Anheuser-Busch InBev is continuing its investment in the non-alcohol beverage sector with the purchase of energy drink company Hiball.
The announcement follows on from AB InBev’s partnership with Starbucks to produce and distribute a ready-to-drink tea range under the Teavana brand.
Hiball was formed in 2005 when its founder and president, Todd Berardi, began selling the company’s signature energy drinks out of the back of his car. The acquisition will also include Hiball’s sparkling waters and juices brand Alta Palla.
Berardi and his wife Alyssa Warnock, Hiball’s creative director and designer, will continue to lead the business.
In May, AB InBev announced it would invest $2 billion in US breweries and innovation initiatives in the next three years.
Anheuser-Busch CEO João Castro Neves said: “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.
“There are some key similarities between our companies, including our desire to dream big, our passion for our people and our products, and our commitment to quality and sustainability in everything we do.”
AB InBev plans a phased transition of the Hiball Energy and Alta Palla brands to its wholesaler partners. David Stokes, chairman of the Anheuser-Busch Wholesaler Advisory Panel, said: “We are thrilled to partner with Todd and the rest of the Hiball team.
“Hiball Energy and Alta Palla are great additions to our developing no-alcohol portfolio, and we have been asking AB for a partnership opportunity just like this. 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.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2018