The ranking uses the top food and beverage brands named in Inc. Magazine’s Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing private companies in the United States, plus an added metric to see which were the “buzziest.” To start, it looks at each brand’s following across four social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube). Additional points were granted for any creative marketing campaigns, awards, or charitable contributions each brand made over the course of the last six months.
Below are the 20 highest-ranking non-alcoholic beverage brands from the Top 100. Follow this link to view the complete ranking.
A major player in the nutrition space, Nuun is the brand behind sugar-free, gluten-free, and carb-less, electrolyte-enhanced dissolvable drink tablets that come in a recyclable tube. Nuun sponsors numerous athletic events across the country every year and has received support from many athletes who serve as brand ambassadors.
Another nutritional brand, LIFEAID produces healthy performance drinks without the added sugar and caffeine that many competitors include in their blends. There are special formulations designed for traveling, working out, and even hangovers. The company’s FITAID line was the official recovery drink of the 2017 CrossFit Games.
Nekter has storefronts across the country where it sells juices, smoothies, acai bowls, frozen desserts, RTD bottled products, and chia parfaits. The company also has multiple juice cleanse product lines available for purchase on its website. Customers can download the company’s app as part of its loyalty program to skip the line at stores and receive free products.
This brand is the first Hawaiian volcanic water of its kind that emphasizes a triple bottom line business model. This is shown through its efforts to promote conservation and access to clean water and education for people in need. Waiakea is the first American premium bottled beverage to be certified CarbonNeutral for its variety of eco-initiatives, such as using 100% RPET packaging, sustainable sourcing, and its regional reforestation projects.
Natalie’s was born after the wife of a fourth-generation citrus grower wanted to help her husband realize his dream of selling fresh juices. Today, the brand is sold in 33 states and 41 countries worldwide and is certified as a Women’s Business Enterprise by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council.
The producers of 50 flavorful and functional teas, Tiesta can be found in 6,500 retailers and hundreds of cafes. The brand uses thoughtful marketing messaging to tell consumers the benefits of the tea they’re about to consume, what it tastes like, and how to brew it. Teas are available in 5 unique blends, each providing a different function for consumers.
A drive-thru coffee franchise, Scooter’s originated in the Omaha metro area before expanding to 15 states. The company has partnered with Arbor Day Foundation and sources 100% shade-grown coffee. Each cup of coffee sold helps preserve two square feet of rainforests.
The Boba Guys produce high-quality bubble tea that’s sold at storefronts in San Francisco and New York. The company has also launched a catering division, bringing their signature bubble tea to special events in these metro areas. Bottled versions of their Pure Milk Tea is available for purchase as well.
A major player in the fast-growing kombucha space, Humm had humble beginnings selling their brews door to door and at farmers’ markets. Today, Humm can be found in every state, plus Sweden. They also sell their kombucha on draft for purchase at many convenience stores.
A fixture on many college campuses, Saxbys is a coffee shop with a higher purpose. The brand supports the entrepreneurial ventures of many young people through its Experiential Learning program, where students can manage a store of their own in exchange for academic credit. Currently, Saxbys operates cafes in 9 states.
A force in the healthy energy movement, Hiball produces drinks in several flavors, and has even expanded to cold-brew coffee and sparkling waters. All their products are organic and fair trade certified. Several athletes also serve as brand ambassadors, embracing the healthy lifestyle that Hiball supports.
Forto Coffee operates under parent company, Dyla. The brand’s 2oz coffee shots are organic and certified fair trade, and are available with or without milk. Don’t be fooled – these little guys have as much caffeine as 2 cups of coffee. The brand is also an official sponsor of the Drone Racing League.
LIVE Soda isn’t soda at all! The brand produces kombucha and drinking vinegars comparable to soft drinks. It’s #kickcola hashtag inspires consumers to switch over from sugary, nutritionless beverages to better-for-you choices that still taste great.
This brand of sparkling waters is the only one in America made with real squeezed fruit grown by local farmers. Spindrift is a partner of 1% for the Planet, a charitable organization whose members contribute at least 1% of annual sales to environmental causes.
This kombucha line is actually produced by a prominent player in the tea industry, Townshend’s. Since kombucha is partially made from tea, it was only a matter of time before the teahouse decided to expand its horizons to bubbly probiotic beverages. The use of teas and botanicals as opposed to juices give Brew Dr.’s blends a unique flavor profile that stands out from others on the market.
This tea retailer sells a variety of tea-related products at its stores across the country and online, including loose-leaf blends, teapots, and gift sets. Shoppers can also sign up for a monthly subscription box where they’ll receive 3 teas from Capital’s selection of over 200, plus an accessory or accompaniment.
Kohana produces a cold-brew coffee concentrate, a RTD cold-brew coffee, and roasted coffee. Named after the flower the unfolds to reveal a coffee bean, Kohana sources its ingredients exclusively from organic farmers. The brand never uses heat as part of its cold-brew process, making it the real deal.
B’more produces 7 flavors of skyr, a high-protein Icelandic dairy product comparable to yogurt. As their name implies, all of B’more’s skyr is certified organic. The company donates 1% of sales to Jodi’s Climb for Hope, a nonprofit dedicated to finding cures for Breast Cancer and MS.
With 16 locations in Aspen and Denver, ink! hand roasts its coffee in a high-altitude environment, which delivers a s
mooth taste that’s not bitter. Among its many charitable partnerships is one with Socially Conscious Coffee, an organization that provides education, health, and environmental programs to coffee farm laborers and their families.
Capitalizing on one of the latest wellness crazes, Au Bon Broth makes organic, grass-fed bone broth. The concoctions are available as capsules or frozen broths and are sold online and at select retailers.
What all of these brands have in common is their commitment to quality and close connection to their end-users. Staying passionate about their craft and relevant in the marketplace is what has catapulted them into positions of high growth.