Remarkably, the percentage of organic as part of the overall food basket remains less than 10 percent – much as the share of craft beer isn’t much more than 10 percent as well, but the indications are clear: better-crafted, innovative products that have a conscious component are at a tipping point.
Who are the most powerful people in the beverage business? What are the trends, concepts, companies that wield it most effectively? We’ve given it quite a bit of thought lately. While we have trouble with rankings – we’re a bunch of writers, after all – we’ve decided to put them in an order we can all understand.
Alliance Consumer Growth Fund, which has become a well-known quantity on the beverage circuit because of its constant hunt for rapidly-growing, well-defined consumer brands, has raised a second fund of $90 million — double the amount of its original, $44 million ACG Fund I.
A second investment round by fast-growing Runa, an organic Amazonian guayusa tea brand, has landed an interesting mix of folks.
Equity crowdfunding platform CircleUp has raised $14 million in a new round of financing, the company announced today. The company, which attempts to enable entrepreneurs to reach qualified investors online to initiate or complete fund-raising rounds, says it has helped more than 30 companies raise over $30 million in growth capital, mostly in the consumer products space.
For one of the country’s hottest brands in the natural channel, Natural Products Expo West 2014 also seemed to be something of a point of departure for Kevita, a fast-growing sparkling probiotic brand that aims for 100 percent growth annually for the next five years – and has hit that mark for the past two, according to co-founder Bill Moses.
For Essentia Water, the challenge is clear: taking the same giant strides that have made it a natural and specialty channel leader and crossing the tracks into conventional channels. The ways the company intends to do so are outlined in the following video, taken from Natural Products Expo West last week.
In a move that ties Coke’s Venturing and Emerging Brands group tightly to one of its most valuable service providers, the brand incubation unit today purchased a minority stake in L.A. Libations, which has handled much of the go-to-market and channel expansion strategies for many of VEB’s products.
The new network comprises 252 distributors and allows the brand the luxury of having distributors actively selling the product in channels beyond grocery and drug, trying to gain shelf space in the “up and down the street” markets that establish the brand.
The FDA has sent a warning letter to yet another relaxation drink company, Lean Slow Motion… Potion, over confusing label claims that indicate the brand is a dietary supplement despite its being marketed largely as a beverage.
The glaciers can slowly erode; so can the big three soda companies. It may go beyond the overall decline in consumption of sugary products and artificial sweeteners – it might just be changing tastes.
Splash, which is operating as a wide-ranging turnkey sales operation, is being run by original Marley CEO Robert Nistico and Kevin McClafferty, who succeeded Nistico in that position. Also on board is Chief Marketing Officer Lee Brody, Marley’s former global director of marketing.
A recent announcement from new Coke VEB President Scott Uzzell has answered the succession question for portfolio brand ZICO. Tom Larsen, who has been the general manager of VEB’s Illy RTD coffee business, will take over as President and GM of ZICO. Larsen, a long-time Coke veteran, will be moving from Atlanta to run ZICO from its El Segundo, Calif. base.
After a long search for capital that had hampered business development and, ultimately, its ability to service some clients, natural and specialty DSD distributor Green Shoots announced yesterday that it has landed what it termed “its first multi-million-dollar capital raise” – right on the eve of its client base’s biggest sales event, Natural Products Expo West.