Through his travels to Indonesia to source green coffee over two decades working in the coffee business, Ben Weiss, CEO and founder of Princeton, N.J.-based Bai, was no stranger to the process of coffee production.
But it wasn’t until he took a second look at a byproduct of the coffee harvest—the antioxidant-packed coffee fruit that encases the coffee bean—when he had his ah-ha! moment.
“The fruit literally will get thrown away. And I thought to myself, ‘I’ve seen it used in cosmetics for its antioxidant capacity, why not beverage?’ So I had this idea to take a byproduct of the coffee harvest and use it as a functional ingredient.”
Given that the market for energy drinks was peaking in 2009 and vitamin-infused water was on the decline as consumers sought more nutrient-packed beverage options, Weiss saw the potential for an all-natural, “responsibly caffeinated” beverage that was loaded with antioxidants. He chose the name Bai, which is Mandarin for “pure.”
Click here to read our interview with Ben to find out more.