First Beverage Group is getting into the CBD business with today’s announcement of its investment in Mad Tasty (stylized as MAD TASTY), a line of infused sparkling waters backed by Interscope Records recording artist Ryan Tedder, lead singer of the group OneRepublic.
Financial details of the investment were not disclosed. As part of the deal, Tedder retains majority ownership of Mad Tasty, while First Beverage will have the ability to make further investment in the company in the future.
“We have been eager to invest in this space but we were determined to wait for the right opportunity,” said First Beverage founder and CEO Bill Anderson in a press release. “We believe Mad Tasty is positioned for explosive growth and are very excited to partner with them.”
Now available online and at select retailers in the Los Angeles metro area, Mad Tasty comes in two flavors — Grapefruit and Watermelon Kiwi — each infused with 20 mg of broad-spectrum hemp extract per 12 oz. can. The product is manufactured using proprietary water-soluble emulsion technology from Seattle-based SoRSE Technology.
In a press release, Tedder said Mad Tasty was partially inspired to launch the brand by his own struggles with dehydration and anxiety attacks.
“Americans have an epidemic of dehydration and too much coffee and stress – I wanted to tackle all of it for ME – with one beverage and without sugar,” said co-founder Ryan Tedder. “I also had countless friends and family around me experiencing and exclaiming the health benefits of hemp extract. Having battled anxiety and panic attacks myself in 2017, I started using hemp extract and wanted a way to take it every day without the terrible taste of existing beverages on the market.”
Speaking with BevNET on Tuesday, First Beverage managing partner Jack Belsito said that the group explored “the entire landscape” of cannabis products, including THC-infused drinks, before deciding to focus on just CBD. He noted that the firm doesn’t typically invest in brands pre-launch, but its belief in both Mad Tasty’s brand equity and the category’s rapid growth prospects was impetus enough to get involved earlier rather than later.
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