The Future of the Cannabis Beverage Sector and Shift of Key Players: Sproutly (CSE: $SPR.C) (OTCQB: $SRUTF), PEPSICO (NASDAQ: $PEP) Anheuser-Busch (NYSE: $BUD) and New Age Beverages (NASDAQ: $NBEV)
Point Roberts, WA - December 7, 2018 (Investorideas.com Newswire) Investorideas.com, a global news source covering leading sectors including marijuana and hemp stocks, releases a sector snapshot looking at the race for positioning in the future cannabis beverage space, with companies targeting key executives from the beverage industry as well as expanding with corporate acquisitions in the alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage sector.
High expectations on the passing of the US 2018 Farm Bill, as well as Canada's anticipated edibles roll-out in 2019, have pushed cannabis infused beverage companies to continue to add to their company rosters ensuring they are fully prepared to seize the massive CBD beverage market in Canada, the US and internationally.
Looking to the future, Sproutly Canada, Inc. (CSE:SPR) (OTCQB:SRUTF) (38G.F), a licensed cannabis producer in Canada that has secured a natural water soluble technology to redefine cannabis beverages, just announced two new hires from the beverage sector, adding to their already seasoned team. The company brought on both Melise Panetta to the senior leadership team as Vice President of Sales and Marketing, to focus on the Company's branding, marketing and sales objectives, as well as Bryan Semkuley to the senior leadership team as President of Sproutly, to accelerate the Company's strategic objectives of becoming a leading cannabis formulations company focused on beverages.
Melise Panetta most recently led the sales strategy as Director of Sales for SC Johnson, a privately held global consumer packaged goods company and was responsible for delivering profitable category and brand growth for 200+ customers across multiple classes of trade including Sobeys, Save on Foods, London Drugs, and Federated Co-op among others. Prior to her role as Director of Sales, Melise was Head of Marketing with responsibilities including realigning their investment strategy behind brands, establishing their strategic net revenue framework and delivering strong market share gains. Previous to SC Johnson, Melise held roles of increasing responsibility at PEPSICO, Inc. (NASDAQ:PEP) for 8 years, most recently as Senior Marketing Manager, Corporate Initiatives.
In a recent release Keith Dolo, CEO of Sproutly stated, "We are very excited for Melise to be joining the Sproutly leadership team. She brings a tremendous amount of sales, marketing and branding experience from established consumer packaged goods and beverage companies to Sproutly. Her proven track record, along with her drive to form winning brands will allow Sproutly to successfully deliver on our product brand strategy," concluded Keith.
Regarding the addition of Bryan Semkuley, Dolo has similar sentiment, saying, "We are pleased that Mr. Semkuley has chosen to join the leadership team of Sproutly as President. Bryan brings significant experience in branding, marketing, sales and most importantly, global product innovation and expertise from recognized multinational consumer packaged goods and beverage companies. Our ability to continue executing on our business objectives, defining our competitive advantages and attracting top talent to our management team and Board of Directors further validates our commitment to becoming a leading cannabis company, with a clear focus on the beverage category," he concluded.
Bryan Semkuley is a seasoned executive with over 30+ years leading global innovation and marketing teams for Fortune 200 companies including Kimberly-Clark, Anheuser-Busch InBev (NYSE:BUD) and Labatt. Mr. Semkuley will focus on the execution of the Company's strategic objectives, development of its operational plan and will work diligently to tie in the different vertical divisions of sales, marketing, product innovation, operations and branding to deliver top-line growth.
Mr. Semkuley has extensive experience and a proven established track record of building new and existing brands and businesses through new product development, channel relationships and commercial innovation. Prior to joining Sproutly, Mr. Semkuley was Vice President, Global Innovation/Industrial Sector at Kimberly-Clark, a US$19B NYSE-listed American multinational consumer packaged goods company focused on personal care products. Before joining Kimberly-Clark, Mr. Semkuley spent over 25 years at Anheuser-Busch InBev, a US$130B NYSE-listed beverage company and Labatt as Vice President Global Innovation, Vice President Global Brand Marketing and Vice President Marketing, amongst other roles.
Mr. Semkuley has similar company with his move from Anheuser-Busch InBev to entering the cannabis sector, as news hit in September this year that Adolphus A. Busch V, great-great-grandson of the late founder of Anheuser Busch announced the launch of his eponymous cannabis brand, ABV Cannabis Company.
In a news release, Adolphus Busch V, founder of ABV Cannabis Co. discussed his move to the cannabis sector. "Growing up I always knew I wanted to work in the family business, creating quality and affordable products that appealed to a variety of consumers. However, once I saw all the incredible benefits that cannabis could bring to people and the immense opportunity presented by the cannabis industry, I knew I could take all I learned from my pioneering family heritage and create a new legacy for myself in the cannabis space."
Companies like New Age Beverages (NASDAQ: NBEV) have taken a slightly different approach by simply acquiring new companies to posture for the future. NBEV stock jumped 8% on Monday, after rising as much as 15.6% earlier in the day, following the company announcing that it was acquiring Morinda Holdings, a Utah-based company specializing in health beverages, for $85 million - $75 million in cash and $10 million in New Age stock.
This merger will create the 40th largest non-alcoholic beverage company in the world with $300 million in net revenue, $20 million in adjusted EBITDA, $200 million in assets, no debt and $40 million in cash and working capital. This deal, which is expected to close by the end of December, also provides New Age's Health Sciences products and portfolio of CBD-infused beverages immediate access into 60 countries, with the big two being China and Japan.
Beveragedaily.com, looking at the 2019 beverage trends: Top predictions for the coming year notes 2019 will see interest focus on CBD as a functional ingredient. Though there is still speculation on how and when the big giants like PEPSICO Inc. and Coca Cola Bottling Co. will enter into the cannabis space, it seems some of the key executives working for those companies are willing to bet on this new beverage trend.
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