‘Shocked and Abhorred’: Industry Reacts to Inequality, Violence

In response to the death of George Floyd, some of the country’s largest food and beverage companies, as well as a large group of entrepreneurs and emerging brands, have offered statements of support, financial donations to advocacy groups and commitments to open a dialogue about racial justice in America.

Taste Radio Ep. 216: World-Class Brands May Start With Passion, But They’re Driven By This

Justin Baldwin, founder of the acclaimed Justin Winery, chronicled the development of his highly awarded brand and spoke about the importance of leveraging one’s skill sets and admitting their weaknesses, mitigating risk through financial discipline and how entrepreneurs can best position their companies for success in good times and bad.

Shaka Tea Raises $2.3M as Brand Preps Nationwide Growth

Shaka Tea, a Hawaii-based maker of ready-to-drink and bagged tea products, has raised $2.3 million in a funding round led by farming company Mahi Pono, bringing the brand’s total financing to $4.1 million. The round also includes investments from King’s Hawaiian, Gingerbread Capital, LDR Ventures, Allison Rose Culinary Ventures and Park Bench Capital as well as several angel investors.

Gallery: May’s New Products

Brands started gearing up for warmer weather this month, with a limited edition summer launch from DRY Botanical Bubbly, new lemonades from IZZE and cherry-flavored releases from Olipop and Ugly. Check out the gallery for notable May launches, including Rebbl’s new keto line and kombucha-infused sparkling water from Mother Kombucha.

Taste Radio Insider Ep. 87: Winning Over Investors Is Step One. Step Two Is About This.

Allison & Stephen Ellsworth, co-founders of prebiotic soda brand Poppi, spoke about lessons learned from their first year in business, the keys to winning investment on “Shark Tank,” how they navigated a brand overhaul and maintaining their independence while aligned with influential and experienced strategic partners.

Office Hours: Insights into M&A, Brand Growth, and Investment During Pandemic

Office Hours returns Tuesday, June 2 at 3 p.m. ET. Jeff Klineman, BevNET’s Editor-in-Chief, will bring veteran investment bankers Jay Novak and Brandon Ng from Houlihan Lokey on the livestream to discuss the current fundraising and M&A market and take questions from viewers.

Watch: Why Now Is the “Perfect Time” For CBD Regulations Overhaul

While both the CBD and cannabis industries have attracted increased attention from consumers, investors and retailers alike, brands within these categories still face a range of unique operational challenges. Jeremy Goldstein, the COO and co-founder of both CBD brand Caliper Foods and Cannabis company Stillwater Brands, sees the potential for massive growth if the FDA “gets off its hands.”

Industry Responds to FDA Ingredient Guidance

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Friday released temporary guidance to allow food manufacturers to change ingredients without updating product labels, a move aimed at preventing supply chain disruptions during the COVID-19 pandemic. In response, company and industry leaders are speaking up to promote consumer safety.

Nielsen: Non-Alc Beverage Sales Accelerating

At-home food and beverage consumption trends remain strong over the last month, according to an analysis of Nielsen data by Goldman Sachs Equity Research released earlier this week.

Rowdy Mermaid Raises Another $3.5M in Series A ‘Second Tranche’

Rowdy Mermaid Kombucha announced today it has raised an additional $3.5 million from investment firm KarpReilly in a “second and final tranche” of its Series A funding round, bringing the total financing to $7 million. In February 2019, KarpReilly led the Colorado-based brand’s initial Series A round and co-founder Allan Karp joined Rowdy Mermaid’s board of directors.

Eyeing “Revolution,” Neutral Builds Zero-Carbon CPG Platform

Matt Plitch, founder of sustainable dairy brand Neutral, envisions carbon neutral food and beverage as the next big food movement. As a “global food revolution” in line with the recent rise of veganism, he sees a future in which grocery stores will have a carbon neutral aisle and “neutralists” can shop for products with net-zero carbon emissions.

DrinkTru Secures $1.5M To “Save” Company

Boston-based functional shot brand DrinkTru has secured $1.5 million in new funding, founder James McNamara told BevNET last week. According to founder Jack McNamara, the company had been in talks over a potential investment with a venture capital partner for about four months before they pulled out in March, requiring the brand to quickly change gears.