Hellowater partners with agricultural company on toxin-fighting beverage line5 Feb 2021
Functional water brand Hellowater and the agriculture company Brandt are partnering to launch a line of beverages that employ Brandt’s toxin-elimination and immune-protection technology. In addition to co-producing a line of functional water, Brandt is the lead investor in Hellowater’s Series A fundraising round, which is set to close at the end of the quarter. Details about the investment were not shared.
The proprietary technology featured in this new product, which is expected to hit U.S. shelves in March, will feature Brandt's CYTO PLUS technology. According to a press release from the agritech company, this technology creates "a shield for our defense system while accelerating the elimination of toxins from the body.”
Elimination rather than addition is a novel concept for functional waters that generally focus on incorporating ingredients to boost the overall health of consumers. Hellowater itself already has three of its own varieties that promise digestive health, immune defense and pH balance. However, this partnership with Brandt does more than just show that Hellowater is thinking outside the bottle. It marks a transition for beverage manufacturers, aligning them with technological solutions as a means of differentiating themselves in a category that is rapidly expanding.
Hellowater co-founder and CEO Tom Bushkie in the release, “We could have gone the typical route in creating an immunity beverage by adding core vitamins and minerals to help boost health, but we knew we needed to deliver a breakthrough product that had true protection.”
By looking to technology-driven solutions, this partnership may mark the beginning of a trend to seek collaboration with companies that are propelling innovation through innovative technological specialization.
This hyper-specialization will now put this functional beverage startup in competition with some industry heavyweights, including Nestlé, PepsiCo and Ocean Spray as well as a host of smaller startups that are producing beverages that claim to do everything from increasing sleep quality to providing a boost in energy. But despite stiff competition, the use of CYTO PLUS technology offers Hellowater an attractive competitive advantage that aligns it with the growing interest in tech solutions like artificial intelligence and gene editing technology from elsewhere in the food and beverage space.
Although innovative, this toxin-removal solution bucks the trend toward natural functional beverage options that are also popular with consumers. While Hellowater may not target demographics looking for natural alternatives, it may be worth noting that too much innovation too quickly is not always well received by consumers. People have found technologies like lab grown meat to be “scary,” according to a 2019 study from the marketing firm Charleston|Orwig. Similarly, GMOs have remained a controversial subject with consumers who are wary of altered ingredients.
Nevertheless, the thought of removing toxins from the body has a good chance of appealing to consumers that are increasingly interested in edible solutions to maintain their health and wellbeing.
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