NEW YORK — Runa and their Amazonian “Super Leaf,” guayusa (pronounced “gwhy-you-sa”) won their first sofi™ Award last night from the Specialty Food Association at the Summer Fancy Food Show. The sofi Awards, which has honored the most outstanding specialty foods since 1972, awarded the beverage company with “Best USDA-Certified Organic Product” for their Runa Hibiscus-Berry Guayusa Tea.
The bottled tea took home one of 32 awards presented at last night’s festivities. The award was presented to Co-Founder and Co-CEO, Dan MacCombie at a ceremony held at the Jacob Javits Center. Runa’s Traditional Guayusa Boxed Tea was a sofi silver finalist in the Best Hot Beverage Category.
With a record number of entries, Co-Founder and Co-CEO Tyler Gage was pleased with the product’s results. “This is our first sofi Award, and we are very proud to win best certified organic product. It is further testament to the popularity of this little Amazonian plant called guayusa.”
The Brooklyn-based start-up company introduced guayusa to the United States in 2008 and was founded by entrepreneurs Tyler Gage and Dan MacCombie in their senior year of college. Runa has since created the world’s first supply chain for guayusa, supporting more than 2,000 farmers in Ecuador and purchasing the leaf directly from the indigenous people.
All of the Runa products – boxed tea, bottled tea, loose-leaf tea and clean energy drink – contain the guayusa leaf that offers clear, focused energy and health benefits such as immune support, memory, and overall brain function all while naturally containing as much caffeine as coffee and twice the antioxidants of green tea. All of the products are Certified Fair Trade and USADA-Certified Organic. Runa is readily available nationwide in over 4,000 locations.
Founded in 2008 by Forbes “30 Under 30″ entrepreneurs Tyler Gage and Dan MacCombie, Runa introduced guayusa to the U.S. via their line of loose leaf and bottle beverages. Runa’s ready to drink tea bottles, infusers for hot tea, and now, carbonated energy drinks are available in over 4,000 stores across the country including Whole Foods, Stop and Shop, and Vitamin Shoppe.