Having raised millions in new capital, WTRMLN WTR is pressing forward with brand-building and marketing initiatives as well as a new sourcing partnership to support growing distribution of the cold-pressed, high pressure processed (HPP) juice.
Founded in 2013 by entrepreneur Jody Levy, WTRMLN WTR was built on the premise of creating a new market for blemished watermelons (often called “seconds”) that are typically discarded by farmers. The company often purchases sunburned or scarred fruit and uses all parts of the watermelon, including rind, and blends them with a hint of lemon juice to create its products. WTRMLN WTR markets the beverages as antioxidant-laden, hydrating and natural alternatives to isotonics and other functional drinks.
In an interview at Natural Products Expo West 2016, Levy spoke with BevNET CEO John Craven about how WTRMLN WTR is deploying the new funding (the company declined to say how much it has raised — see note below) and efforts to expand distribution in the conventional grocery channel. Levy also discussed consumer education efforts (“I think we’ve effectively created a category,” she said), her desire to price the juice for “little as we can,” and WTRMLN WTR’s recent partnership with the government of Puerto Rico to grow and harvest watermelons as a way to fill in sourcing gaps in winter months.
Editor’s note: An earlier version of this article, citing a WTRMLN WTR filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, reported that the company raised over $3 million in new capital. Jeff Rubenstein, the CMO of WTRMLN WTR, emailed BevNET after publication of the article and called the amount “a misrepresentation.” Rubenstein stated that “We did not raise $3M….we raised quite a bit more. However, we are not sharing total amount publicly due to investor confidentiality.”