ZICO Founder & CEO to speak at BevNET Live Winter 2009: Santa Monica

Got Converts? Mark Rampolla does. In fact, the founder and CEO of ZICO just added the Coca-Cola Co., Inc. to the growing list of consumers and investors who are willing to give coconut water a try. Long in the shadows, the awareness of this “natural sports drink” is growing fast.

But it wasn’t always that way. In fact, coconut water, like many other innovative beverage concepts, is one that for a long time was totally unfamiliar to most U.S. consumers. And that can present a problem to even the most determined entrepreneur as they try to get consumers to try a new class of product, no matter the nutritional upside.

That’s why BevNET is glad to announce that Rampolla, who recently landed a $15 million investment in ZICO from Coca-Cola’s Venturing and Emerging Brands (VEB) Unit, will be joining a panel that should be of major interest to beverage entrepreneurs, both those with newer brands and those trying to extend their brands to meet new consumers.

Called “Getting Converts,” the panel will discuss ways that the marketers of beverages that have little familiarity to the average drinker and turn that lack of consumer education into a devoted following. By helping attendees crack the code of how beverages like yerba mate, kombucha, coconut water and entire classes of “superfruits” have fast become the industry’s top growth stories, BevNET’s discussion with Rampolla is just one of the many ways that BevNET Live offers an unparalleled opportunity to learn usable insights for those interested in succeeding in the beverage business.

BevNET Live is being held on Tuesday, Dec. 8 at the Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel. During the full-day event, attendees will hear from and discuss the beverage industry with some of the most innovative marketers, suppliers, investors, distributors and retailers in the business. Run by BevNET.com, the nation’s leading online and print resource for non-alcoholic beverages, BevNET Live offers unmatched insight, case studies, and networking and community-building opportunities.

Register for BevNET Live Winter 2009 now. Hurry, space is limited!