Bai Brands, which has generated explosive growth with its 'antioxidant infusion' low-calorie Bai5 beverages since its 2009 launch, netted close to $120m in revenues in 2015, more than doubling its business since 2014, CMO Michael Simon told us at the show.
The New Jersey-based brand - which introduced a carbonated version of its flagship drink (Bai Bubbles) in late 2014 and a functional water infused with antioxidants and electrolytes called Antiwater in 2015 - has found success in natural and conventional grocery chains and clubstores, but still has a huge opportunity to grow in c-stores, drugstores and the foodservice channel, said Simon.
"There are also big opportunities to grow online. Amazon is one of our top five or six customers, and what's great about them is that you can be very surgical in how you target consumers, and you can also use them to test out new flavors and products."
So who is buying Bai? A wide range of consumers, from people that love bubbles but want something with a clean label, low calorie count and a more sophisticated flavor profile, to people that consume a wide range of functional/healthy beverages, said Simon. "We index high across every category."
While the antioxidants in Bai come partly from coffee fruit, the brand does not shout about this on its packaging, acknowledges Simon, unlike, say KonaRed, which focuses heavily on the coffee fruit in its branding. "The antioxidants are the primary driver [not where they come from]."