If you aren’t familiar with Splash Beverage Group Inc (OTCMKTS:SBEV), we won’t blame you because it’s a small-cap player on the OTC. But the company recently announced a major expansion into the Asian market that could sharply expand its consumer reach, and we thought it was a good idea to dig a little deeper into the story.
SBEV is a holding company building a leading portfolio of beverage brands in both the spirits and fitness products markets that is engaged in marketing and distributing naturally flavored tequilas under the “SALT” brand as well as performance-enhancing drinks under the “TapouT” brand, which reportedly contain a proprietary blend of essential vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes.
The brand has also scored big with mixed martial arts crowd and through sponsorships in the MMA space.
SBEV also recently announced that it has secured distribution and Manufacturing capabilities in Greater China for its hydration and recovery brand TapouT Performance and distribution for its brand SALT Naturally Flavored Tequila by entering into a distribution agreement with China-based American Software Capital.
As noted by the company, ASC will initially import and distribute TapouT and SALT Tequila beverage products in China as it works with Splash to position the Company for manufacturing capabilities over the intermediate term in order to streamline operations and maximize profitability in the region. ASC is also well-positioned to seamlessly incorporate additional brands as Splash continues to acquire and/or internally develop new brands, product lines and concepts.
“The thirst for Western brands continues to increase across Asia,” commented Robert Nistico, CEO of Splash. “We believe our relationship with ASC, one of China’s top manufacturers and distributors, will position Splash to capitalize on this trend. ASC has extensive relationships with top retail chains, and I’m confident this will further our advantage as we enter the Chinese market.”
Strength at the Top
As recently noted in The Good Men Project publication, Splash Beverage Group Inc (OTCMKTS:SBEV) is driven by a strong team with relevant expertise in place.
The company has developed a strong team to manage all aspects of the Beverage business under the leadership of CEO Robert Nistico. Its top-ranking officials are experienced and highly qualified in the Beverage industry. They are also working hard to drive its brand into leadership positioning in the global beverage marketplace.
Mr. Nistico, the CEO of the company, is leading by leveraging his 26 years of experience in the global beverage space. Interested market participants may also want to note that Nistico also founded and led Marley Beverages, where he was key in forming its long-term vision and strategy.
Before founding Marley, Nistico racked up experience at Diageo and Gallo, two of the biggest brands in the global beverage marketplace.
According to the article, “Robert Nistico’s expertise includes strategic brand marketing, direct and indirect sales management, production, forecasting, packaging, budgeting profit & loss management, financial modeling, operations, and logistics. Earlier, he has also served on the Board of Directors of Apollo Brands in Dallas, Texas, and holds an Advisory Board position with Transition Capital Partners, LLC (a private equity firm), also in Dallas.”
Along with Nistico, William Meissner, the company’s President and CMO, is a proven leader with more than two decades of experience working with consumer brand companies whether it’s large multinational and medium-sized entrepreneurial organizations. Meissner’s expertise lies in holding multiple CEO roles and revamping both healthy and distressed companies.
Building and restoring brand value is the best part of his leadership quality. Prior to joining SBEV, he had also served as the President and Chief Executive Office for Sweet Leaf and Trade winds Tea, a premium beverage brands, and the CEO of Genesis Today, Inc. that is a leader in the organic nutritional supplements category. Then, he was also the CEO of Tazza Pronto a joint venture between Distant Lands Coffee, Inc. and Caffita Systems SPA. Then he had also occupied the CEO position of Jones Soda, President of Talking Rain Beverages, and the Chief Marketing Officer of Fuze & NOS Beverages (Coca-Cola), and in the Brand Director of SoBe Beverages (Pepsi-Co), and Nutritional Category Manager at Tetra Pak, USA Inc.
Positioning is Key
With its top-tier team in place, and new and widening distribution footprint, Splash Beverage Group Inc (OTCMKTS:SBEV) holds promise in a growing equation that involves both spirits and functional beverages, each of which represents a rapidly growing market.
As noted above, the company already has major ties to arguably the fastest growing sport over the past decade in mixed martial arts, with brand association to MMA that resonates with the niche culture and the popular exercise and fitness industry that surrounds it.
In addition, its SALT Naturally Flavored Tequila is a market leader in quality, made from 100% agave, adding up to an 80-proof naturally flavored tequila carrying the potential to make inroads into the insular global tequila marketplace.
Its products are already established in the US, which is the largest consumer of Tequila on the planet. In addition, the US demand for tequila is increasing year by year. Spain and Chinese demand for tequila is increasing at a high rate. Tequila has very strict requirements for raw materials. A mature blue agave requires a minimum of eight years, which limits the total production of tequila.
The worldwide market for Tequila is expected to grow at a CAGR of roughly 4.1% over the next five years, will reach $5.9 billion before 2025 (up from $4.7 billion in 2019, according to a New Research study from 360ResearchReports).
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