HONOLULU — Shaka Tea, the first line of Hawai’i-grown, iced teas on the market brewed from mamaki, an herbal tea only found in the Hawaiian archipelago, announces national distribution plans, launching in Q2 with one of the top distributors across the continental US, which complements its rebrand.
Debuting later this week at Natural Products Expo West, the rebrand features a more prominent shaka logo, unified design elements and move to an elongated, 14 oz bottle. The rebrand supports an updated formulation, which has Shaka Tea, a no added sugar product, now using monk fruit for a touch of sweetness, reducing calories and offering a crisper, more finished flavor. Shaka Tea’s updated branding was designed by McLean Design, a brand creation and packaging design agency that specializes in beverage and other CPG/FMCG categories.
“We launched believing in the power of the Hawaiian brand and desire to offer an authentic, clean-label product that can be enjoyed by consumers of all ages. After listening to customer and retailer feedback, we’ve spent time refining our flavor and brand identity on our home turf the past 18 months. Now we are ready and incredibly excited to be introducing an elevated ‘Shaka Tea 2.0’ to competitively expand across the US through our new distribution and appointment of Tony Giannini as Director of National Sales,” said Bella Hughes, President and co-founder of Shaka Tea.
Shaka Tea will also be debuting its fourth flavor this week, Lemon Lokelani Rose, which marries the floral note of rose, inspired by the Hawaiian Lokelani rose and flower of Maui, with tart, refreshing lemon. Lemon Lokelani Rose joins Guava Gingerblossom, Mango Hibiscus and Pineapple Mint, the company’s original, three flavors.
Giannini, who started his role as Director of National Sales on January 1 of this year, has spent the past 35 years in food and beverage. He previously served as National Sales Manager at Nestle Beverage, SVP at Monterey Pasta Co, and additionally has helped build companies like Sweet Earth Natural Foods, Double Rainbow Ice Cream and HempAde Beverage, all in Executive-level positions.
Shaka Tea also closed its second round of financing in February 2018, adding three new investors. Shaka’s investor group now includes three industry players and three high-net-worth individuals, and the company “is aligned for a significant capital raise to pursue national and international expansion by the end of the year,” said Hughes
Shaka Tea, which is based in Honolulu, launched in April of 2016, co-founded by Hawai?i-born Hughes and Harrison Rice, CEO. Now found in over 350 accounts across Hawai?i, including 7-Eleven, Down to Earth, Whole Foods, Times, Foodland and Longs/CVS, Shaka Tea is distributed by Paradise Beverages in Hawai?i. Previously, Shaka Tea was recognized nationally as a winning Trailblazer at Food Vision USA 2016; a finalist for Bevnet 12’s New Beverage Showdown; a finalist in the “People’s Choice Startup” for HVCA 2017’s Award; was voted “Best Local Tea” by Honolulu Magazine readers in 2017; and representing Shaka Tea, Hughes was a participant in Blackbox Connect 20, powered by Google for Entrepreneurs in 2017.
Shaka Tea is the first line of Hawai?i-grown, iced teas on the market brewed from mamaki, which is only found and grown in the Hawaiian archipelago. With a commitment to the health of our consumers and health of the ‘aina (land), Shaka Tea is a naturally caffeine-free, no added sugar product that supports sustainable farming and regenerative agriculture.