Article and Photos by Carolyn Craven
BevNET.com announced the winners of its “Best of 2009” awards Monday, with Mark Hall, president of Monster Beverage Company, capturing the prize for Innovator of the Year and coconut water brands ZICO, Vita Coco and O.N.E. sharing the award for Product of The Year.
In choosing the Product of the Year, BevNET often debates factors like a single drink’s innovative qualities or a new product line’s sales growth. This year, the choice for BevNET’s Best Product of 2009 recognized the simultaneous efforts of the three companies advancing coconut water’s functional benefits, innovative and environmentally beneficial packaging, growth, and attractiveness to investors.
“While the realities of competition will eventually create separation between these companies, together, they have laid the foundation for coconut water to become a major category in the U.S.,” said BevNET founder John Craven. “We are excited that they will share the award this year.”
Monster Energy’s Mark Hall captured BevNET’s Best Innovator of 2009 – the second time he was won the award – by releasing a suite of new Monster products that tinker with the packaging, texture, carbonation and flavor of the energy drink category. By incorporating Nitrous Oxide, a long-lasting re-sealable can design and coffeehouse foam into three exciting new products, Hall has proven that he and Monster will keep advancing product forms and raising the bar for their competitors.
BevNET presented all 16 awards – which included categories for best packaging innovation, best product relaunch, and best new energy shot, among others – at a celebratory dinner the night before the BevNET Live conference held at the Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel.
To see all the winners, go to www.bevnet.com/bestof/2009
BevNET is a beverage-oriented media company operating a Web site that reviews non-alcoholic, ready-to-drink beverages and provides comprehensive, up-to-the-minute information about the beverage industry. It also provides information to beverage retailers via Beverage Spectrum magazine, the only trade magazine in the country aimed directly at the beverage retailing business.