Former Coca-Cola Innovation Partner Building Presence for Howie’s Spiked Brand
July 29, 2021
As the crossover between alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage distribution and product development heats up, BD caught up with longtime beverage entrepreneur Larry Trachtenbroit to see what lessons he’s learned after making the transition. Trachtenbroit sold a ready-to-drink coffee business to Coke for more than $5 million 20 years ago before going on to create a beverage innovation shop called Brain Twist that counted Coca-Cola as an investor. More than five years ago, he switched fully to alcohol beverages. He co-founded his current venture FS Beverages with former global ocean shipping industry executive Greg Howard, who is president. FS Beverages is building sales and distribution for a line of alcohol-infused cherries, teas, lemonades, and coffees under a brand called Howie’s Spiked. The flagship product, Howie’s Spiked Cherries, is distributed in 15 Midwestern, Southern, and East Coast markets. The distribution network includes at least 30 independent Anheuser Busch-aligned distributors, as well as other independent wholesale distributors. The company generated revenue of $1.5 million in 2020 after growth of +28%, according to Howard. With the introduction of a spiked coffee called Alc-A-Chino later this year, revenue is expected to approach $2 million in 2021...
Iris Nova made a name for itself selling ready-to-drink functional lemon water by text message in a process founder Zak Normandin called “conversational commerce.” The company attracted the attention of Coca-Cola, which made a minority investment two and a half years ago. Normandin later added other owned and outside non-alcoholic brands to Iris Nova’s direct-to-consumer platform, which had begun with Dirty Lemon. Now he has his sights set on the alcohol beverage business, Normandin told BD in a recent interview.
Will Monster Beverage diversify into hard seltzers? The question has swirled since mid-2019, when CEO Rodney Sachs told investors he would consider an entry into the category. The next best chance for an answer to the question comes Thursday, when Monster executives host an annual business update webcast for investors. And there is fresh evidence ...
Coke Partners With Molson Coors for 2021 Topo Chico Hard Seltzer Launch
October 13, 2020
Late last month, Coca-Cola went all in on the fast-growing US hard seltzer category, signing up Molson Coors Beverage to manufacture, market, and distribute Coke’s new Topo Chico hard Seltzer. Meanwhile, PepsiCo’s executives indicated they may remain on the sidelines, at least for the foreseeable future.