer a complete range of sustainable packages that protect both the nutritional value and taste of the products inside. Our package functionality offers convenience, easy opening, optimal shelf life and the ability to give your brand maximum exposure.

Top Health Ingredients has been a trusted leader in supplying the highest quality non-GMO, plant-based proteins, prebiotics, oils & more to the functional food, beverage, and meat analog markets since 2009. We work closely with our manufacturers and valued customers to develop and supply unique plant-based solutions for virtually every application; like, AdvantAllulose our newest low GI sweetener!

Beverage Premix Solutions The Wright Group

Connect with the team of experts at The Wright Group to learn more about turnkey beverage solutions to add to your product portfolio. Beverages create ideal systems for functional ingredients since flavoring / sweetening systems can often mask unfamiliar tastes from functional ingredients. Microemulsion value-added ingredients often perform better in beverage delivery systems since they may not subject to the same cooking or mechanical stresses as in food production. Valueadded premix solutions deliver performance and stability to your products...often at a cost savings! Custom nutrient premixes have been shown to work well in a variety of products even extruded bars, breakfast cereals and beverages. SuperBlend© custom nutrient premixes are engineered to perform at high temperatures and shear processes. The Wright Group delivers custom nutritional blends, vitamin & mineral premixes and microemulsion-value added ingredients for the beverage and nutritional supplement markets. Our 100+ years of innovative expertise, accomplished technical team, and comprehensive production capabilities allow us to provide shorter lead times enabling you to successfully bring your products to market. 104 BEVNET MAGAZINE – JULY/AUGUST 2021

Food & Beverage Software Vicinity Software

Let's Get Wild! Wildpack Beverage Inc.

VicinityFood connects your distribution, sales, production, food safety, inventory and finance teams with a unified recipe-based manufacturing software system. From lot traceability to recipe management to production scheduling and financial operations, VicinityFood gives food & bev manufacturers the real-time solution they need to manage their food processing supply chain with MRP software.

Wildpack Beverage Inc. (TSX.V ticker symbol: CANS) is a provider of co-packed beverage production services as well as beverage can decoration services, including shrink-sleeve printing and application, direct printed cans and blank Brite cans. With multiple production locations in strategic geographic locations across the country, Wildpack is the clear-cut choice for all of your packaging needs.

Enhance And Fortify Vitacyclix

Vitacyclix a division of MORRE-TEC Industries, formulates and manufactures a variety of unique water-soluble dry powders and clear liquid emulsions for the fortification of ANY type of beverage. Our product offerings include a full selection of vitamins, minerals, bioflavonoids and proteins, in addition to water-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K2. Vegan and kosher options are available.








A. Holliday & Company Inc.

Christine Renken



(416) 225-2217

Abelei Flavors




(630) 859-1410

AIBMR Life Sciences, Inc.

Jared Brodin



(253) 286-2888


Mark Mallardi

Laguna Beach


(424) 241-8204

Amaz Project, Inc

Gustavo Nader

Santa Monica


(310) 310-0672

Applied Food Sciences (AFS)

Jackson Zapp



(512) 732-8300

Aqua ViTea Kombucha

Aqua ViTea



(617) 803-2047


Sara Brewer



(720) 545-8779

Aspire Brands Inc Athletic Brewing Co

Kyle Kulhanek



(630) 460-1197

Christian Bartholomew




Victoria Pustynsky



(917) 447-5262

Rick Ray

Los Angeles


(916) 813-1878

Penny Portner

Ham Lake


(763) 746-3926

Ken Tenace




Danyelle Rabine

Las Vegas


(949) 939-7136

Aurora Sparkling Hops Axiom Foods Bioenergy Life Science (BLS) BioLift Blue Marble Cocktails

Blue Ridge Bucha

Doug Gellman



(540) 221-6841

Boxed Water Is Better

Robert Koenen

Grand Rapids


(616) 856-0558

Brew Dr. Kombucha



(503) 235-3656

Danny Olivas

Santa Monica


(310) 890-5664

Brew Dr. Kombucha Brighter Tonic Brothers International LLC

Andy Keane



(585) 343-3007


Tyler Hartmann



(608) 846-1275

Buddha's Brew Kombucha

Jason Taragos



(512) 351-9176


Declan Duggan



(800) 870-2070




(718) 383-0748

Cafe Grumpy Califia Farms

Katrina Picon

Los Angeles



Caliper Ingredients

Jolene Jacobs

Commerce City


(720) 273-0382


Justin Biza



(360) 412-3340


Jake Bullock




Dan Reese



(833) 228-3959

CanSource LLC CBD Living Chelsea and Rachel Co. Chemi Nutra




(800) 940-3660

Chelsea Jones

Lake Arrowhead


(833) 267-2620

Chase Hagerman



(512) 823-2500

CLEAN Cause Inc

Chad Peffer



(512) 636-4419

Clear/Cut Phocus

Nick Walter



(502) 905-4503

Closure Systems International

Clint Rush



(800) 311-2740

Cloud Water Brands

Marc Siden

New York


(917) 541-3536

Mark Rosenberger



(762) 234-1781




(678) 247-7300

Jessika Frerichs



(858) 336-5108

De La Calle

Los Angeles


(810) 569-8289

CMC Beverage Solutions CP Kelco DAH! De La Calle Co. Deerland Probiotics & Enzymes Doehler North America Evolution Fresh Excel Bottling Company FIJI Water Flavor Dynamics, Inc. Flavorman Flow Hydration 106 BEVNET MAGAZINE – JULY/AUGUST 2021

Leanne Levy



(404) 797-3138

Kristy Ellenson



(770) 387-0451

Christina Larigan



(206) 318-7609

Robert Davey



(618) 526-7159

FIJI Water



(888) 426-3454

Colleen Roberts

South Plainfield


(908) 822-8855

Phil Icsman



(502) 289-5549

Brian Coleman



(844) 356-9426

COMPANY FONA International Fort Dearborn Company Franklin Baker, Inc. Fresh Fizz Sodas






John Fishel



(630) 578-8638

Gwen Chapdelaine



(847) 427-5405

John Slade



(901) 881-6681

Yoni Schwartz



(646) 866-7522

Frey Farms

Megan Baughman



(618) 835-2536


Jeannette O'Brien



(914) 524-0600

GREEN COLA NORTH AMERICA LLC Green Mountain Beverage Groundwork Coffee Grower Direct Nut Ingr. Supply

Nikolaos Pipas



(201) 597-9300

Ben Calvi



(802) 398-6952

Jessica Smith

North Hollywood


(734) 673-1549

Tony Varni



(209) 448-6105

GT's Living Foods


Los Angeles


(877) 735-8423

Guru Organic Energy Corp





H2Om International, Inc.

Lex Lang

Studio City


(818) 761-5759

Paul Tecker



(714) 823-3010

Harmless Harvest


Gillian Goulart

Thousand Oaks


(973) 769-7616

Hawaii Volcanic Beverages

Jason Donovan



(808) 639-9394


Rusty Jones



(217) 361-4756


Hodding Hall



(614) 551-3441


Brian Pham



(510) 868-6312

Joe Garza



(195) 196-6943

HUMANITEA Company Humblemaker Coffee Co.

Chris Smith

Seal Beach


(562) 250-4111

Icelandic Glacial

Alicia Mohr

Manhattan Beach


(732) 300-3419


Renee Famula



(800) 227-8427

Inaka Tea Company

Chat Phillips



(601) 376-9359

Iowa Rotocast Plastics

Jeremy Olsgard



(563) 382-9636

Iron Heart Canning Co

Roger Kissling - VP Sales



(908) 619-5449

Joanne Sheean



(760) 330-1141

Javo Beverages Karma Culture (Karma Water) Kaylee’s Culture Koia Kokomio Lanxess Corporation

Shanna Pagan



(585) 218-0022

Kaylee McLaughlin

San Diego


(619) 987-0935

Chris Pruneda



(323) 381-9944

Alan Cohen



(786) 302-7671

Michael Turpin



(817) 357-5851

Leaner Creamer

Jen Kashani

Los Angeles


(310) 405-2588

Lemon Perfect

Allie Sallberg




Liquid Core Gum Co.

Scott Schaible



(720) 795-5547

Tracy Park

Newport Beach


(424) 220-6811


MAD TASTY MaKa Superfood MATCHA.COM McLean Design

Brian Hill



(888) 690-7058

Sean Matteson



(612) 562-8242

Jeff Plank

Walnut Creek


(925) 944-9500


Andrew Eklind



(888) 309-5574


Paul Paslaski



(847) 367-6665

Mother Kombucha

Victor Donati

St. Petersburg


(727) 470-0365

Mother Murphy's Flavors

Michael Oden



(336) 273-1737

mymuse organic

Jessica Qussar



(124) 888-4234

Natural Remedies

Abey Thomas



+91-80-4020 9999

NewTree Fruit Company Nixie Sparkling Water NOR-CAL BEVERAGE CO

Kimberly Anderson

De Pere


(920) 366-9024

Kaelin Merrihew




Pete Grego

West Sacramento


(916) 372-0600 107




Nurture Brands LLC

Graeme Puffett Jeff Burbank

Oaza Cold Brew Odyssey Wellness





(914) 370-0867

New York




Beth Hathcock

Fort Lauderdale


(336) 708-3956


Leah Dockstader



(949) 525-3698

Omega Ingredients Ltd

Jim Kavanaugh




Open Water Orchestra Software PakTech PATH Personal Coverage, Inc. Petal Sparkling Botanicals Picnik

Jess Page



(305) 771-1357

Lawrence Lyman



(877) 683-2648




(541) 461-5000

Ali Orabi



(530) 329-4428

Tom Wallace

Ballston Spa


(866) 461-0709

Candice Crane

Highland Park


(847) 344-2858

Allie Swarr



(832) 585-6028

Pivot Coldbrew

David Stroud

Los Angeles


(213) 605-1583

Pizzey Ingredients

Mary Ekman



(651) 797-3168

Pneumatic Scale Angelus

Gigi Lorence



(330) 923-0491

Tom Kang

South Hackensack


(201) 941-7900

Pocas Pop & Bottle

Blair Hardy

San Francisco


(415) 823-3540


Allison Ellsworth



(940) 867-3240


Zach Muchnick

Newport Beach


(856) 979-2093

Presence Marketing

Christina Moses

South Barrington


(847) 277-9500

Proud Source Water

Margaret Mountjoy



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PTM Food

Don Rodgers

Wall Township


(888) 736-6339

Pyure Brands, LLC

Gregory Drew



(201) 388-9789


Lexie Brodhun



(949) 274-2211

Rebellious Beverage Company

Amanda Rossi



(888) 747-9905

Recovery Brands LLC

Larry Edinger



(201) 358-9000

Regatta Craft Mixers

Julie Zarou

Locust Valley


(917) 881-6870

Remedy Drinks

Anne West

Hermosa Beach


(310) 408-5061

revive drinks

leah adair



(141) 587-1736

RIOT Energy

Laura Jakobsen

Marina del Rey


(206) 369-3228

RISE Brewing Co

Kelly O'Rourk



(909) 762-0513

Rowdy Mermaid

Melissa Hauser



(720) 391-1610

Sara Delaney



(828) 273-1352

Sydney Riethman

Chicagoland Area


(847) 645-7031

Josh Ahadian



(508) 662-8999

Sarilla Sensient Flavors & Extracts Shimmerwood Beverages ShineWater

Michele Zurvalec

Bay City


(898) 245-2879

Ska Fabricating

Jake Kolakowski



(970) 403-8562

Sovereign Flavors, Inc.

David Ames

Santa Ana


(714) 437-1996

SOW- Seeds of Wellness

Sandra Gillot



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GT’s Living Foods Launches Synergy Scholarship For LGBTQ+ Youth And Allies The Founder & CEO of GT’s Living Foods, GT Dave, announced the Synergy Scholarship on behalf of new, non-profit entity, The GT Dave Foundation. The Synergy Scholarship fund is a $250,000 commitment awarded to LGBTQ+ youth pursuing entrepreneurial careers. The announcement of the Synergy Scholarship comes as part of a larger summer 2021 initiative, CommUNITY, celebrating three key pillars: uplifting diverse peoples, preservation of the planet, and accessibility to nutritious foods. As a pioneer in the health & wellness movement and the creator of an iconic brand that has earned him the moniker, “Kombucha King,” GT began his entrepreneurial journey at the age of 15 years old. Struggling with the woes of starting a business, GT was also growing up as a gay man and exploring his identity. Through strength and perseverance, he channeled his creativity and unique point of view into the company that today holds leading rank as the #1 kombucha brand in the world. “For many LGBTQ+ youth, there’s a quiet, internal battle that happens; a voice from within that can at times carry guilt and shame… I say not anymore. I want to be the megaphone that

drowns-out that voice and affi rms that you are loved, you are special, and your ideas matter,’” says GT. “I believe young people are the driving force of change, especially those in the LGBTQ+ community. As a gay entrepreneur who is still learning and growing in the business world, I can confidently say there’s no set path to follow, so pave your own. With the Synergy Scholarship, I am dedicated to empowering LGBTQ+ youth and helping to mobilize their entrepreneurial dreams.” The Synergy Scholarship will be open to high school seniors who will graduate during the 2021-2022 academic year and who are part of the LGBTQ+ community. The scholarship will be awarded each year for five years, divided into differing amounts to deserving young people, totaling $250,000 by 2027. These individuals will have a passion and desire to improve their communities and the worldthrough business and entrepreneurialism. Applicants must also demonstrate fi nancial need and plan to pursue a degree at an accredited US post-secondary institution. In addition to the monetary contribution, GT will mentor the winners offering business guidance and advice during their awarded year. The Synergy Scholarship will launch in October 2021.

Jägermeister And Post Malone Team Up To Bring Life Back to Nightlife Jägermeister and Post Malone join forces to launch a fully integrated global campaign to help bring life back to nightlife, including a short film tribute to the multitude of local businesses and communities that have been affected over the past year titled “Night Lights.” This multi-channel initiative is the next phase of Jägermeister’s #SAVETHENIGHT initiative and features exclusive content and intimate conversations meant to drive global awareness around the cultural significance of nightlife to local communities. “Night Lights” was shot by Academy Award-nominated director Zachary Heinzerling (“Cutie and the Boxer”). In it, Post reflects on moments and interactions sorely missed, and what it means to him to bring life back to nightlife. “So many awesome fans and artists have stepped up to support venues and communities that have been struggling. I’m excited to join the party with Jägermeister and celebrate music and nightlife across the world.” says Post Malone “We are thrilled to partner with Post Malone on our shared #SAVETHENIGHT mission – to create the best and most memorable nights now and in the future,” said Chris Peddy, Chief Marketing Officer Mast-Jägermeister US. “Post’s dedication to paying tribute to the people who make nightlife possible is a testament to his passion and commitment to our community. We are so proud to partner with him to help make this vision a reality around the world.” Post will participate in an exclusive, intimate virtual meet and greet via a Meister Drop in on the #SAVETHENIGHT platform, giving a few lucky fans the chance to chat with Post. The awardwinning, innovative digital platform on was designed to connect creators and consumers in a personal manner, allowing for deeper connection between artists and fans.


Plus, Post Malone will share his own nightlife story as part of Jägermeister’s “Our Stages, Our Stories” content series, speaking to his early days as an artist and the importance of independent venues as a launchpad for his career. Jägermeister is the official shot of NIVA (National Independent Venue Association) and a proud supporter of #SaveOurStages- the ongoing movement geared towards safeguarding the independent live performance industry throughout the U.S. through the pandemic and beyond. Through “Our Stages, Our Stories” Jägermeister and NIVA are helping to preserve the country’s most historic and iconic venues by shining a light on the individuals and stories that make up the heart and soul of the industry. Jägermeister is built on the shoulders of nightlife and the artists, creatives and bartenders who have worked tirelessly to support the rituals of night. At the start of the pandemic, Jägermeister knew the negative impact it would have on these communities. As a result, Jägermeister launched its global #SAVETHENIGHT program which has included various charity initiatives to raise money for those whose passion, skill and hard work fuel and inspire the nightlife economy. #SAVETHENIGHT also raises awareness for the situation of thousands of creatives as well as the people that deeply miss going out and celebrating.

PROMO PARADE PepsiCo Produces Novel PET Packaging Made By Enzymes The promise of endlessly recycled PET plastic is one step closer, as the Consortium – Carbios, L’Oréal, Nestlé Waters, PepsiCo and Suntory Beverage & Food Europe – announces the successful production of the world’s first food-grade PET plastic bottles produced entirely from enzymatically recycled plastic. Each Consortium company has successfully manufactured sample bottles – based on Carbios’ enzymatic PET recycling technology – for some of their leading products including: Biotherm, Perrier, Pepsi Max and Orangina. The announcement is the culmination of nearly 10 years’ research and development by Carbios to create a new process and supercharge an enzyme naturally occurring in compost heaps that normally breaks down leaf membranes of dead plants. By adapting this enzyme, Carbios has fine-tuned the technology and optimized this enzyme to break down any kind of PET plastic (regardless of color or complexity) into its building blocks, which can then be turned back into like-new, virgin-quality plastic. Carbios’ patented enzymatic PET recycling process enables a wide variety of PET plastics to be recycled into virgin quality, food grade rPET. PET plastics that would otherwise go to waste or be incinerated can now be brought back into a continuous circular system of recycling. And this can be achieved at high speed – breaking down 97% of plastic in just 16 hours – 10,000 times more efficient than any biological plastic recycling trial to date (peer-reviewed article in Nature). Together, these brands will work to scale this innovation to help meet the global demand for sustainable packaging solutions. In September 2021, Carbios will break ground on a demonstration plant, before launching a 40,000 tons capacity industrial facility, by 2025. Commenting on the announcement, Carbios’ CEO Jean Claude Lumaret commented: “In a world first, we have created food-grade clear bottles from enzymatically recycled colored and complex plastic with identical properties to virgin PET, and in partnership with the Consortium, we have proved the viability of the technology with the world’s leading brands. This is a truly transformational innovation that could finally fully close the loop on PET plastic supply globally, so that it never becomes waste.” Jacques Playe, L’Oréal’s Global Head of Packaging and Product Development added: “We have been working with Carbios since 2017 to develop this first bottle made from PET derived from enzymatic recycling technology, an alternative to mechanical recycling. We are pleased to announce today the feasibility of these bottles in a pilot phase and are delighted to be in a position to create the packaging of the future with our partners. This is a promising innovation for the years to come that demonstrates our commitment to bring to market more environmentally friendly packaging and which is part of a circularity initiative begun more than 15 years ago”. Jean-Francois Briois, Head of Packaging Material Science and Environmental Sustainability Nestlé Waters global R&D added: “It is very exciting to see that the quality of the prototype bottles


made from colored recycled PET materials is virtually identical to clear virgin PET. When we reach industrial scale, this enzymatic recycling technology will enable us to produce high-quality rPET bottles and help Nestlé Waters in our journey to boost the circular economy and reduce the use of virgin plastics.” Ron Khan, Global VP of Packaging, Beverages, PepsiCo added: “PepsiCo is committed to building a circular economy to achieve our vision that packaging never becomes waste. We are dedicated to reducing the virgin plastic we use and with the breakthrough Carbios enzymatic recycling technology, we can help keep valuable material in the circular economy, reduce waste and take another step toward a truly closed loop system.” Roberto Vanin, Chief R&D Officer, Suntory Beverage & Food Europe, added: “The global issue of plastic waste requires transformational thinking, creative partnerships and innovative brands coming together to seek out new solutions. Continued investment in new ways of tackling waste and creating true circularity such as this ground-breaking technology from Carbios will be key to Suntory Beverage & Food Europe achieving its 100% sustainable plastic ambition.” Enzymatic recycling overcomes the issue of degradation in conventional recycling and can be used on any type of PET plastic. Because Carbios’ recycling process works under mild conditions, it could also lower the carbon footprint of PET waste treatment by saving 30% of CO2 emissions compared to a conventional end of life mix of incineration and landfill, taking virgin PET production substitution into account. The successful completion of these initial food-grade bottles is a major milestone in the Consortium’s validation of Carbios’ technology. This partnership is part of a growing trend amongst brands to collaborate across industries to tackle these global challenges, working towards a world of circularity, where we limit the production of virgin plastic. Carbios will license its technology to PET manufacturers worldwide, accelerating the global adoption of enzymatic recycling for all kinds of PET based products.

PROMO PARADE Super Coffee Launches Nationwide “Add Something Positive” Campaign Super Coffee announced the expansion of their mission to massproduce positive energy globally with a new campaign, “Add Something Positive”. In order to accomplish this, Super Coffee is calling upon consumers to spread positive energy through “Deliberate Acts of Positivity” with a TikTok Challenge kicked off by fitness influencer Demi Bagby, along with a variety of content creators who will produce digital content on Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest to encourage consumers to perform acts of positivity and inspire their followers to do the same. “Super Coffee was born from the idea of removing negative ingredients and replacing them with positive ingredients. As we continue to thoughtfully build the Super Coffee brand, it’s important to us that we are deliberate with our choices and let our values drive our decisions,” said Founder and Youngest Brother, Jordan DeCicco. “This Campaign is a reflection of who we are as a brand; it’s our belief that if we see something that can be improved upon, we might as well add something positive.” Nearly six years since launch and revolutionizing the good-foryou coffee category, the brand continues to promote health and wellness with the elimination of sugar from the American diet. In 2020 alone Super Coffee helped eliminate over 4,405,627 pounds of sugar and is on track to eliminate over five million pounds of sugar by the end of 2021. Now more than ever, consumers are needing more positive energy, with many stressors and desires in their everyday lives. Super Coffee is launching the “Add Something Positive” campaign to bring positive energy and happiness to an overworked, stressed-out generation. “Over the last year we’ve spent a lot of time focused on the brand and what we want to build here at Super Coffee. The Add Something Positive Campaign is our foundational brand campaign meant to ignite a movement of Positive Energy,” said Chief Marketing Officer of Super Coffee, Tori Hanna. “We all

have choices to make each day, what we put into our bodies or how we react to day-to-day life. We are a values-based brand and we want to encourage people to make the choice to Add Something Positive to themselves, society, or someone else through Deliberate Acts of Positivity.” Engaging content that triggers good. To enable this behavior, Super Coffee is calling upon partners such as Connor Carrick, Dan Churchill, Andrew King, Monica Jones, Victoria Brown as well as investors, celebrity partners, loyalists, and every day inspiring people alike to support. This TikTok challenge will be divided into three pillars throughout the month – Someone Else, Self, and Society. This will task consumers to Add Something Positive in all aspects of their lives: for themselves, the people around them as a community, and a single person’s life. Winners of the challenge will be selected and sent surprises from Super Coffee each week. In addition to TikTok Challenge, the brand will invest heavily in digital and social content, digital advertising, curated Spotify playlists, retail marketing and field marketing activations as well as merchandise giveaways and pop-up activations nationwide at Barry’s Bootcamp and Soul Cycle locally in Hamptons. This will encourage deliberate acts of positivity throughout the nation with the brand projecting over 162 million impressions. The three DeCicco brothers, who are all former D1 student-athletes, Co-Founded the brand with a goal to create a world where everyone is energized and inspired to create positive change in their lives, and the lives of others, for a collective brighter future. Today, Super Coffee is the fastest-growing bottled coffee brand in the US (Inc. 5,000, 2020) with Notable investors and endorsers such as Alex Rodriguez, Jennifer Lopez, Kevin Hart, Amy Jo Martin, Aaron Rodgers, Patrick Schwarzenegger, Baron Davis, Boomer Esiason, and more.

Elegance Brands’ SWAY Energy Drink Named Proud Partner Of NBA’s Phoenix Suns And WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury Teams Elegance Brands, Inc., a global beverage company with a focus on innovation, announced that its premier immunity-boosting energy drink, SWAY Energy, has been named the proud partner of the NBA Phoenix Suns and WNBA Phoenix Mercury teams for the 2021 season. “It’s an amazing opportunity to partner with the very talented Phoenix Suns and Phoenix Mercury teams, and we are honored to be a part of their incredible fan base,” said Raj Beri, CEO, Founder and Chairman of Elegance Brands. “SWAY Energy is one the most innovative products that we’ve introduced to the market, and we believe fans will not only find it invigorating, but a delicious pick-me-up and alcohol alternative. I would also like to congratulate the Phoenix Suns as they head to the NBA Finals!” SWAY will be available at all regular season home games throughout the recently transformed Phoenix Suns Arena. 114 BEVNET MAGAZINE – JULY/AUGUST 2021

SWAY Energy is made with all-natural ingredients, contains zero sugar, and no artificial flavors. The “better-for-you” beverage combines 160mg of green tea caffeine with the recommended 100% daily value of vitamins A, B6, B12, C and D. SWAY comes in six flavors, including lime, mango, orange, strawberry, passion fruit and watermelon. “Our goal has always been to showcase emerging brands that resonate well with our fans, and SWAY Energy is the right partner to continue this tradition,” said Dan Costello, Chief Revenue Officer and SVP, Business Innovation for the Phoenix Suns and Phoenix Mercury. “We are thrilled about this partnership, which we believe enhances the guest experience and provides the necessary boost to keep fans energized and cheering for their team.” SWAY Energy is available for purchase nationally and online at

Essentia Water Launches New “Stop for Nothing” Campaign Essentia Water, the pioneer of ionized alkaline water in the U.S., launched its “Stop for Nothing” campaign featuring multiplatinum singer/songwriter Tate McRae, Kansas City Quarterback Patrick Mahomes II and classical fusion violinist Ezinma. The “Stop for Nothing” campaign focuses on motivation, strength, and stamina to build resilience, and how taking a moment to hydrate helps maintain performance. Tate McRae is Essentia’s newest brand partner, joining Mahomes and Ezinma. Her hit single “you broke me first” has achieved over 1 billion streams and the #1 spot on the Top 40 US radio charts, landing her as the youngest musician on Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list. This partnership with Essentia marks her first major brand partner deal. No one showcases strength and stamina more than Patrick Mahomes II, the fastest quarterback to reach 10,000 career passing yards (34 games), the quarterback with the most consecutive 300plus passing yard games (8 tied) and demonstrating his resilience by having the most consecutive games including playoffs where he overcame double digit deficits (6 games). Ezinma has proven that resilience can overcome the greatest obstacles. Facing early childhood challenges, Ezinma never gave up on her dreams, signing a major label record deal, being a part of Beyoncé’s all-female band, playing with Stevie Wonder, producing original music, and establishing Heartstrings, a music education foundation for K-5 children. A common trait that McRae, Mahomes and Ezinma have is their sheer determination to succeed and their ability to care for themselves in the process, starting with proper hydration. “This last year has shone a light on the importance of resilience and self-care,” said Zola Kane, Chief Marketing Officer at Essentia. “Our new campaign is in response to that. It takes motivation, strength and stamina to maintain performance, and we want to help people replenish with Essentia Water, knowing that hydration is key to renewal, recommitment and resilience.” The campaign was created in partnership with Essentia’s lead creative agency Droga5. It includes 30, 15- and 06-second spots that will air across digital and social channels, along with online video platforms – specifically Hulu, YouTube and NBC Universal –and Out-of-Home installations beginning today through 2022. The brand has also expanded this year’s marketing efforts to build affinity partnerships with brands like Lifetime Fitness and Hello Fresh for advertising and product sampling opportunities, as part of its ongoing priority to expand consumer awareness. “This campaign highlights the determination and focus needed for peak performance,” said Scott Miller, Chief Executive Officer at Essentia Water. “There’s no replacement for doing the reps and if you are prepared to do what it takes, amazing things can happen as Tate, Mahomes and Ezinma have shown.” 115