I can’t believe a week has already passed since we were in Santa Monica. What a great experience. We met so many kind, smart, and energetic people at the conference. The beverage industry is super fun and we are excited to be a part of it.

The journey to the BevNET Showdown, was challenging, nerve wrecking, and exciting, but one that was totally worth it. It’s true, the harder you work to succeed the sweeter it tastes.  On paper the challenge seemed like a cake walk; a 2 minute video, a 2 minute elevator pitch, and a 5 minute presentation. Once we dug in to prepare for each pitch we learned it was not as easy as it seemed. Its crazy how much times goes in to each task.

We submitted our video and a few days later we found out we were chosen to compete against 14 other amazing new beverage companies. We were thrilled! Time to get to work. Next on the list, was a two minute pitch; elevator style. Think “Shark Tank.” So much to say in just two minutes. Day by day we whittled down our pitch until it was perfect.  Then we moved on to the five minute pitch, utilizing the same process. Next on the list was creating the slide shows for out two pitches and memorize, memorize, memorize.

Off to California we went with high expectations. We were excited, nervous, and anxious. Excited for the opportunity, nervous to speak in front of seasoned execs, and anxious for the critiques they would offer. What if they didn’t love our product as much as we do? Kind of scary to bare everything out in the open.

Once I got up on stage I felt a calm come over me. I was talking about a product I believe in and love..my product. The two-minute pitch was over in the blink of an eye. Now time for the feed back.

 

Jeremy Faa, SVP & General Manager for Craft Beverages, Coca-Cola North America, said “I really like this product, its great tasting, only 5-10 calories, no added sugar. It’s something that has a lot of appeal and a lot of potential and that probiotics are definitely on trend.” He also said “I like the name its strong and interesting as well.”

John Craven, Founder & CEO of BevNET said, “I like it a lot.  It’s very light and refreshing.”

With such great feedback it gave us confidence that we would make it to the next round. After the pitch I was interviewed, which was exciting, and then we played the waiting game until they named the finalist. Mother Beverage was moving on to the finals! Now the pressure was really on.  Now back to the hotel room to nail down our five-minute pitch.  We practiced all night like crazy. Losing wasn’t an option.

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Since we didn’t pitch until mid afternoon, we were able enjoy the conference and hear a lot of great people speak, and watch our competition pitch their brands.  We really enjoyed hearing Jody Levy from WTRMLN WTR speak on branding. She shared a ton of great info. I’ll post a link below to check it out.

We also had a chance to sample a ton of great new beverages and speak with a bunch of really awesome people that were just as excited about our product as we were. To me that is the most rewarding part of it all!

When our turn came we knew we had our work cut out for us, but we were confident and ready to shine. When we got up on stage that same calm came over me and we just shared our passion for Mother Beverage. The presentation was awesome and we were ready for the feedback.   

 

This time the judges gave more in depth feedback, all of which was very positive, or very insightful as to where we can become stronger.

Kimberly Paige, VP Marketing & Innovation, VEB (Venture & Emerging Brands) Coca-Cola, was a big fan of apple cider vinegar and said, “We were tapping into this global ancient wisdom but in such a modern way that I’m really excited about it.” She also commented on our packaging saying, “I think the simplicity of it end to end, the flavor descriptors that you have I think it’s just really well done.”

Another Judge Nicole Fry, Managing Partner, First Beverage Group said, “we were smart” in regards to building our own producing facility and said, “it was impressive we took that step first”. She also said “I love the brand name. I think its brilliant.”

She did mention that we need to highlight on the front of the bottle that each drink contains 2 tbls of ACV, which is something we have been discussing. We agree that it will go a long way in educating the consumer as to what our product is all about. Overall, it was a great experience to get the feedback from the judges.

After presenting we had 2 hours, what seemed to be two years, before they announced the winner. When Mother Beverage was announced the winner it kind of felt like movie. I mean it’s not everyday that you get to receive a giant check on stage in front of a bunch of people. It was awesome! We felt so blessed to have won and been part of such a wonderful experience. Thank you BevNET for hosting this event and naming us the “Best New Beverage Winter 2016”.

Check out this great article BevNET wrote about our win. Thanks and keep checking back for more updates. Cheers to your health!

http://www.bevnet.com/news/2016/mother-takes-new-beverage-showdown-12-title

Branding – Jody Levy

https://youtu.be/YbbHSHPcau