CLEAN Cause – Yerba Team On A Mission
CLEAN Cause is a yerba mate beverage line with four different flavors. With a unique mission, CLEAN Cause brings a tasty product and hope to many of us. Today, I have the pleasure of talking with Wes Hurt, CEO & Founder of CLEAN Cause.
1. I have read your story on CLEAN Cause’s website. It’s touching and inspiring. Why did you choose the beverage business?
From a branding standpoint, CLEAN is a fantastic name for a beverage. Consumers are increasingly seeking drink options that are “better-for-you”, have organic/NON-GMO ingredients and aren’t over-loaded with sugar. The CLEAN name is well aligned with all of these attributes. Secondly, the total addressable market for beverages is billions upon billions. Being that our mission is to create a sustainable source of funding and that we want to make a meaningful impact, we needed to choose an industry that would give us a real shot at generating significant profits.
2. CLEAN Cause has four different flavors. Can you tell us a little bit about each?
We offer single-flavor profiles including blackberry (our best-seller), raspberry, peach and lemon lime. Each can has only 60 calories, is USDA organic certified and is topped off with 160mg of organic caffeine. The flavors aren’t overpowering, and the sweetness and carbonation balance the product to create a refreshing pick-me-up. Simply put, CLEAN is better caffeine.
3. It is hard to develop a successful beverage brand. What difficulties did you face during the process of development? In your opinion, what are the key elements for a successful beverage brand?
Probably the most difficult aspect of the beverage business is being able to find the funding you need to enable you a long enough time period to find a market foothold with your brand. The beverage business is highly capital intensive. In addition to funding challenges, finding coworkers and building a solid team is extremely challenging. Resumes and reference calls are great, but you really get to see what a person is made of (or not) after they are fully on board.
4. It might be hard to differ in the beverage market. What makes CLEAN Cause stand out?
Three things really set us apart from the rest of the beverage market. Number one is our packaging. It’s true to it’s name “CLEAN, and has a vibrant color scheme. In short, it’s easy on the eyes and really pops off the shelf. Secondly, the product itself sets us apart from the crowd. Yerba Mate is a new category in the US, but I’m convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that it’s the healthiest form of caffeine in the world. It is packed with mineral and vitamins, and doesn’t give you the jitters. In short, the product delivers better performance because it contains better caffeine. Last, but certainly not least, is the most compelling differentiator – our cause and giveback. I think the fact that we commit such a large part of our profits to support a mission that affects us all really stands out in the industry. At the end of the day, we’re got CLEAN packaging, a delicious product that delivers better functional benefits, with a purpose that we can all unite behind.
5. The half of the profit goes to support addiction recovery. Can you tell us more about the initiative?
Our giveback initiative is coined “CLEAN Kickstarts”. They are sober living scholarships intended to give folks fresh out of rehab, homelessness, or incarceration the opportunity to focus on getting a job and establishing a recovery support system. We think of it as a bridge between rehab and reintegration. There’s a big gap here in the continuum of care and we aim to fill it as quickly as possible!
6. What are the biggest goals set for 2020?
From a business perspective, increasing our national footprint, securing more major retailers and focusing on really winning in the markets we’re given the opportunity would be our top three goals. On the cause front, our goal is to generate an additional 1,000 sober living scholarships by the end of 2020.
7. What advice would you have given yourself before you started out in the beverage business?
Plan your work. Work your plan.
For more information visit CLEAN Cause’s website.