hunniCo

Honey-Infused Bottled Water

Company Information

Website:

https://www.hunniwater.com/

Sector:

Non-Alcoholic Beverages

Location:

Edmonds, WA

The market for bottled water is massive. It’s become a $200 billion industry.

Within this industry, specialty drinks like sparkling and flavored waters have achieved enormous success. Annual sales of sparkling water surpass $8 billion. And LaCroix, the maker of flavored carbonated waters, generated $244 million in sales in 2018.

hunniCo is targeting this market with a line of honey-flavored water. The company is led by a team with 20 years combined experience in the beverage industry, and is advised by a former Division President at General Mills (NYSE: GIS).

hunniCo has developed two product lines, and is generating sales through retailers including Safeway, Albertsons, Kroger, 7-11, and Amazon. Now it’s preparing to unveil its newest product line and position itself as a desirable acquisition target.

As mentioned above, water is in high demand among consumers. In 2016, for the first time in history, bottled water surpassed soda as America’s most popular drink.

Meanwhile, big brands are catching on to consumers’ preference for water, particularly sparking and flavored waters. That's why:

• In September 2018, Keurig Dr. Pepper acquired CORE Nutrition water for $525 million.

• Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO) acquired sparkling water brand Topo Chico in 2017 for $220 million.

• And why Pepsi was recently in talks to acquire coconut water company Vita Coco for $1 billion.

Even companies like Nestle and Anheuser-Busch have introduced their own lines of sparkling and flavored water.

hunniCo is the first company to bring water infused with honey to market. Honey has numerous health benefits. It’s nutrient-dense, rich in antioxidants, and can improve cholesterol levels.

The company has two product lines: Hunniwater Kindness and Hunniwater Detox.

Its Kindness drinks are sparkling honey water mixed with fruit. The company describes it as “healthy, bubbly, and tasty.” Flavors include lemon-honeydew, watermelon-cherry, blackberry-grape, and green apple-lime.

Its Detox drinks are more nutrient-dense, and contain vitamins, phytonutrients, and detoxifying ingredients. This line includes drinks designed to help with things like clarity and balance, energy and metabolism, digestion and joint health, and flushing out toxins in the body.

During a “proof of concept” phase, hunniCo pre-sold 400,000 units. In addition, it secured national distribution agreements with two of country’s largest natural food distributors.

Moving forward, hunniCo is developing its next product line called Hunni-Hydrator. This drink will be similar to Propel Fitness Water and Vitamin Water, and be marketed toward amateur and professional athletes. In 2018, this drink was field tested by the Seattle Sounders, a professional soccer team, and will be released in the summer of 2019.

Team Background

Karin Butler - Co-Founder & CEO

Karin brings more than a decade’s worth of experience in the beverage industry to hunniCo. She's worked in areas including research & development, analytics, project management, and supply chain management.

For four years, she owned Eric’s Energy Co., a beverage company producing energy shots, coconut water, and craft beer.

Prior to that, she spent six years as a research scientist at the University of Washington.

Karin studied at the University of Wyoming and University of Washington.

Eric Butler - Co-Founder & COO

Like his wife, Karin, Eric has 10 years of experience in the beverage industry, including time in areas such as manufacturing, production management, and logistics.

He previously co-founded Eric’s Energy Co., the beverage company producing coconut water and craft beer.

He studied at the University of Washington.