Anheuser-Busch, since 2008 wholly-owned US subsidiary of the world’s largest brewer AB InBev, announced on Thursday its acquisition of Hiball, maker of organic caffeinated energy drinks, sparkling energy waters, cold brew coffees (all sold unter the Hiball brand name) as well as organic sparkling juices and sparkling waters, which are marketed under the Alta Palla ("high ball" in Italian) brand. Financial details of the deal, which is expected to be closed in the third quarter of this year, were not disclosed. The company, which is said to have over $30 million in retail sales, employs currently 20 people.
This marks AB InBev’s next inroad into the non-alcoholic beverage sector after closing a deal with Starbucks Corp. in June last year. The agreement included production and distribution of the first ready-to-drink teas under the non-alcoholic Teavana line. In February 2017, Anheuser-Busch began shipping four flavors of Teavana Craft Iced Teas to select grocery and convenience retailers in New Hampshire, New York, Vermont and Missouri.
Hiball Energy was launched in 2005 by Todd Berardi and is the pioneer of energy drinks for the health-conscious consumer. Logo and packaging were designed by graphic designer Alyssa Warnock, who became later Creative Director of the company and married the founder. In 2008 Dan Craytor joined the company as Vice President of Business Development.
After 3 packaging changes over the last 8 years, a full upgrade to organic and fair trade ingredients, and a few recent product line extensions, Hiball Energy is the fastest growing organic energy drink brand in the United States. The product contains a proprietary organic energy blend of guarana, ginseng and caffeine in addition to several vitamins.
“When I founded this company, I had a single goal of delivering the very best organic, natural products to like-minded consumers. I am excited to join the Anheuser-Busch team so we can share our products with more consumers and give our team even more opportunities to grow,” says Todd Berardi, who will continue to lead and manage the business together with his wife Alyssa Warnock and Dan Craytor.