One of the most impressive elements of the recently held New Beverage Showdown 5 was the number of innovative formulations and brand propositions offered by each of the 21 semifinalists. From a first-of-its-kind tea and aloe blend, to a sparkling matcha drink, to a chia-infused kids’ smoothie, the early-stage companies offered up a range of distinct, yet on-trend, products. In the process, the Showdown saw perhaps the best and most competitive field of entrants since its inception.
Shortly after the conclusion of the semifinal round, we sat down with the founders of three of the participating companies in the competition — Koa, an “organic water” made from a blend of juices, ‘tude, a line of high-pressure processed apple juices, and Life Juice, a brand of raw, cold-pressed juice and cleanse products — to discuss the genesis and development of their brands and how innovation played a critical role in terms of differentiation and gaining a foot in the door with retailers and distributors.
Adam Louras of Koa
Andy Knowlton of ‘Tude
Ety Salamone of Life Juice