Mental wellness and alcohol moderation will drive the next phase of functional beverage growth, Recess CEO predicts

Breaklaunched in 2018 with CBD Infused Drinks​,and says that it stays “the clear leader in the CBD beverage category​” with distribution in CBD-friendly states across the country.

However, founder and CEO Ben Witte has made it clear from the start that he is “build a brand, not market an ingredient,​​and says the Recess Mood line without CBD ​– launched in 2020 – now represents 40% of the business and is on track to generate “more than 50% of sales​” at the end of 2022.

“We see this as a larger relaxation category with multiple subcategories to play in.

Speaking to FoodNavigator-USA after launching three new Recess Mood flavors and beginning distribution in 1,000 Albertsons stores under multiple banners, including Safeway, Albertsons, Pavillions, Shaw’s and Kings, Witte said he has also secured additional listings at CVS and reached deals. with Fresh Thyme and the airport channel via OTG, with additional authorizations expected.

The new Mood flavors, which come with a reduced retail price of $3.49 (down from $3.99), will hit shelves in October, said Witte, who said the brand taps into key trends of “mental wellness and alcohol moderation…we see this as a broader relaxation category with multiple subcategories for us to play around with.

Rather than position ourselves as a CBD beverage brand, we focused on establishing the use occasion of ‘taking a break’ and developing a leading lifestyle brand focused on marketing a sentiment: calm, cool, serene.”

Regarding the price reduction, he said: “We have worked a lot on optimizing COGS (cost of goods sold) while maintaining quality, so we have moved to larger packers and have economies of scale. Transportation costs and toll rates have also stabilized a bit.”

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