How Yanni Hufnagel and Beyonce Took Lemon Excellent from Idea to Prime Market Model

With a concentrate on flavorful, wholesome drinks and on-the-go snacks, Yanni Hufnagel, CEO and Lemon Excellent founder, already had his eyes on the longer term in 2017. However an opportunity picture by pop star Beyoncé Knowles-Carter posted to social media took the model from rising to a top market hit in 2020. Developed as a hydrating however flavorful lemon water possibility, Hufnagel’s concentrate on making a keto and sugar-free possibility for standard consumption is on the quick monitor to excellent monetary success. 

Beyoncé, recognized for her wholesome way of life, had a bottle of her favourite Lemon Excellent taste in her limo door when she took the now-famous picture. The dragon fruit mango bottle rapidly soared throughout social media as Yanni Hufnagel had his beverage model thrust into the limelight. “She had posted a photograph with it in her limo, and abruptly my telephone blew up,” Hufnagel stated. “We got here to study that she was an genuine fan of the model. A yr later, one in all our buyers was in her home and noticed her stash within the fridge and helped us construct the bridge together with her. It’s past my wildest desires to have somebody of her affect being a fan of the model.”

Constructing investor curiosity in a beverage enterprise just isn’t all the time simply achieved. Fortuitously, the pop star’s bottle of dragon fruit mango Lemon Excellent has helped promote the model immensely. Relatively than a coincidence, the celebrity has a real love of the drink. “I don’t sometimes take pleasure in drinks with out added sugar, however Lemon Excellent is scrumptious,” acknowledged Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, “It was a straightforward determination to put money into one thing that not solely tastes nice and is wholesome, but in addition, and most significantly, permits selecting a more healthy way of life to be inexpensive and accessible to everybody.” 

In its current $31 million Collection A spherical of funding, which incorporates not solely Knowles-Carter but in addition Goat Rodeo Capital, Beachwood Capital, Melitas Ventures, Trousdale Ventures, and NNS Capital, Lemon Excellent has plans to proceed competing with different beverage sector. Favorites akin to vitaminwater, trace, and Bai have impressed Yanni Hufnagel, who as a former coach had typically seen his basketball gamers consuming these drinks within the locker room. The University of Nevada, Reno basketball coach had additionally acquired a draft of a Keto food plan e book containing a number of lemon water recipes. Seeing the potential to enter the market utilizing the identical basis as Bai, a no-sugar low-calorie beverage, Hufnagel began his Atlanta-based business in 2017. 

The multi-billion greenback enhanced water beverage sector was ripe for brand new taste and has projections of 9 % annual development for the following 5 years. Along with dragon fruit mango, Lemon Excellent additionally is available in lemon, peach raspberry, and blueberry acai flavors. With a mere 5 energy whereas supplemented with potassium and vitamin C, the model stands alone together with its full lack of synthetic flavors, sweeteners, and added sugar. “Nothing with our flavor and health profile is available on the market in the present day,” Yanni Hufnagel acknowledged. “Our value level is at the place a shopper wherever and anytime can turn out to be a buyer. It is extremely uncommon which you can have a complete addressable market like we do.”

The brand new spherical of funding combines $16.5 million of an preliminary spherical in addition to a $14 million extension funding, offering Lemon Excellent with complete funding of $42.2 million and a valuation of over $100 million. The brand new funding was pursued to gas development. The model was poised to scale to over 40,000 distribution factors on the finish of 2022, representing development of 15,000 extra distribution factors that embody on-line in addition to brick-and-mortar retailers and the necessity for a bigger gross sales workforce.

Following Beyoncé’s 2020 submit, Lemon Excellent quadrupled income to $21 million, with projections of $60 million in retail gross sales in 2022, a complete development of $35 million. Yanni Hufnagel anticipates doubled income in 2023 with a associated increase in workforce from 38 to 70. “Beverage is an costly recreation, and entry to capital is the one approach to drive a fast-scaling model ahead,” Hufnagel acknowledged in a current interview. “We need to be a disruptive participant in a big class and need to put gas on the hearth. We felt like we have been in a position to drive nice execution, however nonetheless have room to develop and need to construct a giant margin story for tomorrow.” With backers like Beyoncé, Lemon Excellent’s future is definitely promising.