Dec 8 - 9
Santa Monica, CA
BevNET Live Winter 2014: Learn. Network. Succeed.
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BevNET Live: Bai at the Brink, with CEO Ben Weiss

Bai CEO Ben Weiss

Bai CEO Ben Weiss

Bai has been one of the fastest-growing beverage brands of the past four years, and this year it has shown that it could take the next step, into successful distribution, on a national basis, through Dr Pepper Snapple Group. It has successfully pivoted, making the brand flagship low-calorie Bai5 rather than the original Bai, has begun to think about large-scale marketing programs, and has launched its first brand extension, Bai Bubbles.

So Bai is at an inflection point: having passed the national test, it is reporting $40 million in sales, has recently conducted a successful capital raise, and has broadened its core grocery channel footprint to include contiguous retailers like Target, Costco, and convenience and drug accounts.

But Bai’s CEO, Ben Weiss, has made it clear — his stated goal is for Bai to become the next big, iconic brand.

So what’s next? Now that the brand is in the middle of “Scale Up Mode,” what are the day-to-day responsibilities, challenges, and opportunities facing Weiss and his team? What are the next steps? How does the brand make the leap at a time when it looks like strategics have begun to move away from Vitaminwater-type megadeals (albeit some nice pickups nevertheless), and consumers are being bombarded by a variety of competing, innovative products?

In this moderated discussion at BevNET Live in Santa Monica, Weiss will explore both the strategic shifts in Bai’s past that have enabled it to reach its current position, and then look forward at the ways he hopes to articulate a brand vision to consumers and investors, one that could potentially enable the company to broaden its consumer base while deepening its relevance to Bai’s early adopters. Topics will include the particular reasoning behind entering a new category, the company’s broader marketing aims, and the challenges as Weiss sees them to move from “taking the next step” into a full-on sprint.

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About Ben Weiss

As creator of Bai Antioxidant Infusions, Weiss’s passion began with sourcing the once forgotten fruit of the coffee bean and raising awareness about its healthful properties. He learned that Indonesia was keeping one of the coffee industry’s best-kept secrets: the antioxidant-richfruit that surrounds the coffee bean.

Throughout his 20-year beverage career, Weiss has proven to be a beverage industry innovator. One word drives his pioneering approach to the business: evolution. With that word driving his vision, Ben has created beverages and launched product line extensions defined by innovation. Just as coffee emerged as a key aspect of the American lifestyle back in 1994, Ben now finds himself contributing to the beverage industry’s move toward healthier drink alternatives with Bai5 antioxidant infusion and Bai Bubbles sparkling antioxidant infusion.

About BevNET Live

BevNET Live Santa Monica will be held on Dec. 8 and 9 at the Loews Beach Hotel. It is a two-day conference for beverage entrepreneurs, suppliers, distributors, retailers and investors to gather, speak, exchange ideas through interactive panels and lectures, and enhance their sales, marketing, growth and product development strategies. Attendees can tap the expertise of investors and investment professionals who can help them realize growth capital or exit opportunities, explore and discuss strategies from business owners with inspiring success stories, and otherwise absorb case studies curated by BevNET.com, which has spent a decade dedicating itself to careful reporting on the fast-moving beverage industry. More than just a conference, BevNET LIVE includes networking options including the BevNET LIVE Expo, beverage breaks, cocktail receptions and, most of all, community.