With more than 130 beverage companies buying booth space, and a few dozen more tramping the aisles, Natural Products Expo West provided a near-comprehensive look at the way entrepreneurial beverage brands are growing, and also served to underscore the vital nature of the natural channel when it comes to introducing new products. Even brands not necessarily considered “natural,” like FRS and Activate, took up booths to battle channel stalwarts like gourmet juices, full-leaf teas, and coconut waters for retail buyers’ attentions.…Read the full article» Comment Count
Selling energy drinks to children has been a hot topic in the media lately (there are stories like this… almost daily), with most of the press being of the opinion that children should not be consuming energy drinks. Grom Bomb takes a proactive approach to this subject, with a caffeine free formulation that’s designed to deliver hydration and energy without the use of caffeine. Grom Bomb is specifically targeting kids that are part of the action sports segment — a place that has been a very popular segment for energy drink offerings.Read the full review»
Kombucha continues to be one of the more innovative categories in the beverage space, with a variety of regional companies popping up around the country. Quality and style varies from one brand to another, as does their method of bringing their brand to the market. One of those companies is Beyond Kombucha from Astoria, NY. Started by three like minded people, the brand was created to produce gourmet quality kombucha fermented tea using fine Asian, African and South American teas. And, as you’ll see in our review, they’ve done just that.…Read the full review»
Since 2008, Kentucky based Rooibee Red Tea has been brewing up their noncarbonated rooibos teas in a nontraditional 12 ounce long neck bottle. It’s currently distributed in Whole Foods stores in Kentucky and other health and natural retailers. In late 2010, they launched a whole new look for the brand, which brings cleaner visuals and a more healthy look to the product. Our review panel takes a look at the revised lineup.…Read the full review»
BevNET is pleased to announce that early registration is now open for BevNET Live Summer 11, which is being held June 6 & 7 at the Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers in NYC. In addition, we’ve announced an initial speaker lineup, which will again feature experts from various segments of the industry. As with our past events, all of which have sold out, we expect this one to be a great one! Register now and reserve your spot.…Read more»
Pitaya Plus is a beverage whose key ingredients are pitaya (aka dragonfruit) and coconut water. Obviously, anything that contains coconut water gets instant buzz right now, but that’s not the only story about this product. Instead, it’s positioned as a superfruit beverage that contains fewer calories and less sugar than acai beverages, but still contains the same amount of antioxidants as acai and the added benefit of 30mg of omega 3. The brand is already getting noticed, with a distribution deal with Green Shoots and placement in Whole Foods already underway. Read our review for more on Pitaya Plus.…Read the full review»
Since founder Brian Stearns first took to the stage of BevNET Live in 2009 to introduce ZUN, the mission for the energetic Boulder, Colo. native has been clear: convince consumers that the liquid inside his unique rocketship bottle is as interesting as its quirky exterior. The functional premise has always been that ZUN makes you smarter; the latest product is that it’ll make you smarter without making you fatter – introducing a sugar-free product enhanced with blue agave. Read our review for more details.…Read the full review»
Sometime in the winter of 1996 — it’s been so long I don’t even remember the exact date — BevNET.com went online.
A lot has changed since then…our URL (it started as “thebevnet.com”, just like “thefacebook.com” – movie inquiries are welcome) … our team (we didn’t have one, just me, a thirsty college student)…and the industry we cover (who could have imagined that gourmet root beers and Snapple knockoffs would have morphed into energy shots, kombucha, and coconut water).
In any event, since the start of the new year marks our fifteenth anniversary, we decided that it was time to…
RelaxZen, Inc., the marketer of the relaxation shots of the same name, has announced the resignation of its CEO and co-founder, Nick West. The other co-founder (and “Chief Zen Officer”), Brent Sonnek-Schmelz, is remaining with the company as its new CEO.
According to the co-founders, money troubles and personality differences – the pair have a 20-plus year age difference – exacerbated by the stress of running a startup led to West’s departure.
“We mutually agreed that it was in the best interest to have one person steer the ship,” West told BevNET in a telephone call. “Brent is a very…
Activate is a product that has intrigued me since I first saw a picture of a mockup bottle in Beverage Digest in early 2008. The product, which uses a cap dispenser to mix the flavor and nutrients at the time of consumption, is, at least in my opinion, the best-executed product to use this type of cap, selling the benefits of the cap (aka bioavailability) rather than the gimmick of watching stuff drop into the bottle of water below. Plus, it’s hard to pass over a story that starts with “Son of Former Disney CEO Eisner Launching New Beverage” –Read the full article» Comment Count
by John Craven
On a recent visit to New York City, I had a chance to sit down with Vita Coco co-founder and CEO Mike Kirban at the company’s 14th street office.
2010 has been a bit of a rollercoaster ride for Vita Coco, but ultimately it has ended up being what Kirban emphatically calls “an incredible year.” Coming off a year that really established the category as more than just a fad (a BevNET Best of 2009 Award didn’t hurt either), momentum was already high. However, big production issues loomed, with the product virtually disappearing from the shelves in…
Harmless Harvest, whose products debuted at Expo East in October, is one of those new beverage lines that’s sure to be talked about during its official launch, which is scheduled for early 2011. They’ll be the first to market with a USDA Organic certified coconut water — and with the coconut water category rapidly growing, it’s something that probably couldn’t be launched at a better time.
But in talking to founders Justin Guilbert and Douglas Riboud one quickly understands that Harmless Harvest didn’t set out to be just a coconut water company — in fact, the pair were extremely surprised…
Watertown, MA, December 3, 2010 – Following the announcement of its fourth consecutive sold-out BevNET Live conference, BevNET.com is pleased to announce the return of a free, live high definition video stream from the event on December 6 & 7.
Live HD video of selected sessions will be streamed from BevNET Live Winter 10 in Santa Monica, CA on Monday, December 6 and Tuesday, December 7. The event runs from 9AM PST – 5PM PST both days. Check the BevNET.com web site on these days to see which sessions are streamed. The presentation of BevNET's Best of 2010 Awards will…
by John Craven
On a recent trip to Las Vegas, I had a chance to stop by Ex Drinks, a self-described marketer of “beneficial beverages.” Ex Drinks sells products across several categories including energy, relaxation, enhanced water, and bottled water; the company operates as the licensee of a UK-based brand owner, the Extreme Sports Company.
License owners Otho and Deborah Behr are a husband-and-wife team. Otho’s family started and sold the Behr Process Corp., the makers of the well-known Behr line of paints; as a result, he says, “we don’t have to work, but we love to work.”
by John Craven
When it comes to the state of the economy, the job market and, more specifically, its losses and gains, are key indicators of how things are going. So, in looking at the beverage economy, it seemed appropriate to pay a visit to Josh Wand at BevForce, a career network and executive placement agency for the beverage industry, to discuss the state of the job market for our industry.
Wand, who launched BevForce only a few years ago, is right in the thick of it. His firm’s job board and his executive placement division work with beverage companies…
“Doctor developed” seems to be a statement that is turning up on beverage labels on an ever-increasing basis. Nawgan, a “brain beverage,” was indeed developed by a doctor, but it features an interesting, and important point of difference: in the case of Nawgan, the function of the drink is exactly in line with the doctor’s area of expertise.
In speaking with Nawgan creator Dr. Robert Paul, a clinical neuropsychologist with specialty training in the area of adult brain function, it becomes almost immediately obvious that this isn’t someone trying to capitalize on the growing trend of drinks that are designed…
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The “Ethnic Beverage” label can cut both ways for a start-up: while it implies the upside of an immediate audience and an easy-to-understand focus, it also often limits retailers’ perceptions of the breadth of a product’s appeal.
In the case of Bonadea, a line of authentic Mexican style aguas frescas, co-founder Arnold Ventura is trying to use ethnic to his advantage while limiting the down side. While Ventura and his business partner, Jose Domene, are relying on their Mexican heritage to carefully select and formulate the flavors that make up the Bonadea line,…
If there are two things that are certain about Rob Ehrlich, founder of Rob’s Really Good and creator of the popular line of Pirate’s Booty Snacks, it’s that he speaks his mind and is not afraid to make changes when he sees something that he doesn’t like. These are the sorts of things that can keep a person – and company – very busy. For Ehrlich and the Rob’s Really Good company and brand, things don’t stay static for too long.
Let’s look at the last three months: Back in July, Rob shook up his sales team, having quickly come…Read the full article» Comment Count
One of the most interesting parts of what we do here is seeing entrepreneurs try to bring their ideas to life. In many cases, you can tell right from the get-go whether these ideas will sink or at least get the chance to swim. This isn’t because we have some sort of radar for good or bad ideas (although we like to think so in our product reviews, of course), but because the drive and passion of the entrepreneur – or lack thereof – is something that is often times pretty easy to read.
Such is the case with ZUN…Read the full article» Comment Count
SEPTEMBER 8, 2010 – Watertown, MA – BevNET.com, the leading publishing company for the non-alcoholic beverage industry, is expanding its coverage platform into craft beer with the official launch of Brewbound.com….
Brewbound.com will cover new product introductions and provide reviews of new products. In addition, the site offers an extensive product description, photo, and brewer database: currently, it includes 7,000 products that are available in the U.S. market.
Beer is not a new space for BevNET.com; its print publication, Beverage Spectrum Magazine, has been covering the category since its inception in 2003. The company has had advertising relationshipsRead the full article» Comment Count
SAN CLEMENTE, CA – They’ve been busy growing their acai business for the past decade, but a recent meeting with Ryan and Jeremy Black, brothers and co-founders of Sambazon, revealed a new sense of excitement around their belief that something big is about to happen for the brand.
In one sense both Sambazon – and the acai category as a whole – has been out of the limelight this year while industry eyes have turned to the fast-evolving coconut water business. But that’s not because the category or brand has faltered, according to the Blacks. With Sambazon, they say, they’ve…Read the full article» Comment Count
Watertown, MA, June 3, 2010 – Following the announcement of its third consecutive sold-out BevNET Live conference, BevNET.com is pleased to announce the introduction of a free, live HD video stream of the June 8th main event. The live high-definition video will be streamed from New York City on Tuesday June 8, 2010 from 8:30 am – 5 pm ET.
“We are pleased to be the first beverage industry conference to provide a live video feed,” says John Craven, founder and President of BevNET.com. “A video can never truly replace attending the event, but we hope that offering BevNET Live…Read the full article» Comment Count
By John Craven
As part of our commitment to covering the beverage industry, we often write about packaging and consumer attitudes toward environmental responsibility. What we have seen is that those attitudes are having a lingering effect: a recent industry survey we conducted determined that an increasing number of beverage marketers are embracing, or plan to embrace, eco-friendly and/or socially conscious concepts into their products, as well as in their ongoing operations.
I thought that the news that the industry was stepping up and taking environmental concerns seriously was encouraging. And it has also made it clear that BevNET and…
By John Craven and Adam Stern
2010 Winter Fancy Food Photo Gallery…
The 2010 Winter Fancy Food Show took place at the Moscone Center in San Francisco from January 16-19, showcasing over 40 beverage companies and their brands. While there were fewer new brand introductions and product line extensions than last year’s winter show, the companies in attendance reported very favorable results over the course of the three days. Foot traffic in general was high and the caliber of attendees excellent, which ranging from high-end independent café owners to regional Costco beverage buyers looking for all-natural and better nutritional products
By John Craven
With a surprising number of new beverage brands to choose from, Coke’s newest innovation unit has to see proof of concept — about $10 million in sales — before it will invest in a company.
Deryck van Rensburg, president of The Coca-Cola Co. Inc.’s Venturing and Emerging Brands unit, offered that developmental threshold, as well as other insights Tuesday, into how Coke uses his group to address the fast-moving entrepreneurial beverage scene.
van Rensburg told a crowd of 300 beverage company executives gathered at the BevNET Live conference in Santa Monica that, while his company controls the…
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