Although it’s been a year of transition at Marley Beverage Co., change hasn’t slowed the company, which is one of the fastest growing in the beverage industry. Over the past 10 months, Marley has – following the departure of its president and chief marketing officer – shuffled its leadership team, reformulated its relaxation drink line, and repackaged its coffee line from glass to cans.
Reform began with the elevation of Kevin McClafferty as president of Viva Beverages, the parent company of Marley Beverage. McClafferty, a long-time CPG veteran who had previously been the general manager and SVP of sales and distribution for Marley, replaced Robert Nitisco in December 2011, and has been a key figure in the rapid growth for Marley Beverage. McClafferty has been instrumental in developing a national DSD network for Marley, which through careful planning and expansion into grocery and convenience store channels, is now approaching sales of 3 million cases, only two years its launch.
With solid footing in sales and distribution, McClafferty presided over a significant decision to remove melatonin from its popular line of relaxation drinks earlier this year. Melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep cycle in humans, has drawn a vigilant gaze from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA considers Melatonin as a supplement and the ingredient is not approved for inclusion in foods and beverages. According to McClafferty, the reformulation has not affected the efficacy or sales of the drinks.
In this video interview filmed at Marley’s bustling booth at the recently held 2012 Natural Products Expo East show, BevNET founder and CEO spoke with McClafferty about the surging success of the company and its plans for the coming year. McClafferty also discussed in detail the decision to remove Melatonin from its relaxation drinks, and how transitioning its One Drop RTD coffee line into cans, puts Marley in a better position to compete in the category and deliver to its DSD partners.