The 74th biennial tradeshow for the National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) took place from October 16 – 18 in Las Vegas at Caesar’s Palace. There were more than 30 non-alcoholic beverage companies present, all of whom were very excited to get their products in front of the 4,000+ attendees — particularly as wholesalers and independent beer distributors look to continue to diversify their NA portfolios.
While the majority of the 250 exhibitors at the event were craft breweries, independent spirits companies, malternatives, logistics providers, promotions/point of sale and other vendors servicing the beer industry, the NA exhibitors present were extremely upbeat about their decision to include NBWA in their tradeshow budgets. Foot traffic was solid throughout the two days and many reported piles of new business cards and potential new deals to close when they returned to headquarters
To no surprise, there were a plethora of energy drinks on the floor, including Ex Drinks, Killer Buzz, Liquid Ice, Ol’ Glory, Rip It, Roaring Lion, Xyience, and Warrior, all pouring samples and each brand offering points of differentiation from their peers.
A new entrant from the United Kingdom was Scheckter’s Organic Energy – a 100 percent natural, organic and fair trade certified product created by Toby Scheckter, a South African race car driver and the son of 1979 Formula One World Drivers Champion Jody Scheckter, and the brother of IndyCar Series driver Tomas Scheckter.
On the bottled water front, Activate, Eternal Water, Iceland Spring, NY2O and Saratoga Springs were present, providing booths that were a popular way to rehydrate and recover from the Vegas scene. Eternal Water will be using a fully biodegradable bottled in 2012, while Iceland Spring was showcasing a new kids’ line, Springlets, in 11.2 oz. bottles.
There were a couple of new cocktail mixers and juices present as well. Bartender’s Best, a new line from Best Beverage available in Margarita, Bloody Mary, Strawberry Daiquiri, Sweet & Sour, Pina Colada, Grenadine and Lime Juice are geared for wholesalers. The company also launched bag-in-box and 12 and 32 oz. juice cocktails in Cranberry, Orange , Pineapple and Sweet & Sour (BiB only), as well as??? Irish Dog Bloody Mary Mix – a premium mix with a bold flavor of beef, pepper and celery.
On the malternative side, Phusion Projects Four Loko and United Brands’ Joose had the largest and flashiest booths, but not to be outdone, newcomer Vampt , an ultra-premium agave-sweetened malt beverage was also a sponsor of the NBWA show. Available in 16 oz. cans and 12 oz. aluminum bottles, current flavors include Nectarine and Citrus and the products are eight percent ABV. Arizona Beverage also launched Arnold Palmer Hard, a non-carbonated half-tea, half-lemonade malternative with five percent ABV in a 24 oz. can. Another new entrant was a 17-20 percent ABV wine-based value specialty beverage, Mad Dragon, similar to a MD 20/20 and available in numerous flavors.
Ex Drinks, LLC was the sponsor of BevNET’s NBWA show coverage. Ex Drinks is a beneficial beverage company specializing in the manufacturing, marketing and sales of a growing family of natural, great-tasting drinks – with a passion to provide consumers with the best products to support healthier choices and active lifestyles. Ex Drinks is dedicated to creating positive change while seeking new ways to enhance lives locally and globally. Their mission is “To Create Positive Change…One Ex, One Person, One Community at a time.” The vision of Ex Drinks is to prosper as a mindful company built on quality. Ex Drinks is committed to operating in the new business paradigm based on the triple bottom line: People, Planet, Profit. For more information, please visit them at www.ExDrinks.com or call (702) 949-6555.