Dr Pepper invests $15m in minority stake in Bai Brands
A spokesman for Dr Pepper, which signed a national distribution deal with Bai 18 months ago, told FoodNavigator-USA: “We've been very pleased with how well the brand has performed in our system since bringing it on in 2013.
“It’s been a great addition to our allied brand portfolio and a complement to our own brand portfolio in our distribution network. This gives us a stronger strategic stake in an innovative, fast growing brand in an emerging category of low-calorie beverages with functional benefits.”
The New Jersey-based firm - which recently added a carbonated version of its flagship drink to its line-up (Bai Bubbles) - is stocked in leading retailers nationwide from Target and Safeway to Costco.
Launched in 2009, Bai Brands has grown extremely rapidly in the past three years, generating revenues of $5.2m in 2012; $17m in 2013, and a predicted $50m in 2014, Ben Weiss told reporters in December. In 2015, it's aiming for $100m (click HERE).
Asked at the BevNET Live conference in December if Bai had attracted the attention of strategic buyers, Weiss said: "The name is Bai, not sell... I don't really pay much attention to it."
Bai beverages contain a blend of antioxidant-packed coffee fruit and white tea extracts, and are sweetened with stevia extract and erythritol (each bottle has 5 calories).
Read more about what Ben Weiss has to say about the deal at BevNET, which broke the story.