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Contents / September – October 2017 / Volume 15 / No. 5







6 First Drop Selling Meal Kits at the Gold Rush

44 Follow the Bubbles Sparkling Water’s Emerging Generation

10 Publisher’s Toast Nostalgia

52 Kids’ Beverages Inside the Rules of School Distribution

38 Gerry’s Insights Berardi’s Rules

60 Remedies and Restaurants HPP’s Next Generation with Renegade Lemonade

DEPARTMENTS 12 Bevscape/NOSHscape/Brewscape Craft Sales Slowdown; Val’s Back in the Saddle 28 New Products Koia Adds Flavors 34 Channel Check Refrigerated Teas 92 Promo Parade New Nestle Recycling Label

72 Import Beer World of Opportunities

SHOWS 40 IFT 2017 Recap 42 NACS Preview Chicago, October 18 – 20

SPECIAL SECTION 77 Natural Snack Food Guide Follow Us Online




BevNET Magazine (ISSN 2165-6061, USPS 24-552) is published bi-monthly by BevNET.com, Inc. 44 Pleasant Street, Suite 110, Watertown, MA 02472. Periodicals postage paid at Boston, MA and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to BevNET Magazine, Subscriber Services, 44 Pleasant Street, Suite 110, Watertown, MA 02472


Selling Meal Kits at the Gold Rush Have you got your meal kit yet? Have you invested? The meal kits are coming. Only, they’re stumbling even as they arrive. Very few of them are getting to your house, your office, even to your kid’s lunchbox. Just a couple of months ago, the thought was, you gotta have a meal kit, leave your job for a meal kit company, invest, disrupt, pack, deliver, someone get me a chef to partner with! But here’s one place the meal kits are actually headed: your grocery store. And therein lies something of a lesson. It was the same way with HPP, with mobile canning units, cap activated mixto-drink functional beverages, cleanses, turmeric (and before that, ginseng), energy drinks, vitaminwater knockoffs, energy shots, stevia, Splenda, and dozens of other advances that might have been incremental if we weren’t so desperate to discover the next big thing in the food and beverage industry. It’s easy, right? You look at what one person or company is doing successfully and see yourself as the person who can really disrupt the market, or at least get your own little piece. But so many of these things fall apart. Fads don’t become trends. You just can’t cleanse every day. I’m fascinated by this Gold Rush mentality: it creates hundreds of short-term businesses rather than ventures that are able to take the time to create a patient understanding of the significance of an idea. I think it’s triggered by the fact that there are so many fast trains arriving at the station that entrepreneurs and gatekeepers alike feel they have to be on one, any one, even if it’s going in the wrong direction. We all contribute to this atmosphere, with our talk and its amplification via social media. For the supermarkets, understanding that there’s so much shift in their business models on the way, it would be excusable if they wanted to take on a Gold Rush mentality: new tracks are being built all around, over, and through the idea of traditional grocery retailing. As we all know, toilet paper, 5-Hour Energy Shots and Clif Bars are soon to start descending from the sky, clutched in the claws of winged drones. So grocery stores have every right to wonder what their place will be in the 6 BEVNET MAGAZINE – SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017

retail food chain. At a time when they’re under so much pressure, the idea that they would stick to their guns and wait to find out what meal kits might mean for them is admirable. In this regard; they haven’t panicked on the battlefield, they’ve waited for the smoke to clear, and seen this trend for what it is: a way for them to bolt on something that’s value-added, higher margin, and has on-trend millennial appeal. As of this writing, Whole Foods and Kroger are developing their own; Albertsons is about to buy another. My local vacation spot had a big display of the meal of the day, all set up for a busy family to cook it up. Apparently, it’s not that hard to do the slicing and dicing and food apportionment – if that’s the business you’re in. Even more, they’re not as likely to lose money on the thing. Online meal kit services are: they face the operational problem that they have to build both restaurant and takeout from the ground up, and the marketing problem that they have to pay their customers to try it out. It’s as if they were starting Uber by first figuring out how to build a car. Most grocery stores, meanwhile, are already close to having the kind of capacities that the meal kit companies needed: they have their own kitchens or work with commissary operations that are fully capable of stringing together the elements of a meal for packaging at a supermarket already. In fact, groceries already provide something of a meal kit: the rotisserie chicken, which can

be transformed into hundreds of different dishes with little waste and low cost. Just as these stores are transforming their in-store lineups, it should be money on the table for them to continue to transform their graband-go offerings into grab-and-cook. In this idea, at least, the grocery stores have been smart in playing the long game, even as rapid change swirls around them. They sat back to watch the meal companies immolate themselves, and now that the weaknesses of the proposition are apparent, they know that the services need them as an inexpensive way to gain consumers and build share. In other words, they’re going to make the meal kit companies act like part of the CPG environment, rather than the tech world. So what does this mean for the beverage business? Well, on the meal kit side, Coke has figured it out already, striking deals so that recipes can be developed with its products as components or accompanying beverages. Other companies are figuring out that their branded products might make their way into these kits via ingredient or licensing deals. But I think there’s just a broader lesson here, as well: think about the significance of the innovation and how it fits for you, rather than to assume the innovation is the business and to get into it wholesale, while taking your investors for a ride. Remember: innovation – even delivery innovation – should deliver.

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www.bevnet.com/magazine Barry J. Nathanson PUBLISHER bnathanson@bevnet.com Jeffrey Klineman EDITOR-IN-CHIEF jklineman@bevnet.com Ray Latif MANAGING EDITOR rlatif@bevnet.com Martín Caballero ASSISTANT EDITOR mcaballero@bevnet.com Brad Avery REPORTER bavery@bevnet.com Chris Furnari BREWBOUND EDITOR cfurnari@bevnet.com Justin Kendall BREWBOUND ASSISTANT EDITOR jkendall@bevnet.com Carol Ortenberg PROJECT NOSH EDITOR cortenberg@bevnet.com Meagan McGinnes PROJECT NOSH SENIOR REPORTER mmcginnes@bevnet.com


John McKenna DIRECTOR OF SALES jmckenna@bevnet.com

Nostalgia Last week I was contacted by a representative of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. A pleasant young woman had been given my name by a few people in the beverage community. They were looking to do a podcast on Orbitz, the late, great sensation from Clearly Canadian, in specific, and the beverage marketplace in general. They were told that I could articulate the story, as I’m not known as a shy, reticent person, and always have an opinion on everything beverage-related, and beyond. Since I was older than the hills, and around for 26 years chronicling the industry, they felt I was qualified to address the topic. I was up to the task and headed to their studio on 3rd and 46th. I donned the headphones and had the mic thrust in my mug. Again, a pleasant young Canadian broadcaster introduced himself and said he’d be the interviewer. We started in about Orbitz and expanded to the landscape of the industry from many years ago. Orbitz was one of my favorite brands in all my years in beverages. It was exciting in execution, captured the consumer’s imagination and, for a brief time, revitalized Clearly Canadian. This was creativity at its finest: great packaging, taste, and brilliantly marketed to its target consumer, kids. To this day, it brings a smile to my face, and to long-time beverage people who remembered it and loved it. The conversation next moved to other products, early on, that tickled my 10 BEVNET MAGAZINE – SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017

Photo Credit: Sofie Lindberg

fancy. So, I decided to share with you a few brands, companies and people that made a mark on me early in my beverage world. I first thought of West End Soda Brew, created by two ex-A-B guys, Michael and Ted. It personified fantastic taste and elegant packaging. I next turned to Jones Soda and the genius of Peter Van Stolk. It’s marketing prowess was the best. Who else could come in with Turkey and Gravy soda. I’m proud to say that their “My Jones” division was implemented first, in concept and execution, with my daughter’s Bat Mitzvah. It was the perfect party favor. I look to RC Premium Draft Cola, spearheaded by that regal gentleman John Carson. It was my favorite soda then and probably would be today. Nantucket Nectars, Tom and Tom’s epic creations, was another of my favorites, with the story and imagery to match the taste. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Don Vultaggio, the man behind the most consistently creative brands and packaging. I still have the gallon jugs of Green Tea and Lemon Tea in my refrigerator to lure my grown- up kids uptown. In my 26 years in beverages, there has been no one who has innovated and stayed on top like Don. I could go on and on about other brands that I loved, but my editors can only allot so much space to my ramblings. Suffice to say, my love affair with this industry has not abated after all these years. These brands and people are the reason why.

Adam Stern SENIOR ACCOUNT SPECIALIST astern@bevnet.com John Fischer ACCOUNT SPECIALIST jfischer@bevnet.com Jon Landis SENIOR BRAND SPECIALIST jlandis@bevnet.com Anthony Ferranti SALES & MARKETING ADMIN aferranti@bevnet.com




John F. (Jack) Craven CHAIRMAN jfcraven@bevnet.com John Craven CEO & EDITORIAL DIRECTOR jcraven@bevnet.com


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VMG Adds $550 Million in Dry Powder In July private equity investment group VMG Partners announced the close of its fourth fund at $550 million, with another $150 million available in a flexup vehicle. The capital, said VMG Managing Director Wayne Wu, will be invested in emerging, lower middle market companies producing consumable branded goods. Wu defined lower middle market companies as ones that generally have revenues between $5 million to $100 million. In terms of VMG’s own check size, he added, there’s no “average” example. “We have a number of investments that started at an equity investment of well less than $10 million. And we’ve written checks

that are much larger than that, but we are certainly very comfortable writing checks less than $10 million with an opportunity to grow to larger checks over time, Wu said. Like other private equity groups, there are parameters for how much capital VMG can put into one given partner portfolio company. The flex-up vehicle will allow the group to potentially go beyond that threshold with a more streamlined and simplified process. While the $150 million is there if needed, Wu said that VMG may never utilize the capital in the flex-up vehicle and is there to only be used opportunistically.VMG’s portfolio strategy remains to invest in emerging, entrepreneurial brands.

However, said Wu, the group sometimes wants to continue to support a brand they have already invested in or a brand that simply sees extraordinary growth at a young age. “If you think about this in the context of a train ride, we’ve known [some brands] since the first stop on a train ride and sometimes we wind up investing at the second stop because that’s when it made sense for everybody,”

Wu said. “But for some brands, they could be going along on that train ride for a very long time without a stop, and might have just gotten there very quickly, and we end up investing a bit further down the path.” VMG’s Fund Three raised $500 million and still has not been fully deployed, Wu said. The group has no specific deadline for switching to capital from Fund Four.VMG has been in the business of investing

in branded consumable goods, including food and beverage, personal care, beauty, pet foods and pet treats, wellness supplements and alcoholic beverages, for over a decade. Its 20-plus investments have included food and beverage companies such as Spindrift, Humm Kombucha, Justin’s, Perfect Bar, Vermont Smoke and Cure, Health Warrior, Sonoma Brands and Quest Nutrition.

First Beverage Closes $64 Million Second Fund First Beverage Ventures, the private equity arm of advising and consulting firm First Beverage Group, has closed its second fund at a total of $64 million, according to paperwork filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Founded in 2013, First Beverage has made strategic investments in brands such as Health-Ade Kombucha, ionized alkaline water Essentia, and tabletop cold-pressed juice machine Juicero. Other portfolio brands include Purity Organic, Q Drinks and Project Juice. First Beverage CEO Bill Anderson told BevNET that the addition of new capital as well as new team members and investors would allow the firm to provide a broader range of insights from within and outside the beverage industry. “What this provides us is the right 12 BEVNET MAGAZINE – SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017

amount of committed capital, combined with other partner capital, to support our strategy of investing between $5 million and $15 million in innovative, high-growth beverage companies,” he said. “Our ability to bring a number of long-standing beverage executives and their expertise to our portfolio companies, and really focus in on the lessons we learned from multiple different beverage segments, I think, is an enormous advantage for us.” Over the past year, the company has assembled a new leadership team that includes managing partner Kyle Wheeler, who also heads the firm’s investment activities, and managing director Kristen Bareuther. Former managing director Tom First left the company to join Castanea Partners last July. Bob Nakasone, a

former vice president of sales at probiotic beverage maker KeVita, was hired as his replacement in January. While the group has advised craft beer companies on financing and acquisition deals in the past, the first fund focused on non-alcoholic opportunities. The second fund, however, has expanded to include alcoholic drinks, specifically, craft spirits. In May, the group, announced its initial investment in the category with Gem&Bolt, a mezcal made with the Mexican medicinal herb damiana. At the time, Anderson told BevNET, “Our focus has always been on segment analysis, so that we’re certain to be investing in segments that we believe will provide high-growth and high ascension from distributors and retailers and, ultimately, strategic acquirers.”

BEVSCAPE Stalowir Back in the Beverage Game – New Reed’s CEO In taking up the reins from the company’s namesake Chris Reed after a tumultuous period, new Reed’s CEO Val Stalowir is seeking to take the craft soda maker back to basics. Stalowir, a CPG industry veteran who joined Reed’s as CEO and board member on July 5, is the company’s first permanent CEO since Reed announced his resignation and reassignment to the newly created role of Chief Innovation Officer

last October that out-of-stock problems led to the company losing between 15 and 20 percent of its distribution, about a quarter of which had been recovered at the time. In an interview with BevNET, Stalowir explained that, after investing in a new production facility in Los Angeles that went online last year, Reed’s is well-positioned to reduce costs and operate more efficiently moving forward.

that match consumers desire for clean ingredients and, in the case of Reed’s, a healthy functional boost from real ginger. “As opposed to other categories which have had brand champions and lots of interest and money flowing into telling the marketing story, there really hasn’t been a true champion in terms of craft soda,” he added. “As we improve the gross margins and overall growth of the company, we

(CIO) in April. Board member Stefan Freeman had been serving as the company’s interim CEO. A former executive at Quaker Oats, The Coca-Cola Company and Yum! Brands, Stalowir was also a partner at private equity fund Emigrant Capital, where he helped lead investments in beverage brands like Boylan Bottling Co., Zola Super Fruits, Robeks and Jolt Cola. His most recent position was as founder and CEO of organic food supplier International Harvest, Inc. “I have known Val for years, he is a talented leader with deep experience in the beverage industry,” said Reed’s chairman of the board John Bello in a press release. “He brings a clear vision for how to grow Reed’s valuable portfolio of brands balanced with the operational leadership to deliver that growth profitably.” Stalowir’s appointment at Reed’s comes as the company continues to recover from significant supply chain issues that saw its core brands, Reed’s Ginger Beer and the Virgil’s line of craft sodas, lose shelf space at retailers last year. Reed told BevNET

“I would say that our current focus is to execute a strategy of reducing our dependence on capital-heavy investments and try to go more asset-light. Whatever resources we have will be focused on Reed’s primarily and then Virgil’s as the secondary effort,” he said, noting that the two core brands as fitting in with the larger trend towards better-for-you carbonated drinks. In the midst of a supply chain recalibration, gross sales of Reed’s Ginger Beer grew 2 percent last year, while the Virgil’s line was down around 10 percent. In shifting away from building infrastructure, Stalowir is making good on a long-gestating approach. As a partner at Emigrant Capital, he tried to convince Reed to take a growth capital investment, but ultimately disagreed on how to spend the money; Stalowir wanted to focus on sales and marketing, while Reed was looking to investing in assets such as the production facility. Now, as CEO, Stalowir hopes to revive that idea, positioning both Reed’s Ginger Beer and Virgil’s as premium products

will be investing in marketing and sales programs, and we will definitely be looking to pull together more capital to put behind those efforts,” he added. Stalowir said that he was confident the company’s production problems have passed; along with the Los Angeles plant, Reed’s works with three co-packers on the East Coast, and Stalowir emphasized that even if a line were to go down it would not impact its ability to supply retailers. With production stabilized, he said the next step was to rebuild Reed’s equity with its retail partners. “Now it’s our job to go back to all the retailers, admit our mistakes, ask for forgiveness, and say to them we are going to prove ourselves by committing to you to perform, to not have any out of stocks, to deliver on time and accurate, and have them hold us to this new standard,” he said. “We are lucky to get back on most of the shelves that we got displaced from, and we are lucky we have those leadership positions [within ginger beer and craft soda categories] to justify coming back in.”


BEVSCAPE Kill Cliff Gets $7.5 Mil in Ammo Since its inception in 2011, post-workout recovery drink Kill Cliff has largely built its brand through the fitness channel, positioning itself for the athlete demo in gyms across the country. After securing a major financial boost, the brand is now shifting its focus towards making a play for the mainstream and going deep in the natural channel. Sunrise Strategic Partners, an investment firm with a focus on healthy and sustainable foods, announced in August that it had acquired a minority ownership stake in Kill Cliff. The deal marks the eighth investment for the young firm and the first beverage brand addition to its portfolio. Sunrise, which began in 2016, has also backed brands such as Perky Jerky, Pure Growth Organic, and Maple Hill Creamery. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Sunrise’s investments range between $10 and $25 million in revenue, Hughes said. Kill Cliff was seeking a $10 million raise at the time of the deal, according to Nick McCoy, co-founder and managing director of Whipstitch Capital, which facilitated the investment. Speaking to BevNET, Sunrise cofounder and CEO Stephen Hughes – who previously founded Boulder Brands and was an early investor in Suja – said the firm had been looking long and hard at

the beverage space to find the right company. Kill Cliff, he said, filled a vacuum in the market for a no-sugar, low-calorie recovery drink. Hughes said he saw the brand as a serious competitor to Gatorade and Powerade for the millennial consumer, particularly among athletes as well as mothers looking for healthier sports drinks for their children. Kill Cliff’s formula, which is all-natural and sweetened with erythritol, hit the right notes for Hughes. But it was the brand’s origin and activism – it was founded by former Navy SEAL Todd Ehrlich with a focus on giving profits back to the Navy SEAL Foundation – that closed the deal. “We like the product a lot, but then you get to the back story,” Hughes said. “I’ve been building brands for 40 years and I don’t think there’s been a back story I’ve seen that’s more authentic and legitimate.” According to McCoy, Kill Cliff had “reached the stage” to expand its business, having achieved solid penetration in the fitness and military market, e-commerce sales, and a promising start in the natural channel, along with strong revenue. “We thought the timing was just perfect for this round,” he said. Until recently, the bulk of Kill Cliff’s business had been centered around CrossFit gyms, but that has since expanded

into Gold’s Gyms, Powerhouse Fitness, Lifetime Fitness, as well as specialty stores such as Vitamin Shoppe, CEO Joe Driscoll told BevNET. Over the past nine months however, most of the company’s distribution gains have been in natural and specialty grocery retailers. The brand is currently available in the Rocky Mountains and South regions of Whole Foods, with Northern California set to join in the fall. Kill Cliff is currently in talks to add the Pacific Northwest region as well. In the conventional channel, the brand is also expanding into Giant Eagle, Hy-Vee, Kowalski’s Markets, and Coburn’s. “The retailers like Whole Foods really understand the convergence of natural, healthy beverages,” Driscoll said. “What has historically been ‘sports nutrition’ is helping us lead the charge to develop a whole new category.” Driscoll, who took the CEO role in March 2016, has also overseen changes to the company’s product line. Earlier this year, Kill Cliff stopped production of its RTD coffee line, which he said was not well suited to gyms and would have fared better if it came out today as the company embraces grocery. However, while there are no immediate plans to revive the coffee offerings, Driscoll said there are new innovations in the pipeline.

Calypso Acquired Investment firm Mason Wells has acquired Calypso lemonade parent King Juice Company, Inc. for an undisclosed sum, the Milwaukee-based co-packer announced in August. Mason Wells, along with Calypso Brands President Jeff Outlaw and other members of the management team, will assume ownership of the company from the Kezman and Purpero families. CEO Tim Kezman will remain with the company during a transitional period as a consultant. In a press release, Outlaw said he is “looking forward to driving growth of the Calypso brand” and said the investment from Mason Wells will give the company the financial backing it needs to strengthen its retail presence and distribution network. “We are extremely impressed with the workforce at King Juice, the industry leading manufacturing capabilities, and the company’s market position in lemonade through the Calypso line of flavored lemonades,” Ben Holbrook, managing director at Mason Wells, said in the press release. Kezman and Outlaw did not respond to requests for additional comment. Holbrook declined to offer additional comment. 16 BEVNET MAGAZINE – SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017

Also based in Milwaukee, Mason Wells holds approximately $1 billion in assets under management and has invested in several consumer packaged goods companies, with a primary regional focus on the midwest. The firm’s CPG portfolio includes Sturm Foods, partygoods manufacturer Converting, Inc., and Texas-based Eddy Packing, Co. On its website, the firm states it “seeks to partner with proven senior management teams who are willing to invest alongside us.” King Juice currently sells its Calypso-branded Lemonade, Limeade, and ‘Teamonade’ lines in the U.S. and 20 other countries. King Juice also operates a 123,000 square foot plant in Milwaukee where it provides co-packing and private label services for non-carbonated beverages. Over the past two years, Calypso has publicly focused on consumer engagement. Launching in 2015 a new website, www. drinkcalypso.com, and in 2016 earned publicity when it broke a Guinness World Record for largest glass of lemonade. In 2013, Kezman told BevNET the company was not concerned with low-sugar, better-for-you industry trends, and said Calypso’s strengths as a brand relied on the drink’s mainstream simplicity.

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Changes at Cheesemaker: Kite Hill Reboots Now under new – albeit temporary – leadership, a plant-based dairy leader is launching a new product set. Almondbased cheese and yogurt brand Kite Hill announced this week the launch of three new products to expand the brand’s presence in the dairy set. Along with the new items, former CEO Matthew Sade formally announced that he had departed the company in April. His departure followed the addition of several new executive roles to the Kite Hill team. In the interim, while the company is actively searching for a new CEO, the board has “stepped in” to lead the brand’s day-to-day operations with board member John Haugen managing the company on a temporary basis. Haugen is also General Manager of 301 Inc, the venture arm of General Mills which previously led an $18 million funding round in Kite Hill. Haugen told NOSH that his time at Kite Hill will be limited and is not a regular occurrence for brands that 301 invests in. “With Mathew’s departure we immediately commenced a full-time search process, but there was not a lot of advanced notice when it happened [and] these thing do take a little bit of time,” Haugen said. “I said this day one when I addressed the company... ‘While I am assisting in the process to provide some continuity, everyone needs to make sure that I am fully 100 percent accountable to Kite Hill and the Kite Hill board of directors and not to General Mills and 301 Inc. That may be confusing and that may be hard for people to get their head around, but that’s my commitment.’” While Haugen is currently splitting his time between 301’s headquarters in Minnesota and Kite Hill’s headquarters in California, he said that it’s business as usual at 301, which is actively seeking investments in emerging brands. Before Sade’s departure, Kite Hill had already ramped up its leadership team with two new key positions and hires. John Murphy, formerly of the Honest Company and Sambazon, joined the 18 BEVNET MAGAZINE – SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017

brand as SVP of Sales. Additionally, Jenny Berrien, formerly of Hampton Creek and Clif Bar, was hired as the VP of Marketing. Sade told NOSH that he will look back on his time at Kite Hill with fondness. “I was honored to be given the opportunity to help turn Kite Hill into a leader in the plant-based sector and for four years I did that,” Sade said. “But at the end of the day for me, it wasn’t my company in that I wasn’t the founder of the company, and it was just time for me to pursue another interest that had long been something that I felt strongly about and didn’t feel like was being addressed. At the end of the day I’m an entrepreneur at heart and a builder and it was time for me to go out and build another company.” Sade’s new company, Freeli Foods, was co-founded with Stephanie Brendel, formerly of F’real Foods, Method and Nestle, who has been working on the concept for several years. Freeli will produce kid-friendly, natural, portable meal-based solutions to compete (in category and price) with more traditional offerings such as Lunchables. Sade hopes to launch the products in conventional retailers. Haugen, Berrien and Murphy will lead Kite Hill as it rolls out an ambitious product innovation pipeline. This fall the brand will launch a jalapeno cream cheese along with three entirely new categories of plant-based products: “Greek-style” high protein yogurt, drinkable probiotic-enhanced

yogurt and tubes of children’s yogurts. The yogurt tubes will be $4.99 a pack, the drinkable yogurt at $5.49 a bottle and the Greek-style yogurt at $1.99 a cup. All three new products will launch with the company’s primary retail partner, Whole Foods Market. However, said Haugen, consumers should plan to see the entire line in more retailers beyond natural and specialty over the next year. Currently the brand’s other products are sold in Safeway, Kroger, Target, The Fresh Market and Publix. While Kite Hill initially launched as more of a specialty, plant-based cheese brand, the company has tried to shift into more center store categories over the past few years. Overall, Haugen said, the brand, and whoever assumes the CEO role, has an exciting future. “The consumer appetite and preference for great tasting plant-based nutrition continues to grow. And we’re seeing the category and the market continue to grow rapidly,” Haugen said. “It’s becoming a mainstream phenomenon. That’s really exciting and suggests a really bright future for brands like Kite Hill.”

NOSHSCAPE Rebrands: Cricket Companies Molt

Call it insect evolution. Chapul and Exo, two of the leading brands of cricket-based foods, are hoping to get the industry chirping about their new looks. Both Chapul and Exo announced new branding earlier this summer, with similar aims: speak to an offbeat, fearless consumer. Exo’s rebranded products are currently on shelves, while Chapul has rolled out the new look on a just launched protein powder and will transition its bars by the end of the summer. While both companies felt their businesses were hopping, executives told NOSH the packages were not operating as effectively as hoped. Both bars tried to emphasize the sustainability and nutritional benefits of crickets on their previous packaging. While internal research showed consumers saw these elements as a benefit, it also found that both companies’ branding lacked an emotional connection that consumers who want to eat crickets could rally behind. “We wanted to step back and reframe the brand as more about the community and being part of this cult, almost, of people who like to do things that others might look at as strange,” Exo co-founder Greg Sewitz told NOSH. “We wanted to move away from any specific attribute in general, regardless of it if was nutrition or sustainability, and instead frame it more as a badge of honor that you were eating crickets in the first place.”


Chapul founder and CEO Pat Crowley said the company spent months not only researching their own consumers, but also examining studies about how consumers approach new foods. What the company found was that an initial negative reaction to consuming crickets was often driven by “neophobia” or the fear of new or unfamiliar things. Instead of trying to address fear with logic, Crowley said, Chapul realized it needed to embrace it. “We had this underutilized asset. If people have an immediate emotional reaction of fear, our job is to capitalize on that fear and turn that fear into courage,” Crowley told NOSH. “The early stage of consumer adoption are those people that

pride themselves on doing something different and seek something different from conventional and mainstream. So they want something that speaks to them and says ‘you are a badass that’s not afraid of being different.’” The brand added several visual elements to convey this new message, most prominently an eye staring directly at the consumer with a stripe of paint underneath. Crowley said the brand wanted a package that could look consumers in the eye and challenge them to face their fears while the paint symbolizes a warrior or champion. Exo’s focus is to also embrace the challenge of eating crickets directly. Previ-






ously, the brand had banned all imagery associated with bugs on its packaging. Now, the new bars have a stylized, illustrated cricket. Sewitz told NOSH their ability to use a cricket on packaging is also an indication of just how far the category has come. “There’s been so much attention to us and the idea and other companies in the space that we felt we had a little bit more leeway to play around with the idea that there are crickets in it,” Sewitz said. “A lot of our customers now are finding us for the very reason that we use cricket protein, which is very different then when we started. So we want to lead with that rather than trying to sweep it under the rug.” At their inception, both companies had tried to mimic the look of more mainstream brands in order to steal customer share away from other lines. However, the two realized that their shopper isn’t a mainstream consumer, and they believe they’ll attract more consumers with edgier packaging aimed at early adopters. For Chapul, the rebrand also comes as the company is both launching into a new category, protein powder, and adjusting the formulation of its bars to better meet the dietary needs of their consumers. The bars now have more protein and less sugar, for some flavors by almost half. To get the added protein, Chapul has added protein “crisps” which also add a welcome addition of texture and crunch to the bars.

The company has also simplified some of its flavors to be less challenging. For example, the brand’s matcha, nori, goji berry bar is now matcha banana. The shift gives consumers less of a reason to reject a bar that’s already using a novel ingredient, simply because it also is only available in unfamiliar flavors. While Exo’s bars remain the same beneath the wrapper, the company wanted to keep its new sales strategy in mind when going through the redesign. Sewitz told NOSH that e-commerce is Exo’s number one retail channel and that any new design needed to be both captivating on a computer screen and flexible enough to lend itself to other digital assets. It’s a shift from when the young company launched and was primarily focused on how a product would look on shelf, Sewitz said. Although marketing strategies and brands may change, both Sewitz and Crowley emphasized that their companies are still focused on getting sustainable protein sources into more consumers’ hands – even if it is a complicated message to convey on the back of a bar wrapper. “Even though we’re all in it with all of our heart for that sustainability and to do something for the world, I’ve told our team that we’ll accomplish that a lot more effectively if we stop talking about it,” Crowley said. “When you try to [explain a lot of messages] in packaging, you just don’t send any messaging at all.”

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Diction Dustup: Flying Dog Fights for Label Language Flying Dog Brewery has officially terminated its membership with the Brewers Association (BA), citing changes to the not-for-profit industry trade organization’s Advertising and Marketing Code that are aimed at addressing “sexually explicit, lewd, or demeaning brand names, language, text, graphics, photos, video, or other images.” Flying Dog CEO Jim Caruso told Brewbound that his company, ranked no. 32 on the BA’s list of largest domestic craft breweries, had cut ties on June 1 even though it had paid its membership dues through June 2018. He made the decision after the BA announced policy changes during the annual Craft Brewers Conference in April. The new policy prevents brewers from using the BA’s intellectual property after winning medals at the Great American Beer Festival and World Beer Cup. It was put in place, in part, to snuff out offensive labels and to limit how those companies are able to promote their winning beers. “This sort of policy is nothing more than a thinly veiled side door to censorship,” Caruso said. “It’s anti-free enterprise. It’s interfering with their competitors’ business. It’s thinking for consumers. Americans hate thought police, and they hate censorship.” BA CEO Bob Pease told Brewbound that the organization was “disappointed” in Flying Dog’s decision to withdraw. However, Pease defended the policy changes as “reasonable” and “responsible.” “The BA and its members absolutely support the First Amendment,” he wrote in an email. “Invoking the First Amendment in this instance is misplaced and inaccurate. The Brewers Association has no intention nor ability to censor any market initiatives by any brewing industry member.” However, Caruso told Brewbound that he views the changes as “nothing more than attempting to bully and intimidate craft brewers into self censorship.” “Self censorship is a particularly vicious tyranny of silence because people tend to over censor,” he said. Caruso said he asked the BA to reconsider enacting the policy but realized the organization was intent on implementing the changes. He then informed BA CEO Bob Pease of Flying Dog’s decision to end


its membership and followed up with a six-page letter that outlined reasons for his company’s departure. Caruso said Pease “assured” him that the BA had no issue with any of Flying Dog brands, which include labels such as Raging Bitch as well as sexually explicit, innuendo-laden brands such as Doggie Style Pale Ale and Pearl Necklace Chesapeake Stout. However, those assurances were not merely a case of agreeing to disagree, but “a fundamental disagreement on a core principle,” Caruso stressed. “Free enterprise doesn’t exist without freedom of expression,” he said. “If you’ve suppressed my ability to communicate my marketing message to my potential con-

sumers, you are anti-free enterprise. It’s appalling to think that the brewers who sit on the board of directors and the BA management are interfering in the industry, trying to suppress free enterprise and suppress craft brewers from communicating their marketing message to their consumers.” Asked about brand names that consumers may consider offensive in Flying Dog’s portfolio, Caruso replied: “The question is, ‘offensive to whom?’” “Everybody has something subjective,” he said. “There is a free market, and it’s as much a marketplace of ideas as it is products, and over time ... good products survive and bad products disappear off the shelves. That’s how it works.”

Don’t get caught with your pants down

For more stories, check out Brewbound.com

Slowdown: Craft Sales at 5 Percent Growth Growth for U.S. craft beer companies is the slowest it’s been in 13 years, according to a recent report from the Brewers Association (BA), a trade group representing small and independent brewers. The BA in August reported that production at small and independent craft breweries – those companies that are less than 25 percent owned by a non-craft brewer and produce fewer than 6 million barrels of “traditional” beer annually – was up just five percent midway through 2017. “The growth pace for small and independent brewers has stabilized at a rate that still reflects progress but in a more mature market,” BA chief economist Bart Watson said via a press release. If that five percent growth trend holds for the remainder of 2017, BA-defined

ensure they keep pace.” Indeed, after six straight years of double-digit volume growth (2010-2015), growth in the craft beer segment has become more difficult to squeeze out. According to a recent Nielsen report, 86 of the top 100 craft brands grew slower over the last 12 months than they did in 2015. “Although more difficult to realize, growth still exists,” Watson contends, arguing that many craft breweries are “benefiting from on-premises and taproom sales.” In a “members-only” blog post, Watson explained that growth for the largest craft beer companies in the U.S. was slower, which impacted the organization’s topline figures. “Regionals, which are far more reliant on distribution, continue to grow at a

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The last time growth fell below six percent was 2004, when roughly 1,400 craft beer companies made 5.8 million barrels of beer, according to BA records. By comparison, in 2016, more than 5,200 companies produced more than 24.5 million barrels of beer. craft breweries will combine to produce fewer than 25.8 million barrels of beer. The last time growth fell below six percent was 2004, when roughly 1,400 craft beer companies made 5.8 million barrels of beer, according to BA records. By comparison, in 2016, more than 5,200 companies produced more than 24.5 million barrels of beer. According to the BA, there were 5,562 operating breweries in the U.S. at the end of June, meaning that 906 new beer companies opened during the prior 12-month period. “The beer world is highly competitive, and there is certainly a mixed bag in terms of performance,” Watson said. “Some breweries are continuing to grow, whereas others are having to evolve their position and nurture new opportunities to

slower rate than micros,” he wrote, noting that companies that produce fewer than 15,000 barrels annually reported growth of about 25 percent through June 2017. Around this time last year, BA-defined craft brewers had grown production about eight percent through the first six months of the year. However, growth slowed in the back half of 2016 and category-wide production increased just six percent during the year. Something that could help trends improve during the back half of 2017, however, are increased taproom sales. Watson said he believes an uptick in beer being sold directly to consumers – something the organization can’t accurately quantify at the moment – could shift industry-wide production “up a point or two,” he said.

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Always Ready. Always On Your Side. A consistent and reliable partner to beverage companies for over 100 years, Zuckerman Honickman is the go-to resource for innovative packaging solutions. Supporting entrepreneurial and established brands alike with expert business intelligence, best-in-class customer service and a robust network of service suppliers and advisors, the company provides clients with the tools to win in a highly competitive industry. “I’ve worked closely with Zuckerman Honickman for well over a decade, both as a brand owner and advisor to dozens of emerging beverage companies,” says former Snapple CEO and founder of INOV8 Beverage Consulting Group, Mike Weinstein. “They

have always operated more like a partner than a supplier, combining expertise, creativity, and innovation with integrity, custom solutions and highly personalized service. Plus, they’re great people. There’s no one else in the packaging field that I would turn to before them.”

founder, Bai Brands. “They care intimately about the industry they compete in and the customers they work with. They understand that it is their family name ‘on the building,’ and they act with a sense of accountability that is too often missing in business."

The company has played a critical role in the development of some of the biggest and most successful beverage brands in recent memory, including Vitaminwater, Honest Tea, BodyArmor, Spindrift and Bai. Yet, no matter the size or scale, one constant remains: Zuckerman Honickman is devoted to the success of all its clients.


"The Zuckerman family is just that: a family,” says Ben Weiss,

Focused on creating market value and elevated brand awareness for its customers, Zuckerman Honickman has long been at the forefront of packaging innovation. Whether it’s glass, plastic or aluminum containers, the company’s experienced team fuses expert insights and cutting-edge technology to meet evolving demand for sustainable and unique vessels.

Zuckerman Honickman helped introduce the first 100 percent recyclable PET bottle to the market, and the package that has since been embraced as a standard for plastic containers. It also cemented the company’s status as a trendsetter -- and sought-after partner -- for its contributions to credible sustainability. “We started working with Zuckerman Honickman in 2013 on a PET bottle project,” says Moe Zeidan, vice president of global supply chain, Vita Coco. “Back then we had zero experience in the PET space and Zuckerman Honickman acted as our ‘PET solution provider.’ They helped us in defining the capital expense required, consulted in creating our proprietary bottle, and introduced us to the right co-packing partner. Zuckerman Honickman was crucial in allowing us to deliver on our sales expectations. We are still working with them today on some of our breakthrough innovation projects.” The company’s commitment to innovation extends across the

“The Zuckerman family is just that: a family... They care intimately about the industry they compete in and the customers they work with.” Ben Weiss Founder & CEO, Bai Brands

beverage spectrum as consumers increasingly gravitate toward distinctive packages. Notably, Zuckerman Honickman helped pioneer and launch the StackTek package, a “bottle” which is made up of four individually sealed and stem-less wine glasses stacked on top of one another. “Zuckerman Honickman brought strategic partnerships to StackTek to help us refine our product and exceed the capabilities of our competition," says Tony Haralambos, president, Haralambos Beverage Co. and an investor in StakTek. In perhaps its most ambitious venture yet, Zuckerman Honickman has partnered with Pulp Packaging International (PPI), a manufacturer of environmentally sustainable bottles made from molded pulp. Amid surging consumer demand for biodegradable bottles, the two companies are united in their efforts to bring PPI’s patented, disruptive technology to beverage suppliers across the world -- and at an affordable cost. “Technology is the single most important part of our business,” says Michael Zuckerman, principal, Zuckerman Honickman. “Pulp is something we are really, really excited about. One of the issues of many biodegradable products is the cost; it’s often 15, 20, 30 percent more expensive than traditional packaging. Pulp, however, is cost-neutral.”

SMART SOURCING Long-standing partnerships with stalwart suppliers and beverage fillers have provided Zuckerman Honickman with a sustainable

edge over competitors. The relationships enable customers with market-ready concepts in accelerated timeframes and at reasonable and reliable costs. "Amcor's strong relationship with Zuckerman Honickman continues to evolve and grow," says Nico Saavas, commercial director,

Amcor Rigid Plastics. “This is an exciting time in the beverage industry as new segments and brands emerge. Together we’re able to provide unique primary packaging solutions that maximize our customers' growth potential and differentiate their brands." Hal Kravitz, the CEO of alkaline water brand AQUAhydrate, points

to Zuckerman Honickman’s “excellent relationships and credibility with suppliers” as enabling it to solve clients’ packaging challenges with great speed and prowess. “The team at Zuckerman Honickman has been an amazing partner of AQUAhydrate's since the beginning,” Kravitz says. “They are ideally positioned to help start up and early-stage companies effectively compete.” Moreover, Zuckerman Honickman is without equal in its grasp of emerging beverage trends, says Tom Naab, vice president of beverage, Plastipak Packaging. Its knowledge base gives it superior latitude over competing brokers and a unique ability to nurture and support young companies. “Zuckerman Honickman undoubtedly knows the New Age beverage sector better than anyone in the industry,” he says. “Their ability to recognize the latest trends is unparalleled. It also applies to their ability to partner with the right supply chain. Their success in both areas over the years is second to none.” And as a privately owned, U.S.-based company, Zuckerman Honickman shares strong synergies with many of its supplier partners. Working hand-in-hand, the companies continue to shape and support the American market for beverage packaging. “Anchor Glass Container and Zuckerman Honickman have partnered to service the packaging industry for decades,” said Ken Zigman, executive vice president, chief commercial officer, Anchor Glass Container

Corp. “They are a fantastic partner of Anchor and have an outstanding reputation in the market of supplying customers full solutions for their packaging needs.”

A CAN-DO ATTITUDE Peter Strahm, the CEO of Nth Degree Innovations and a longtime beverage executive whose experience includes high-level roles with Red Bull and Jones Soda, has worked with Zuckerman Honickman in various capacities for decades. He praised the company as one that gets results for its customers, plain and simple. “No matter what my issues were, their team consistently presented quality solutions that helped me maneuver through the uncertainty,” Strahm said. “They always have a comprehensive and unique approach to each business relationship that creates added value during the most stressful times for any size organization. My confidence level for their work is off the charts." That willingness to provide clients with an exceptionally high level of support is apparent in Zuckerman’s adoption of cans as part of its portfolio. Although its history is immersed in glass and plastic, the company has embraced cans as an important area of focus in recent years. The package format continues to attract strong demand among a growing number of beverage companies, particularly craft beer and wine producers, who view cans as a portable and lightweight option. “We sell printed cans into every segment that there is out there,” says Lorne Paskin, head of can division, Zuckerman Honickman.

“They are ideally positioned to help start-up and earlystage companies effectively compete.” Hal Kravitz CEO AQUAhydrate

“We’re on the cusp of breaking into some non-alcoholic segments that have never been in cans before and doing a lot of R&D projects in conjunction with can manufacturers.” From its roots as a reseller of glass bottles to decades as the exclusive package supplier to Pepsi to the company’s current range of clients from across the beverage industry, Zuckerman Honickman continues to be the gold standard for packaging solutions. Through the years, the company remains fully focused on providing its clients with the highest level of service. It’s not a strategy, it’s a commitment. “I have spent 25 years in the beverage industry and the one constant has been Zuckerman-Honickman,” says BevNET Magazine publisher Barry Nathanson. “They have exemplified excellence, consideration, integrity and the ability to innovate. I can think of no other company, in any aspect of the industry, that has the consistent success in serving the marketplace. I have admired their work ethos, morality and the way they go about their business. The beverage industry is a better place because of Zuckerman-Honickman.”

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CSD BCGA Concept Corp., manufacturer of Bruce Cost Ginger Ale and Brooklyn Organics, has launched Brooklyn Crafted, a new line of ginger ale and beers made with 100 percent fresh, unfiltered ginger pieces. The products include Extra Spicy Ginger Beer, Extra Spicy Sugar Free Ginger Beer and Sugar Free Ginger Ale. The products retail for $1.79 per 12 oz. bottle and are available at retailers in New York City. For more information, please call BCGA at (212) 488-0661. Spruce Soda has launched a 4-pack option for its popular Ginger Beer and Orange Blossom Tonic flavors. Produced in Minneapolis, both flavors are handmade at The Good Acre, a non-profit food hub facility in Falcon Heights. The Ginger Beer is made with pure cane sugar, fresh, organic ginger and lemon juice. The Orange Blossom Tonic is a blend of orange blossom, freshly ground botanicals of lavender, allspice, and juniper with citrus and cinchona bark. The 4-pack of 12 oz. bottles has a suggested retail price of $7.99. The beverages are sold in Minnesota. For more information, please call Lola Red at (612) 333-1723.

PROTEIN DRINKS Koia has added two new flavors to its line of plant-based protein beverages. Cold Brew Coffee and Cinnamon Horchata were developed to complement Koia’s existing Vanilla Bean, Cacao Bean and Coconut Almond varieties, according to the company. The products have a suggested retail price of $4.99 per 12 oz. bottle and are currently available in the chilled beverage sections at Whole Foods Markets in Southern California, Nevada and Arizona. For more information, please call Koia at (312) 806-3896.

PLANT-BASED MILK Canvas is a new line of barley milk beverages that are made using spent grain, the nutrientrich byproduct of the beer brewing process. Canvas contains a rich source of dietary fiber, and is a source of complete plant protein and medium-chain fatty acids. The beverages come 28 BEVNET MAGAZINE – SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017

in five flavors: Original, Cold Brew Latte, Cocoa, Turmeric Chai, and Matcha. The drinks have a suggested retail price of $4.99 per 12 oz. bottle. For more information, please call DKC at (212) 685-4300.

ENHANCED WATER Bulletproof’s enhanced water brand FATwater is now available in two new flavors: mango and blueberry. FATwater is a combination of deionized water, Bulletproof’s “Brain Octane Oil,” and B vitamins. The drinks are designed to provide hydration and fast energy boost without stimulants or sugar. The new products come in Lemon, Grapefruit and Pineapple flavors and retail for approximately $3 per 16 oz. bottle. They are sold online and at Bulletproof cafes. For more information, please call Bulletproof at (844) 273-9321.

TEA Zest Tea has launched a new line of sparkling RTD products. The line comes in three initial SKUs, including a mint and lime green tea, a spicy chai black tea and an earl grey black tea. The blends contain 135-150 mg of caffeine, depending on variety. The drinks also contain added functional ingredients, including L-Theanine and B-vitamins. The products retail for $2.49-$2.99 per 12 oz. can. For more information please call Zest Tea at (248) 520-7401. Teavana has launched its first unsweetened bottled iced tea. Teavana Unsweetened Meyer Lemon Black Craft Iced Tea is made with black tea, lemon verbena and Meyer lemon flavor and contains no sugar or calories. The beverage is available in select grocery and convenience retailers in New York, New Hampshire, Vermont and Missouri. The tea has a suggested retail price of $2.39 per 14.5 oz. bottle. For more information, please call Starbucks at (206) 447-1575.

COFFEE Peet’s Coffee has added two new flavors to its RTD line of cold brew coffee. The Black Tie is


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NEW PRODUCTS a Vietnamese-inspired cold brew coffee made with Peet’s Baridi Black coffee, sweetened condensed milk, chicory, pure cane sugar, and a touch of cream. Baridi Black + Cacao is made with Guittard Cacao nibs and touch of pure cane sugar. Packaged in 10.5 oz bottles, the coffees have a suggested retail price of $3.99. They are available across California in Peet’s coffee bars, as well as grocery and specialty stores, mass retailers, and other locations. For more information, please call Peet’s at (510) 594-2100. Califia Farms has launched a new line of cold brew coffee concentrates. The products, made using lightly roasted, Scandinavian-style, 100 percent Arabica beans, the 2.5x strength concentrates come in Vanilla Tolteca, Signature Blend and Mocha flavor varieties. The beans are from Central and South America are sourced via Califia Farms’ Direct Trade program. Packaged in 750 mL embossed amber bottles with screw tops, each delivers up to eight cups of coffee. The concentrates have a suggested retail price of $8.49. For more information, please call Califia Farms at (213) 694-4667.

COCKTAIL MIXERS Fresh Victor is a new brand of premium refrigerated cocktail mixers. Made using fresh fruit juices, organic agave nectar and organic cane sugar, the line comes in five flavors: Mexican Lime & Agave, Three Citrus & Mint Leaf, Poblano Heat & Wild Lime, Pineapple & Ginger Root and Cactus Pear & Pomegranate. The products are gluten-free, dairy-free, and nonGMO. They contain no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. Each 32 oz. bottle contains 10 servings and has a suggested retail price of $9.99. The mixers are distributed in California. For more information, please call Nine County Brands at (800) 832-9885 Greek food company Gaea has launched a new line of brine-based cocktail mixers. Gaea’s Dirty Martini Juice is made with previously discarded olive brine from its olive production process. Two flavors are available, each specially formulated to accompany either vodka or gin. The vodka mixer contains olive brine infused with sweet and hot red peppers. The gin mixer contains olive brine blended with coriander. The products have a suggested retail price of


$2.49 per 8.5 oz. bottle. They are available for sale online. For more information, please call Gaea North America at (954) 923-7723.

PROGRESSIVE ADULT BEVERAGES Black Magic Beverages has launched Half-Seas Sparkling Cocktails. The ready-to-drink canned cocktails are lightly carbonated and made from premium spirits, bitters, mixers, modifiers and pure cane syrup. The line comes in three varieties: The Bramble, Daiquiri and Paloma. They are 12 percent ABV and packaged in 200 mL cans. The suggested retail price is $16-$20 per 4-pack. For more information, please call KLG Public Relations at (646) 678-3700. Golfer John Daly has partnered with Phusion Projects to release a line of drinks based on the classic cocktail bearing his name, made of alcohol, tea, and lemonade. John Daly’s Grip it & Sip comes in two flavors: Hard Tea and Half & Half. Both are made with real black tea and premium ingredients. Available in 16 oz. cans, the teas are 8 percent ABV. They are available nationwide. Prices vary by market. For more information, please call Phusion Projects at (312) 667-1071. Clubtails, a line of canned cocktails, has introduced a new 24 oz. size. The package is available in six of the brand’s best-selling flavors, including Bahama Mama, Sex on the Beach, Sunny Margarita, Long Island Iced Tea, Strawberry Colada and Screwdriver. They are 10 percent ABV. The products are available in convenience stores where Clubtails have traditionally been sold and have a suggested retail price of $1.99. For more information please contact Geloso Beverage Group LLC at (585) 247-2310.

WINE Tank Garage Winery has released Chrome Dreams, a premium Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and an ode to vintage automobiles. According to the winery, it is the first and only glass-chromed bottle in the world. With a mirrored surface and a clear-embossed wingedwheel emblem, the bottle pays homage to the

NEW PRODUCTS iconic curves and textures of classic Americana metalwork. The limited-edition release is 14.9 percent ABV and has a suggested retail price of $75 for a 750 mL bottle. The winery has also released Fortnight, a Cabernet Sauvignon blend that has been crafted during a unique period during harvest season from vineyards in Northern California. The name is inspired by the two-week harvest time period. The wine is 85 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 12 percent Merlot and 2 percent Petite Sirah blend It features aromas of blackberries and cassis with dark, macerated maraschino cherries, supported by hints of vanilla, cedar and cigar box, according to the winery. It has a suggested retail price of $20 per 750 mL bottle and is available at select retailers. For more information, please call Tank Garage Winery at (707) 942-8265.

92 proof and non-chilled filtered. It is available nationwide with concentrated distribution in select markets for a suggested retail price of $45 per 750 mL bottle. For more information, please call Egan’s at (347) 277 6832.

Art + Farm Wine has released St. Mayhem’s Ginger Loves Company, a Chardonnay-based craft wine cooler made with peaches and ground ginger. The canned product is available in California and Colorado and is the brand’s first year-round release available in 4-packs. Each pack contains four 8.5 oz. cans and retails for $25. The beverages are 14.1 percent ABV. For more information please contact Art + Farm Wine at (707) 927-4343.

Ben Milam Whiskey, a Texas-based distillery and spirits company, has released its second offering, Ben Milam Rye Whiskey. Like its award-winning bourbon, the rye expression is inspired by the legacy and character of Texas freedom fighter Benjamin Rush Milam. The 80 proof whiskey is crafted with bold flavors native to this region and finishes with hints of black pepper, oak and cinnamon, according to the company. It retails for $42 and is available in select stores throughout Austin and San Antonio. For more information, please call Ben Milam at (830) 833-3033.

WHISKEY Kilbeggan Single Grain is a new premium Irish whiskey inspired by the townspeople of its namesake. Made with a base of 94 percent corn and 6 percent malted barley, the spirit is aged in ex-bourbon and fortified wine barrels. The 86 proof whiskey carries a unique flavor while inheriting Irish whiskey’s trademark versatility and smoothness, according to the manufacturer. Available currently in the U.S. only, it has a suggested retail price of $29.99 (750ml). For more information, please call Beam Suntory at (847) 948-8888. Egan’s Irish whiskey has added Vintage Grain to add to its collection of premium whiskeys. The new expression will be the second to be released to the U.S. market following the successful launch of the brand’s Single Malt in 2015. Made from a single grain, artfully distilled, and aged for at least eight years in American bourbon barrels, the expression is bottled at


Jim Beam has introduced Jim Beam Vanilla, the latest addition to its flavored portfolio. The spirit is a blend of Madagascar vanilla bean liqueur with classic Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey. Bottled at 70 proof, it offers the perfect balance of subtle vanilla sweetness and hints of oak and deep caramel bourbon notes, according to the manufacturer. The product has a suggested retail price of $15.99 for a 750 mL bottle and is available in bars and retail locations nationwide. For more information, please call Beam Suntory at (847) 948-8888.

VODKA Texas Wildflower Vodka is a new line of vodka crafted and distilled in Dallas. Available in three natural flavors – Original Craft, Pink Lemonade and Blood Orange – the products are available in select Dallas bars and liquor stores. The vodkas are 30-40 percent alcohol per volume, depending on variety. They have a suggested retail price of $19.99 for a 750 mL bottle. For more information, please call Greenlight at (214) 393-8470. CÎROC has launched CÎROC French Vanilla. The spirit is made with vodka distilled five times from fine French grapes and infused with a blend of vanilla flavors from multiple sources such as Madagascar along with other natural flavors. The limited edition product comes in 50 mL, 200 mL, 375 mL, 750 mL, 1 L and 1.75

L sizes. It has a suggested retail price of $33.99 for a 750 mL bottle. For more information, please call Diageo at (203) 229-2100.

OTHER SPIRITS Louisville-based Copper & Kings American Brandy Co. has launched a new line of alembic distilled liqueurs to complement its core American brandy products. Named DestillarÊ, the liqueurs are non-chill-filtered, copper pot-distilled brandy base infusions without the addition of sugar or colorants. Destillare Intense Orange Curaçao is a 90 proof spirit that has a suggested retail price of $35 per 750 mL bottle. Destillare Fortified & Infused Mistelle is 60 proof and has a suggested retail price of $40 per 750mL bottle. Copper & Kings has also launched two Kentucky copper potdistilled gins; an American Dry Gin using an apple brandy base, and an American Old Tom Gin using a grape brandy base. Both gins are double-distilled using no neutral spirits, and are non-chill filtered to maximize the retention and concentration of the gin botanicals. The gins have no added flavors or colors post distillation. Classic gin botanicals are steeped in brandy low-wine (first distillation) then redistilled together with vapor distilled botanicals in the gin basket. The Dry Gin is 92 proof and retails for $35 per 750 mL bottle, while the Old Tom Gin is 100 proof and has a suggested retail price of $40 for a 750 mL bottle. For more information, please call Copper & Kings at (502) 561-0267. A. Hardy USA has launched Hardy Legend 1863 cognac. With a title referring to the year in which the House of Hardy was founded, this vintage cognac is created from a selection of eaux-de-vie from the Petite Champagne District with a hint of borderies that are blended using traditional methods. The 80 proof cognac is aged up to twelve years in toasted Limousin oak barrels. The end result is a fine representation of the classic Hardy style with a rich bronze color, a delicate scent of dates and rose petals, and flavors of cappuccino with a smooth finish. Offered in a sculptured 750 mL glass bottle, it has a suggested retail price of $69.95 and is sold at select retailers. For more information, please call A. Hardy USA at (847) 298-2358.



SPOTLIGHT CATEGORY: Refrigerated Teas The refrigerated tea set gives another good look at places where entrepreneurial brands are making inroads into standard category classifications: note the parade of kombucha and probiotic brands, including GTs, Kevita, Health Ade and Humm getting rolled in with the Gold Peaks and Turkey Hills of the world. It might mean that kombucha itself should be a standard category. What do you think?




Private Label



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-31.28% 165.00%

Humm Kombucha





Clover Farms









Bolthouse Farms Perfectly Protein Heart




Energy Drinks








Drink Mixes





Bottled Juices


Bottled Water


SOURCE: IRI, a Chicago-based market research firm (@iriworldwide) 52 Weeks through 8/13/17





Private Label









Nestle Pure Life



Glaceau Smart Water



Poland Spring



Glaceau Vitamin Water






Deer Park







Highly Water Soluble Neutral Taste Profile Perfected for Beverages




Private Label



Sparkling ICE



La Croix









San Pellegrino



Topo Chico






Sparkling ICE Lemonade



La Croix Curate






Lipton Pure Leaf






Gold Peak



Lipton Brisk









Lipton Diet



Diet Snapple



AriZona Arnold Palmer



Peace Tea




Email us for pricing & info




Starbucks Frappuccino




Starbucks Doubleshot



Coca Cola Dunkin Donuts






Private Label



Starbucks Doubleshot Light



High Brew



Starbucks Cold Brew



Starbucks Frappuccino Light



La Colombe



SOURCE: IRI, a Chicago-based market research firm (@iriworldwide) 52 Weeks through 8/13/17





Red Bull



Monster Energy



Red Bull Sugar Free


2.42% 17.04%

Monster Energy Zero Ultra





Java Monster



Monster Rehab



Soda · Tea · Functional · Mixers · Vodka

Monster Energy Lo Carb



Rum · Whiskey · Energy · Juice · Cider

Red Bull The Summer Edition



Enhanced Water · Beer · Cocktail · Liqueurs

Monster Mega Energy




• Your Custom Beverage Formulator •

• Customized Flavors • Organic · All Natural · WONF



TTB Approved · N&A · Kosher



Proprietary Citrus Extracts




Stacker 2 Xtra



BRAND 5 Hour Energy

Private Label



Stacker 2



Stacker 2 Extreme



Rhino Rush






Vital 4U Screamin Energy



K Chill






Gatorade Perform



Powerade ION4



Gatorade Frost






Gatorade Fierce



Gatorade G2 Perform



Powerade Zero ION4






Gatorade Flow






• Customer Focused • • Committed to Quality •

Sovereign Flavors Inc 4020 W. Chandler Ave. Santa Ana, CA 92704 T: 714.437.1996 F: 714.437.1998




Blue Moon



Samuel Adams



Sierra Nevada



New Belgium



Leinenkugel Specialty









Shock Top






Goose Island



SOURCE: IRI, a Chicago-based market research firm (@iriworldwide) 52 Weeks through 8/13/17



Berardi’s Rules In some circles among beverage entrepreneurs, the mantra is, ‘Go big or go home.’ If you don’t bring $30 mil or more in financing to the table, you may as well not bother. It’s hard to fault that logic: after all, this is a highly competitive segment, one where the costs of building a brand seem to always outrun projections. If you can make the ante, like a Lance Collins or a Mike Repole or a Greg Steltenpohl or a David Smith, with a successful track record and network of financial, strategic, and distribution contacts, there’s no reason not to think big. It may make sense then to do the DSD landgrab, moving quickly to national availability in mainstream channels like grocery and convenience stores. To varying degrees, the current ventures of those seasoned entrepreneurs – Core Water, Body Armor, Califia Farms and High Brew Coffee – are validating that approach. Who am I to disagree with it? But don’t believe that that’s the only way the game has to be played. True, the bigger-is-better contingent often affords the go-slow approach only the most patronizing acknowledgement. Nice, they’ll say, if all you want is to have a little cottage business, plying a niche that more ambitious players can’t be bothered with. Since most new brands (whatever their approach) never break out, it can be hard to argue with that logic. But there are exceptions. AriZona Iced Tea, remember, was a phenomenon that grew out of two young guys working out of a threadbare office in Brooklyn’s dreary Gravesend neighborhood, never borrowing a dime let alone reaching out for outside capital, and letting patience and ingenuity do the heavy lifting in building what’s now a billion-dollar brand. In the same way, I found the recent acquisition of organic energy brand Hiball by Anheuser-Busch InBev to be greatly reassuring, in providing evidence that maybe that approach can pan out these days, too. I’m sure you know the outline: after having been jilted by Monster Energy in favor of Coca-Cola as strategic partner, A-B is making a small bet that it can catch 38 BEVNET MAGAZINE – SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017

the coming wave of healthier, plantbased energy drinks with its modestly priced acquisition of Hiball at a time that conventional energy drinks like Red Bull and Monster have dramatically flattened in their growth trajectory. (A-B hasn’t disclosed the price, but for a company that did $15 million or so in 2016 it would have to be well below $100 million, very modest by the standards of a company that just swallowed SAB Miller and is continually rumored to be preparing runs at the likes of Coke or Pepsi.) With that deal, A-B also got a nifty bonus: Hiball’s year-old Alta Palla organic sparkling water line, playing in a lately exploding segment. (Disclosure: I made the first introduction between A-B and the Hiball guys at Expo East last fall, though I’ll readily acknowledge it was pretty fluky and that meeting would have occurred anyway. And though I try to keep my ear close to the ground, I had no idea that initial contact had evolved to anything meaningful until the moment the deal was announced.) Founded 13 years ago, Hiball for years was a three-person operation, working out of a sparsely furnished suite in San Fran-

cisco: that is, Todd Berardi, his wife Alyssa (a graphics whiz judging by her handiwork on behalf of the brands) and Dan Craytor, who relocated to Colorado along the way. It was only three years ago that they started outside hiring, going from just the three of them to about 20 by the time A-B acquired the company this past summer. I should note also that, in building their brand, Berardi and Craytor seem to have made no enemies; at the time the deal was announced, even rivals seemed genuinely jubilant at their good fortune. That’s rare in such a competitive business, where the temptation to cut corners is ever-present. Along the way Hiball has never taken in any private-equity capital, relying instead on friends and family, even as it undertook arduous and expensive course corrections like a switch from a small glass bottle to 16-ounce cans. Call it parsimonious or highly efficient, but the company’s operating style enabled it to hang in there without recourse to any outside capital at all for the past five years. In recent years, Todd assured me, the company has run at breakeven or even cash-flow-positive. I should note also that, in the case of Hiball

as well as other compact operations I track, this modest operating style in no way betrays a lack of ambition; it’s just about the means to an end. Like only a few others in the business whom I’m aware of, the Hiball team has prided itself on not succumbing to retailer pressure to do screwy, cash-draining promos for the sake of exposure. As I sometimes remind readers of my newsletter, you can die of exposure. “The brand has to be able to survive on its own and at full retail price,” Berardi told me. It was only when the company’s cash flow turned positive that it committed to a demo program, extended into adjacent energy categories and was able to launch Alta Palla as a non-energy play. What are some of Todd’s rules for success? Key among them, he cites maintaining high margins and limiting promo activity. “Since we were using our own

money, we watched every dollar we spent to make sure our burn rate was kept at a minimum at all times,” he told me. It was only once the brand started showing real momentum that Hiball started hiring, undertaking demos and other marketing activities, splurging on a branded EarthRoamer vehicle and extending Hiball into new segments while laying the groundwork for Alta Palla. Of course, there are plenty of caveats here. First, though it’s operating at what seems to be a $40 million run rate lately, Hiball can by no means be claimed to have definitively broken out yet, and there’s always a chance that in a year or two, under its new owner, things will have reversed or even unraveled. Deals like these also are always a matter of timing, and A-B has had a history of lurching from enthusiasm to enthusiasm, whether its Eagle Snacks brand

or its Ninth Street Beverage incubator, before abruptly changing tack. So part of Hiball’s recent success was simply being in the right place at the right time. But it’s still a remarkable story, and one that, with the team continuing under A-B, is still worth watching. As I write this, major brands like Monster and Rockstar are known to be devising their own healthierenergy plays, a tacit endorsement of the opportunity that Hiball and rivals like Guru and Runa have been pursuing over the past decade. If Hiball does end up playing a leading role in a flourishing new energy sub-segment, it will be further vindication that a modest operating strategy can eventually have major impact. Longtime beverage-watcher Gerry Khermouch is executive editor of Beverage Business Insights, a twice-weekly e-newsletter covering the nonalcoholic beverage sector.

“Vuka is the only brand I LOVE!!” - Christina F.

Maybe it’s the natural ingredients. Could be the striking packaging. Some say that it’s the most delicious natural energy drink on shelf today. Whatever the reason, Vuka continues to grow as a favorite, with broad distribution, a huge fan base and velocities that will knock your socks off.




IFT 2017 This year’s edition of the annual Institute of Food Technology (IFT) show, held June 25 through June 28 at the Sands Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas, gave a glimpse into the future of the food and beverage industry. The venue hosted over 20,000 attendees and 1,200 exhibitors showcasing a range of ingredients, flavorings, colorings, sweeteners and everything in between, painting a broad portrait of the current state of the industry and pointing the way towards further developments and innovations that are only just beginning to emerge. The drive towards clean ingredient labels was one of the dominant themes of this year’s event. According to market research group Mintel, 30 percent of U.S. food and beverage shoppers would purchase more store brand food and drink products if they contained ingredients that are easily recognizable. Furthermore, 32 percent of U.S. consumers agree foods with “natural” claims are good for their health. Exhibitors across the spectrum followed that guiding principle in their development of plant-based proteins, sweeteners, and other products. From natural sweeteners to new synthetic blends, ingredient manufacturers at IFT 17 showcased a variety of new innovations aimed squarely at reducing sugar content, if not eliminating it altogether. In terms of natural sweeteners, stevia remains one of the most popular — and one of the most polarizing. At IFT, companies showcased stevia innovations designed to deliver a cleaner, better tasting experience. BESTEVIA Reb M, developed by Westchester, Ill.-based manufacturer Ingredion, is formulated to deliver higher sweetness and less bitterness than Reb A stevia, which can have a bitter taste when used in larger quantities, and thus reduce the usage of certain masking agents which are commonly used to curb stevia’s aftertaste. Manufacturers are also looking into potential functional benefits for sweeteners and sugar substitutes. Matsusani Chemical Industry Co. showcased Astraea, a proprietary zero-calorie sweetener made from the rare sugar allulose that is popular 40 BEVNET MAGAZINE – SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017

in the Japanese market, available in both crystalline and liquid formats. Along with providing sweetness, some studies have shown it could also help lower bloodglucose levels by inhibiting the digestion of starch in the intestine. Further clinical trials are needed to confirm the preliminary results before the company can make health claims, but allulose’s recognition by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a GRAS ingredient in 2014 means it has a pathway towards mainstream adoption in the future. Tate & Lyle also showcased DOLCIA PRIMA Allulose, available in both crystalline and syrup formats, at IFT.

Suppliers exhibiting at IFT 17 were also looking for ways in which to make plant-based proteins more palatable to consumers. Bev Edge, a new particle dispersion technology developed by Glanbia, eliminates the need for lecithin, an emulsifier typically used for dissolving powders, in theory allowing beverage companies to create better-tasting and more marketable plant-based protein products with the clean ingredient profiles. Glanbia’s BevEdge Pea Protein, for example, is formulated to dissolve instantly and better mask the pea notes in the flavor. The development and integration of botanical ingredients, including adaptogenic

As consumers seek greater variety in both protein and plant-based products, ingredient manufacturers are exploring various natural ingredients that can deliver that combination in food and beverage products. The rising prominence of peas as a valued ingredient on the plant-based protein landscape was reinforced at IFT 17. French company Roquette, which will become the world’s largest producer of pea protein when its new $300 million dedicated pea protein manufacturing center in Canada starts production in 2019, showcased its NUTRALYS line, which includes a variety of isolates and textured proteins that can be used as an alternative to milk and soy-based sources in food and beverages. Meanwhile, Axiom Foods, the largest maker of plant protein ingredients in the U.S., debuted VegoteinTM MA, a non-GMO pea protein developed as a meat extender that can add nutritional value and lower costs for burgers and other meat products.

herbs, into new products and applications was evident at IFT 2017 and fit with the overall movement towards clean ingredient labels. Naturex, a French company specializing in plant-based natural ingredients, has expanded its botanical offerings in recent years with the aim of delivering a cohesive experience that’s visually appealing, healthy and tastes great. At the show, the company exhibited floral extracts such as elderflower, hibiscus and rose, the latter of which is processed without grinding to create a 100 percent pure product, as well as function-forward natural ingredients like maca root and yerba mate. Beyond enhancing flavor profiles, some companies are exploring how natural ingredients can function as a means of adding visual appeal to products, particularly in terms of sharing on social media. Turmeric, for example, adds a bright orange hue, while matcha, which increased in use in food and beverage innovations by 30 percent globally in 2016, provides a distinct light green coloring.






National Association of

McCormick Place

October 17 - 20, 2017

More than 100 different

Convenience Stores (NACS)

Chicago, Ill.

Expo Hours:

beverage brands and

Oct. 18: 11:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

approximately 23,500

Oct. 19: 11:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.


Annual Expo

Oct. 20: 9:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

KEYNOTE SPEAKERS Tuesday, Oct. 17. 3:45 – 5 p.m.

Wednesday, Oct. 18. 10:30 – 11:45 a.m.

Friday, Oct. 20. 8:00 – 9:00 a.m.

Eric Chester – Award-winning speaker

Chip Conley – American hotelier, hospi-

William Shatner – Hollywood icon

and bestselling author

tality, entrepreneur, author and speaker

and philanthropist



Formula Four Beverages USA Inc


Pabst Brewing Company

1Shot Protein LLC


Forto Coffee energy shot


PepsiCo, Inc.


5-hour Energy


Founders Brewing Company


Pocas International Corp.


6 Hour Sleep




Polar Beverages


All Market, Inc.- Vita Coco


Goya Foods




Alo Drink by SPI West Port, Inc


GURU Organic Energy


Powerful Yogurt




Harmless Harvest



AquaHydrate, Inc. AQUAhydrate


Harris Tea


Push Beverages/Tribe Tea

Argo Tea


Heineken USA, Inc.


Red Bull North America, Inc.


Arizona Beverages USA




Rhino Rush, LLC Rhino Rush Energy



HEYDAY Beverage Company


Roar Beverages/ CS Next


Hiball/Alta Palla


S & D Coffee & Tea


Hint, Inc.






Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.


Arizona Iced Tea Energy Shots Avitae USA, LLC


Bai Brands LLC





149 2834

Boxed Water Is Better


Increase Beverage




Brands Within Reach


Invo Coconut Water


Sparkling Ice


Buddha Brands Co.


Jones Soda Co.


Spindrift Beverage Co. Inc


Bug Juice Intl.


Keurig Green Mountain


Sportwater Beverages


Cafe Agave


Lassonde Pappas and Company


Stout Brewing Company, LLC


Califia Farms


Mike's Hard Lemonade


Sunny Delight Beverages Co.






Surprise Drinks


Chobani, Inc.


Monster Energy Company


The Boston Beer Company


Constellation Brands


Moonshine Sweet Tea


The Coca-Cola Company


CytoSport/Muscle Milk




TreeHouse Foods Steep 18 Cold Brew


Dean Foods




True Drinks, Inc.


Diageo Beer Company USA


New Age Beverages Corporation


Tweaker (Haider Corporation)


Dr Pepper Snapple Group


Niagara Bottling, LLC




Dr Pepper Snapple Group


North American Breweries


VOSS Artesian Water from Norway


Dream Products, LLC


Norwegian Glacier Water NA


VPX / Bang / Redline


E & J Gallo Winery


NVE Pharmaceuticals


Zest Tea


Essentia Water LLC


Organic Valley


Eternal Water


OUtlaw Beverage LLC








Based on 2017 Sales Results



If you’re looking for the next explosive growth category in beverage, just follow the bubbles. On its surface, the sparkling water segment is far from the cutting edge of modern beverage innovation. Fizzy water has been around in one form or another for decades, usually in the form of budget priced private label brands in 12 oz. cans or premium imports sourced from naturally sparkling mineral springs and packaged in glass bottles. Yet in recent years, as the popularity of sodas and sugar-sweetened soft drinks has continued to decline, retailers and consumers are shifting the way in which they view the category. Few products have embodied that shift as prominently as LaCroix and Sparkling ICE. The former, founded 30 years ago by a farmer in Wisconsin, has used social media engagement and aggressive in-store merchandising of 12-packs of cans at both conventional and natural retailers to capture the imagination (and dollars) of millennial consumers. Though its parent company National Beverage Corporation does not release brand-specific sales figures, research analysts at Credit Suisse projected in an August report that LaCroix accounts for 35 to 40 percent of the company’s sales. Meanwhile, Sparkling ICE, the zero-calorie, flavored sparkling line from TalkingRain Beverages, gener44 BEVNET MAGAZINE – SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017

ated $667 million in sales in 2016, thanks in part to its wide range of SKUs that have carved out a significant share of the real estate on ambient shelves at conventional groceries and in convenience store coolers. More important than the numbers, however, the two brands have helped solidify the market for zero- or low-calorie sparkling waters that can play in between the super-premium and value ends of the spectrum. That has also paved the way for the next generation of brands to grow the category even further. Emerging brands and startups in the sparkling water space are employing different strategies to address the challenge of establishing differentiation within the increasingly crowded category, as well as preparing themselves to compete against like products from some of the industry’s major players. Unlike some other categories, sparkling water has a relatively simple, fixed offering to consumers: carbonated water, either with flavoring or without. That means that as emerging brands seek to enter the market, they are finding an increasingly crowded space in which establishing differentiation can be difficult. “This category is unique in that it is premium to water with a lower premium national brand and more than a few superpremium players,” said Jason Shiver, CEO of Waterloo Sparkling Water, an Austin,

Tex.-based brand that produces a sevenSKU line of fruit flavored sparkling waters. The company, which recently secured $3.2 million in funding from beverage-focused venture capital firm CAVU Venture Partners, entered Whole Foods nationally in September, offering five varieties in 12-packs of 12 oz. cans for a suggested retail price of $5.99. “That left a huge void between the competitors where we lend ourselves more toward the mid-tier, but closer to the major national competitor.” Although many rising sparkling water brands are sticking close to the tried-andtrue fruit flavors that consumers have grown accustomed to in sparkling waters, there has been some notable innovation in how those familiar tastes are being delivered. Earlier this year, for example, Massachusetts-based Spindrift made the decision to remove all natural flavorings and essences from its seven-SKU sparkling water line and replace them with fresh pressed juices and purees, a move that founder and CEO Bill Creelman told BevNET in March matched the company’s desire to emphasize a simple, clean ingredient profile. In August, organic beverage company Purity Organic took a similar route for its new sparkling line by exclusively using organic fruit juice to flavor its new sparkling line.Yet the addition of 100 percent of the daily recommended allowance of vitamin C to each




SKU gives the brand a functional appeal that consumers can easily understand. “The vitamin C functionality aspect was actually one of the most important features of the product that was appealing to consumers we talked to,” said Bernadette Aguirre, director of marketing at Purity Organic, calling it an important point of differentiation for the brand. “It ranked even higher than being low-calorie.” Yet even with subtle differences in carbonation and flavor profiles, most sparkling waters offer essentially the same proposition in the liquid itself. That in turn increases companies burdens when it comes to marketing, merchandising and overall brand presentation; LaCroix’s success, for example, has been largely due to its strong performance on all three metrics. With its colorful cans and slick branding, UGLY Drinks was created to resonate with and communicate directly to the younger audiences who have fueled the LaCroix phenomenon. The London-based brand, which is currently sold in over 1,000 independent retailers in the United Kingdom and will arrive in the U.S. in early 2018, markets a line of unsweetened sparkling waters made with natural fruit flavors and packaged in 12 oz. cans. As co-founder Hugh Thomas describes it, UGLY is “a brand for millennial consumers run by millennial consumers.” “Our marketing will be focused on building a strong community of Ugly fans who see Ugly as a lifestyle brand and movement that they want to [be part of],” said Thomas, a former Vita Coco brand manager who started the company


last year with partner Joe Benn. UGLY is looking to build that community by focusing its initial U.S. launch on servicing accounts in New York City through direct store distribution (DSD). “We want to deliver a brand of sparkling water that truly resonates with millennial consumers with a range of fun, flavored cans.” Meanwhile, GIVN is aiming to create differentiation with its sparkling product by looking outside the bottle. The brand currently markets a line of premium still spring water that is naturally high in electrolytes. For each bottle sold, the company provides the equivalent of one day of clean water to underserved communities around the world. With the forthcoming launch of its sparkling variety, GIVN is again looking toward its social mission and sustainability to have a significant influence on consumers’ choices. “Our core differentiation of social impact really drives a wedge between our brand and all of the other competitors on the market,” said John House, CEO and co-founder of GIVN. “Offering a seriously good water that includes a seriously good impact is one of, if not the primary reason why we’ve expanded so rapidly to date.” Despite their best efforts to create differentiation and offer a unique message, younger brands in the sparkling water category work under the knowledge that they aren’t the only ones looking to grow the market. Major players like The Coca-Cola Company and PepsiCo have been watching as well, particularly as factors such as declining soda sales, regional adoption of taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages, and efforts to diversify their respective brand

portfolios with healthier options take on greater influence in their decision making. In 2015, Coke introduced an unflavored sparkling version of smartwater, one year after launching a flavored sparkling line extension of its other water brand, Dasani. PepsiCo also has multiple products positioned to compete across a range of use occasions and retail channels, such as Aquafina, with its 10 calorie flavored sparkling line that debuted last year, and IZZE. Even AriZona Beverages, best known for marketing value priced sweetened iced teas and juices, is making a play for the sparkling water consumer with the summer launch of a five-SKU line of fruity zero-calorie sparkling waters in slim cans. Add on AnheuserBusch InBev’s July acquisition of Hiball, which markets sparkling water products through its Alta Palla line, and it becomes obvious that major CPG corporations are taking notice of the category’s enormous potential. Yet, as indicated by the massive growth of Sparkling ICE and LaCroix, consumers are more than open to brands with a narrower focus on just sparkling water. “I don’t get the sense that consumers

have that same passion for brands built by the major beverage [brands],” said Brandon Cason, CMO at Waterloo. “If we can get enough people to try Waterloo and fall in love with it, the rest will take care of itself.” Meanwhile, GIVN is hoping the combination of competitive pricing and social impact will give the brand an advantage over the category’s larger players.

“First, the economics of our product have to make sense to a retailer replacing Dasani, Aquafina or Nestle,” explained House, noting that GIVN offers its retail partners price parity to competing brands as often as possible. “Second, the economics of our product have to make sense to the consumer – in our case that means we don’t charge more for the social impact embedded in our product. Our product is always priced at or below the major brands product.” Sparkling water sales appear set to continue growing in the years ahead, but even as they enjoy the moment, young brands are bracing themselves for the challenges that lie ahead. “It’s important that the category gives space for brands to grow,” said Thomas. “Sparkling water could become com-

moditised with too many low value brands without story and personality entering the category, and this could prevent long term value and growth.” The explosive growth of the category also means emerging brands will have to be prepared to produce more and more product. “We have found that a big challenge is manufacturing capability to scale with demand,” said House. He noted that while high demand has presented an opportunity for more co-packers to get involved, many are already operating at full capacity. “For co-packers looking to upgrade to provide sparkling options, the equipment costs have skyrocketed due to the craft beer revolution. So the net for any brand trying to launch or expand a sparkling water line is that there are meaningful manufacturing constraints in the market at present.”




Found Sparkling Spring, which is sourced and filled at natural springs at the base of Mount Uludag, Turkey’s highest peak, is now available in a new slim 11.2 oz. glass bottle. Perrier. The French brand announced the addition of Strawberry and Watermelon flavors to its line of flavored sparkling waters this year, as well as the release of a slim 11.15 oz. can format for its products, including Original, Lime, L’Orange and Strawberry varieties. San Pellegrino. The Italian sparkling natural mineral water launched the second edition of its S. Pellegrino Taste Guide, an online venture developed in partnership with magazine bon appétit that features curated content from culinary leaders that tells the stories of a city’s culinary culture. Purity Organic. In August, San Francisco-based Purity Organic launched a four-SKU line of fruit flavored sparkling waters, made with 15 percent USDA Certified Organic cold-pressed fruit juice and containing between 20 and 30 calories in each. Tickle Water, the sparkling water created for kids, debuted its fifth flavor, Orange Mango, at Natural Products Expo East in September. The brand also recently expanded its distribution to retailers in Florida. Badoit. This fall, Badoit, a sparkling natural mineral water from France, will be launching in a new 500 mL PET bottle designed for on-the-go consumption. Spindrift announced a long-term distribution deal with New York-based directstore-delivery powerhouse Big Geyser that will cover the five boroughs as well as Westchester, Putnam, Nassau and Suffolk counties. New York Spring Water (NYSW). Made available to distributors in August, New York Spring Water’s newest product, called Hemp Healing, contains 10 grams of cannabidiol oil (legal in all 50 states)


in every bottle. Meanwhile, the packaging on all seven flavors of VitaminBlast has been updated. CORE Hydration, a pH balanced water enhanced with electrolytes and minerals, recently introduced a 6-pack format for its 16.9 oz. bottles and expanded distribution at national accounts such as Target, CVS, Walgreens and Publix. Protein20. The brand is launching a new clean-label line available in four flavors – Kawaiola Coconut, Acai Blueberry Pomegranate, Peach Mango and Dragonfruit Blackberry – containing all natural ingredients and 10 grams of whey protein isolate in each 16.9 oz. bottle. Eviva. Now available online and soon to be launching with select retailers in Southern California and Arizona, Eviva Collagen Elixir just completed its first production for its three flavors: Cucumber Mint, Lavender Lemon and Lemongrass Ginger. Hellowater essence waters, which contain no sugar and 5 g of fiber, activated five distribution centers in the KeHE system from the Midwest to the East Coast this year and launched two new flavors – LIVE (Pineapple Coconut) and DANCE (Orange Mango) – in June. H2rOse, a ready-to-drink rose water beverage infused with saffron and fruit juice, has expanded distribution in Meijer, Albertsons, and Randall’s retail locations in Texas, Idaho, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin. The company has also partnered with U.S. Gourmet Foods to widen distribution in Manhattan providing product to over 300 select accounts in the city. LIFEWTR. PepsiCo’s LIFEWTR, a line of purified water that is pH balanced with electrolytes added for taste, has partnered with the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) to offer three participants of the CFDA+ spotlight program – Adam Dalton Blake, Tiffany Huang and Ghazaleh Khalifeh – the opportunity

to contribute their designs to its Series 3 bottles, now available in the U.S. in 700 mL and 1 L formats. AQUAHydrate. Following the launch of 1.5 L and 1 gallon sizes, alkaline water brand AQUAHydrate has released a 1 L 6-pack format to retail partners nationwide. Aspen Pure Probiotic Water recently expanded into national distribution networks through KeHe and UNFI, and is also available direct through parent company New Age Beverages’ new online store. Positive H20. Launching this October, Positive H20 is a low calorie, naturally flavored water available in three flavors – Perfectly Peach, Mandarin Orange, Cranberry Acai – that includes calcium, vitamins (C, B12, D), potassium and electrolytes.

Reliant Recovery Water, now with an updated label design, recently launched in two new flavors– grapefruit and mixed berry – and is now available in Walmart and CVS locations in both 16.9 oz. and 1L formats. Hoist, an isotonic water designed to deliver rapid rehydration, will be launching a new Watermelon flavor in October, joining the existing lineup of Dragonfruit, Strawberry Lemonade, Orange and Lemon Lime. Quore Water, an enhanced water infused with ionic alkaline minerals and electrolytes, has a new logo designed to attract a wider audience while still appealing to its existing health conscious customers.

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ost beverage distribution is relatively straightforward: a manufacturer sells a product to a distributor, which sells it to a retailer, which sells it to a consumer. It’s a much different dynamic when it comes to public schools, where distribution is governed by strict federal nutrition standards and overseen by a myriad of local gatekeepers operating municipal food service programs. Kids’ drink manufacturers describe a particularly challenging process. With products formulated and packaged to appeal to young children, these companies are most often seeking distribution in elementary and middle schools, where nutrition guidelines for beverages are more stringent than those for high schools. Despite the difficult path to school distribution, upstart kids’ drink brands see value in school distribution as a means of creating awareness and building sales volume.


Let’s be Honest to kids...

CUT THE SUGAR, NOT THE FUN. © 2017 True Drinks, Inc. - AquaBall Naturally Flavored Water Drink! All Rights Reserved.

Rules Apply

Added Flavor Not In Favor

In 2010 President Barack Obama signed into law The Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act, which was aimed at improving nutrition standards and reducing child obesity. The legislation authorized funding and set policy for U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) core child nutrition programs -- the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and the School Breakfast Program (SBP) -- and established the most significant changes to the school lunch program in over 30 years. The Act gave the USDA the authority to set science-based nutrition standards for all foods regularly sold in schools during the school day, including vending machines, “a la carte” lunch lines and at school stores. In 2014 the USDA issued its “Smart Snacks in School” directive, which set specific standards for all “competitive foods,” which are those sold outside of the NSLP and SBP and available for sale to students on the school campus during the school day. On the beverage side, the Act allows schools to sell carbonated or uncarbonated water, unflavored low-fat milk, flavored or unflavored non-fat milk, milk alternatives as permitted by the NSLP and SBP, 100 percent fruit and vegetable juices, and full-strength juice diluted with water, carbonated or non-carbonated, with no added sweeteners. Elementary schools may sell up to 8 oz. portions of allowable water, milk, and juice beverages, while middle and high schools may sell up to 12 oz. portions. High schools can also sell additional beverages, including diet soda, low- and calorie-free flavored beverages, and other drinks with 50 or fewer calories per 8 oz. serving. Caffeinated beverages are an option only for high school students. States and local districts have the latitude to further restrict the sale of certain beverages, depending on formulation, package size and when they are made available to students. For example, Connecticut’s nutrition standards require that milk drinks be made with no artificial sweeteners and that juice beverages contain no more than 100 percent vitamin C. In Texas, soft drinks (defined as non-juice, carbonated beverages that contain natural or artificial sweeteners) may not be sold during the school day to any age or grade group.

But the Smart Snacks in School directives, while conceived as a way to increase nutritious and low-sugar beverages options in schools, have become a point of contention for several drink brands that market zero-sugar, flavored water products and see themselves as right in the sweet spot for kids. Despite its clean label, healthy halo and playful design, Tickle Water, a brand of premium, unsweetened, flavored sparkling waters developed for kids, has struggled to land placement in schools. Company founder and CEO Heather McDowell lamented that in many states and local districts, the sale of flavored water products, even those


been a barrier to entry in schools. “It’s zero-calorie, zero-sugar, [yet] there isn’t a ton of nutritional value outside of hydration, and we’ve gotten some pushback there,” Swanson said. Gregg Lefkowitz, the co-founder of Wonder+Well, has faced similar resistance. Like Rethink Kids, Wonder+Well is a brand of water flavored with organic ingredients and contains no sweeteners or calories. Lefkowitz noted that New York City schools, in particular, have not been receptive to flavored water products, “because they don’t consider water to be a component of a meal.” “They consider apple juice to be a fruit,” he said. “That’s kind of our debate with them, because apple juice is not the

Heather McDowell, Founder and CEO, Tickle Water.

that contain no sweeteners, is prohibited in elementary and middle schools. “We find it extremely challenging,” said McDowell. “I find it extremely disappointing that you could serve an apple juice with 27 grams of sugar, but you cannot serve a sparkling water that has a little bit of added carbonation and natural flavors.” Rethink Water, which markets sustainably sourced water packaged in paper-based cartons, promotes its kids-focused line of USDA certified organic flavored waters as providing “a sugar-free alternative to juice for kids that… tastes great.” However, Rethink founder and CEO Matt Swanson said their relative lack of nutritional value has

same as biting into an apple. There’s a lot that’s lost when apple juice is processed.” The American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP), a professional association of pediatricians, has similar concerns about children’s consumption of juice. The AAP released a new policy statement in May which recommends that most children should be consuming less 100 percent juice products than previously advised. Among school-aged kids, the policy suggests a limit of 4 to 6 ounces per day for children ages four to six years; for kids between the ages of seven and 18, juice intake should be limited to 8 ounces, down from 12 ounces. The AAP cited high sugar content,

That’s where somebody needs to step in and have a voice on that [subject].”

along with a lack of protein and fiber, as potential detriments to excessive juice consumption in children. Although Lefkowitz has engaged school officials in discussions on the amount of sugar and actual nutritional value of approved beverages like apple juice, he believes significant changes to the current system are unlikely to come in the near future. Kevin Sherman, the president of True Drinks, which makes zero-calorie flavored water AquaBall, is a bit more optimistic. Sherman is actively speaking with school officials and food service operators on ways to incorporate more low- and zero-sugar drinks, including AquaBall, into schools.

Despite a challenging road, early-stage brands have employed a variety of strategies and tactics to win placement in schools. Launched in May, Rethink Kids Waters, which are packaged in 8 oz. cartons and sold nationally at Target and CVS, are distributed in approximately 300 schools in the New York and Mid-Atlantic markets. Swanson credited a “tag-team” effort with Rethink’s wholesalers for school placement. “All of the decisions are made at the local level, for the most part,” Swanson said.

key to placement in schools. “It’s where you get a lot of feedback and build those relationships,” she said. “We’re at the Connecticut trade show, and that [gives us] direct access to food service directors. And it’s Connecticut schools who love that we’re a Connecticut company and that we’re a healthier product.” Planet Fuel also works with a number of distributors that focus exclusively on the school channel. Barnouw views school distributors as “not that different from a traditional broker.” “You can’t just hire a salesperson to go out and tackle the school channel,” she said. “You have to figure a different way. Working with distributors who are willing

“Excessive sugar continues to be a topic of concern amongst school administrators,” Sherman said. “Milk and juice still hold the corner market; however, the discussion is broadening and AquaBall has been involved in many of these discussions with key decision makers.” Meanwhile, Bossi, a maker of organic, caffeine-free rooibos tea drinks for kids, is imploring schools to look beyond traditional beverages sold in schools. Bossi founders Paul and Celia Venter point to the functional attributes of rooibos, which is lauded as a nutrient-dense and antioxidant-rich ingredient. “Our passion lies with schools and school nutrition,” said Paul Venter. “That’s where the concept of tea comes in really strongly, because tea comes with attributes that you really want to promote.

“It’s been a combination of partnership with our DSD distributors who have the relationships with the local school districts and also good old-fashioned rolling up your sleeves and pounding the pavement, which is what we’ve done as well.” Amy Barnouw, the co-founder and CEO of Planet Fuel, a Connecticut-based brand of organic juice drinks, described school distribution as “a marathon, not a sprint.” Launched in 2016, Planet Fuel is formulated with a blend of juice and water. The certified USDA organic drinks contain 100 calories and 19-24 grams of sugar per 10 oz. can, depending on variety. They’re sold at retailers and schools in Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York and New Jersey, according to Barnouw, who noted that participation at local school nutrition association trade shows has been

to rep your product -- they’re the ones that have those relationships.” Although schools are a core part of Planet Fuel’s brand-building strategy, Barnouw believes that the opportunity for volume sales in schools is “unparalleled.” “Right now, we’re looking at it for trial, marketing, exposure, brand awareness, all of those things,” she said. “But ultimately, it’s a channel of volume. If you’re really well-positioned in the school channel, it’s a great way to test new flavors. You get such an immediate response with kids. You’re going to know very quickly if it’s a product they like or not. Whereas it might take much longer in traditional grocery. They’re such fast consumption there, such consistent, high-volume consumption, it’s a great way for us to tap into that opportunity as well.”


Paving a Path


Beverage Blocks, Inc. has announced a new child-friendly closure on its Drink Blocks packaging that also allows kids to be able to connect its building block styled packaging both vertically and horizontally without the old closure getting in the way. Beverage Blocks, Inc., which purchased the assets of the Drink Blocks company, is building an entire new launch program for 2018. Bössi kids iced tea launched into retail June this year with distribution by KeHE and UNFI. Its key natural retailers include Whole Foods, Central Market and Jimbo’s. Building on that initial growth, Bössi has closed its first round of funding. Passionate about child nutrition, Bössi aims to enter school nutrition and lunch programs with a food service offering that offers a calming and low calorie alternative to sugary soda and juices. Capri Sun this spring launched Capri Sun Sport, a new flavored water beverage designed with kids in mind for their recreational or moderate activities. Made with a blend of electrolytes and water, Capri Sun Sport is now available at retailers nationwide in three flavors, including Citrus Rush, Fruit Frenzy and Grape Blast. Honest Kids introduced a new Tetra brick 10-pack 6 fl. oz. package in two varieties: Apple and Fruit Punch. This launch coincided with Honest Kids’ 10th anniversary and features different, creative graphics. The Apple and Fruit Punch varieties are available at most grocery stores around the country. Nestlé Pure Life has launched limited edition ‘Share-a-Scare’ 8 oz. bottles to provide fun and healthy hydration perfect for classroom parties, neighborhood get-togethers, trick-or-treating, and more. There are eight collectible designs. Nestlé Pure Life is proud to make water fun for kids and the whole family, delivering pure quality water through a rigorous 12-step process. RETHINK Brands announced the launch of RETHINK Kids Water, the first boxed water line for kids to be sold at grocers nationwide. With zero sugar, zero sodium and zero calories -- available in Purified 58 BEVNET MAGAZINE – SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017

Water, Organic Apple Water and Organic Berry Water – RETHINK Kids Water is marketed as an alternative to juice. The line launched mid-May exclusively at select Target and CVS drug stores nationwide. ROAR Beverage partnered with Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media to launch ROAR KIDS, a new line of water-based beverages naturally flavored, aimed at kids, teenagers and comic book and movie fans featuring Marvel Super Heroes. The low-calorie kids line of water-based beverages will feature Marvel characters on each of the flavors including Spider-Man (Fruit Punch), Captain America (Grape), and Iron Man (Apple). Sneakz. In November, 2017, Sneakz will launch a Drink Mix Protein Powder. Coming in three flavors, its nutrient rich vegan protein powder contains 14 grams of protein, probiotics, 10 essential amino acids and one-half a serving of daily vegetables. Ingredients are simple and clean, with nothing artificial – no GMOs, antibiotics, synthetic hormones or artificial colors or sweeteners. It is gluten free, vegan and vegetarian friendly. Sneakz can also now be found in over 150 Publix locations in American South East and has expanded into the Tri-state area after starting a distribution agreement with Senneth Distribution. True Drinks, makers of AquaBall Naturally Flavored Water, partnered with Kalil Bottling Co. in August to distribute the Company’s portfolio of beverage brands in Arizona. The partnership is some of the most recent news from the company which reported record first-half sales growth of nearly $3.5 million this year in July, in addition to raising $3.6 million in March and extending its licensing agreement with Disney through 2019. Wonder+Well, the first-to-market organic fruit essence water for kids, will be available at ShopRite stores heading into the back-to-school season. At a time when parents are looking to transition away from sugary beverages, Wonder+Well offers the perfect hydration option for lunch boxes. No sugar, no sweeteners – just organic fruity water.

REMEDIES & RESTAURANTS - HPP’S NEXT GENERATION | When a good juice has been sitting still for too long, its contents separate and sediment sinks to the bottom. It’s up to the drinker to give the bottle a good shake before indulging in order to bring the contents back together. Sustaining a beverage craze can be similar: no matter how innovative the product category, you’ve still got to shake it up often to deliver a fresh taste. Since the cold-pressed juice explosion started with Suja, Blueprint, and Evolution Fresh a few years ago, dozens of new startups have launched to follow in their footsteps. But consumers have rapidly moved past the cleanse trend that first launched Suja and Blueprint; alongside Evolution Fresh, all three brands produced product inventories that incorporate higher-calorie and higher-sugar ingredients like apple and pineapple to sweeten their offerings to a more mainstream consumer. But now they – and the companies that followed – are pulling back, as consumers are concerned about the creeping sugar content in many juices. Sugar’s new “Public Enemy Number One” status has led many companies to develop lower sugar varieties: hence a flood of new takes on green juice. But as tasty and nutritious as they are, new flavors are still an inside-the-box way to differentiate a product set. Instead, across the category, cold-pressed juice makers are finding new and unique product lines to generate true differentiation, with brands now carving out niches for lemonades, shots, tonics, 60 BEVNET MAGAZINE – SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017


vinegars, milks, and even bone broths to complement their flagship juice products. As the market morphs and consumers chase the next trend, more juice brands have been exploring these new verticals.

IN SEARCH OF A REMEDY Juice Served Here is a brick-and-mortar juice bar chain that has upped its wholesale game in the past few years, expanding into Whole Foods and also into another on-premise account, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Stores. The company has also evolved its product offerings, moving from cleanse-based juices – although it still sells a lot of cleanses – to incorporate shots and functional “tonics.” According to the company’s founder and CEO, Alex Matthews, while cleanses may no longer be the lynchpin for the category, “remedy” products, consumed on-the-go and to strong effect, are likely to be a big driver in the coming years. “Everyone wants to feel like there’s an antidote to the way they’re feeling,” Matthews said. “The shot category is a very exciting one and it’s just beginning.” Shots have long been a mainstay of juice bars, but it’s only recently that the concept has entered wholesale. Monfefo, a Brook-

Everyone wants to feel like there’s an antidote to the way they’re feeling. The shot category is a very exciting one and it’s just beginning. Alex Matthews | CEO - Juice Served Here lyn-based company that specializes in root vegetable products, launched solely with ginger-based shots – no full bottled offerings. “Almost all cold-pressed juice makers are coming out with shots, it’s definitely a trend,” said Justine Monsul, Monfefo’s founder. “People want that quick and easy consumption, they don’t want to be holding a green juice all day with them that’s already warm by the time they finish it.” Monfefo’s retail footprint has expanded rapidly out from the company’s New York homebase, with buyers picking up the product in Los Angeles and Texas. While retailers were initially confused with the product – Monsul recalled many retailers asking if they were looking to compete with 5-Hour Energy – many have begun to come on board. That’s been helped by other companies as well. Brick-andMortar retailer Juice Press currently offers two shots, but brands such as JUS by Julie, Kor, and now Juice Served Here are looking to grow the category.

RENEGADE While across categories beverage formulators are finding every which way they can to kill the sugar content in their bottles, lemonade, for the most part, remains a holdout. For many lemonade makers, nostalgia and indulgence keep consumers coming back to the venerable drink – but that doesn’t mean others aren’t taking a look at how to twist the lemon in different ways. That mix of nostalgia and adaptability also means that lemonade is still growing, even as other old-school juice drinks take a hit. Both ambient and refrigerated products in the category were up more

also an opportunity to reach those who need less sweetness in their diets. “Some people that need less sugar we encourage them to mix it,” Volk said. “We have a lot of people using our lemonades as mixers, whether they just add water, sparkling water, tea, or tequila. It’s able to do that.” Volk said she believes there is also a market for those looking to spike their drink, and is pushing for new business in encouraging consumers to use their drinks as mixers. The company is exploring the potential for a proper mixer line in the future, but currently recom-

than 6 percent and more than 7 percent, respectively, year over year as of mid-August, according to retail data provider IRI. To catalyze growth further, brands are looking to different strategies to help pick up the pace. At Lori’s Original Lemonade, which makes fullcalorie, organic ades with real lemons, the company’s products appeal to both children and nostalgia-struck adults. While the beverages contain traditional levels of sugar, founder Lori Volk said many adults prefer their lemonades be reminiscent of their childhoods, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t

mends consumers use the core line however they wish. In August, King Juice Company, owner of lemonade brand Calypso, was acquired by private equity firm Mason Wells. According to Calypso president Jeff Outlaw, the firm was seeking to add a CPG beverage business, and Calypso had grown its lemonade portfolio drastically over the past decade with a slew of innovative flavors. The deal came regardless of the “800 lb. gorilla in the room” – the line’s full-calorie sugar content, he said. Instead, lemonade is an excuse for consumers to let the gorilla to roam free.




Bolthouse Farms






Bolthouse Farms Organics



Suja Essentials



Evolution Fresh



Naked Pressed






1915 Bolthouse Farms






Suja Radiant Probiotic



Daily Greens



Evolution Fresh Essential Greens









It Tastes Raaw



Ardens Garden



Love Beets



Forager Project






Farmhouse Culture Gut Shot



SOURCE: IRI, a Chicago-based market research firm (@iriworldwide) 52 Weeks through 8/13/17


LEMONADE “With lemonade there’s not an expectation to be low calorie,” Outlaw said. Even juice makers such as Juice Served Here and Sol-ti have been embracing the indulgent nature of lemonade with their own organic, functional lines. According to Juice Served Here CEO Alex Matthews, despite the company putting a focus on low-sugar beverages, lemonade is still a high performing product.

announced in July it had reformulated its product set to max out at 5g of sugar per bottle with stevia making up the difference. And in January, Bai launched its first lemonade with the Sao Paulo Strawberry Lemonade flavor through its core product line. Like other Bai beverages, the lemonade is only 5 calories and sweetened with a blend of stevia extract and erythritol. Limited run




Minute Maid



Lipton Brisky






Private Label



People want that quick and easy consumption, they don’t want to be holding a green juice all day with them that’s already warm by the time they finish it. Justine Monsul | Founder - Monfefo However, many shots largely remain at a premium price point, with Monfefo retailing for $4.99 per shot. While some brands have lowered prices recently, Monsul sees the value in the higher price tag. “I think that customers are going to understand the value of the ginger shot,” Monsul said. “People understand going to the bar and buying a shot of vodka for $7. So you have a shot of ginger juice with lemon and honey, something that’s so much more powerful and better for you for $5, they’re going to understand that value.” The remedy idea may have legs – and it’s helping guide brand evolution as well. Monfefo currently offers a ginger shot and turmeric shot, but will soon itself expand outside of shots with a new product, a 16 oz. “Ginger Water.” Opting to position the product as an enhanced water, Monsul said she plans for Monfefo to own the root vegetable identity, building all future products around ginger, turmeric, and similar veggies.




V8 Splash






Santa Cruz Organic



Hawaiian Punch



Country Time






Old Orchard






Natures Twist



Minute Maid Premium












Tropicana Trop50



Robinsons Fruit Shoot






Ocean Spray



GTS Kombucha Synergy



Nantucket Nectars












Minute Maid Light



Simply Fruit Punch



SOURCE: IRI, a Chicago-based market research firm (@iriworldwide) 52 Weeks through 8/13/17

“The reality is people are still going to eat ice cream, right?” Matthews said. “The lemonades, while I don’t say they’re an indulgent treat, there’s always going to be a customer that wants one.” But even if most brands aren’t sweating the sugar woes, others are still moving in to find palatable low and sugar-free alternatives. Sweettauk Lemoande

summer flavors Burundi Blueberry Lemonade and Limu Lemonade will be rereleased in 2018. According to Chad Portas, chief creative officer at Bai, the line has benefited from being among the small number of competitive sugar-free lemonades on the market, filling a white space where there’s plenty of room to innovate. And plenty of excuses not to.

Minute Maid



Bright & Early



Simply Tropical



Simply Mixed Berry



Private Label



Mamma Chia






Minute Maid Light



Simply Peach



Suja Essentials



Turkey Hill



Prairie Farms



SOURCE: IRI, a Chicago-based market research firm (@iriworldwide) 52 Weeks through 8/13/17


When Evolution Fresh, Blueprint, and Suja took off, they all found different paths to success. Blueprint soared quickly on a direct-to-consumer model that led to an early buyout by Hain. Suja dominated in Whole Foods before partnering with CocaCola. Evolution Fresh was quickly bought out by Starbucks. These early successes have opened new sales avenues for juice companies that didn’t exist even five years ago, Matthews told BevNET. The popularity of the juicing trend has made retailers like Target and even CVS open to entreaties from healthy juice companies, and product-on-demand e-commerce services like Fresh Direct are driving business as well. “Think about the drug category, like Walgreens, CVS, Duane Reade – you go into these places and they have fresh produce, and some of it is organic,” Matthews said. “When Blueprint launched that was not an option, that wasn’t even in people’s psyches to go into Walgreens and buy produce. That’s psychologically a shift. Target for us, we never would have considered, but our cold-pressed juices, and tonics, shots, and lemonades are suddenly relevant.” On-premise is also an evolving sector for not just Juice Served Here but also several other juice companies. Ryne O’Donnell, founder and CEO of startup Sol-ti, said on-premise sales at high-end restaurants are becoming a viable channel for juice companies and other premium products.

The bubble has burst, he said. But recognizing the bubble early was key to giving Juice Press the legroom it needed to innovate. “We said we need to move our feet fast, and this was always about trying to create a wellness platform,” Karsch said. “We said if we sit here and only have bottled juices then we’re subject to the market, it being popular or unpopular, it being cyclical.” Expanding its offerings, Juice Press added soups, salad dressings, and hot sauces. Infused waters, coffee, and shots became more important parts of the business, as did probiotic offerings. Desserts even took on a significant role for the company’s onpremise business. While the original juice line still remains the largest part of the business, according to Karsch the balance has changed; the company sells about 2,000 bottles of water per day and its overall cookie sales will reach the low hundred-thousands by the end of the year. While the average price per unit has dropped, the volume has shot up. This “broader, deeper, and faster” innovation approach has given Juice Press the edge it needs over competitors to rise above smaller players in the New York and Boston markets. Largely a brick-and-mortar business, the company has added new locations at a rapid rate, going from 4 stores five years ago to 68 today, with the number set to jump again to 120 by the end of next year, Karsch told BevNET. And that juice-based lifestyle play is also happening with RTD companies, as well. In Denver, Pressery started deliberately shifting its focus away from juice early on, first adding

“There’s a ton of restaurants that are interested in having higher quality food that have a medium-to-high-end plate price,” O’Donnell said. “They’re going to turn toward craft soda, they’re going to turn toward kombucha, organic beverages, juice, all types of things. That’s a wide open market.” That kind of shift, however, has been accompanied by changes in how many of the first wave of brick-and-mortar juice companies see themselves. Juice Press is one company that has tried to evolve from juice as product to juice as lifestyle. Founded in 2010, the chain has offered cold-pressed juice and cleanses since its inception, but an expanding menu corresponding to trends has given the chain the viability it needed to not just survive but to grow. “We never bought into the juice cleanse,” said Michael Karsch, the company’s chairman. “We do believe it is a positive thing to do a juice cleanse for your body, to create a habit or a refresh. But the juice cleanse itself we thought was a moment in time, for the size it became.”

drinking vinegars in 2014, then a bone broth line at the end of 2015, and most recently this year, as it has entered the drinkable soup category. Founder and CEO Ian Lee told BevNET his focus has increasingly drifted away from juice over the past few years and that Pressery views itself more as an innovative food and beverage wellness brand. Pressery is not the only company to vastly expand its scope. Forager Project, notably, has evolved into an all-around plantbased wellness brand since it was founded in 2013, now offering more varieties of nut-based milks and yogurts, as well as chips made from the byproduct of its juicing process. “Consumers are getting smarter and expecting the brands to bring more relevant proven information to them to improve their diets and lifestyles,” Lee said. “I also think people are looking for products they can expand the use occassion of. We ask how we can reinvent things that are already out there, stale categories that need a mix-up.” Or a shake-up.












ALO Drink has announced the launch of Aloe Coco, a two-SKU, all-natural line of beverages featuring pure coconut water and real aloe vera. The Original flavor features coconut water directly from fresh young coconuts (not from concentrate) and real aloe vera juice (not reconstituted from powder). The watermelon flavors adds watermelon juice extracted from fresh watermelons, not from concentrate.

Forager Project. Finding success with its Probiotic Smoothies, Forager Project recently expanded the line to include Simple Greens, a light and refreshing cashew smoothie made with spinach, avocado, coconut, citrus, and powerful probiotics to provide digestive support. In addition, Forager has recently expanded its distribution to include Dora’s Naturals in New York City.

Biotta Juices added two new items to its line of USDA Organic, Non-GMO Project Verified functional juices. Its top selling beet juice line now has a new blend in Biotta Apple Beet Ginger. In addition, Biotta has launched Biotta Carrot 32 oz. to complement its Biotta Beet 32 oz. Both new juices are 100 percent juice and provide many functional health benefits.

Genius. After nearly a year of working to get their original formula back amongst intense popular demand from customers and buyers, Genius will re-release its original coconut smoothie. The coconut beverage simply has two ingredients: organic coconut water and organic coconut meat. The organic coconut smoothie will be hitting shelves in early October 2017 in four regions of Whole Foods, plus several other regional natural chains.

Bundle Organics juices have launched in Target stores nationwide. The company also moved it’s headquarters to Boulder, Colo. and has hired TV personality and entrepreneur Whitney Port as the company’s Chief Brand Director. Daily Greens new Just Veggies line – featuring Just Beets, Just Carrots and Just Greens flavors – hit Whole Foods nationwide in August with refreshed packaging on all product lines. The new packaging features core ingredients more prominently on the front. The brand will also run a promotional neck hanger campaign on 30,000 units of product to raise money for Young Survival Coalition during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Evolution Fresh has introduced a new line of Organic Superfoods Juices, which hit shelves in August 2017 at participating natural grocery retailers nationwide. This new line combines cold-pressed fruit and vegetable juices with coldpressed coconutmilk and at least seven unique superfoods in each bottle to deliver a nourishing, on-trend beverage with health-boosting antioxidants. Organic Superfoods Juices are available in four flavors: Goldenmilk, Thriving Greens, Cocoa Spice and Tropic of Ginger, and meet the growing customer demand for functional beverages.


GoodBelly Probiotic juice drinks are now available in almost 100 Walmart stores nationwide. This is a brand new retailer for GoodBelly Probiotics. The retailer will carry Blueberry Acai and Mango quarts. As well, the company has added a new line of Infused Beverages which combine the crispness of water with the freshness of fruit juice creating a lightly flavored and refreshing experience. The line includes Watermelon Lime, Orange Pineapple Basil, and Lemon Ginger flavors. Juice Performer has added Cherry Performer Tart Cherry Juice to its existing Beet Performer items. All three items are 100 percent juice. Beet Performer is marketed for pre-workout to offer consumers the endurance and stamina enhancing benefits of beet juice, while the tart cherry juice of Cherry Performer helps after workouts to reduce inflammation and muscle pain, as well as improving sleep and speeding recovery. Living Juice has recently begun distribution with UNFI and Baldor Specialty Foods throughout the Northeast. In addition to distribution expansion, Living Juice is opening a new cold-pressing plant in Cheshire, Conn. capable of scaling the brand to the national level.

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BRAND NEWS Lumi Juice moved operations to Philadelphia, and launched a new website which includes the 5-Day Challenge, a product that was adopted from the company’s pro sports customer offering. The 5-Day Challenge features Lumi’s green juice and nutrition shots. Planet Fuel Beverage Company has expanded their reach in the Connecticut, New Jersey and New York school systems through two new distribution partnerships. The healthy organic juice company will debut their three flavors – Cherry Lemonade, Apple Grape, and Mango Pear Lime – in these new educational institutions for the 2017-2018 school year. A Fairfield, Conn.-based organic beverage company, Planet Fuel is dedicated to providing naturally healthy beverages for the teen and tween demographic, and are the first teen/tween beverage to carry the GoCleanLabel distinction. Ralph & Charlie’s Juice has announced a new partnership in the Hudson Valley with beverage distributor Gasko & Meyers. The brand’s all-natural fruit and vegetable juices will be one of a handful of non-alcoholic beverages currently carried by the distributor, which specializes in beer and spirits. Repurposed Pod has released a 100% Virgin Cacao Fruit Juice. The brand has gained new distribution through Albert’s Organics. The product has the citrusy sweet pulp that surrounds each cocoa bean. Cacao Fruit is uniquely able to both sweeten and acidify your beverage without overpowering the existing flavor profile. The juice is also used as both a new differentiating flavor or an all natural, non-GMO sugar replacement, while enhancing antioxidants vitamin B and magnesium, according to the company. Cacao fruit juice is also now available from the company as a bulk ingredient for beverage companies. RIPE Craft Juice. After introducing a rebranded line of single serve RIPE Craft Juice in the summer of 2016, the “craft juicery” has introduced a 46 oz. multi-serve package in four of its popular flavors: 100% Orange Juice, 100% Apple


Juice, 100% Red Grapefruit Juice, and Cranberry Juice Blend. The unique dispensing system locks in the cold pressed, HPP juice taste while keeping the product fresh until the end of its used by date. Smart Pressed Juice will launch its One Day Superfood Cleanse this fall, a specialty product designed to cut out sugar highs and hunger for cleansing consumers. The juice cleanse is completely balanced for phytonutrients, plant-based protein and activated superfood fiber. Coming in a powdered form, all the consumers need to do is add water. Sporting Club Juices, which began as a brick-and-mortar juice shop in Maui, has launched its first ready-to-drink CPG line, Sports Juice. The line includes Energy, a pineapple and coconut water juice featuring lemon, ginger, maca, blue spirulina, and cayenne, and Hydration, which includes pineapple, chlorophyll, electrolytes, and probiotics. The juices were developed with their insight to meet the physical demands of being world-class watermen. The juices are available for delivery in the Southern California region and at select shops around the Southern California area. Suja Juice launched a new line of organic Kombuchas made with highly functional adaptogenic ingredients like reishi, schizandra, ashwagandha and moringa. The new kombucha line will combine cold-pressed juice, powerful herbal adaptogens and 5 billion CFUs of vegan probiotics all in four non-alcoholic varieties: Ginger, Berry, Peach and Green. Suja’s Kombuchas are organic and non-GMO with just 30 calories and 7 grams of sugar per serving. The full line will be available in Target locations nationwide in September 2017. Frey Farms, the creators of Tsamma Watermelon Juice, have launched a 12 oz. Watermelon Juice and Coconut Water blend. The combined Watermelon + Coconut Water Blend offers increased levels of hydration, packed with antioxidants and essential nutrients (15mg of Lycopene and 49mg of Vitamin C) making it an ideal performance hydration drink.

sustainability matters. Thanks to our trade partners for making us the  #1 sustainably packaged water brand.

Visit us at Expo East; booth #8113

BRAND NEWS Uncle Matt’s Organic has just launched its new 28 oz. line of organic juices nationwide in Whole Foods stores. The lineup includes organic lemonade, organic apple, organic grapefruit and the brand’s flagship pulp free organic orange juice. On top of the new size, Uncle Matt’s 28 oz. lineup features new packaging and design. The line is USDA organic, non-GMO, and flavor packet free. Val de France Sparkling Juice, a line of USDA Organic and non-GMO certified juices naturally lower in sugar type of apples from France, has entered Weiss Market and Busch Market as well as H-E-B, Ahold supermarkets (Giant) and soon Wegmans. The brand is now carried by distributor DPI with plans to partner with UNFI and US Foods. The brand has seen a 53 percent increase in sales in 2016 with a further 70 percent increase already recorded for 2017. Additional products will be added to the line in 2018. Veeda, a line of sugar free, additive free, cold-pressed organic cucumber juice, has launched via Amazon and through select retailers in New York City. According to the company, consumer feedback has praised the brand as being “refreshing and great for daily hydration.” WTRMLN WTR has introduced a line of three new functional blends to its growing product portfolio. WTRMLN GNGR (Ginger Lemon), WTRMLN LME (Lime), and WTRMLN TRT CHRRY (Tart Cherry) are each made with WTRMLN WTR’s hydrating base of watermelon flesh and rind and feature the addition of organic juices and organic extracts that deliver strong secondary functional benefits for athletes and those who lead an active lifestyle. 4Pure, based in Cumberland, Maine, has launched a new line of pure lemonades. 4Pure contains four simple ingredients in each bottle of Pure, Raspberry and Blueberry Lemonade: lemons, water, maple syrup and real fruit. Currently being distributed throughout New England and sold online at www.Drink4Pure.com. Bai has introduced lemonades to its core line, made with a low calorie count using 70 BEVNET MAGAZINE – SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017

the brand’s proprietary sweetener blend. Its Sao Paulo Strawberry Lemonade launched as a year round SKU in January, and the company will re-release seasonal Burundi Blueberry Lemonade and Limu Lemonade, which debuted this year, for summer 2018. Big Island Organics has begun its expansion into the East Coast with Ingles Markets and Sprouts as the first two retailers to offer the Hawaiian lemonades, with more East Coast placements planned for 2018. Town & Country, Haggen and Raley’s on the West Coast have also added the drinks with the updated labels to their sets. Calypso Lemonade parent King Juice Company, Inc. was recently acquired by private equity firm Mason Wells. The acquisition will help to grow the lemonade company’s retail presence in addition to aiding in creating new innovations for 2018 and 2019. This is the first beverage company acquired by Mason Wells. CEO (Clean Energy Organics), a Massachusetts based organic energy beverage company, has launched a line of four new flavors and packaging including a Lavender Lemonade. Each bottle has only 30 calories and 5g of sugar paired with 80mg of caffeine. Lemon Lemon, a new sparkling lemonade from PepsiCo, launched nationwide this past spring. Lemon Lemon includes a mix of lemon juice, bubbles and a touch of sweetness, available in three flavors – Original, Blackberry and Peach. Each 12 oz. can only contains 70 calories. Limation brand limeade now carries two new flavors – Blueberry Basil and Half-Tea Limeade. The brand has been picked up for distribution by Whole Foods Market in Harlem. The brand is currently available only in the New York Metro region. Lori’s Original Lemonade has added two new classic-style flavors to their lineup. The new flavors, Wild Strawberry Lemonade and Original Lemonade, will be joining their three existing flavors, Lavender Lemonade, Ginger Lemonade, and Lemongrass Lite Lemonade. They are currently available in select markets

throughout California and are always available on the brand’s website. The company has also launched its lemonades in all 352 Vons, Albertsons, and Pavilions stores in Southerin California and in all California Sprouts stores. Me & the Bees Lemonade, a ready-todrink lemonade startup launched by “Kidpreneur” Mikaila Ulmer, announced it raised $810,000 this summer from a group of 12 angel investors comprised of 10 professional football players and two advisors. The funding will support the growth of the company’s distribution channels and to increase production. Rième, a line of Artisanal Sparkling Lemonades, has added a ginger ale flavor to its lineup. In 2017, more retailers and distributors have shown interest in the differentiating factors of the Rième line such as its artisanal nature, the vintage mechanical cork used in some packaging options, the use of real sugar and natural flavors, and comparatively lower level of sugar, the company said. A complementary line of three flavoring syrups using the Rième company’s proven savoir faire in that arena was also launched in 2017. Additional products leveraging even further the craftsmanship and savoirfaire characterizing the line with unique, terroir-inspired flavor combinations are planned for 2018.

Sweettauk Lemonade has reformulated its beverages to reduce sugar, with each 12 oz. bottle now only containing between 1g and 5g of sugar for the entire bottle. The new formula also includes small amounts of stevia to limit bitterness and aftertaste. The line is organic and non-GMO project verified as well as fresh-squeezed and cold-pressed.

Our aloe vera harvest and hand fillet care is the secret to the great taste of our aloe vera drink.

Goodness From Inside Out™ Sustainably farmed. Artisan crafted. It’s a liquid harmony that is positively refreshing.

© 2017 by SPI West Port, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Shade Tree Beverage Co. has launched their ‘Better-for-You’ Premium Organic Lemonade in recreational packaging to 35 Central Texas counties with a focus on the Houston and Dallas markets. Shade Tree recently sold 1,900 cases at the Lollapalooza music festival in Chicago and will introduce a new blueberry flavor at the upcoming Austin City Limits Music Festival, which will round out its lemonade line, all at 100 calories per bottle.


NACS Booth 445 ALOdrink.com |

.com/ALOdrink |



a world of opportunities Mexicans continue to drive consistent import growth, but beers from other corners of the globe are showing signs of a surge.

By Jeff Cioletti

For the past decade and a half, a very craft-centric narrative has dominated coverage of the U.S. beer market. It made sense because, for a while, it was the only segment whose growth far outpaced that of the overall, flat-to-down, category. Eventually, however, imports rebounded and now, surprisingly enough, their respective growth trajectories are nearly identical. Across the major retail channels, import volume grew by 6.6 percent, while revenue rose 8.4 percent, for the 52-week period that ended in mid-July 2017, according to market research company IRI. That’s not far off from craft’s fullyear 2016 performance, as reported by the Brewers Association, which puts the volume gain at 6 percent and the dollar increase at 10 percent. The import numbers are even more impressive when you consider that the segment is still roughly 1.5 times the size of craft.


SOUTH OF THE BORDER Mexican brands continue to be the top performers. Case volume for Corona, the No. 1 import brand in the country, grew 6.2 percent and revenue surged more than 8 percent, IRI notes. In the No. 2 spot was the Modelo trademark family, jumping nearly 21 percent in case volume and 23 percent in dollar sales. And that’s great news for Constellation, which holds a perpetual license for those brands in the U.S. market, as per the terms of Anheuser-Busch InBev’s 2013 acquisition of Grupo Modelo. Anheuser-Busch InBev produces and markets the brand for Mexico and the rest of the world. In fact, three of the top 10 import brands in the country, based on IRI data, are Constellation imports from the erstwhile Modelo portfolio. Pacifico, the No. 9 import brand in the country, saw its volume increase by 21.4 percent and its



A S K Y O U R D I S T R I B U T O R F O R D E TA I L S Drink Responsibl�

©2017 Ole Smoky Distillery, LLC, Gatlinburg, TN All Rights Reserved. OLE SMOKY and OLE SMOKY TENNESSEE WHISKEY are registered trademarks of Ole Smoky Distillery, LLC.


revenue rise nearly 25 percent, though off a considerably smaller base than its highervolume sister brands. “Really the strength of the Constellation portfolio is driving all of our business,” says Jamie Salois, vice president of Auburn, Mass.-based Atlas Distributing. “Modelo Especial, Negra Modelo, Pacifico – the smaller brands from Constellation – they’re going to continue to grow and they’re going to scale pretty quickly.” Corona’s biggest competitor among Mexican imports, Heineken-owned Dos Equis had been on a tear in recent years, as well, but it seems to have slowed a bit for the most recently measured 52-week period. Volume for the brand grew a respectable 2.1 percent and revenue rose 3.9 percent, but such gains are modest relative to its performance for calendar years 2016 and 2015 when Dos Equis’ growth was in the double digits. Salois has witnessed a similar slowing for the brand in his market. “Years ago we were seeing very strong numbers from Dos Equis,” Salois reports. “For some reason we’re not seeing the same trend.” Salois isn’t sure if any one factor is exerting more influence over Dos Equis’s slowness. Most of the Heineken portfolio’s major brands have been soft. A shift in the Mexican brand’s advertising could be playing a role, but how much of a role is unclear. Last year, Dos Equis retired its original, iconic “Most Interesting Man in the World,” portrayed by American actor Jonathan Goldsmith since 2006. The brand replaced him with the much-younger French thespian Augustin Legrand last fall. Salois says it’s unclear whether the casting change has had any impact on sales of Dos Equis.

“It’s tough to tell,” he says. “People gravitated more toward the older guy because [the ads] were so off-the-wall. [The new ads] appear that they’re supposed to be more real, more relatable. They’re very good ads, they just haven’t seemed to translate to consumers in the same way.” Even though the Department of Justice forced AB InBev to cede U.S. market control of Corona and the other top-performing Mexican brands before allowing the Grupo Modelo deal to proceed, the world’s biggest beer producer is not out of the Mexican import game in the States. Last year AB InBev introduced to U.S. consumers Mexico’s Estrella Jalisco brand, which IRI currently ranks as the 16th largest import in the U.S., accounting for 645,392 cases and $20.7 million in off-premise sales. It’s likely to climb a bit further, but it’s still too early to tell whether it will put a dent in Corona’s, Pacifico’s and Modelo Especial’s sales.

EUROPEAN INFLUENCE Mexican brands may continue to be the big story in the U.S. import beer segment, but they’re certainly not the only story. Europe is home to quite a few brands that have been gaining major traction stateside. Take Peroni, for instance. The Italian brand was one of many divestments that international regulatory agencies demanded before the largest beer merger in history – 2016’s AB InBevSABMiller “Megabrew” deal – was permitted to proceed. Japan’s Asahi Breweries bought the former SABMiller brand last fall. And the transition appears to have been a smooth one, as Peroni’s case volume increased by 12.2 percent, while revenue grew 11 percent, according to IRI, ranking 18th among U.S. beer imports.














Dos Equis XX



Stella Artois



























Red Stripe






Estrella Jalisco









Beers of Mexico






SOURCE: IRI, a Chicago-based market research firm (@iriworldwide) 52 Weeks through 8/13/17

It’s also been a top performer for Atlas. “Peroni is having a pretty good year with us,” Salois says. “That’s a brand that seems to have been able to find new consumers, as well as re-en-

gage with some older ones.” The recent introduction of Peroni’s slim can has helped considerably, he notes. Another of Asahi’s SABMiller pickups was Pilsner Urquell, which also has been performing

strongly. “It’s off a small base,” Salois says, “but it’s growing.” Pilsner Urquell could be benefiting from renewed interest in classic, Czech-style pilsners, which have become popular among American craft brewers. In the early days of craft brewing, most producers had shied away from pilsnerstyle lagers, focusing more on ales – partly because ales took less time to ferment than lagers, but also because pilsner was too closely associated with mass-produced macro lagers. But now even the most craftexclusive drinkers are rediscovering the style.

PARALLEL SEGMENTS That phenomenon also speaks to the relationship between the craft and import segments – one that’s a lot more symbiotic than some might think. United States Beverage, which imports a number of smaller, specialty brands, has

seen a great deal of overlap between craft drinkers and consumers of its products, which include Czechvar and Krusovice from the Czech

Republic, Canada’s Moosehead, Portugal’s Super Bock, Jamaica’s Dragon Stout and Scotland’s Innis & Gunn. “The consumer’s mind has

been opened, to a large extent, through their experience with craft beer,” says Joseph Fisch, president and CEO of U.S. Beverage. “The breadth of the beer consumer’s experience today is far greater than it was five, 10 years ago.” Fisch identifies a direct link between craft growth and the U.S. success of one brand in particular: Innis & Gunn. “Some look at it as being an import and others as a craft,” he says. “We look at it as an import craft. It really is filling a void in the marketplace. Without the consumers in craft I don’t think there would be a space open for Innis & Gunn.” And now that both segments are growing at roughly the same rate, their fates are likely to be intertwined for some time. But expect imports to grab more of its rightful share of the spotlight, which craft has hogged for most of the 21st century’s first two decades.







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For the conscious foodie who seeks out special food experiences, Alter Eco is a chocolatecentric, sustainability-directed food company that takes healthy indulgence to a whole new level. Making organic and fair trade products that are best-in-class delicious and good for the planet and its people, Alter Eco’s portfolio of ready-to-eat snacks made with superior ingredients include rich Ecuadorian dark chocolate bars and chocolate truffles with pure coconut oil. On a mission to redefine snacking with wholesome indulgences, Alter Eco’s newest bars include Dark Salt & Malt, Dark Salted Almonds and Dark Super Blackout, as well as new Dark Mint Truffles. Recognized as a top certified Benefit Corporation, Alter Eco is dedicated to full-circle sustainability throughout its operations and supply chain through four pillars: sourcing using Fair Trade principles, producing of only organic and non-GMO foods, creating minimal waste by working towards 100 percent compostable packaging, and in-setting carbon emissions by means of large-scale reforestation programs in the cooperatives that produce its crops. All Alter Eco products are USDA Certified Organic, Fair Trade Certified, Carbon Neutral Certified, Non-GMO Project Verified and Certified Gluten-Free (excluding Dark Salt & Malt). Bare® Baked Crunchy Fruit Chips

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Bare, creator of Snacks Gone Simple®, helps satisfy snack cravings with the goodness of real fruit. Bare makes crave-ably crunchy apple, banana, and coconut chips from real fruit that’s simply baked, never fried.

The Mini Cookie Stash come in a cute 1 oz pouch or 5 units/box, perfect to nosh “on the go”. Belgian Boys cookie butter cookies are Palm oil free, Nut free, Non GMO, made from 100% natural ingredients with no artificial additives and kosher certified

CB's organic 1 ingredient peanut butter is a clean and healthy alternative to sugary big box brands. We only use the freshest USA grown peanuts in our roasts, ensuring that every nut reaches its full potential before grinding it to perfection.

Dandies Marshmallows are all natural, gelatin free, vegan marshmallows. We believe sweet marshmallows should be cruelty-free and made with natural ingredients! Dandies are perfect for favorites like s'mores, crispy treats, hot cocoa, and snacks.

Beanfields Crunchy, Mouthwatering Bean & Rice Chips!

Cauliflower pizza crusts - gluten-free, versatile, delicious!

Cherryvale Farms Cherry Vanilla Vegan Whole Grain Love It! Squares

Drink Chobani™ Strawberry Banana

Beanfields Snacks

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Cherryvale Farms


Beanfields Bean & Rice Chips, where your craving for a crunchy, mouth-watering tortilla chip meets your desire to find a better snack. Vegan, certified gluten-free, Non-GMO Project Verified and Kosher. 6g of Fiber and 5g of Protein per serving.

Cali'flour foods is the home of wildly popular cauliflower pizza crusts. Not only are our crusts naturally gluten free, with no-sugar added, and only have 4 clean ingredients - they are incredibly delicious and versatile. Our crust is your canvas!

Cherryvale Farms Cherry Vanilla Love It! Squares are the perfect on-the-go, plant-based snack. Packed with dried cherries & fragrant vanilla then drizzled with white chocolate, they're also non-GMO, free from major allergens and individually wrapped.

Drink Chobani™ is a deliciously smooth, sippable yogurt beverage for a rejuvenating and refreshing burst of flavor on-the-go, including the Strawberry Banana flavor. The beverage is available at grocery stores and retailers in 10 oz. bottles.









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100% Coconut Water from Brazil. From the sunny beaches of Bahia, Brazil there’s only one coconut water with the pure, fresh-from-the-coconut taste of Obrigado. We own more than 400,000 trees on our own farms in Bahia. And we harvest the coconuts when they’re young and green, because that’s when coconut water tastes best. Then we bottle Obrigado right on our farm, using a patented extraction method that prevents air and light – which can alter the taste – from touching the coconut water, so it tastes like you’re drinking from a fresh coconut. Never from concentrate. No added sugar, preservatives, flavors or GMOs. Just premium 100% pure coconut water. Just like in Bahia.

Contact Aurantiaca USA:

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Toasted Coconut Chips

Chocolate Chip Crunch Cookies

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Fancypants Baking Co.

Three delightful ingredients and lots of crunch! Our addictive coconut chips are a perfect snack and of course are Non-GMO project verified & gluten free. We strive to produce only the most delicious, natural & affordable snacks right for you!

Delicious (nut free) cookies baked with nonGMO ingredients. In our awardwinning chocolate chip cookies, we use rich, creamy, organic butter, dark chocolate chips, and organic eggs to make this perfect iconic, favorite. It's love at first crunch!


#1 Top-Selling Natural Jerky

Fuel For Fire is a selection of all-natural Fruit + Protein “Smoothies.” Each 4.5 oz. shelf stable pouch contains real pureed fruit and 10 - 12 grams of whey protein. - Delicious alternative to protein bars and nonprotein fruit pouches - Contains no added sugar or artificial ingredients - Gluten-free, soy-free, Kosher certified All 5 unique flavors are rich in potassium, fiber and vitamin C and are a healthy addition to most diets. Consume anytime you want nutritious food on-the-go that actually tastes good! Enjoy Fuel For Fire the same way you might consume a protein bar or shake – pre-workout, post-workout or anytime as a healthy snack.

Country Archer Jerky Co.

GoCo Cruncy Coconut Bites

From roadside stands to supermarket sensation, Country Archer has re-defined the meat snacks category with their better-for-you gourmet jerky, meat-based Frontier Bars and new Paleo Certified meat sticks—all made with 100% grass-fed beef and antibiotic/hormonefree turkey. Country Archer’s “More meat. Less bull. No junk.” product formulations have proven to be a winning recipe for the Natural grocery channel’s #1 top-selling and fastest-growing jerky brand. Based in Southern California, Country Archer is one of the only vertically-integrated emerging meat snacks brands, leveraging its proprietary manufacturing processes, supply chain efficiencies and high quality ingredient formulations. Country Archer products are available nationwide at fine retailers including Kroger, Albertsons, Starbucks, Costco, Sprouts Farmers Market, Target, The Fresh Market, Gelson’s, New Seasons, Meijer, Fairway and more. For more information visit www.countryarcher.com or call 909-370-0155. Algae tablets - a plant-based protein snack for energy, focus & hunger

Cybele's Free-to-Eat Cookies


Free To Eat, Inc.

Our tiny, organic spirulina & chlorella tablets algae improve energy & focus, satisfy hunger. support wellness and slow aging. ONE ingredient, ONE calorie, 40 vitamins & minerals, 3 x more protein than steak. A sustainable, plantbased Non-GMO food.

Cybele's Free-to-Eat vegan cookies are #FreeFrom the top 8 food allergens: Dairy, Eggs, Wheat/ Gluten, Soy, Peanuts, Tree Nuts, Fish, and Shellfish. Available nationwide: Chocolate Chip, Oatmeal Raisin, Snickerdoodle & Chocolate Chunk.



Ascend® All-Natural, Non-GMO, Beef & Turkey Jerky


Mamma Chia Organic Chia Squeeze


Mamma Chia

HIPPEAS is calling all snackers to #GivePeasAChance. Light and crunchy with a serious punch of protein and fiber, HIPPEAS are certified organic, gluten-free, vegan, non-GMO and packed with good vibes.

Chia Squeeze is a satisfying anytime snack that naturally provides the vitality to power your soul’s purpose! Our organic chia seeds are infused with delicious fruits and vegetables to create a fun and tasty snack rich in omega-3s, protein and fiber!

We are the ones….

Graze Snacks: we make good exciting!

John Wm. Macy's

Nature Delivered / Graze

Golden Valley Natural

Made for adventurers, Ascend® Jerky is the first all-natural, certified Non-GMO beef & turkey jerky featuring exciting artisanal flavor profiles! It is Non-GMO, Gluten Free, High in Protein, Low in Fat, with No Artificial Ingredients or Preservatives. Ascend® is available in 4 mouth-watering flavors: LEMON PEPPER BEEF JERKY You’ll enjoy a hint of lemon zest & a bold cracked black pepper taste that will make it so you never look at jerky the same way again. BOLD & SMOKEY BBQ BEEF JERKY This smokey blend of savory spices & herbs gives our Bold & Smokey BBQ Jerky a unique snacking experience that will bring you back to your backyard summertime BBQ’s. ORANGE PEEL PEPPER BEEF JERKY Orange Peel Pepper is savory & tangy with sweet orange top-notes. From the first bite to the last, you’ll enjoy a fresh orange & cracked black pepper taste. THANKSGIVING TURKEY JERKY Thanksgiving is everyone’s favorite holiday right? Using freshly ground, premium herbs & spices we’ve recreated a classic Thanksgiving dinner experience in our Thanksgiving turkey jerky. Ascend® Jerky is expertly crafted in Idaho by Golden Valley Natural. Since 1968 we’ve been a national leader in crafting high-quality conventional, all-natural, organic, & now non-GMO meat snacks. Taste the flavor of the west. Good Health® Snacks

Crisp. Clean. Fresh. All Natural Pickles.

Good Health®

Grillo's Pickles

Good Health® is the creator of crunchy, crave-worthy snacks that make it easy to make better choices. A trailblazer in common sense snacking, all snacks are made with better-for-you ingredients so you can Enjoy Being Good® without sacrificing taste.

Our products are crisp, with a perfect crunch in each bite; clean, with only ingredients you'd find in your garden; and fresh, with the zesty flavor pickles are meant to have. 32oz Spears and 16oz Chips are available in retailers across the country.


Hilary's Veggie Bites



GOODFOODS made from REAL INGREDIENTS. Guacamole, Greek Yogurt Dips, Salads & Juices - No artificial ingredients, flavors, or preservatives. EVER! All of our products are Cold-Pressure Protected to maintain our high quality and fresh flavors.

Gluten free whole grain millet and organic veggies unite in these versatile, delicious veggie bites! Available in four unique flavors, the bites are free from common allergens, Non-GMO Project Verified, Certified Gluten-Free and Certified Organic.

There’s a taste that’s been following you. You can’t quite place it, yet you can't forget it. The real cheese. The real butter. The real sourdough. That delicious crunch-It was probably us. We are the one and only, the original John Wm. Macy's.

Each Graze snack recipe is created by combining delicious, classic flavors with wholesome, highquality ingredients. Plus, Graze snacks are nutritionist approved and perfectly portioned so you can get excited about healthy snacking!

Move Over, Slim. Mighty Beef Snacks Are in Town Mighty Organic


Perfect for on-the-go snacking, paleo diet aficianados, or anyone looking to jump out of the granola/energy bar rut, Mighty Organic Beef Sticks, Mighty Organic Beef Bars and Mighty Organic Beef Jerky provide savory, 100% grassfed, organic snacks for healthy lifestyles. Mighty Organic meat snacks are the first and only organic, 100% grassfed meat snacks and satisfy every taste preference, from Teriyaki and Spicy Jalapeño to Cranberry & Sunflower Seed, and pack a tasty 5 to 12 grams of protein per serving. Mighty Organic’s Brand Manager, Ellie France, says, “100% grassfed organic beef snacks we can eat on-the-go and feel good about make Mighty Organic meat snacks a great choice.” Mighty Organic meat snacks are made from a short, simple list of ingredients. That’s because we start with organic, 100% grassfed beef raised without toxic pesticides, antibiotics, hormones or GMOs. Mighty Organic meat snacks are sold in natural food markets, food cooperatives, major grocery chains, and convenience stores.


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Nature's Bandits - Organic Fruit & Veggie Snacks

Our Little Rebellion™ Snacks

Primal Kitchen Macadamia Sea Salt Bar

Skratch Labs Enters Snack Category with Energy Bars

Nature's Bandits

Our Little Rebellion™

Primal Kitchen

Skratch Labs

Primal Kitchen Macadamia Sea Salt Collagen Protein Bars have a distinctly buttery flavor with a hint of sea salt, made with 8000 mg of collagen, 15 g of protein (from nuts, seeds and grass-fed collagen) and 3 g of sugar (from honey).

Skratch Labs, a functional food and beverage company in Boulder, CO, introduces three flavors of natural Energy Bars. Created by Dr. Allen Lim, former coach of pro cyclists, these bars are made with real food and nothing artificial.

Made with real fruit and vegetables, our snacks contain no artificial colors, no artificial sweeteners and no artificial preservatives. Nature’s Bandits are Certified Organic, GMO Free, Gluten Free, Vegan, Kosher and available in 4 flavors.

Our Little Rebellion™ crafts insanely delicious snacks that combine simple ingredients, bold flavors, & perfectly imperfect, crunchy texture that’s popped & never fried. Snack lines include PopCorners®, Protein Crisps & Bean Crisps™.

RJ's All-Natural Soft Eating Licorice

Pamela offers innovative gluten-free snacking with three bar lines



SMASHMALLOW, LLC. SMASHMALLOW is a premium ‘snackable’ marshmallow brand featuring exciting flavor smash-ups. At 80 calories per serving, made with organic sugar and nothing artificial, it's a guilt-free, every-day, any-time of day treat for your taste buds.

Project Non-GMO Verified, made with all-natural ingredients and with only 10g of sugar per 40g serve both the Original and the Raspberry licorice make a perfect, healthy option for a sweet snack or treat! Available in 7.05oz bags & 1.4oz singles. N.B.T.F. Nothing But The Fruit® Real Fruit Bites Nothing But The Fruit N.B.T.F. Real Fruit Bites are made from 100% real pressed fruit, deliciously chewy with a perfect balance of sweet & tart. Non-GMO Project Verified, vegan and gluten-free. Available nationwide at Starbucks, select grocery stores, and Amazon.

Snikiddy® Snacks

Pamela’s is raising the bar on gluten-free snacking with its latest introductions - organic Ambition Bars and organic Oat Up Bars. Perfect for quick breakfasts and afternoon pickme-ups, Pamela’s delicious new certified-organic, grain-free and vegan Ambition Bars provide an energy boosting 70mg of caffeine per bar to fuel your ambitions. Pamela’s new Oat Up Bars are packed with wholesome whole grains, Omega-3s and fiber, these chewy and richly flavored bars are the perfect on-the-go breakfast for oatmeal lovers. These join our fan favorite, Whenever Bars, made with gluten-free oats, chia seeds and lightly sweetened with agave and coconut sugar, these bars offer a delicious and satisfying snack whenever the desire hits. Visit pamelasproducts.com for more information on these delicious bar options.

Snikiddy® Snikiddy® is the creator of delicious snacks made from simple, wholesome, real-food ingredients. A family-friendly snack brand, Snikiddy offers USDA Organic Baked Cheese Puffs and Baked Fries made with 70% organic ingredients.

Introducing OWYN - Only What You Need 100% Plant Based Nutrition

Flavored Peanut Butter So Good You'll Eat it With a Spoon!

Skin-on Dried Superfruit! Tangy, delicious and extra nutritious.

Snoqualmie Organic Ice Cream

Only What You Need, Inc.

PB Crave Peanut Butter

RIND Snacks

Snoqualmie Ice Cream

Uncompromised Taste, 100% Plant-Based. Introducing the first 100% plant-based nutrition brand that delivers the coveted tri-fecta of CPG brands - Taste, Function, and Allergen Friendly. 20g Complete Protein, 4g Organic Cane Sugar, Organic Greens.

PB Crave comes in 4 flavors: Raspberry with White & Dark Chocolate, Sweet & Dark Chocolate, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, & Chocolate Banana. On top of being a delicious natural snack, PB Crave gives a minimum of 2% profits to Project Peanut Butter.

At RIND, we maximize dried fruit's nutritional power by retaining as much of the skin as possible. This makes our tangy, exotic and chewy fruit blends a true superfood snack. For extra vitamins, fiber and antioxidants...Keep it real, eat the peel!

Super-premium organic ice cream pints made from scratch in Snohomish, WA. 7 SKUs. Frozen custard-style with 14% butterfat and under 20% overrun. Made with grass-fed dairy and the highest quality ingredients possible. Certified B-Corp. $6.99 SRP


Almond Flour Crackers, Sprouted Seed Crackers, & Ready-to-Eat Cookies Simple Mills

Simple Mills is playing a leading role in the clean food movement with the market’s #1 fastest-growing natural baking mixes, almond flour crackers and frostings as well as newly introduced sprouted seed crackers and ready-to-eat cookies. All products are free of free of grain, gluten, dairy, soy, GMOs, excessive sugar, and artificial flavors and fillers. In just over four years, Simple Mills has earned multiple awards, “top 5 trending foods” honors from Instacart, Good Housekeeping: Best of Test - Crunchy Munchies, Paleo Magazine Winner for Best Paleo Cracker & Best Paleo Mixes, and distribution in 7,500+ grocery stores from Whole Foods to Target and Safeway.

10 AMAZING Protein Snacks - Crafted in Our Family Owned MicroSnackery Simply SnackIn’

Sprout Organic Curlz

Veggie-Go's Fruit and Veggie Snacks



Sprout Organic Curlz is the first PLANT POWERED snack for toddlers made from organic chickpeas and lentils! A winner of Delicious Living's 2017 Best Bite Award, Curlz are a crunchy, glutenfree baked snack available in three flavors toddlers love.

We use real, organic fruits and vegetables in every packet of Veggie-Go's. A full serving of fruit and veggies, plus no added sugar, with fun flavors for kids and adults! It's time for what's next in fruit snacks.

Habanero Pineapple Grass-Fed Beef Stick

Japanese food beyond sushi? Try yuso, the Japansese-inspired snack

The New Primal

yuso onigiri

This spicy and slightly sweet meat stick is made from 100% grass-fed beef that is hormone and antibiotic free. Better yet, it's Paleo, Gluten-Free and contains no added sugar. With heat from red and habanero peppers, this snack is sure to satisfy!

"yum on the run" with no chopsticks required - smoked salmon filling surrounded by sushi rice and wrapped to keep Nori crunchy, for refrigerated grab-and-go. Nosh with a conscience: gluten-free, non-GMO; Surprisingly filling, refreshingly nutritious.

PROBIOTIC CHEDDAR CHEESE BITES! Zero Sugar or Carbs with High Protein!

Zing Vitality Bar--it's amaZing!


Zing Bar

PROBIOTIC CHEDDAR CHEESE BITES are delicious Farmstead Cheddar Cheese Bites packed with a full day's probiotics in a 1 ounce serving! Created by a Physician for his patients, they have zero sugar, carbs, lactose but high in protein. The NEW FIT FOOD!

Simply Snackin’ - gluten free protein snacks made with lean grass fed beef, chicken breast, or free range venison. No artificial flavors or colors, animals raised without the use of antibiotics, no hormones added. Nutrient dense, RD approved snacks 1 oz snacks “Crafted in Our Family-Owned Micro-Snackery” in Oshkosh, WI. Available in 10 DELICIOUS flavors (24 – 1 oz snacks/display box): NORTHWOODS Beef with cranberries & blueberries , ORCHARD Beef with apples, TERIYAKI Beef with pineapples, SIGNATURE Beef BOLD ORIGINAL, TERIYAKI Chicken with mangos, ITALIANO Chicken with romano, BBQ Chicken with cherries, BLACK BEAN SALSA Chicken, 2 REDS Venison with cranberries & cherries and ORCHARD Venison with apples Additional info – www.simplysnackin.com or product listings on www.RangeME.com

Zing Vitality Bar is the only bar created by nutritionists! We’ve added good stuff like protein, fiber, good carbs & fats, and left out gluten, soy, & junk that zaps your zing. So you can enjoy a bar so good and good-for-you—it’s truly amaZING!

Tres Latin Foods Frozen Mini Pupusas Tres Latin Foods Our unique frozen mini pupusas are the perfect better-foryou snack. They're easy to prepare, made with simple ingredients, and are full of delicious Latin flavors. Gluten free and 100% Non-GMO corn masa, with vegetarian options.


On-Trend Ingredients ADM

Plant based ingredients Bay State Milling Co.

Organic & Non-GMO Ingredients CIRANDA

Coconut Product Solution Franklin Baker Inc.

As your trusted advisor, ADM helps you take your next great snack idea from concept to commercialization with an unrivaled portfolio of on-trend ingredients, systems and technologies and deep technical know-how. Call to discuss how ADM can help you get to market faster with snacks consumer love while meeting your stringent taste, cost, nutrition, labeling and quality standards.

Bay State Milling is 5th generation family owned, specializing in plant based ingredients for snack and bakery foods. Through our supply chain ownership and management & unique processing capabilities we provide superior quality ingredients, including whole grains & flours, ancient grains, edible seeds & blends available as sprouted, organic, gluten free, non-GMO verified and heat treated.

Supplying Organic, Non-GMO and Fair Trade ingredients to many of the nation's top-grossing natural brands. Expertise includes tapioca syrups and other sweeteners; starches and flours; oils and fats; cocoas and chocolates; coconut products; and lecithin. Ingredients are stocked throughout North America for fast, responsive service. Visit our website for a complete listing.

Franklin Baker, Inc. is the premier supplier of coconut ingredients to the global food & beverage market for 120+ years. We offer an extensive portfolio of products including: Desiccated Coconut, (Toasted & Sweetened), Virgin Coconut Oil, Coconut Flour, Coconut Milk/Cream, & other coconut products. We are USDA Organic, RSB, Fair Trade, Non-GMO Project Verified, Kosher, BRC, & ISO certified.

Financial Advisors for M&A Arlington Capital Advisors

Connecting Nutrition & Health BENEO Inc.

Custom Ingredient Solutions CoreFX Ingredients LLC

Merchandising Experts GOTHAM BRAND MANAGERS

ACA is a boutique investment bank focused on all consumer sectors. Our practice provides middle market sell-side, buy-side and capital raising advisory services to founder-led and sponsorowned consumer companies coast to coast with significant experience in CPG, franchising and restaurants. Securities offered through an unaffiliated broker-dealer, M&A Securities Group, Inc

BENEO's functional ingredients are derived from the natural sources chicory root, sugar beet, rice and wheat, providing nutritional, technical and health benefits. BENEO’s ingredients improve taste and texture of products. While replacing sugar and fat and enriching products with fibre and protein, they also enhance nutritional values.

At CoreFX Ingredients we specialize in custom dairy and specialty lipid ingredients that deliver the widest possible range of functional attributes. We are mainly B2B – we service industrial manufacturers & food service markets in the U.S. Our manufacturing facility is located in Orangeville, IL and our Innovation Center is located in Chicago, IL.

Offering Merchandising for brands looking to grow. The ability to build brands, especially in today’s competitive environment, takes experience, contacts and hard work. Gotham succeeds by offering affordable options for our customers, leveraging our software with customized reporting and dedicated professional team that work hard every day for the brands we represent.

Plant protein manufacturing

Fruit For Thought Dried Fruit

Axiom Foods

Fruit For Thought by Sigona’s

Innovating plant protein manufacturing since 2005 & recently receiving The New Economy’s Clean Tech Food & Beverage Award, Axiom is the world’s first & largest manufacturer/distributor, starting with its signature Oryzatein® brown rice protein. Perfecting its patent-pending hexane-free processes, Axiom expanded into pea protein, including the largest authentically organic supply, sacha inchi & now hemp. With more plant proteins, milks and factories in the pipeline, this California-based company has been known for the largest commercial supplies — doubling almost year over year, the only GRAS certification, an extensive Quality & Heavy Metals Management Program, & the only third-party research showing Oryzatein rice protein is as good as whey at building muscles & aiding exercise recovery.



GET SPONSORSHIP PACKAGES AND PRICING: sponsor@bevnet.com • brewboundsession.com/sponsor

We Craft Better for You Brands Hatch Design

Turn-key Product Development MetaBrand


Creative Packaging Solutions ProAmpac

Hatch is a San Francisco creative agency that helps define what a brand needs to be, say and stand for and brings that to life through naming, visual identity, messaging, packaging and marketing. We uncover soul and emotion to connect in relevant and meaningful ways and craft your personality to hone what's lovable. The goal: integrate the brand into the hearts and minds of consumers. Let's chat!

MetaBrand is a world class team of experts which helps you create, launch, or grow your food, beverage, supplement, or personal care brand. We provide strategic planning, market analysis, branding and design, product formulation and development, inside and outsourced operations, and sales and marketing execution.

PS labels, Shrink sleeves, flexible films for bags, pouches, and single servings, IRC Coupons, peel-back labels, and more! We're a full-service flexo and digital printer. We provide a multitiered approach to your packaging needs - from prototypes to pre-production samples to digital printing for smaller volumes to full production runs. Individual attention and scheduling flexibility set us apart.

ProAmpac has a strategic geographic footprint and enhanced product offerings unparalleled in the industry. ProAmpac is a global flexible packaging company whose capabilities include adhesive and extrusion lamination, pouching, bag converting and a broad range of flexographic, rotogravure and offset writing solutions for the food, pet food, medical, security, industrial and retail markets.

Investment Banking

Costco Representation/Business Strategy/Packaging Design/Branding & Marketing LaunchPad

Integris Partners

Welcome to LaunchPad. The only full service business strategy, branding and representation agency, focused on emerging food brands with a highly specialized focus on the Club Market. Together we will guide you. Inspire you and never B.S you. At LaunchPad, we are exactly like nothing else in the Food Industry, an anti-agency, a rebel with a cause. LaunchPad is the official home to the entrepreneurs of food brands. The dreamers, doers, troublemakers, disruptors and mavericks, who spend every day breaking the rules accomplishing what others foolishly believe to be impossible. Visit us at: www.launchpadgroupusa.com

Branding & Packaging Design McLean Design

Flavor Manufacturer Mother Murphy's Laboratories

Brand Package Design- Food/Bev Perspective:Branding

Beverage & Food Development PTM Food Consulting

McLean Design has been creating winning food packaging and brand strategies for over twenty-five years. Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, we specialize in brand strategy, naming, packaging design, and structure design.

Mother Murphy's is a full service manufacturer dedicated to supporting customer needs through quality and flavor innovation. At Mother Murphy's we specialize in flavor and prototype development for the snack and beverage industries. We make the world taste better!

Perspective: Branding is a San Francisco design firm specializing in food and beverage brands since 2005. We create seductive packaging that sells, using our expertise in packaging, brand identity, web-design, naming and research to increase revenue. We take pride in the value we add through the quality of the work. We know it will be successful by ensuring it is Visible, Visceral and Memorable.

PTM Food Consulting 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!


Concentrate, Colors, Extract San Joaquin Valley Concentrate

Non-GMO, Vegan Ingredients Top Health Ingredients, Inc.

San Joaquin Valley Concentrates (SJVC) manufactures colors from natural sources, grape juice concentrates, and grape seed extract for the food and beverage industry. Their crystal colors are dried without the use of carriers, are easily soluble with less dust than spray dried colors, and have a 5 year shelf life. SJVC is a division of E & J Gallo Winery and is a FSSC 22000 certified facility.

Top Health Ingredients has been your trusted provider of the highest quality Non-GMO, plant-based fibers, proteins, and sweeteners for the health and wellness industry since 2009. The exclusive supplier of AdvantaFiber™ IMO and AdvantAmino™ organic brown rice protein, Top Health proudly offers many unique, sourcecertified ingredients for healthy solutions in both food & beverage applications!

Custom Savory Snack Seasonings Sensient Flavors

Fruit Ingredients Tree Top, Inc.

Sensient Flavors offers value-added flavor systems that bring life to products. With industry-leading expertise in the savory, beverage and sweet markets, we provide comprehensive solutions that meet the exact requirements of our customers. Thanks to our wide-ranging product library, development teams and cutting-edge facilities, we're able to implement technical solutions for complex challenges.

Tree Top Fruit Ingredients processes virtually every fruit under the sun into a variety of highquality, wholesome fruit products, including dried apples, fruit powders, fruit juice concentrates, fruit purées, formulated fruit preps, frozen strawberries, and bulk apple sauce. Some of our fruit types include apple, cherry, raspberry, strawberry, blueberry, blackberry, peach, pear, and plum.

Clean-label Snack Ingredients Sensient Natural Ingredients

Sensient Natural Ingredients cultivates natural ingredients that bring flavor, texture, color and nutrition to food products while keeping labels clean and simple. Core offerings for clean-label snacks include California-grown roasted garlic, toasted and sweet onion, vegetable powders, smoked vegetables, as well as chili varietals. All of our products are certified gluten-free and Kosher. All-natural Sweeteners Steviva Ingredients

Steviva Ingredients is a global ingredient supplier with a focus on all-natural, highintensity sweeteners and custom sweetening solutions for manufacturers. Erythritol, monk fruit, stevia and more, available in conventional and organic, in bulk or pre-blended for added cost savings. Steviva is your clean label sugar reduction partner, offering reformulation and R&D assistance.









(844) 441-3663


(415) 701-1212


Alter Eco

Amber Isaacs

San Francisco

Arlington Capital Advisors

John Goldasich



(205) 488-4384


David Janow

Los Angeles


(800) 711-3587

axiomfoods.com baresnacks.com

Axiom Foods Bare Snacks

San Francisco


Colleen Zammer



(617) 328-4400


Beanfields Snacks

Ashley James

Los Angeles


(855) 328-2326


Belgian Boys

Bay State Milling Co.

Anouck Gotlib



(212) 634-4769



Kyle Krause

Morris Plains


(973) 867-2140


Buff Bake


Santa Ana


(702) 510-2488




(866) 422-3568


Cali'flour Foods CB's Nuts Cherryvale Farms Chicago Vegan Foods



(360) 881-7806


Lindsey Rosenberg



(310) 910-1124


Dan Reed



(630) 629-9667



(715) 386-1737



Blair Aires


Tonya Lofgren




San Diego


Denis Neville



(773) 271-2663

Coconut Beach CoreFX Ingredients LLC Country Archer Jerky Co. ENERGYbits Fancypants Baking Co.

coconutbeach.com corefxingredients.com

San Bernardino


(909) 420-0200


Catharine Arnston



(617) 886-5106


Maura Duggan




Franklin Baker Inc.

Peter Kamen



(901) 881-6681


Free To Eat, Inc.

Cybele Pascal

Los Angeles


(877) 895-3729


Fruit For Thought by Sigona's










(973) 338-0300


Nate Klingler



(208) 227-9000


Good Health®

Malena Whetro



(858) 243-4761



Mandy Bottomlee

Pleasant Prairie


Trent Moffat

New York City

Golden Valley Natural


(262) 465-6907


(877) 931-3030


Grillo's Pickles




Hatch Design

Bonnie Powers

San Francisco






(785) 856-3399


hilaryseatwell.com/ hippeas.com

Integris Partners

Stephen van den Heever

Fort Collins


(970) 225-0425


John Wm. Macy's

Elizabeth Schwartz

Elmwood Park


(201) 248-0169



Jeremy Smith

San Ramon


(650) 576-8803


Mamma Chia

Eric Castaldo



(310) 200-7098


McLean Design

Rifle Hughes

Walnut Creek


(925) 944-9500



Debbie Wildrick



(888) 611-5573


La Farge


(608) 625-6328


Morgan Murphy



(800) 849-1277

New York


Tony Carvalho



(203) 571-2040

Mighty Organic Mother Murphy's Laboratories Nature Delivered / Graze Nature's Bandits NEW ZEALAND NATURAL GOODS Nothing But The Fruit Only What You Need, Inc. Our Little Rebellion™ Overnight Labels, Inc. Pamela's Products

mothermurphys.com graze.com naturesbandits.com

Steve Muir

Manhattan Beach


(310) 503-5698


Olivia Dynan



(978) 341-1221


Mark Olivieri



(973) 638-7160


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(858) 243-4761


Don Earl

Deer Park


(800) 472-5753


Hannah Hershey



(415) 453-0100



COMPANY PB Crave Peanut Butter Perspective:Branding Primal Kitchen






Jennifer Becker



(651) 322-1757


WavenDean Fernandes

San Francisco


(510) 450-0500


Ana Goettsch



(612) 865-2424




(513) 671-1777


PTM Food Consulting

Ryan Dolan

Point Pleasant


(888) 736-6339


RIND Snacks

Matt Weiss

New York


(917) 612-0311


Thomas Lampe



(800) 557-0220


Sensient Flavors

Roger Lane

Hoffman Estates


(847) 755-5300


Sensient Natural Ingredients

Jean Shieh



(209) 667-2777



San Joaquin Valley Concentrate

Simple Mills

Austin Paulik




Simply Snackln'

Sue Kramlich




Skratch Labs

Jeff Donaldson



(800) 735-8904




(707) 512-0605


Malena Whetro



(858) 243-4761


Samantha Hill



(909) 659-3095


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(201) 746-9245


SMASHMALLOW, LLC. Snikiddy® Snoqualmie Ice Cream Sprout Steviva Ingredients The New Primal

Thomas King



(310) 455-9876


Samantha Blatz

North Charleston


(908) 307-0638




Roxanne Barnes

North Hampton

Top Health Ingredients, Inc.

Brittany DeMarco


Tree Top, Inc.

Jeannie Swedberg



(603) 686-5433


(780) 439-1425


(509) 698-1435


Tres Latin Foods








yuso onigiri

Sarah Sturtevant



(978) 834-6494


Emily Tower



(206) 362-3989


Zing Bar




evian’s New “Oversize” Campaign Allows Consumers to Experience the World Through the Eyes of a Baby In line with its “Live young” brand promise, evian highlighted its new “Oversize” marketing campaign in the U.S. during its US Open sponsorship through digital activations and a gala event. The unique initiative immerses consumers into an oversized world to reconnect them with their inner baby. evian’s “Live young” brand promise has come to life year after year through its iconic baby campaigns. In the brand’s latest chapter, called evian Oversize, the creative execution will surprise and delight consumers across touchpoints in social platforms and out-of-home. Created by BETC Paris, the campaign showcases evian’s global tennis ambassadors transforming into baby versions of themselves after drinking evian natural spring water. The global evian Live young Team composed of Maria Sharapova, Madison Keys, Stan Wawrinka, and Lucas Pouille, are featured in the campaign. Symbolizing the importance of hydration and sport in a healthy, balanced lifestyle, the digital clips will appear on Insta-

gram as well as on out of home digital screens across Manhattan, using geo and timetargeting technology to serve different content at specific moments. evian offered fans a chance to participate in the Oversize fun at Flushing Meadows, with a larger-than-life tennis themed photo booth. Fans can create personalized GIFs, sent straight to their smartphones, which they can upload directly to Facebook, Instagram or Twitter to enter a daily sweepstakes for the chance to win autographed tennis attire from the ambassadors. Complementing the on-site activation will be daily content on evian social media feeds to bring to life all the iconic moments and atmosphere of this amazing Grand Slam with a Live young twist. Since June 10, evian has collaborated with Snapchat, the image messaging application, by printing Snapcodes on millions of evian bottles which unlock an exclusive “Oversize” lens. To date, the lens has been used by 27.3 million people in the U.S., 45 percent of total U.S. Snapchat users.





BRANDS GET SPONSORSHIP PACKAGES AND PRICING: sponsor@bevnet.com • bevnetlive.com/sponsor

PROMO PARADE Nestlé Waters Launches New Recycling Labeling Across Major U.S. Bottled Water Brands Nestlé Waters North America, one of the nation’s leading beverage manufacturers, announced that it has begun adding the clear and consistent How2Recyle instruction to the labels on half-liter bottles of all its major U.S. brands. This includes its purified water brand Nestlé Pure Life as well as its regional spring water brands, Poland Spring, Deer Park, Ice Mountain, Zephyrhills, Ozarka and Arrowhead. With this move, Nestle Waters North America becomes the first beverage manufacturer in North America to add this label to all its major U.S. bottled water brands. The company anticipates completing the massive How2Recycle transition and roll out by September 2017. Variation in recycling programs, unclear labeling and inaccurate recyclability claims make recycling a challenge in the United States. The How2Recycle label was first created in 2012 by the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, a membershipbased collaborative made up of businesses, educational institutions, and government agencies to help make recycling easier for

consumers. It has so far been adopted by more than 65 brands and retailers and can be found on thousands of products on shelves today. Nestle Pure Life began the initiative this month with the How2Recycle label being added to certain Nestlé Pure Life half-liter bottles produced in this country. Following on from the current Nestlé Pure Life rollout, the new label will begin to appear on certain Poland Spring, Deer Park, Ozarka, Ice Mountain and Zephyrhills brand half-liter bottles in August. The How2Recycle label will begin appearing on certain Arrowhead half-liter bottles during the month of September. How2Recycle is the only U.S.-based standardized labeling system that communicates recyclability information on package to consumers. How2Recycle is featured on an array of product and packaging types, such as beverages, toys, baby products, pet care products, baking supplies, condiments and more. Consumers should check with their local recycling facilities for more specific information and instructions.

Lime-A-Rita Activates Sponsorship With National Football League Lime-A-Rita announced that it will be activating as an Official Sponsor of the NFL for the first time. Lime-A-Rita has brought fun to stadiums for the past five years, and this season, the brand is looking to take it to the next level. The activation will allow the brand to celebrate the NFL’s passionate female fans through larger team integrations, featuring a variety of ready-to-drink margaritas. Lime-A-Rita has resonated with women since the brand’s beginning five years ago, and its consumer base is still predominately female. With women currently occupying 45 percent of the NFL fan base, Lime-ARita will elevate their existing partnership with the league to provide fans more flavorful experiences around NFL season.



ROAR Organic Launches #SodaSucks Viral Video Campaign ROAR Organic, an electrolyte-infused hydration beverage, has launched #SodaSucks, a comical viral video series aimed to educate consumers on the adverse effects of drink-

ing sugar-sweetened carbonated beverages. ROAR Organic is a USDA certified organic coconut water-based electrolyte infusion that comes in comes in four flavors and is

free of additives. It is gluten-free, non-GMO, vegan-friendly and contains no artificial coloring, sweeteners or preservatives. ROAR Organic created the viral video se-

ries “#SodaSucks” with Brandon Organzyck, a 20-something year old who is strangely fueled by his hatred of soda. During the short video clip series, Brandon Organyzck explains the

reasons why #SodaSucks and shows off his literal destruction of soda in quirky and creative ways. The series can be seen weekly each Wednesday via #SodaSucks’ YouTube.

JUST Water Announces Exclusive Partnership with Houston Zoo In 2015, the Houston Zoo removed plastic bags from its gift shops to protect animals in the wild, eliminating an estimated 80,000 plastic bags from entering landfills and the environment each year. Now, two years later, the zoo-based conservation organization has gone one step further and eliminated single-use plastic water bottles from all concession stands. The zoo provides veterinary care for rescued wild sea turtles that have consumed plastic every year. The elimination of single-use plastic water bottles will have a significant, wildlife saving impact on the environment by reducing the amount of plastic waste by nearly 300,000 single-use plastic bottles in just one year. Guests now have two choices when


purchasing water at the zoo – an aluminum reusable water bottle (pre-filled with water) or a JUST Water recyclable, paper-based water bottle at any of the restaurants or kiosks. JUST Water bottles are made up of 82 percent renewable resources, leaving behind a much smaller carbon footprint than bottles made entirely of plastic. The bottle itself is made of paper from certified forests and the plastic cap is made from sugarcane, making JUST Water bottles 100 percent recyclable. The zoo also has water bottle refilling stations throughout its grounds. There are two types of refilling stations – free-standing, green fountains and silver, chilled fountains attached to walls, made possible by a partnership with Texas Plumbing Supply.

These fountains are easily recognizable by the “Save Sea Turtles Here” signs. Using reusable water bottles and refilling them at these stations helps save sea turtles in the wild by keeping this waste out of the ocean. Plastic bottles and bags can make their way to Houston’s waterways and end up in the ocean, home to animals like sea turtles, sting rays, sharks, and an array of fish. Guests to the Houston Zoo can also purchase a reusable tote bag in its gift shops to eliminate use of single-use plastic bags. The zoo has a collection of canvas bags artistically designed with images depicting the animals that benefit from a reduction of plastic bags in the ocean. The series includes sea lions, sea turtles, and pelicans.

Canada Dry Ginger Ale: Relax Harder From That 4 -Letter Word- Busy

North America’s First-Ever Female “Most Imaginative Bartender” Winner The United States Bartenders’ Guild (USBG) announced Annie Williams Pierce of Columbus, OH as the North American Winner of the 11th Annual “Most Imaginative Bartender” Competition sponsored by Bombay Sapphire gin. For the second consecutive year, the 2017 finale took place at the home of Bombay Sapphire gin. After an invigorating four-day cocktail showdown, where the top 12 finalists stirred creativity to present their most inventive works of art in a glass, Pierce galvanized judges as the most imaginative. As a result of her win, Pierce will become GQ Magazine’s first official “Bartender in Residence” – collaborating on a new series of innovative cocktail videos and

act as in-house cocktail and culture expert throughout the year for GQ, as well as other Conde Nast publications. This summer, the Most Imaginative Bartender program traveled across 33 North American cities to narrow down and identify the top 12 finalists – 11 from the U.S., one from Canada – with the most boundarypushing cocktail creations. The competition portion officially commenced

on Tuesday in the heart of London, where bartenders competed in the first-ever “Artistry Challenge” that included a onehour curated tour of one of London’s famous art galleries. The finalists selected works of art which served as inspiration to craft their creative cocktails. Pierce snagged the win after crafting an avant-garde recipe illustrating the collision between art and mix-

ology. Additional challenges included “The On Air Challenge,” which put the competitors’ presentation skills to the test – prompting their ability to create a recipe while engaging an audience during a filmed demonstration. To heat things up, the competition’s 12 finalists were also tasked with designing a bespoke cocktail menu at a top London bar for the “Guest Shift” challenge. Each bartender had the day to source local ingredients throughout to the city in order to batch and prepare three different ginforward cocktail recipes for their menu. Tampa’s Brenda Terry and Las Vegas’ SeongHa Lee earned the top scores for challenges two and three.

In an effort to combat the busy state of being driven by everyday pressures, Canada Dry wants to make people more aware of what is keeping them from doing the things they love, whether it is relaxing at home or making memories with loved ones. Canada Dry, encourages its fans to move past their busy work and social schedules to maximize their relaxation. To do this, the brand teamed up with linguist and language creator, David J. Peterson, to further understand how the word busy has evolved and why society uses busy as a badge of honor – also known as “busy-bragging.” To illustrate the impact busyness has on our lives today, Canada Dry created a video where friends and family discuss busy with both positive and negative concepts such as “success”, “winning” and “I don’t have time to connect with you” showing the polarizing effect of the 4-letter word busy. What kind of “busy” are you? Canada Dry and Peterson developed an online quiz to help answer that question and inspire a positive change in routine by encouraging consumers to “unbusy” themselves and be mindful of the tasks that get in the way of enjoying the things that matter most.



Green Flash to Release Treasure Chest 2017 IPA to Raise Money for Breast Cancer Charities Green Flash Brewing Co. has announced the lineup for its 2017 “Treasure Chest” fundraising program. This is the craft brewery’s 7th annual beer release and special event series to raise funds for breast cancer charities. This year, the new beer released for the program is an IPA brewed with passion fruit, and it will be available on-draft in 37 U.S. states, supported by a dynamic, on-premise, tiki-themed event program in key cities. Treasure Chest beer is available on draft in September and October 2017. Green Flash kicked off the fundraiser by hosting the 7th annual San Diego Treasure Chest Fest – a rare beer and food pairing experience at their Cellar 3 barrel-aging facility. For the 4th year running, Green Flash will host Treasure Chest Fest at its Virginia Beach brewery. Raising money for the fight against breast cancer is a cause that has an especially personal connection for the founders of Green Flash. Brewery Co-Founder, Lisa Hinkley is a breast cancer survivor and is passionate about giving back to those whose lives have been affected by this disease. Through the Treasure Chest program, the brewery has raised over $300,000 dollars for our national and regional charity partners including Prevent Cancer nationally and the Susan G Komen affiliates in San Diego and Virginia Beach.


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BevNET Magazine September/October 2017  

The 2017 September/October issue of BevNET Magazine. With the 2017 Natural Snack Food Guide.

BevNET Magazine September/October 2017  

The 2017 September/October issue of BevNET Magazine. With the 2017 Natural Snack Food Guide.

Profile for bevnet