BevNET Live: Zola Founder Chris Cuvelier on Switching Gears to Grow
April 1, 2013 by Jeffrey Klineman
BevNET is pleased to announce that Zola founder and CEO Chris Cuvelier will be speaking at BevNET Live on the topic of how companies can find growth by switching gears.
Originally focused on bringing Acai berry-based products to the American consumer, Zola has, in the past three years, taken several different innovation paths, the product of the need to grow during a window of consumer disengagement from its core ingredient. While interest in Acai beverages has recovered in recent years, under Cuvelier’s leadership, Zola as a brand and as a company has flourished even more, moving from that single product focus into enterprises that included supplements, licensing, and a broader spectrum of fruit ingredients, and, finally, coconut water.
In the past 18 months, the company has launched a two-pronged attack on the RTD beverage world, growing both its acai-centric lines while also turning its coconut water concept into an in-demand product line that has growing shelf placements and fast turns. Remarkably, the company has done so while remaining a relatively tiny shop: Cuvelier and COO Matt Collins continue to make most of the company’s sales calls.
Cuvelier will speak to the BevNET Live audience on why he shifted gears with Zola from single-ingredient focused product to broader beverage company, and how he made decisions on successful and less successful iterations of the brand. In terms of innovation, Zola has followed several different roads in the past three years – Cuvelier will discuss the strategic compass that allowed him to understand which roads were ultimately headed in the right direction.
About Chris Cuvelier
For two decades, Chris Cuvelier has been an entrepreneur in the fruit and juice beverage industry. Long before he founded Zola in 2002, Chris founded Juice Time and Juice and Smoothie Bar Consulting where he assisted clients with menu development, smoothie and juice recipes, and best business practices in over 25 states and seven countries. With his tremendous entrepreneurial spirit, strong background in juice, and an uncompromised vision for seeking out new fruits for the mainstream market, Chris leads a passionate team at Zola that is dedicated to building a unique brand while pioneering new segments of the premium Juice category.
BevNET Live is a two-day forum 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. 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, a cocktail reception and more.