Expo East 2017 Recap

Natural product brands and manufacturers of all sizes and types came from across the country to Baltimore, Md., last week for Natural Products Expo East 2017. From subtle product updates to category-disrupting innovations, this year’s expo, held Sept. 13-16 at the Baltimore Convention Center, gave attendees a chance to see and experience the latest developments in beverage firsthand

Taste Radio Ep. 75: Grandy Oats’ Founders on Why Authenticity Matters; The Evolution of Plant-Based “Meat”

Taste Radio Ep. 75 features an interview with Aaron Anker and Nat Peirce, who are the co-founders of organic granola maker Grandy Oats. We also explore the growing market for plant-based meat in the latest edition of Why is This a Thing? And we chat with Cindy Kasindorf, the co-Founder of Remedy Organics in this week’s Elevator Talk. This episode is presented by Virun.

Cascara – Clean. Soluble. Sustainable.

Coffeeberry® Cascara, previously a waste stream of coffee production but now known to be Nature’s most powerful Superfruit, has become the next ‘big thing’ in the functional beverage space. As the pioneer of coffee fruit nutrition, FutureCeuticals now offers a full complement of clean and fully soluble Cascara ingredients for use in functional beverages.

Review: Waterloo Sparkling Water

Announced earlier this Summer as having receiving backing from investment firm CAVU Venture Partners, Waterloo Sparkling is an upstart line of zero calorie flavored sparkling water that has its eye on the national market.

Nestlé Acquires Majority Stake in Blue Bottle Coffee

As reported in The Financial Times, Nestlé, the world’s largest coffee company, has paid up to $500 million, at a valuation of over $700 million, for a 68 percent stake in Blue Bottle. The company will continue to operate as an independent entity and current management and employees will retain a minority stake in the business.

Video: BevNET Live Summer 2017

Rewatch every presentation and panel from Day 1 and Day 2 of BevNET Live Summer 2017, each of which focused on innovation and the cutting-edge of the beverage industry. Packed with over eight hours of content, the video coverage features a range of key discussions for industry professionals, including e-commerce best practices, bankable trends, the state of investment, winning in Whole Foods, and more.

Bhakti Secures $5.1M Investment

Bhakti, based in Boulder, Colo., markets a variety of ready-to-drink chai teas and tea concentrates that are sold nationwide at natural and conventional retailers such as Whole Foods, Sprouts and Target.

People Moves: Radden Leaves Red Bull for Califia

Patrice Radden leaves her influential post at Red Bull to join Califia Farms as VP of Communications; Soylent announces two new executive positions including former DRY Soda EVP Melody Conner; Disruptive water cooler maker Lavit adds Amy's Kitchen president to its Board.

Iconic Lands $8M Investment, Bill Moses Joins

Grass-fed protein drink brand Iconic Protein announced today the completion of a $8 million round of fundraising led by private equity firm KarpReilly and includes KeVita co-founder and former CEO Bill Moses, who was named the company's executive chairman.

Report: Digitally ‘Connected Consumers’ Hold Major Buying Power

According to a report compiled by food and beverage packaging leader Tetra Pak, more than half of all in-store purchases today are influenced by digital channels, many of which are being accessed via smartphones. Because of this, many food and beverage brands are looking to social media and key influencers to reach consumers where they are: online.

Kombucha Develops On-Premise In Portland

Whether it’s presenting kombucha as a base for cocktails, disrupting self-service growler fills, or elevating the social atmosphere around the drink, Portland-based brands are helping kombucha evolve into a sophisticated, multi-faceted drink with plenty of on-premise appeal.

Review: Wandering Bear Cold Brew

For now, Wandering Bear is offering a single variety, Straight Black, which is, as the name suggests, straight USDA Organic and Fair Trade cold-brew coffee that doesn’t have any added sweeteners or flavorings.

HiTouch Distribution Digging Deep in Southern California

Two and a half years in, HiTouch services all 52 Whole Foods throughout the Southern California region, including parts of Arizona and Nevada, as well as other natural supermarkets such as Mothers Market, Jimbo’s, and Bristol Farms. The company has also crafted a diverse portfolio of craft food and beverage brands.

LifeAid Making Gains In Transition to Retail

Over the first half of 2017, LifeAid landed several major retail placements in the natural and conventional grocery channel, part of the company's transition from an e-commerce-focused business model to one that includes a stronger presence in traditional brick-and-mortar stores.