The Best Functional Brands Always Get This Right

+ Bonnie Shah, L.A. Libations; Sunanda Patel, TumiBee


In this episode, Taste Radio’s hosts discussed the significance of great taste for functional products, a highly effective way for entrepreneurs to get their brands in the hands of industry gatekeepers and debated on whether the rise of RTD cocktails will impact the premium mixer segment. We also feature short interviews focused on trends and innovation with Bonnie Shah, the VP of marketing and innovation for Molson Coors-backed incubator and accelerator L.A. Libations, and Sunanda Patel, the founder and CEO of TumiBee, an upstart brand of Ayurvedic beverage mixes. 

In this Episode

0:53: We’re So Psyched About This Banter — The episode opened with Ray sharing his thoughts about our return to live events and how a recent tweet sparked a conversation about functional products and, along with it, WD-40, riffed on the appropriate texture for dried fruit and encouraged listeners to share their brands with us at BevNET and NOSH Live. The hosts also congratulated Vita Coco co-founder/CEO Mike Kirban on the company’s recent IPO, got revved up about newly launched gin, relaxed about a kava-infused water and rational regarding a new non-alcoholic beer brand.
24:06: Bonnie Shah, VP Marketing and Innovation, L.A. Libations — Shah sat down with Taste Radio editor Ray Latif at Natural Products Expo East 2021 where she spoke about her role with L.A. Libations (LAL), a beverage creator, incubator and accelerator that is minority owned by the Molson Coors Beverage Co. She also discussed LAL’s recently launched So-Cal Incubation Program, nicknamed SIP, the company’s retail partnerships and efforts to drive awareness and sales for emerging brands, her perspective on beverage innovation, functional ingredient trends and how direct-to-consumer sales fit into the firm’s business model.
39:20: Interview: Sunanda Patel, Founder & CEO, TumiBee — Patel joined Latif for a conversation, also recorded at Expo East, about the creation of TumiBee, an upstart brand of turmeric-based beverage mixes and her experience launching the brand amid the Covid pandemic. She also spoke about TumiBee’s formidable DTC business, the company’s social marketing and consumer education strategies and how she evaluated and adjusted her pricing strategy.

Also Mentioned

5-hour Energy, TCHO, Alta, Chooza, Teaonic, Vita Coco, Abbot’s Butcher, BetterBrand, AVEC, Q Drinks, Engine Gin, Stillhouse, Psychedelic Water, Leilo, Rationale Brewing, Chika Chika Boom Boom, Agua Bonita, ZOA Energy, ZENWTR, Red Bull, Monster Energy, Arriba, Brightfox, Athletic Brewing Co., Mingle Mocktails, Shaka Tea, NUUN, Halo Sport, Orro, TumiBee