The New Pioneers of the Beverage Industry: Ryan Emmons, James Tonkin, and More

Bottled Water, Business Leader

The beverage industry is not an easy market to break into. There are many beverage companies that have been around for more than half a century. You can also bet all these companies are squeezing out the new guy on shelf space. However, the internet is the great equalizer. Not only can you market and pitch your new beverage, but you don’t need the shelf space right away because if it is good enough, people will order it online. Being in brick and mortar stores is not the requirement in the beginning anymore. If there is a demand for your product, then the stores will be more than happy to open their doors to you later on.

Listed below are some creative thinkers that have embarked on the beverage industry in recent years. Many of these entrepreneurs, such as Chris Reed of Ginger Brews and Ryan Emmons of Waiakea Water, had nothing to go on except self-motivation and a belief that their product was going to catch fire.

Chris Reed

It seems like every establishment now offers a variety of craft beers. No longer is the bar just filled with the established names. Craft beer generally means that it is made by a small, independent brewery. Quite a bit of the time, it has a unique taste or appearance to it. Chris Reed is the man responsible for the popular Ginger Brews.

Way back in 1989, Reed was already inventing numerous craft beverages. He was ahead of his time when he was creating his own line of sodas and beers in a market that was not ready for craft beverages at that moment. The times certainly have changed now. The Reed’s brand has a bright future ahead of it. Recently, Reed went from being CEO of the company and came back to being the main creative force.

“Reed’s has never had a more impressive portfolio of new products waiting to launch in the history of the Company,” said Reed. “My transition from CEO to Chief Innovation Officer allows me to focus my full energies to bringing these exciting new products to fruition.”

Ryan Emmons

When Ryan Emmons, a California resident, was just a college student taking a drink out of his uncle’s well in Hawaii, he had no idea what the future held in store for him. The water had a special taste to it, created by it filtering through volcanic rocks and the high pH level that left it alkaline. He quickly realized that natural volcanic water could be a hit in the bottled water industry. Just a year later, his brand Waiakea water (who we’ve talked about) started offering its delicious and mineral packed water to the public. And according to Forbes magazine, the company has been growing with an annual compound growth rate of 170 percent.

While it is pretty cool to be able to say you are drinking volcanic water, the most impressive part about Emmons is how he and his company are extremely environmentally conscious. Beverage companies are creating plastic bottles by the billions, and they take about 1,500 years to degrade on their own if they are not recycled. And news flash, only about 20 percent of plastic bottles get recycled. Waiakea water manufactures their plastic bottles with a nano-additive called TimePlast that allows the plastic to fully decompose on its own in 15 years. They are saving the world from a plastic wasteland.

In addition, Emmons’ company donates 650 liters of clean water to regions that are lacking in this commodity for every one liter of their product that they sell. Clean water is something that most people take for granted, but billions of people across the globe do not have access to suitable water. Emmons and Waiakea water are setting a precedent that, hopefully, other companies will start following.

Bill Anderson

Bill Anderson may have never created a new tasty beverage, but he can greatly assist those that have. His company is called First Beverage Group and they invest solely in the beverage industry. Funding can be the biggest obstacle for an inventor pioneering a new beverage. If it shows promise, Anderson and his company may be able to lend a hand.

James Tonkin

It’s easy to remember back at how few healthy beverages there used to be. Of course, it started off with water and milk at the beginning of time. Then it went to teas and vitamin packed sports drink. Now, distinctive healthy drinks are emerging constantly on the market. James Tonkin has helped inspire the healthy beverage revolution. His company, Healthy Brand Builders, consult with new healthy beverage brands that could need a hand in marketing or just getting their story out. Zico, Essentia, and Fiji Water are a few companies that he has worked with in creating their brand.

Greg Failing

It seems that cider has firmly planted itself into the alcohol kingdom. Fermented apple cider has never tasted so good. Over the last few years, there have been many hard cider brands introduced. But back in 1991, Greg Failing appeared to be the loan ship on the hard cider ocean when he left the winemaking business behind and took a swing with creating his own cider beverage. It was a risk, but it paid off big. The Woodchuck Brand was born and has been one of the top selling hard ciders ever since with about 50 percent of the market.

Steven Kessler

While soft drinks may taste yummy, they are definitely not healthy for us. The amount of sugar and calories in most is enough to turn us into a tribe of obese and diabetic people. Steve Kessler has an alternative for soda. He is the co-founder of Steaz, a company that has offered carbonated green teas since 2002. In the near future, they will be expanding even more into the line of natural energy drinks. Healthy beverages are the wave of the future. Any company that can create one that is great tasting and good for you is bound to make millions.

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