Bossa Nova Becomes Latest Casualty of 2013

Less than four years after acquiring the brand, Beverages Holdings, LLC, the parent company of Sunny Delight Beverages Co., has discontinued Bossa Nova, the line of açai and superfruit juice drinks that was once pegged as a rising star in beverage industry. Bossa Nova is the latest casualty of 2013 following the shutdown of protein drink line Mix1, Bean & Body coffee drinks, and beverage incubator Brain-Twist.

“The brand was not meeting our expectations,” said Beverage Holdings spokesperson Sydney McHugh, who said that Bossa Nova was discontinued effective on Feb. 11. “We’ve moved onto other products in our portfolio.”

Although she declined to offer any specifics as to why the brand was discontinued, McHugh noted that the company believes that there is still significant opportunity in the super-premium juice category and retains the necessary capabilities to market a line of products in the segment. She also stated that company would consider bringing Bossa Nova back into its portfolio, if the company “identifies a strong proposition” for the brand.

Bossa Nova was founded in 2005 and debuted with a line of açai juices that – following a spike in awareness about the benefits of açai – quickly gained shelf space in thousands of natural retailers. The brand garnered the attention of many in the beverage industry who saw opportunity in shifting consumption trends toward health and wellness. By 2007, Bossa Nova landed a key distribution agreement with Odwalla and garnered a $7.5 million investment from Coca-Cola’s Venturing and Emerging Brands unit.

In 2008, the company began marketing other superfruit juices made with ingredients including acerola, goji berry and mangosteen. Although the line extensions were seen as a controversial move for Bossa Nova, the company continued to grow within the natural channel and gained some penetration into mainstream retailers. Beverages Holdings acquired the brand in June 2009, and armed with a significant marketing budget and powerful supply chain, expectations ran high that Bossa Nova could scale production and distribution to a much larger consumer base.

However, it appears that sales have not lived up the promise of the brand. In the 52 week period ending on Feb. 27, 2012, sales of Bossa Nova products totaled just under $660,000, tumbling more than 49 percent from the same period one year prior, according to Symphony/IRI, a Chicago-based market research firm. Interestingly, while Bossa Nova’s website and Facebook account are no longer accessible, its Twitter account is still in operation, but not been updated since June 2012.