Beliv has identified the US as a key market for strategic for expansion, with CEO Carlos Sluman describing High Brew as ‘a disruptive product in a booming category’
Carlos Sluman, CEO of Beliv (left), and David Smith, Founder of High Brew (right) | Photo credit: Beliv
Beverage technology company Beliv has acquired a controlling 78% stake in Texas-based ready-to-drink coffee brand High Brew.
The sum of the transaction has not been disclosed, but Beliv confirmed the remaining shares in High Brew will be held by its founder, David Smith, and unnamed current investors. Smith also joins Beliv as a consultant.
Launched in 2013, High Brew is available at 15,000 points of a sale across the US, including prominent convenience chains 7 Eleven, Circle K, Wawa and Whole Foods Market.
Florida-based Beliv said the acquisition, its first in the coffee industry, will provide a foothold in the ‘rapidly growing’ RTD category and expand its US footprint. Beliv products currently distributed across the US include plant-based energy drink OCA, sparkling mineral water Güitig, and fruit juice brand Petit.
“The entrepreneurial spirit is our point of connection, and we have a strong desire to build together our growth in the US, which is one of the strategic markets for the expansion of Beliv’s business. This acquisition is essential to continue developing a well-positioned and solid portfolio, backed by a consumer-centric vision,” said Carlos Sluman, CEO, Beliv.
“With High Brew we are adding a disruptive product in a booming category, through its distribution to 15,000 sale points in the US and the collaboration with 54 strategic partners,” he added.
Founded in 2009, Beliv’s product portfolio comprises 40 brands which are distributed across 30 countries, mostly in Latin America. The beverage technology company also operates Old Jamaica Ginger Beer in the UK and its Citric fruit juice and OCA energy drinks in China.
The High Brew acquisition comes hot on the heels of Keurig Dr Pepper’s 33% stake in US specialty coffee roaster and café group La Colombe, which includes an agreement to sell and distribute La Colombe RTD coffee products across its direct store distribution network from late 2023.
Further highlighting the growth potential of RTD coffee in the US market, Ngyuyen Coffee Supply launched an RTD coffee range at more than 280 Whole Foods Market supermarket stores across the US and Canada in April 2023, while Los Angeles-based retail coffee brand Chamberlain Coffee raised $7m in June 2023 to scale its RTD coffee range.
Meanwhile, US coffee roaster Westrock Coffee is building a 524,000sq ft roasting to RTD facility in Arkansas which, once fully operational, will be the largest roasting to RTD operation of its kind. In February 2023, Danone North America announced it would invest up to $65m over the next two years to increase production of its SToK cold brew range in the US.