PALM BEACH, FLA. — In a world saturated with fast-food chains, sugar-filled sodas and high-calorie snacks, it’s refreshing to encounter a healthy option that brings together taste, health and pizzazz.
“Our vision for a healthy beverage was clear,” explained Nadav Haimberg, founder and CEO of Onli Beverages. “We knew our necessary qualities: healthy, natural, different and exceptional taste.”
The end result is Onli Beverages, chef-inspired sparkling beverages with eclectic flavor profiles. The beginning of Onli Beverages is unique. Haimberg’s background is in investment banking. He worked hand-in-hand with his father Yossi Haimberg, a CEO and managing director in the field of merger and acquisition service companies. The young Haimberg helped launch five successful companies, including high-tech, automotive and merger acquisition companies.
“Onli Beverages is the first time I am working with a product that I can actually ntouch. With finance, I had contracts. With high tech, there was software. I am excited to see people handle our Onli products.”
Based in West Palm Beach, Florida, Onli Beverages began like Haimberg’s other companies. He was hired to research and acquire a beverage company for a group of investors. However, nothing met their criteria. Haimberg then put together a team of industry professionals to create a beverage company proposal for the investors.
“My initial involvement was to put the team together, but then they came back and asked me to run the company for them. Onli Beverages became my sixth company.”
Haimberg’s first concern was taste. Instead of using flavors already played out in the industry, Haimberg reached out to chefs and found out their opinions on upcoming flavors. Overwhelmingly the response was hibiscus, which turned out to be an ideal starting point. Hibiscus contains many healthy properties, including helping maintain healthy cholesterol and blood pressure levels. The company’s main flavors are Hibiscus Pomegranate Aronia, Huckleberry Pomegranate, Lemon Watermelon and Lemon, Mango, Passion Fruit & Mint. All flavors contain healthy proponents and are made with fruit extract.As a small company, Onli Beverages is able to produce new flavors and bring them to market in a relatively short amount of time.
“If you look at the behemoth companies, they can take 18 to 24 months to come to market with a new product. It takes us four to six weeks,” said Haimberg.
Already in the works are espresso, green tea with lemongrass and mango, and lycee ginger flavors. This time next year, Haimberg’s goal is to produce flavors that coincide with holidays such as Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. After settling on the flavors, Haimberg turned to his next challenge: water. Because there are many sources of water, Haimberg didn’t rush his decision. In fact, it took his team three months to find the perfect water source and then find someone to tap into that water source and bottle it. Due to the earth’s natural elements, water has different taste depending on the area. For example, water from a volcanic area has tons of minerals from the ground such as silica, which has anti-aging properties and produces a smooth taste. After the water hunt, Haimberg settled on mountain water in the Pocono Mountains, Pennsylvania.
The remainder of the development process takes place in West Palm Beach, including design, packaging and shipping. Today Onli Beverages, which launched 2012, is a little less than a year old and is making a splash. The brand recently won second place in the New Sparkling Beverage category at the Las Vegas INTERBEV Awards. At home, Publix, the largest grocery chain in the State of Florida has taken notice. It flies off the shelves in Publix Greenwise in Boca Raton, Palm Beach Gardens and Tampa as well as a general Publix in the posh polo area of Wellington.
Onli has recently been approved for over 300 South Florida Publix Stores. The roll out has already started and they hope to be in all 300 by March 2013. It is in many restaurants and resorts such as The PGA Resort, Donald Trump’s International Golf Club and Mar-a-Lago Club where it is requested by name. And new to Texas it has a found a place in the innovative Central Market Chain. The most unexpected step for the product has been the transition into the alcoholic arena. Although Haimberg admits he never planned on Onli becoming a mixture, bartenders, restaurateurs and people are embracing the all-natural sparkling beverage as a health alternative to traditional soda.
“Our appeal is that our flavors don’t exist in the beverage market. They are foreign tastes. Where else can you find a hibiscus pomegranate?” said Haimberg. “We pride ourselves on flavor, innovation and quality. Seeing people enjoy our drinks has been a proud moment for me.”