The Leading Conference For The Beverage Industry
Actionable Innovation and Stories from the Market Leaders and Innovators
Our speakers are leaders in the beverage industry talking about their experiences and focused on moving the industry forward. Speakers deliver talks on best practices, battle scars, data insights or cases that focus on breaking through or getting to the next level and the lessons learned in the process.
Networking Opportunities Drive New Partnerships
We pace the event to promote conversations. Using the stage as a thought starter, people come to make industry connections and figure out how they can work together.
Participation Generates Industry Awareness for Your Beverage Product or Service
The New Beverage Showdown pits the hottest new beverages against each other. Sample Bars are product showcases putting cutting-edge products in front of potential partners. The BevNET Live Expo is an intimate showcase of beverage-specific industry supplier and service companies.
Industry All-Stars Have Spoken at BevNET Live
Mike Repole has always been a big dreamer. His modest upbringing and close family ties fuel his drive as a serial entrepreneur. Surrounding himself with great people and developing great brands has become his proven formula for success. Having achieved success before in the food and beverage industry with the sales of glacéau vitaminwater to The Coca-Cola Company and Pirate’s Booty to B&G Foods, and an early investor and board member at KIND bar, Mike is once again looking to revolutionize a category and build the next megabrand. Mike is the founder and chairman of BODYARMOR, a premium sports drink that provides superior hydration to athletes demanding better-for-you products. Mike saw huge potential in the sports drink category for an innovation like BODYARMOR, and his passion and drive – and the opportunity to disrupt the $10 billion sports drink industry – led him to launch BODYARMOR in 2011. BODYARMOR has grabbed the attention of some of the top professional athletes in the country, including James Harden, Mike Trout and Dustin Johnson, all of whom hold an equity stake in the company. In 2013, Kobe Bryant made a significant investment in BODYARMOR, becoming one of the top shareholders – and in 2018 The CocaCola Company invested in the brand, making them the #2 shareholder behind Repole.
Co-Founder & CEO, Health-Ade Kombucha
Daina Trout co-founded Health-Ade Kombucha in 2012 alongside her husband, Justin Trout, and best friend, Vanessa Dew, in Los Angeles. Daina, who has Masters’ degrees in Nutrition and in Public Health from Tufts University, was working in corporate America when she decided to pursue her passion for “real” food and develop the best-tasting, highest quality kombucha on the market. Under her fearless leadership, Health-Ade has grown from a small production, artisanal item made in Daina’s tiny apartment and sold at local farmer’s markets into the fastest growing brand in the category that is now available in more than 12,000 stores and restaurants nationwide.
General Manager, Oatly
Mike is the General Manager for OATLY leading all aspects of business and brand development in North America. OATLY makes vegan, plant based food and beverage products made out of oats and was originally founded in Sweden over 25 years ago. Prior to joining OATLY and launching it in the US, Mike held a variety of marketing and commercial roles at The Nature’s Bounty Co, Chobani, and PepsiCo. Before starting his career in CPG, Mike served as an Officer in the Navy in a variety of roles including nuclear engineering management on aircraft carriers. He has his MBA from Harvard Business School, a Masters in Engineering Management from Old Dominion University, and his undergraduate degree from Duke University. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and their dog.
Divisional Merchandise Manager, Chilled Packaged Goods, Walmart
Sarah has spent the last 10 years in the food business at Walmart. During this time she has held roles in private brands, sustainability as well as various buying roles in merchandising. She’s currently leading the refrigerated buying teams to cultivate a new shopping experience. She is passionate about growing American entrepreneurs and creating new models for growth.
Co-Founder & Managing Director, VMG Partners
Kara co-founded VMG Partners in 2005 and focuses on all aspects of the Fund’s investment strategy, sourcing, execution, portfolio company oversight and exit management. Since its inception, VMG has partnered with entrepreneurs and management teams to provide a breadth of value-add resources in the areas of sales, marketing, branding, finance, operations and legal support which enable its partner companies to rapidly increase brand awareness, accelerate growth and build equity value. Kara serves, or has served, on the boards of babyganics, Bare Snacks, Drunk Elephant, Health Warrior, Humm Kombucha, KIND Snacks, Pirate Brands, Pretzel Crisps, Quest Nutrition, Solid Gold Pet, Sun Bum, Waggin’ Train and Vermont Smoke & Cure, among others. Kara has been an investor in emerging, lower-middle-market branded consumer companies for the last 18 years. Prior to her private equity career, Kara was an Analyst at the investment bank of Schroders plc and received her Bachelor of Arts in Economics and German from Colgate University.
Founder & CEO, GT’s Living Foods
GT Dave is the category creator of the Kombucha industry with his line of #1 selling products known as GT's Kombucha & Synergy. Over 20 years ago while he was barely a teenager, GT started brewing and bottling his authentic organic raw Kombucha in his parent's kitchen in Los Angeles. Since then, he has expanded his company's portfolio beyond Kombucha and has once again become a pioneer of cutting-edge wellness offerings including non-dairy kefirs, non-dairy raw coconut yogurts, probiotic shots, adaptogenic teas, and much more. GT continues to be the creative and visionary force behind all of GT's Living Foods while allowing the company to remain family-owned and operated.
VP, Category Management & Growth Solutions, KeHE Distributors
Katie is currently Vice President, Category Management & Growth Solutions at KeHE Distributors, where she develops supplier and retailer category management solutions based on analytics, consumer insights, and category trends. Katie has been serving at KeHE for ten years and has held positions in Analytics, Pricing, Integration, Category Management, and Smart Growth Solutions. Katie received her Bachelor of Business Administration in Food & Consumer Packaged Goods Marketing from Western Michigan University. In 2015, Katie was named one of Griffin Report’s Food Marketing “40 Under 40” in 2015. She received her EMBA degree in Food Marketing at Saint Joseph’s University in June 2017 and is currently applying that knowledge back into the industry.
Co-founder & CEO, LifeAid
Future LIFEAID co-founders Orion Melehan and Dr. Aaron Hinde met by chance at a CrossFit box in 2009, in the iconic beach town of Santa Cruz, California. In addition to their mutual passion for intense physical workouts, they also discovered their children attended the same school and were already friends. The two men quickly formed a friendship and discovered they had another thing in common: the entrepreneurial bug. Discussing their mutual frustration with the choice of food and drink that were being marketed as ‘healthy’ and suitable for ‘recovery’ post workout, Orion and Aaron decided to turn their frustrations into solutions, and founded the LIFEAID brand. With a focus on great tasting, wellness enhancing and solutions driven supplements that can be enjoyed as a drink, LIFEAID today is a trusted brand amongst health and performance conscious consumers. Since founding the company in 2011, Orion and Aaron have built LIFEAID into a multi-million dollar brand and wellness movement that is a standout on e-comm and social media, and one of the most dynamic brands at retail. Prior to founding LIFEAID, Orion Melehan was a certified financial planner with his own practice. Orion is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Co-Founder & Chief Organic Optimist, Stonyfield Farm
Gary Hirshberg is Co-Founder and Chief Organic Optimist of Stonyfield Farm, the world’s leading organic yogurt producer, and the author of Stirring It Up: How to Make Money and Save the World (Hyperion, 2008). Gary frequently speaks on topics including sustainability, organic agriculture and the profitability of green business. Gary serves on several corporate and non-profit boards, including Blue Apron, Forager, Orgain, Peak Organic Brewing, and UNreal chocolates as well as Advisory Board member for Applegate. He has received 12 honorary doctorates and numerous awards for corporate and environmental leadership including a 2015 Champion for Children Award from Mount Sinai Hospital’s Children’s Environmental Health Center and a Lifetime Achievement Award by the US EPA.
Founder & CEO, Hint Inc.
President, Nestlé Beverage Division
As President of the Beverage Division for Nestlé USA, John leads a portfolio of some of the nation’s best-known beverage brands comprising $2.5 billion in combined annual sales, including Nescafé® Taster’s Choice®; Nescafé® Clasico™, COFFEE-MATE ®; COFFEE-MATE natural bliss ®, and Nesquik®. Under John’s leadership the division has reinvigorated its base brands to meet the needs of consumers’ changing tastes and preferences, successfully expanding into natural and plant-based territories. John has also led the expansion of the division’s coffee portfolio through recent investments in high-potential brands like Chameleon Cold-Brew and Blue Bottle Coffee, both leading providers of premium-crafted coffee. Most recently, Nestlé reached an agreement granting it the rights to market Starbucks consumer and foodservice products globally, outside of the company’s coffee shops. John will lead the commercial collaboration with the new team’s leadership to define the roadmap for the future of Nestlé’s U.S. beverage portfolio. Since he joined Nestlé in 1995, John has held multiple positions both in the U.S. and globally. Prior to his current role, he was President of Nestlé’s Pizza & Snacking Division. Under his leadership, the Pizza Division achieved market share gains while expanding margins and innovating into new territories. John’s innovative management style, for instance, enabled the company to develop internal incubator-brands, including Outsiders Pizza. John holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science and an MBA from The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).
Co-Founder & Managing Partner, BIGR Ventures
Carole began her career in natural foods over 20 years ago, as an analyst in the then nascent natural foods industry. As one of the first analysts to cover Whole Foods, she has had a front row seat as the story of this now powerful sector has emerged. Carole has worked with RBC Capital on the Sell-side and The Boston Company on the Buy-side. In 2008, Carole left financial services, taking a leadership role in corporate finance and investor relations with Gaiam, Inc. In 2010, Carole joined Boulder Brands as Senior Vice President of Business Development and Investor Relations. While at Boulder Brands, Carole led the acquisition of 4 companies over her first 3 years. Concurrent to this role, Carole served as Managing Director of Boulder Brands Investment Group from 2013 to 2015. Carole sits or has sat on the Boards of Temple Turmeric, EPIC and Bonafide Provisions.
New Beverage Showdown 19: Your Beverage In The Hot Seat
Catapult you and your company into the spotlight. New Beverage Showdown participants are the celebrities of BevNET Live. Be the center of attention among hundreds of industry executives and gatekeepers, receive instant feedback from an expert panel of judges, and compete for a prize valued at $10,000.
Beverage School: Learn The Ropes of the Industry
Beverage School is a special half-day “Beverages 101″ session for early-stage entrepreneurs and industry newcomers. It is held the day prior to the full conference and is free for all BevNET Live Summer 2020 attendees. Young beverage brands get up to speed, identify keys for growth and initiate critical conversations.
A Deep Dive Into a Hot Emerging Category
The massive interest in -- and approaches to -- the incorporation of Marijuana, Hemp, THC and CBD as functional ingredients in food and beverage brands is shared by new companies and existing brands alike. Nevertheless, there is still much to understand. Food and beverage professionals are invited to navigate an ambiguous cannabis market and explore how it could impact their businesses at the one-day forum.
Hosted on June 12th, the Friday after NOSH Live and BevNET Live, attendees of either conference will receive special rates to the forum.