Founded in 2017, Wildwonder currently has a distribution footprint of about 100 independent retail doors and about 300 office and on-premise accounts. According to founder and CEO Rosa Li, the name change reflects a new brand identity that moves beyond tea and transforms the company into a broader health and wellness beverage platform.
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While many established companies are bearing up under the storm thus far, small entrepreneurial brands, from early stage startups to regional players, who often have less distribution to start, are feeling the pain from retail disruptions. However, amidst lost supermarket sales or cancelled expansion plans, online is providing a possible bright spot for these brands.
Jones Soda reported revenue and gross profit declines during its Q4 and full year 2019 earnings report, released yesterday, driven by a 9% drop in its fountain business as the result of a decrease in the brand’s 7-Eleven store count. The Seattle-based craft soda maker reported $11.5 million in full year revenue, down 6% from $12.6 million the year before.
Last week, private equity firm VMG Partners and marketing firm Right Side Up hosted a webinar, titled “Shifting to Online Amid COVID-19,” to help companies swiftly optimize their ecommerce business to meet increased demand and maximize their direct-to-consumer (DTC) and Amazon sales.
Over the past week, BevNET and NOSH edit staff reached out to a number of brands across food and beverage to hear about how they are grappling with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic as it ripples across the globe. Their responses show an industry that, even as immediate demand for their products soars, is vacillating between measured caution and deep concern.
While the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 continues to rise worldwide, the food and beverage industry has been forced to swiftly adjust to the crisis. Just as consumers have changed their shopping habits by racing to grocery stores to stock up before indefinite periods of self-quarantine, many brands and entrepreneurs have fast begun tailoring their messaging to comment on the virus.
Facing declining revenue, New Age Beverages will divest its portfolio of beverage brands -- including Aspen Pure, Bucha, Coco Libre, Marley, and Xing Tea -- the company announced this week during its Q4 and full year 2019 earnings report.
Veteran beverage entrepreneur Lance Collins announced this month his latest venture -- ZEN WTR -- a bottled water brand he hopes will help clean the world’s oceans by using recycled packaging. ZEN WTR is a line of 9.5 pH alkaline waters packaged in recycled rPET bottles sourced from “ocean plastic” salvaged from the coast of Thailand.
Fitness energy drink maker Celsius Holdings, Inc. saw a 43% increase in global revenue to $75.1 million last year, up from $52.6 million in 2018, according to its fourth quarter and full year 2019 earnings report released yesterday. In the U.S., sales rose 53% to $60 million and gross profit increased 49% to $31.3 million.
Premium bottled water maker Icelandic Glacial announced this month it is implementing new sustainability initiatives and expanding its product offerings to fuel its omnichannel expansion plans. The push towards sustainability comes eight months after the brand secured $66 million in new financing, including a $35 million investment from BlackRock’s US Private Credit team.
In support of its goal to double sales this year, Elmhurst 1925 launched three new product lines this month that take the New York-based plant milk brand into new categories including coffee and tea lattes and smoothie mixes, as well as making a deeper play into creamers.
Coming off triple-digit growth in 2019, Hellowater has partnered with Southeastern Grocers to add over 400 grocery channel accounts ahead of broader expansion this year. Co-founder and EVP of sales and marketing Rusty Jones said the Chicago-based brand, which markets a line of flavored waters infused with prebiotic fibers, is now available in BI-LO and Winn Dixie stores, bringing its total nationwide footprint to about 6,000 stores.
Premium sparkling water maker Spindrift has raised $29.8 million in a new funding round, its largest single round to date, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) this week. The new round brings the Massachusetts-based company’s total financing to at least $70 million and is the first new funding the brand has received since a $20 million Series B round led by VMG Partners in 2018.