Link To Guest Website:

Title: “Exciting & Unique Flavors of Lemonade In A Premium Bottle”
Guest: Matt Anderson – Calypso Lemonade
Interviewer: Jeffrey Davis – MAGE LLC

Click here to read the transcript

Jeffrey (1s):
Well, hello everybody. And welcome back to Radio Entrepreneurs. And my name is Jeffrey Davis, founder of Radio Entrepreneurs was also CEO and chairman of Mage LLC management consulting firm. And we continue to stream stories of entrepreneurship and businesses in this ever-changing economy, over 7,000 interviews, over a million people have connected to our stories. Yeah. I always get excited about food companies, food, and, and I do because that’s the business I grew up in my family business as well. I come out of a family business. Our next guest is Matt Anderson, chief innovation and brand officer at Calypso Lemonade. Oh, la la.

Jeffrey (41s):
Tell us about lemonade. I I’m a big lemonade fan, so,

Matt (47s):
All right, well Calypso it, the company is the corporate name is king Jews company, Inc. So it was a founder business. It was founded in 1983 and then the original recipe for clips of lemonade was developed in 1985. And then the brand was launched in 2000. So our founder did a great job, making a great product, a great brand, and then it converted over to private equity ownership in 2017 and a management team was brought in that had some deep skills within the consumer packaged goods industry. And we’ve been running the brand since then. And it’s grown fairly well. I would say exceptionally well over the past three years.

Matt (1m 29s):
So we grew 33% in 2019 62% in 2020. And we’re off to a great start this year as well. So we’ve, you know, effectively tripled the business. We’re the number two lemonade now shelf stable, bottled lemonade in the category. So we just recently passed brisk and we’re, we’re, we’re trying to catch men at made and we’re the fastest turning brand as well. And the other great thing about this brand is it’s got a strong international presence. So we’re in over 25 countries and over 20% of our sales are actually outside of the United States. So I’ve always thought that really strong brands have global reach. And this is a brand that has global reach.

Jeffrey (2m 9s):
So I, I didn’t bring up minimize you did, and it’s not hard to find men that made in various grocery chains. How would you describe the difference between the brands and what’s your brand advantage?

Matt (2m 21s):
Yeah, so I say the difference between the brands are just how they’re positioned in the marketplace. So we are the originator of the flavored lemonade category. So if you look at our product portfolio, you know, we just don’t have, you know, we do have the original lemonades and we have the strawberry lemonades, but then we have really unique flavors like island wave and coral blast. So I think our flavor proposition is very different for the consumer where it’s a little bit of a treasure hunt where they can always find something new and different that they can’t find from any other lemonade brand. Also, I think we’re positioned very much as a premium product as well. So we’re in a glass bottle. We haven’t gone the pet route and, you know, if you at our visual identity and what we convey on shelf, and we truly do believe it really is a premium offering.

Matt (3m 6s):
So that combination of flavored lemonades, Unique Flavors in the premium positioning, I think does set us apart in the marketplace.

Jeffrey (3m 13s):
Very interesting. And I hope you don’t mind me asking. So only since I grow up in a house with a diabetic, do you have like some of the other brands, a, let’s say lower sugar version.

Matt (3m 24s):
Great question. Glad you asked. Yes. So in 2020 we did launch Calypso light, which is a zero sugar five calorie offering, and it’s been very successful. So one of the things that we like to do as a smaller company, we’re very connected to our consumers. And we knew from the feedback that we’re getting through our social media platforms or consumer inquiry, that there was a need for, you know, people with particular health conditions that loved our brand, but maybe couldn’t consume the core product. And that led us on the path to launching Calypso lights. So to meet that dietary need, but also do it in a way that stayed true to the brand. So we took well over a year to develop a product that we think tastes great because we were not going to launch a product that, you know, with substandard or did not deliver on the flavor expectations of Calypso.

Matt (4m 12s):
And I think if you look at the category, a lot of the zero calorie offerings out there, they just don’t taste all that good. And ours does. And we’re happy to say that it’s been very successful. And we’re almost now just with clips of lights, a top 10 brand with just that sub brand within the category.

Jeffrey (4m 29s):
Well, yes, you’re right. There can be a wide variety of issues around what’s being put into the light product and what they’re using for sweetener. There’s I know that there, the category is expanding just the whole sugar-free category is expanding. So when I’m thinking about that, can you give me a look, can you open up the window a little bit and tell me a little bit about the next two to three years, what we can expect? Cause you know, the whole category of consumable liquid products is changing dramatically. We know that with flavored waters, but also, you know, that this generation of people, that the first-generation history of the world that consume flavored liquid more than water and that I think is going to continue.

Jeffrey (5m 14s):
So tell us what’s the, what’s the com.

Matt (5m 17s):
Yeah. So I think the great thing about our brand is even though we’ve grown exceptionally well, I think it’s really just the beginning. So I think there’s a lot that we can do with this brand in terms of extendability within pack types alone. So right now we are only in market in a 16 ounce single serve offering. We haven’t even deployed a multipack. So just tapping into shopper, a usage occasions with either a six pack multipack or a variety pack at club, that’s a big vector of growth for us. But the other thing too is the brand is really extendable. So there’s a lot of I’ll call it on the skunk or things that we’ve done to take the brand to new and interesting places.

Matt (5m 57s):
And whether we will commercialize them in the future, you know, remains to be seen. But one of the things we did pilot is a fermented malt beverage with Calypso, just to see if we could make a great, you know, seltzer or a hard lemonade, rather not a seltzer and make it taste great. And we successfully did that. So I think they extended the ability of the brand, whether it be pack type or new formats, like FMB are very interesting to us. We could also go the carbonated route as well. So I think there’s a lot of places we can play because I think the brand, because it delivers on those flavor credentials so solidly and the consumer expectation is there and we deliver on that expectation. We can take the brand in a lot of interesting places and I already mentioned internationally.

Matt (6m 39s):
So we’re have a really strong presence in Canada, the UK and the EU. But I think, you know, the, the, the globe is where I think we can participate with this brand.

Jeffrey (6m 51s):
So tell me a little bit about that wonderful brand behind you and the Guana.

Matt (6m 59s):
It’s a gecko. His name is Joe Joe. So he sort the puckish playful, a mascot of the brand. He’s very active on social media, but we keep him on the Twitter account to keep them, you know, to have some pithy quotes. But he’s just another manifestation of sort of the fun island vibe that the brand has. And he’s, he’s a, he’s a, he’s definitely a part of the mix to bring that taste of the islands to life for us.

Jeffrey (7m 28s):
I think I saw him in human form many times in the Caribbean and over my life.

Matt (7m 33s):
No doubt you saw Joe Joe down in the Caribbean.

Jeffrey (7m 36s):
There’s no doubt. So tell me if somebody’s looking for Calypso. I mean, you’re saying all over the country, where do they find Calypso? How do we, how do we get access?

Matt (7m 49s):
Yeah, so we are nationally distributed. We have a lot of key accounts, so we’re national and Kroger. We’ve now got permanent placement in Walmart. You can find us in a whole host of national chains within the C-store class of trade. So we’re, we’re pretty well across the, the country coast to coast. And you know, our, our distribution is at 42%. So that’s another avenue of growth for us. So while we have good national presence, there’s still more to be gained in market in terms of getting our product into more retail.

Jeffrey (8m 22s):
So I’m in new England to find that, I don’t know if that’s not a dirty word for you, but it being in new England, where do you know where I would find you besides Walmart?

Matt (8m 30s):
I have a great distributor up there with polar beverages. Yep. So, you know, the Northeast has been a market. That’s been our focus for getting more distribution. And so we look forward to that going forward.

Jeffrey (8m 44s):
And we, if you noticed my logo over my shoulder, the family businesses association with the polar family, we’re one of our family business award winners and just a great family. And I, some family that’s known very well out east. So again, if somebody is looking to find Calypso, how would they find it if they can they go online, if they need to?

Matt (9m 6s):
Yeah, we do not have right currently right now have a direct to consumer service other than specifically sort of in the New York century area. So if they’re looking to find us though, if they, you know, go to their local retailer, like I said, we have Kroger, we also have Albertsons Safeway. So we have two large national chains. I think the stand a pretty good chance of finding us. And also if they go to drink Calypso dot com, they can go on our store locator and they can plug in their address and it’ll pop up locations where they can find the product.

Jeffrey (9m 36s):
Great. I want to thank you for being on the show today and remind everybody it’s, this is radio entrepreneur. And I would say it’s always Calypso time. So let’s take a break and we’ll be right back after this short message.

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