Poppi raises a can to fresh capital to support its functional beverage growth • TechCrunch
Consumer tastes are ever-changing, but while traditional beverage giants continue to dominate the beverage sector, many smaller players are succeeding in product development. like beverage also have more healthy function.
Some venture capitalists say most beverage companies won’t become big playersbut popa prebiotic soda brand, is joining companies like olipops to prove that they can succeed in a global functional soda catalog is expected to be valued at $173 billion by 2025.
The company’s drink combines real fruit and apple cider vinegar, and has less than 5 grams of sugar and 20 calories. Targeted ingredients support digestion, immunity and skin lightening.
The last time we caught sight of Poppi’s co-founder, Allison Ellsworth, was when the company was based in Dallas. raised 13.5 million dollars by 2021. It was about a year old at the time, came in nine flavors, and was available at more than 7,500 retail locations, including Target, Safeway, Kroger, Publix, Whole Foods, and Amazon.com.
Ellsworth told TechCrunch: “One big change is the rapidly growing functional pop category. “Last year, we hit proof of concept, but now we’re past that. We’re seeing real revenue growth, real penetration, and real trial. It’s interesting to see. We are here to play and a brand new hot.
Indeed, the company has grown revenue by 148% over the past 12 months, and online sales have also grown by 250%, Ellsworth said. Poppi is also somewhat of a hit on TikTok, garnering more than 1 billion views to date.
She also says that what sets the company apart from its competitors is Poppi’s distribution approach to establishing a brick-and-mortar store distribution network. That was one of the first pieces of advice that Rohan Oza, co-founder and managing partner of CAVU Consumer Partners, who has invested in Poppi since day one, gave Ellsworth and her co-founder husband Stephen , in 2020.
“At the end of January, we will bring together, in the United States, a full DSD network that no other brand of our size has done,” said Ellsworth. “We now have our boxes in the cooler, on the shelves and do the palletizing in the lobby of the retailers. That has made a big difference that we can see.”
All that growth is why Oza decided to double the additional funding, Ellsworth added.
That new cash flow was a $25 million round led by CAVU. Poppi has now raised over $40 million in total. Ellsworth declined to disclose the company’s valuation, but said it was an increase from the company’s previous round.
It also returns with a lot of changes, including new additions to the executive team this year. CEO Chris’ Hall (not related to the reporter who wrote this) came to the company in May after 15 years at Talking Rain Beverage, most recently as CEO of Sparkling Ice brand for the past 5 years.
Meanwhile, Lana Buchanan joined as chief marketing officer after holding various vice president roles at Anheuser-Busch and Campari, while Chuck Czerkawski Join as CFO. Ellsworth said Czerkawski has pulled out of Essentia Water in 2021 and will “help us get back to profitability”.
Poppi still has nine flavors, but has doubled its reach to more than 20,000 locations and is poised to hit 30,000 stores next year, Ellsworth said.
The company launched during the height of the pandemic in March 2020 and addressed aluminum shortages and the like, but has now been able to ramp up staffing, form an executive team and , as Ellsworth put it, “invested in the right people. we are a well oiled machine.
She added that that new capital will be used to build brand equity – “getting more cans”.
Next, Poppi is exploring club retailers, like Costco and Sam’s Club, working on multipacks and developing some new flavors, with the potential to launch two varieties next year. The company launched the Cherry Limeade flavor earlier this year.
“We will continue to rely on traditional soda flavors,” says Ellsworth. “We see Poppi as a soda for the next generation and we see people wanting to drink it every day because it tastes good and can replace soda.”