Anheuser-Busch adds Hiball and Alta Palla to non-alcoholic portfolio

Anheuser-Busch extends its reach into the non-alcoholic category with Hiball acquisition

Anheuser-Busch has acquired organic energy drinks manufacturer Hiball in a deal that will be completed by the end Q3 2017.

San Francisco-based HiBall was founded in 2005 when it launched Hiball Energy, its line of energy drinks aimed at health conscious consumers made with fair-trade and organic ingredients. Hiball's energy drinks and sparkling energy waters are made with a proprietary, organic-certified energy blend, consisting of caffeine, guarana, and ginseng.

Alta Palla ("high ball" in Italian), the company’s non-energy brand of sparkling juice in blood orange, black cherry, grapefruit, and orange flavors was launched in 2016. In 2017, Alta Palla launched its organic flavored sparkling waters in 16-ounce cans.

Extending brand reach

Anheuser-Busch said that Hiball targets key trends in the beverage space today, including health and wellness, natural and sustainably-sourced ingredients, and energy-boosting benefits.

"The combination of Hiball's category-leading organic energy drinks and Alta Palla's organic sparkling juices and sparkling waters together with our network and operational know-how will create tremendous growth opportunities for these brands,” João Castro Neves, president and CEO, Anheuser-Busch said.

Hiball products are currently distributed by UNFI, Unified Grocers, and Kehe Food Distributors to major retailers throughout the US and in Canada through Dovre Import & Export Ltd.

“Our goal is to deliver Hiball products to new markets, while preserving their culture and brand identities,” Neves said.

Hiball’s existing leadership team will remain in their current roles with Todd Berardi acting as president of the brand, his wife Alyssa Warnock as Hiball's creative director and designer who designed all the branding and packaging, and Dan Craytor as VP of business development.

Expanding non-alcoholic portfolio

Anheuser-Busch has been broadening its non-alcoholic product portfolio with the recent launch of a RTD tea line under the Teavana brand in a partnership with Starbucks.

“Hiball Energy and Alta Palla are great additions to our developing no-alcohol portfolio, and we have been asking A-B for a partnership opportunity just like this,” David Stokes, chairman of the Anheuser-Busch Wholesaler Advisory Panel, said.

“Adding these outstanding brands to our wholesaler system increases the breadth of our product portfolio and strengthens our network as we offer more innovation to our customers."

Anheuser-Busch plans to do a phased transition of the Hiball Energy and Alta Palla brands to its wholesaler partners, Stokes added. 

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