Plant-Based Coconut Smoothies
There’s a revolution taking place in the U.S. beverage industry. And that revolution revolves around health.
After all, healthy, nutritious drinks are what consumers are after. In a recent survey from Beverage Industry Magazine, 62% of U.S. consumers are seeking natural, healthier beverage options.
The desire for these types of drinks has led to a flurry of M&A activity, as traditional beverage giants like Coca-Cola and Nestle scoop up emerging natural beverage brands — often for large sums. For example:
Coca-Cola acquired Glaceau, makers of popular drink Vitaminwater, for $4.1 billion. Keurig Dr. Pepper acquired Bai Brands, makers of a coconut water and other fruit-based drinks, for $1.7 billion. And in 2018, it bought Core, a premium water company, for $525 million.
This is the market that a fast-growing beverage startup is targeting. It's called Genius Juice.
Genius Juice makes 100% organic, plant-based, dairy-free coconut smoothies. Consumer demand for these and other organic plant-based products is skyrocketing, creating a total addressable market of $13 billion.
This company does things a little differently than the competition. That’s because while smoothies are often marketed as a healthy beverage — a sensible alternative to sodas and juices — most are high in sugar and artificial sweeteners. In other words, they’re not as healthy as people might believe.
Genius Juice’s smoothies, in contrast, are a healthy alternative. They contain no added sugars, no artificial ingredients, and no preservatives. And because they’re made using the entire coconut, they’re rich in potassium and electrolytes.
Genius Juice is one of the first U.S. beverage companies to use the entire coconut in its process. This ensures that it creates zero waste, another important factor in the mind of today’s consumer. The coconut water and “meat” are blended into the smoothie contents, while the husk is up-cycled and used to generate alternative energy. The husk is also converted into coconut charcoal, which is a food supplement used for detoxification.
Genius Juice launched in 2015, and has grown into a national brand. Its smoothies are sold in nearly 3,000 stores across the U.S., including Whole Foods, Target, and Costco.
The company sells its products direct-to-consumers and wholesale. Smoothies are available in packages of 6, 12, or 18 when purchased through its e-commerce platform, and sell for about $6 per bottle. Individual bottles sold in stores retail for around $4 to $5, depending on the region.
In 2020, Genius Juice appeared on the hit television show Shark Tank, where it introduced its product to famous angel investors. As a result of its presentation, it received investment offers from “sharks” Mark Cuban and Barbara Corcoran. It also achieved over $120,000 in online sales in less than 24 hours and $250,000 in online sales within two weeks.
In total, the company’s 2020 revenue increased by more than 240% compared to 2019. And as of November 2020, it had reached a $2.6 million annual run rate. The company projects annual revenues to surpass $10 million by the end of 2021.
Three years from now, Genius Juice aims to reach $40 million to $50 million in annual revenues, at which point it believes it could potentially be acquired for at least $150 million.
Alex started Genius Juice after spending time in the food & beverage industry.
Most recently, he was Director of Marketing for VirginRaw Foods, an organic food company based in Los Angeles. Prior to that, he was an account executive for Total Corporate Solutions, a company providing offices with necessary supplies, ranging from furniture to beverages.
Earlier in his career, he was an account executive with Aflac, an insurance company. He started in the entertainment business, working at Clear Channel, a radio company.
Alex earned a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing from California Polytechnic State University.
Ramon has more than 20 years of operations and manufacturing experience, including time in the food & beverage industry.
He began his career with Ralphs Grocery Company, a supermarket chain. From there, he was a manager with LSG Group, a food production company.
After a brief stint as a project manager with Chevron, an oil & energy company, he returned to the food & beverage industry, working as Vice President of GT’s Living Foods. This company makes healthy food and beverage options.
From there, he was Chief Product Officer with Health-Ade Kombucha, a company making healthy beverage alternatives. He then was a business development consultant with Greenbar Distillery, an alcoholic beverage company, and then a project management consultant with Nestle, a food production company.
Ramon earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala.
For nearly 30 years, Gavin has run a sales and growth consulting business. He’s also worked in sales at several beverage companies.
Most recently, he was Vice President of Sales for Ricante Hot Sauce, makers of bottled condiments. Prior to that, he was Regional Sales Director with Hoplark HopTea, a beverage company.
Earlier, he was Vice President of Sales with AX Water, a healthy beverage alternative. Before that, he was Director of Strategic Sales with DRVN Partners, which works with brands including ones in the beverage industry. He started his career with Vuka, a beverage company making energy drinks.
Gavin holds a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from San Diego State University.