ZX Ventures, the global growth and innovation group within AB InBev, has announced an investment in Wave Soda, a two-year-old California-based startup producing a low-calorie soda made of 85 percent sparkling water and 15 percent fruit juice. The product has only 15-25 calories per can, without any added sugar or artificial sweeteners.
Elizabeth Tomic, global director of ZX Ventures’ Explore Fund, told attendees at BevNet Live in New York City last week that Wave Soda fulfills several requirements for new products which are to be added to the company’s portfolio. First of all the product can be marketed across a variety of channels. But even more importantly it has the potential for a solid growth plan with ZX Ventures’ help.
“Flavor, bubbles and a little bit of caffeine seems like a really big space and is one we understand consumers to be actively looking for new things,” Tomic was quoted by food navigator-usa.
Wave Soda was founded in January 2017 by industry veteran Nat Noone who had spent most of his career working in The Coca-Cola Company and multiple startup environments. He realized that consumers abandon soda while sparkling water was rocketing upward and he saw room for a product with “some bubbles, a little bit of flavor, and a little caffeine,” that split the difference between the categories.
“Amazing enough, as simple as the concept is, I couldn’t find it out there,” Noone explained his idea. “LaCroix has the bubbles but doesn’t have real juice or caffeine, Izzy has the bubbles but it’s 70% juice so it’s got more than 100 calories. So I just started messing around.”
“We’re not creating a new category,” Noone said. “There’s an exodus from soda and we’re just trying to create a happy place for them to land.”