In August, Hint ventured outside its mainstay flavored still and sparkling waters with the launch of Hint Kick, a three-SKU line of caffeinated waters. At the time Hint CEO Kara Goldin said the line extension came out of their customers’ – particularly those from the Silicon Valley tech world – desire for a caffeinated version of the product. Hint Kick debuted in the offices of the company’s corporate customers, including the likes of Google, Yahoo, Twitter, and Facebook, and on Hint’s own e-commerce platform.
Five months later, during last week’s Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco, Hint’s chief operating officer, Theo Goldin, discussed the soft launch and the company’s preparations to bring its “kick” of innovation to the masses.
“We launched it online in a very small way, in a limited-edition run, and waited to see what came in to customer service,” Goldin said. “What came in was just rave reviews. Not a single person complained about the caffeine. It turns out American loves caffeine. They feel good about it. They’re comfortable with it.”
According to Goldin the company is currently in conversations with retailers to secure shelf space for “Kick” in the coming months.
Hint was also at the trade show showing off some packaging updates, one of which is the addition of a “fruit-infused” call-out on its 12-packs. Goldin noted that the 12-packs recently moved into an unsupported shrink film wrap and that the company is currently in the process of making additional changes to its bottles and caps that will eventually achieve a 45 percent reduction in plastic.
According to a recent SEC filing, Hint has secured $4 million in a fundraising round. The Goldins declined to comment on the raise beyond saying it came from “a group of private investors.”