Alkaline Water Co. furthers hemp drink plans

By Beth Newhart

- Last updated on GMT

A88 is positioned to take a leadership position in the emerging hemp-infused beverage category.
A88 is positioned to take a leadership position in the emerging hemp-infused beverage category.

Related tags alkaline water Hemp Cannabis Bottled water

The Alkaline Water Company – makers of pink Himalayan rock salt brand Alkaline88 – is gearing up to launch a new hemp infused drink this year, using new technology

The Alkaline Water Company produces Alkaline88, a US alkaline water brand with a pH of 8.8. It's infused with minerals and electrolytes from pink Himalayan rock salt and is now using its original base as a springboard for further launches. The brand says new technology will improve bioavailability of hemp.

Product development

With the growth in popularity of alkaline water, brands are looking for ways to stand out in a crowded market. 

A88 manufactures Alkaline88 and secured a trademark in 2013, allowing it to be the only US brand with ‘alkaline’ in its name. The drink contains just purified water and pink Himalayan rock salt, and the original formula is the base for other product development. 

First up was a line of fruit-infused flavors in both sparkling and flat options. After working on development for 18 months, A88 announced the infusion line in September. It includes five flavors, like Blood Orange and Raspberry. The infusions formula starts off with a base from the core line, blended with a bit of fruit extract.

Alkaline Water Co. is now developing a new line of hemp drinks from its house brand A88 Infused Beverage Division, Inc. (A88).

Richard Wright, president and CEO of Alkaline Water Co., told BeverageDaily that for all future launches, “It will be an alkaline water when it is flat, it will not be when it is sparkling. It’s impossible to make bubbly water alkaline.” ​This applies to the existing fruit infusions and forthcoming hemp drinks.

Hemp patents and trade secrets

Launching this spring from A88 is a collection of natural hemp-extract waters, containing non-intoxicating strains of CBD. The new hemp drinks are a result of an agreement A88 made with Infusion Biosciences, Inc. (IBS) to utilize its proprietary Aqueous Phytorecovery Process (APP) technology.

This launch is expected to make A88 “the first national US beverage company to bring true water-soluble, full-spectrum features of bioactive natural hemp extract molecules to US consumers.”

“Our bioavailability will be better than everyone else’s, and that has to do with the fact that we use a different part of the plant. Everyone else is starting with straight oil, we’re using a lipid,”​ Wright said.

“It’s a little more expensive to extract, and it’s a little different procedure. There’s a whole bunch of patents and trade secrets around it.”

Packaged in cans and bottles, Wright plans to have five or six different flavors of the hemp product. More flavor details will be released later, but he plans to draw from what customers are enjoying in the other line.

Saving plastic in bulk

A88 was the first US company to launch an ‘enhanced water’ in bulk sizes, which they say uses less plastic packaging. The 100oz and 128oz sizes of Alkaline88 are the most popular with consumers and account for 85%-90% of overall sales.

Alkaline Water Company is working with Infusion Biosciences Inc (IBS) to use IBS's acqueous phytorecovery process (APP) technology for its RTD natural hemp-extract formulations.

The onset of the hemp is about 5-8 minutes, compared to about 20-40 minutes found in other product. Due to FDA restrictions on the sale of hemp products, the drink will have limited reach when it launches in March.

ArchPoint Group will design the cans and bottles for the upcoming hemp line, seeking to create ‘a look and feel that captures the healthful lifestyle and clean beverage promise’ of the brand.

Making logistic moves 

A big financial step for the Alkaline Water Co. in the new year was its listing on the NASDAQ stock market. It was announced in December that its shares of common stock were approved to trade on NASDAQ, and it rang the opening bell on January 23.

“From a capital market standpoint it’s a big step in the right direction,”​ Wright said. “It will do great things for the shareholder base and our overall growth. We’ll have capital when we need it to continue the growth story.”

A88 also announced a partnership with Water Source One (WSO) to expand its production and distribution capabilities as the Alkaline88 lines grow. WSO will provide customer service and regulatory support, quality assurance management, and raw materials and logistical support.

Wright said A88 chose WSO because its network of more than 30 bottled water plants in the US and production expertise make it "the ideal partner to expand our infrastructure to support our extensive growth plans.”

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