BevNET is thrilled to announce the addition of Zevia CEO Paddy Spence as a presenter at BevNET Live in Manhattan on May 14 and 15. Spence will be speaking on the ways that the brand has both managed to stay lean in terms of employees and expenses while growing to more than $60 million in retail sales last year, as well as the pattern recognition moment that took place as the company’s message pivoted to focus on a growing marketplace retreat from artificial sweeteners and creating an “easy switch” for existing diet soda consumers.
Since purchasing Zevia in 2010, Spence has energized the brand while helping it grow almost entirely in its core grocery and natural channels. He will discuss his view of what the brand needs to do to replicate its success in wider distribution and the techniques that other brands can employ to similarly optimize their growth through a focused retail footprint. Spence will also discuss the changes that are affecting the CSD category overall, and how those changes are affecting the climate for entrepreneurial brands, both carbonated and non-carbonated. Zevia is a brand that has seen its opportunities and maximized upon them — hearing Spence will afford other entrepreneurs an action plan for when they, too, recognize and take their shot.
About Paddy Spence
Cutting out sugar 13 years ago led Paddy Spence to purchase Zevia in 2010, a line of zero-calorie sodas with no artificial sweeteners. Zevia has grown rapidly, and is now the leading zero-calorie, naturally sweetened soda and the #15 low/zero calorie soda brand in U.S. supermarkets.
A 22-year veteran of the natural/organic industry, Mr. Spence served as Kashi’s first head of sales and marketing from 1992 to 1995 before founding SPINS, the leading market research firm for the natural products industry, in 1995. Mr. Spence served as SPINS’ CEO for eight years, tracking the sales of more than 300,000 natural and organic products, before selling it to private investors in 2004. From 2005 to 2009, Mr. Spence was president of Levlad, a personal care manufacturer known for its natural brand, Nature’s Gate.
Mr. Spence holds degrees from Harvard and Harvard Business School and lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two daughters.
About BevNET Live
BevNET Live Manhattan will be held on May 14 and 15 at the Metropolitan Pavilion in New York City. It is a two-day conference for beverage entrepreneurs, suppliers, distributors, retailers and investors to gather, speak, exchange ideas through interactive panels and lectures, and enhance their marketing and product development strategies through our Beverage School. Attendees can tap the expertise of investment professionals who can help groom them to attract money, business owners with inspiring success stories, and the BevNET.com community, which has spent a decade dedicating itself to careful reporting on the fast-moving beverage industry. More than just a conference, BevNET LIVE includes networking options including the BevNET LIVE Expo, beverage breaks, cocktail receptions and more.