FROM THE COMPANY’S WEB SITE
Fresh Start Beverage Co. is creating a new category in the milk-alternative industry. “We are the first company to actually make milk from a universally loved fruit — bananas. We call it Banana Wave,” said H.E. Neter Kush Ben Alkebulan, co-founder and chief beverage officer.
Story: Entrepreneurial passion can take you to places you never thought you’d go. For these co-founders, getting their business off the ground meant living in a car for a while — and success still means donning a banana suit.
Fresh Start Beverage Co.’s mission is to make humanity healthy, happy and strong one refrigerator at a time, said Neter, who founded the Palm Beach County startup along with his fiancée Trendolyn Hopkins and his mother Claudette Patron. Their first product is a nondairy beverage called Banana Wave banana milk. Neter says the delicious superfood originated in Africa’s Nile Valley around 3000 B.C., and has been his family’s specialty for generations.
While attending Florida Memorial University and working three jobs in 2012, he and Hopkins went to the Nova Southeastern University library every night to learn everything they could about business plans and running a company. Saving money by living in a car for six months, they went all-in working on their business full time in 2014; their first break came that year, when they won the People’s Choice award in Florida Atlantic University’s business plan competition and a couple of others.
The winnings, plus about $727,300 raised from family, friends and angel investors after the contests, allowed them to spend most of 2014 and 2015 testing out the product in farmers markets across South Florida, including ones run by Whole Foods, gathering feedback and making tweaks, testing price points and making sales. By January of this year they had the product made commercially and began selling it.
In May, their big break came: Banana Wave is now in Whole Foods throughout the state. The couple have done demonstrations (Neter wears a banana suit) at stores throughout the summer. The banana milk is a first for Whole Foods, Neter said. “They sell a lot of products but they have never seen anything like Banana Wave.”
He has had meetings with Wal-Mart and Kroger over the summer. Wal-Mart has already said yes, Neter said, and they are discussing 2017 launch plans. “I really want to get into Publix; Publix is on my radar.”
In: General Topics, Health, Kosher Kitchen, Kosher New Products, Kosher News
FROM PHIL LEMPERT, SUPERMARKET GURU
No Artificial Colors
No Artificial Flavors
No Artificial Preservatives
This tastes more like a really good fig newton type of bar than chocolate and graham crackers. The graham is soft and chewy (good) and I really can’t taste the chocolate flavor (bad). It’s gluten free and very tasty, just not as described. One bar is 160 calories, 6 grams of fat, 10 grams of sugars, 2 grams of protein and just 110 mg of sodium. For a company that really touts the quality of their ingredients I’d like to see them replace the cellulose powder.
$4.49 1.4 oz per bar (5 bars per package)
In: General Topics, Health, Kosher Desserts, Kosher Kitchen, Kosher New Products, Kosher News
Jim Beam’s twice-barreled Double Oak bourbon, new from Deerfield, Ill.-based Beam Suntory Inc., takes a cue from scotch’s often multi-barreled approach, taking bourbon aging to a different level. Offering a richer flavor than standard Jim Beam, the Kentucky straight bourbon is aged four years in freshly charred new American Oak barrels, then transferred to a newly charred American Oak barrel and aged to taste. The second barreling allows the liquid to develop an even deeper level of intense spiced oakiness and caramel flavor, creating a unique bourbon that can balance a cocktail or be sipped over ice. The 86-proof spirit has rich notes of caramel and vanilla, hints of tasted wood, and a golden amber color. SRP is $22 per 750-milliliter bottle.
Call us a Red Neck or a Cracker- it’s all good. Just hand us a glass of bourbon on ice. Better yet, give us a bourbon and coke on a hot summer day, and we are in heaven.
In: General Topics, Holidays
DDW, “The Color House,” introduces a new food color derived from a purple corn hybrid cultivated in the US.
The non-GM, kosher coloring delivers a vibrant red to purple hue, depending on pH, with a clean, neutral taste. Food and beverage companies may simply list “purple corn juice color” or “colored with vegetable juice” on ingredient statements. DDW’s customers will benefit from the innovative color’s safe, sustainable, traceable and transparent supply chain.
DDW will employ water extraction of the purple corn color at its manufacturing facility in Port Washington, Wis. Samples are available. Applications for the anthocyanin coloring include juice drinks, energy/sports drinks, some enhanced waters, fruit preparations, yogurt, salad dressing, snacks, cereals, and confectionery products.
“Our customers prefer documented control from seed to sale, and we’re excited to provide a new solution using a domestic crop that’s a sustainable, scalable source of color,” says Elaine Gravatte, president and chief operating officer, DDW Inc.
A prototype of DDW’s purple corn color received the NEXTY award for “Best New Ingredient” at the 2016 Natural Products Expo West event in March. DDW also featured the innovation at the 2016 IFT Food Expo in Chicago. At a future date, the company will expand availability to regions outside of North America.
DDW’s mission is to enhance the visual appeal of food and beverages. Nature provides the raw materials while DDW adds 150 years of color expertise. The brilliant partnership offers a complete range of natural coloring, coloring foods, caramel color and burnt sugar with the required stability for your application. A trusted provider of color solutions for the food and beverage industry, the company now operates 11 manufacturing sites on 5 continents for customers in 100 countries.
Visit www.ddwcolor.com for more details.