Press Clips: Long Island Iced Tea Pivots to Blockchain

Long Island Iced Tea Corp Pivots to Blockchain

Long Island Iced Tea Corp saw its stock rise by more than 500 percent Thursday, but not on product news. Instead, the run on the stock came when the company announced it would change its name to Long Blockchain Corp and switch its focus to developing and investing in blockchain technology — the decentralized public ledger technology used to develop and trade Bitcoin.

“We view advances in blockchain technology as a once-in-a-generation opportunity, and have made the decision to pivot our business strategy in order to pursue opportunities in this evolving industry,” wrote CEO Philip Thomas in a press release. “We are committed to enhancing shareholder value and believe that our new focus is the best path towards this goal. We will, in the coming weeks and months, be taking a series of steps related to our efforts to assemble a world-class team of industry professionals to help us realize this vision. We are pursuing our new direction in a thoughtful and deliberate manner.”

Market value for the company jumped from just $23.8 million on Thursday to nearly $138 million.

The company has reserved the web domain www.longblockchain.com and will request Nasdaq to change their stock trading symbol, currently LTEA.

Media response to the announcement was swift on Thursday as trader excitement quickly turned into skepticism. Financial Times reported that following the announcement U.S. securities regulators have warned investors to be wary of potential scams relating to “hitherto obscure companies that announce a sudden switch to cryptocurrencies.”

Several critics have noted similarities between companies pivoting to blockchain and the rush of companies that adopted online prénoms during the “.com” boom of the late 1990’s.

On Friday, cryptocurrencies took a massive hit as Bitcoin prices plummeted by more than 25 percent after successive weeks of reaching record valuation, getting as low as $11,500 per Bitcoin. At press time the value had recovered slightly to more than $13,000 per coin.

The company said it will continue to operate its beverage business moving forward.

Calls to Thomas and Long Blockchain Corp by BevNET were not returned.

Nestle Warned it Lacks Rights California Spring Water

Nestlé Waters North America, which sells Arrowhead bottled water, may have to cease sourcing from Southern California’s San Bernardino National Forest after state regulators claim the company lacks permits, the Washington Post reported Thursday.

The company was notified Wednesday that an investigation found it did not have the rights to use the water source and was given 60 days to submit an interim compliance plan.

“We are disappointed by the fact that we have just received a copy of the report from the State Water Resources Control Board and that others appear to have received it much sooner,” Nestle said in a statement reported by the Post. “Once we have had an opportunity to review the report thoroughly, we will be in a position to respond.”

Juicero Equipment to Be Auctioned Off

Juicero may well be remembered as one of the biggest busts of the year after the juice and the technology company closed in the wake of an unsalvageable PR disaster this spring. But its manufacturing infrastructure may live another day.

According to a press release, Hilco Industrial will auction off the company’s food processing equipment. The auction will include late-model equipment ready to be put into production, including a 2015 Turatti 3-stage produce wash line with leaf dryer, two Toyo Jidoki pouch filler and sealers, a Techna pasta cooker, Food Tech steamer, Urschel & Vemag dicers and choppers, apple peeler, apple corer, labelers, mixers, Norlake refrigerators, lab equipment, and plant and production support equipment.

The auction will be hosted live onsite and through webcast on January 11 at 10 a.m. PST. So whether you’re looking to expand your production capabilities or just want to own a piece of internet infamy, mark your calendar.

Could Philz Coffee Be the Next Blue Bottle?

After Silicon Valley favorite Blue Bottle Coffee sold a majority stake to Nestle earlier this year for $425 million, another California coffee chain may be positioning itself as the next tech industry darling, Business Insider reported.

Philz Coffee, based in San Francisco, has received more than $75 million to date from tech investors, and plans to use that money to continue its nationwide expansion. Although the company does not have a ready-to-drink offering, its cafes are renowned for their individuality and welcoming atmosphere.

Whether the venture backed chain has the potential to raise to Blue Bottle status remains to be seen, but it’s got the buzz and the finances to make a serious play.