COVID-19 hasn’t stopped Kiwi organic drinks maker, Karma Drinks, raising money via online investment platform, Snowball Effect, to accelerate its New Zealand growth plans and ambitions for new product development (NPD).
Co-founded in Grey Lynn, Auckland in 2012 by Simon Coley and brothers Chris and Matt Morrison, the award-winning, organic and Fairtrade beverage company was formed with the vision to produce ethically sourced drinks (including sodas, juices and kombuchas), with a portion of the proceeds from each bottle going back to the cola growers’ families via the Karma Foundation.
Karma Drinks Co-Founder, Chris Morrison, said that despite what is a turbulent time, the organisation is committed to spreading good karma and continuing their global expansion and approach to innovation. Health and well-being are key drivers for their NPD strategy, especially as people have become much more health conscious and aware of what they are consuming.
“One of the most significant shifts in the global soft drinks market is to continuously satisfy customer desires with new product attributes. This will be a key component of our NPD strategy as we see significant opportunities to grow and diversify our customer base with an exciting pipeline of products to be released over the next few years.
“Whilst we’ve established ourselves as leaders in the organic fizzy drinks market, our plan is to now evolve our range to include health-focussed carbonated soft drinks, including natural energy drinks, plant-based drinks and a reduced sugar and no sugar range in our sodas,” added Morrison.
Karma Drinks is seeking to raise NZ$2m to progress their innovative NPD plans and also fund the company’s domestic growth strategy over the next three years, including re-capitalising strategic partnerships in the UK and plans to expand into Asia, Australia and the US.
Karma Drinks’ new CEO, Ben Dando, joined the company earlier this year, only two weeks before lockdowns hit the UK and New Zealand. Dando says despite the unpredictable and challenging start, the company is now on track for its strongest financial year in the last five years, having continued to innovate and navigate the company through these times.
“While COVID-19 has certainly shifted our strategy, our entire mission remains the same – continue to produce drinks that not only taste good but do good too. We’re determined to be a good example of how the food and beverage industry can continue to positively impact both the people and the planet despite challenging times. Our aim is to bring joy to our consumers, support our growers and bring the power of Karma to more consumers globally.”
“We have an exciting journey ahead, with huge ambitions and expansion plans for the brand, this capital raise will certainly help us achieve our goals and emerge as a stronger and better business post-pandemic,” said Dando.
The business generated approximately NZ$12m in sales last year and predicts to achieve NZ$19.7m sales by FY23 through this investment.
“Whilst COVID-19 has no doubt had a huge impact on the hospitality sector, Karma Drinks offers solid margins, founders who possess a deep knowledge of the food and beverage industry, and an authentic and engaging brand," said Snowball Effect CEO and co-founder, Simeon Burnett.