As consumers increasingly turn away from soda, a new drink is making a mark on the beverage industry.
Bai is an “antioxidant-infused,” low-calorie, and low-sugar caffeinated drink. Its name means “pure” in Mandarin.
Founder Ben Weiss told Business Insider he wanted to create a healthy drink that also tasted good when he started Bai in 2009.
Bai is developed from coffeefruit — the fruit that surrounds the outside of the coffee bean. The actual fruit is a red pulp that Weiss says is filled with antioxidants.
Weiss decided to re-purpose this fruit, which is ordinarily thrown away.
He initially put the story of the coffeefruit on the bottles. When consumers didn’t respond with buying the product, he made things more edgy.
He replaced the story with witty sayings that engage the drinker such as, “juicy flavour that tastes like the rainforest just kissed you on the lips.”
The new strategy worked: Bai sold in $US125 million in 2015.
Weiss projects $US325 million in revenue for 2016 because Bai is putting more effort into traditional marketing, such as commercials.
Bai also just landed an advertising slot during the 2016 Super Bowl.
In addition, to commercials, Bai is the sponsored drink for Zac Brown Band’s 2015 tour. Zac is a partner in the beverage and even has a flavour dedicated to one of their songs, Castaway.
There are currently 10 flavours of Bai, each flavour representing the region the coffee bean is from. For instance, Tanzania lemonade tea is from Tanzania, while Panama peach gathered its coffeefruit from Panama.
While the beverage industry is constantly evolving, Bai is no exception.
“You need the right enemy and you need the right strategy” said Weiss. “We evolved as a brand by being the answer to big soda companies’ dilemmas.”
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