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Rise Brewing Wins New Beverage Showdown 13

Rise Brewing Company is touting its coveted crown as the winner of New Beverage Showdown 13 after claiming the top spot in the early-stage beverage brand competition. Co-founders Grant Gyesky and Jarrett McGovern competed against entrepreneurs from five other brands participating in the final round of the Showdown, which is intertwined with BevNET Live Summer 2017 and held at Metropolitan West in New York City.

BevNET Live Summer 2017: Day One Recap

The delivery of the message was softer, with a few jokes thrown in, but the connective lesson from presentations at Day One of BevNET Live Summer 2017 was quite clear and quite serious: In a rapidly changing world, your business needs to keep up the pace or get stuck in the past.

Alt-Milks Brew Up Interest At Coffee Retailers

While soy milk, coconut milk, almond milk and other non-dairy alternatives have already established a presence on retail shelves, the category still has plenty of room to grow. And in retail coffee shops both big and small, brands have found a valuable opportunity to get more of their product into consumers hands, or cups.

BevNET Podcast is Now Taste Radio

Included in our first episode as Taste Radio is a conversation with Jordan Gaspar and Lauren Jupiter, the founders of venture capital fund AccelFoods, which invests in early-stage and innovative food and beverage companies. Gaspar and Jupiter discussed the evolution of AccelFoods’ investment and business strategy and shared their take on nascent trends in food and beverage.

Humm Kombucha Raises $8M Led By VMG Partners

After Massachusetts-based Spindrift Beverage Co., Humm is now the second beverage brand to receive investment from VMG Partners, a private equity firm with a portfolio that includes Kind Healthy Snacks and Health Warrior.

AriZona Gets Into Zero-Calorie Bubbles

The new line, AriZona Sparkling, is set to launch in metro-New York with a nationwide launch in select stores slated for later in the summer. AriZona describes the line as a “sophisticated take on bubbles” that includes five flavors; Strawberry, Pineapple Coconut, Orange Grapefruit, Lemon Lime, and Black Raspberry.

Seattle City Council Approves “Soda Tax”

In a 7-1 vote yesterday, the Seattle City Council approved a 1.75 cents per ounce tax on distributors of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) that is expected to take effect in early July.

Analysts: A PepsiCo/Vita Coco Deal Would Reshape Coconut Category

Last week a Reuters report that PepsiCo was in talks to acquire Vita Coco maker All Market Inc. had the beverage industry buzzing over what could be yet another billion-dollar acquisition of an entrepreneurial beverage company by a strategic giant.

People Moves: Crowley Joins Soylent

KeVita's former chief strategy officer Bryan Crowley joins Soylent as president, Stumptown taps former Boombotix CEO Sean Sullivan for top positions after Ricci departure, Jacqueline Harrigan leaves marketing post at Agua Brands as the company partners with an agency.

BevNET Podcast Ep. 60: Bob Burke on Keys to The (Natural) Kingdom; Recapping The Sweets and Snacks Expo

Over his three decades as an executive and consultant in the natural products industry, Bob Burke has been recognized as one of the foremost experts in the space. He recently joined us for a wide-ranging conversation about the evolution of the industry and its transformative impact on the grocery business, his thoughts on the keys to success for startups and how he defines truly innovative ideas.

DrinkMaple Adds New Funding, Makes Distribution Gains

Last month, the Vermont-based maple water brand announced it had received $250,000 in funding from Vermont venture capital firm FreshTracks Capital as part of a $4.35 million Series A round that was led by venture capital firm Cleveland Avenue.

Innovation Fueling 15 Most Well-Funded Startups

A list compiled by market research firm CB Insights of the 15 most well-funded venture capital-backed food and beverage startups reveals the increasing value placed on brands that are offering healthier choices and disrupting established categories like meat and dairy and innovating with plant-based offerings.

In the Courtroom: Odwalla Class Action Dropped

Consumers drop Odwalla "evaporated cane juice" class action suit, Hint asks for a stay on lawsuit challenging its "all natural" claims, Lakewood Organic Juices faces challenge to its "cold pressed" and "fresh pressed" claims in new class action suit.

Nestlé Waters NA Invests $6M in Closed Loop Fund

Nestlé joins fellow beverage companies Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Dr Pepper Snapple Group and Keurig Green Mountain in investing in the Closed Loop Fund, a $100 million social impact investment fund that provides municipalities with access to capital for projects aimed at improving recycling programs.