Brad Avery

Brad Avery


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Cleaning Up: Yerba Mate Breaks Out as Natural Energy Rises

When Guayaki launched in 1996, it sought to educate mainstream consumers about the clean and natural benefits of plant-based energy with its line of yerba mate drinks. Now, 25 years later, they may be catching on. In recent months, the yerba mate category has seen an influx of attention and innovation from startups and strategics alike.

Bear’s Fruit Expands Nationwide with New Look and New Funding

Earlier this year, Bear’s Fruit raised an undisclosed sum from Simple Food Ventures, a female-led investment firm focused on better-for-you CPG products. According to Driscoll, the company was connected with the firm by an existing investor, TQ Ventures, which had previously participated in the brand’s seed round.

Agua Bonita Wins New Beverage Showdown 21

Agua Bonita, the maker of a line of better-for-you agua fresca drinks, claimed victory during New Beverage Showdown 21 today, taking the title as the latest champion of BevNET’s biannual pitch competition.

Report: Vita Coco Plots IPO

Vita Coco parent company All Market Inc. (AMI) is planning to go public later this year with a potential valuation of $2 billion, according to media reports. According to Bloomberg, AMI -- which owns the Vita Coco, Runa and Ever & Ever brands -- could list shares by the third quarter, however plans are not finalized and are subject to change.

Løs Sundays Tequila Raises $3.5M

California-based spirits brand Løs Sundays Tequila announced today it has closed a $3.5 million Series A funding round closed out by CircleUp Growth Partners. Founded in 2017, Løs Sundays Tequila primarily markets its line of spirits -- which includes Blanco, Reposado and Coconut tequila varieties -- to younger consumers with a focus on women.

Rise Brewing Co. Sues PepsiCo, Alleging Trademark Infringement

Rise Brewing Co. is taking PepsiCo to court. The nitro cold brew coffee maker filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois yesterday alleging that PepsiCo violated its trademark when it launched MTN Dew Rise Energy, a new energy drink which rolled out to stores this spring.

Free Samples Return To Grocery Stores Nationwide

Here’s another marker that life is approaching a post-pandemic “new normal”: the reintroduction of free samples in grocery stores nationwide. To the relief of brands, who have long relied on sampling to win customers, many retailers announced plans this month to allow brands back in-store for product demonstrations.

Ohza Closes $4M Round Led by CircleUp

Ready-to-drink cocktail maker Ohza announced today it has closed a $4 million funding round led by CircleUp Growth Partners. The financing is expected to help the brand scale nationwide as it partners with distributors such as Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits and Breakthru Beverage group.

Analysts See Long Term Growth for Oatly

“Powerful branding, international exposure, and strong Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) credentials” are just three of the qualities making Oatly a major player in the plant-based food and beverage space, according to a new equity research report from Credit Suisse.

New Mexico Fresh Foods Opens Southwest HPP Facility

The phrase “food desert” gets used a lot, but when it comes to New Mexico it can be a tad more literal. On Thursday, New Mexico Fresh Foods (NMFF) will host a ribbon cutting ceremony to help change that, celebrating the opening of its new high pressure processing (HPP) tolling facility -- the first in the state.

Distribution Roundup: Wave Soda Goes Nationwide with Kroger, Lemon Perfect Builds Out DSD

Better-for-you CSD brand New Wave Soda is going national. The brand is currently available in about 2,000 stores nationwide and expects to be in roughly 8,000 doors by the end of the year, founder and CEO Nat Noone said; Cold-pressed lemon water brand Lemon Perfect is doubling down on DSD as it seeks to grow its retail footprint to 15,000 doors nationwide by the end of the year.

IRI: Pacesetters Show Consumers Eager for Novelty

As consumers “hunkered down” last year amid the pandemic, demand for new food and beverages was very much up, according to IRI’s New Products Pacesetter report examining the performance of 2020’s new product launches.