BevNET has learned that Bai Brands founder and CEO Ben Weiss has left the company. Although sources close to the company confirmed to BevNET that Weiss has departed, it’s unclear at this time whether he was dismissed by Dr Pepper Snapple Group (DPSG), which acquired Bai in February, or if he resigned.
In terms of setting up direct-to-consumer marketplaces, creating “full basket” solutions with Amazon Fresh, and simply providing a place for customers to search by keywords for specific products, the e-commerce titan has begun to exert an outsized influence in the ways consumers shop.
In a deal that’s shaking the shopping experience for consumers, retailers, and food and beverage companies, Amazon’s scooping up of Whole Foods for $13.7 billion on Friday has hardened talk of large-scale disruption in the way consumers buy their groceries.
BevNET’s Jeff Klineman interviewed Thomas at Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, Calif. and found a stirring profile of a company that is balancing growth across three divisions: its largest, a retail kombucha line, as well as on-premise gourmet tea houses and a new distilling operation that repurposes the alcohol generated from kombucha fermentation
It wasn’t a sale, it was an adoption, said the Bai CEO of the $1.7 billion DPSG deal.
Sources have confirmed that a deal for PepsiCo to acquire KeVita is nearing the end stages, with the larger company paying between $400 and $500 million for the brand.
Goldberg, a former Wall Street executive, told our team all about his journey from antidepressants to clean-living organic foodie and media figure, with conversational stops along the way on the offerings at Expo East, the difference between Ripple Foods and almond milk, and, most importantly, what he’d do if faced with the choice of eating Arby’s or a bag of organic palm sugar.
The joint venture with Coke will be Dunkin’ Donuts’ first venture into RTD coffee. The chain, publicly traded under Dunkin’ Brands, has long been a source of quick-served coffee and iced coffees on the go, and recently entered the cold brew coffee category itself.
Famous for building SoBe and selling it to Pepsi for close to $400M, Bello is one of two or three potential strategic additions to the board that Reed is hoping will help him hold off a new slate of directors: activist investors met with the ginger brew and root beer maker on Monday, he said, discussing their own slate of board members.
There are three investments on the books following its initial, $18 million raise (including Bonafide Provisions and Hope Foods), which closed in January. One more is scheduled to follow in short order.
As part of the deal, L.A. Libations will purchase equity in the fledgling bone broth company, and will also help shepherd it into the core accounts that are the brand development company’s stock-in-trade.
First will remain a board member with several brands that he started working with via First Beverage, including Health-Ade, Purity, Q, and Project Juice.
The news that beverage incubator L.A. Libations had spawned Aloe Gloe as an independent brand partially funded by Coke’s Venturing & Emerging Brands Group (VEB) means a new stage for both entities.
The team had a chance to evaluate some products with beverage industry investor, advisor, board member and raconteur Ken Sadowsky when dropped by the BevNET Podcast studio for an interview recently.