What’s the next coconut water? Find out at the FoodNavigator-USA Beverage Entrepreneurs Forum

Who does Odwalla founder and Califia Farms CEO Greg Steltenpohl think is driving innovation in the beverages aisle?

Will Keurig Cold really turn the soft drinks market on its head? Can natural sweeteners pull diet soda out of its funk? And what’s the next coconut water? 

To answer these questions, we have gathered together CEOs from some of the most innovative beverage companies in the US to discuss what's hot and what's not, from tea for kids to plant waters; in a LIVE online debate

The FoodNavigator-USA Beverage Entrepreneurs Forum - in partnership with BeverageDaily.com and sponsored by flavor ingredients & analysis expert Sigma-Aldrich and health ingredients expert DSM -  starts at 11.30am EDT on Weds July 23, 2014, and will explore: 

1 - How difficult is it to launch a new beverage brand?

2 - What are the hottest new trends?

3 - What’s natural? And does it matter?

4 - Who is driving innovation in the beverages market?

5 - What are the biggest challenges you face as you run your business? 

The final 15 minutes will be devoted to Q&A, where listeners will be able to submit questions directly to the expert panel:


As Coke and Pepsi watch their diet soda sales stagnate, the arrows on the sales growth chart on Zevia CEO Paddy Spence’s wall are going in the opposite direction, with growth of his zero-calorie sodas up in the triple digits. Zevia - sweetened with stevia and monk fruit - could be a $1bn brand, reckons Spence.

HOWARD KETELSON, PHD - CEO, Arty Water (artichoke water)

Plant waters are all the rage - at least that’s what trend watchers keep telling us - but can artichoke water emulate the meteoric success of coconut water? Or is Arty Water - an intriguing mix of artichokes, mint and pandanus leaf sweetened with monk fruit and blue agave - too niche to be a hit in the ultra-competitive beverages aisle? Not surprisingly, Arty Water CEO Dr Howard Ketelson doesn't think so...

MELINDA HICKS - CEO, Big Time Tea (Little Me Tea)

Tea is for adults, right? Wrong, says Melinda Hicks, who’s on a mission to replace the sugary juice box in your child’s lunchbox with an organic, caffeine-free tea sweetened with fruit & veg juice. Recent deals include partnerships with Nature’s Best, KeHe, and Unique Foods Marketing, which give her a nationwide presence.

PAUL KILBRIDE - VP Sales, Epicurex (COCOZIA)  

Is recent explosive growth in the coconut water category sustainable, and is there still room for new players? Kilbride, a former Coca-Cola sales executive on a mission to turn organic coconut water COCOZIA into the next big thing in the category - is convinced the answer to both questions is YES…

GREG STELTENPOHL - CEO, Califia Farms; founder, Odwalla

Odwalla founder Greg Steltenpohl went back to his entrepreneurial roots in 2010 and became CEO of non-GMO, locally sourced beverage maker Califia Farms, which was founded by the growers of Cuties brand citrus.

JONAS FELICIANO- Beverages analyst, Euromonitor Intl   

Feliciano - who joined Euromonitor International in 2005 and is now the global industry analyst for beverages research - has his finger on the pulse of the beverages market. Responsible for producing articles and global reports on trends and developments in the industry on a local, regional and global level, Jonas also assists in country research of market sizes, brand and company shares, and new product developments.

The 60-minute debate will be moderated by FoodNavigator-USA editor Elaine Watson and will be broadcast live at 11.30am EDT on Wednesday July 23.

It will also be available afterwards on demand - but only to registered delegates.


The forum is sponsored by Sigma-Aldrich, a global life sciences and technology company with a broad portfolio of flavor & fragrance ingredients plus broad nutritional and food safety analytical testing capabilities

... and DSM, a global science based company with a broad portfolio of health ingredients for the food & beverage and dietary supplements sector from omega-3 fatty acids to green tea, oat beta-glucan, vitamins and carotenoids.

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Drazil CEO Christine Wheeler on positioning the product as a tea, not a juice: “Kids around the world are drinking tea. It may not be as popular in the US, but it’s been making a comeback in the last five years.”

Kids’ tea could overtake 100% juice as healthy ‘gold standard’: Drazil founder

Seth Goldman on democratizing organics: 'We never set out to sell healthy drinks just to healthy people. Organics need to be accessible.'

Honest Tea co-founder Seth Goldman on disruptive innovation: We can take the Honest brand beyond the beverages aisle

Zevia: Now with monk fruit, stevia and erythritol...

Diet soda in a funk? Not ours, says Zevia boss as he adds monk fruit to his zero-cal menu: Zevia could be a $1bn brand

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Comments (1)

barbara chancey - 22 Jun 2014 | 03:15

Move Over Coconut Water

The world's first artichoke water is now available. ARTY™ Water is a delicious, healthy alternative to fruit-based beverages. Made with fresh California artichokes and naturally flavored with lemon, spearmint and monk fruit, ARTY™ Water is loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Now available on AMAZON and coming to stores soon! http://www.artywater.com

22-Jun-2014 at 15:15 GMT

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