BevNET's Best of 2020 Awards

Each year, BevNET’s annual Best Of awards honors companies, brands, individuals, products, ideas and trends from across the dynamic and ever-changing beverage landscape. 

But, as no one needs reminding, 2020 wasn’t just any other year. Under the crushing squeeze of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the market was stressed from all directions, with grocery sales spiking, c-store traffic slowing and service delays everywhere -- whether waiting in line outside the store or on Instacart for a delivery slot. Yet even under extreme pressure, beverage brands and drink entrepreneurs did what they do best: make lemonade, and with optimism and energy to spare. When consumer demand for oat milk soared to “essential item” status this spring, Oatly moved to get more product to them. When gyms and fitness clubs were shuttered to slow the spread of COVID in May, O2 Recovery Drink led a campaign to support them. And when everyone was forced to become an at-home mixologist when bars closed down, innovative RTD cocktail makers like Elenita, Tip Top and Drnxmyth gave them a reason to feel excited about staying in on the weekend. 

For these reasons and many more, out of a field of over 300 nominees, we have selected the winners for this year’s BevNET Best of 2020 Awards in recognition of their hard work, dynamism, diversity and entrepreneurial spirit in leading the beverage industry through a difficult and disruptive period. The honorees represent the personalities, products and purpose that proves -- no matter what challenges the future may hold -- we won’t face them thirsty. 

See the full list of BevNET Best of 2020 nominees and finalists.

Brand of the Year

Oatly

Oatly

If 2019 was the year that the brand broke through and raised oat milk as a leading new innovation in the beverage business, 2020 was the year that it became an important, established category. Few brands, if any, did as much as Oatly to make that happen.

Person of the Year

Danny Stepper, CEO/Co-Founder, L.A. Libations

Danny Stepper, CEO/Co-Founder, L.A. Libations

In his role as CEO and co-founder of L.A. Libations, Danny, we believe, represents a true vision of entrepreneurship within the beverage industry, and his work in the past year shows the fruit of his determination to prove that a company can produce while mid-pivot.

Best Marketing Campaign

O2 Recovery Drink "#StayForMay"

O2 Recovery Drink "#StayForMay"

O2's community focused campaign showed a camaraderie between brands and their retailers that made a tangible difference for gym owners nationwide at one of the most difficult periods in modern business history.

Best Packaging Design

Best New Spirits Products