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KonaRed Corporation Announces Strategic Partnership with L.A. Libations

SAN CLEMENTE, Calif., Jan. 30, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- KonaRed Corporation, a premium Hawaiian coffee company and owner of one of the fastest-growing cold brew coffee brands, today announced the closing of a strategic partnership with L.A. Libations, a next-generation beverage incubator.

Through this partnership, KonaRed will acquire the strategic guidance and operational resources of the entire L.A. Libations team, including the company’s connections with key retailers and distributors nationwide. L.A. Libations will officially enter the cold brew coffee segment with one of the hottest brands in the market, and one that prides itself on the highest ingredient quality and sourcing, including the use of revered Kona coffee from Hawaii in every bottle.

“Our new relationship with L.A. Libations provides us with a strategic partner who understands the beverage category incredibly well,” said Kyle Redfield, CEO of KonaRed. “The company has deep cross-functional experience and can help us grow distribution and tell the KonaRed story to consumers and retailers nationwide.”

According to recent SPINS data, KonaRed’s ready-to-drink (RTD) cold brew coffees are growing more than 300 percent year-over-year in the grocery channel and are outperforming many competitors in key velocity measures.

“We believe that our ingredient quality and flavor profiles are better than the competition, and we have conducted numerous head-to-head taste tests that affirm this,” added Redfield. “We are very careful with the ingredients we use and the process with which we make our premium products. We have an amazing story to tell, and this partnership is going to enhance our efforts and visibility on the national scene immensely. This is a big step forward for us on many levels.”

The sentiment is similar from L.A. Libations’ CEO Danny Stepper, who added, “We are incredibly excited to enter the cold brew coffee space with an established brand that has killer sales growth and a great leader in Kyle. We’ve tasted many cold brew coffees, and it is our view that KonaRed has the best product, hands down, in a crowded space. The brand’s authenticity and heritage story truly differentiate it. Our retail partners have come to expect us to bring authentic premium brands, and this one fits the bill.”

KonaRed plans to continue its rapid growth throughout 2018 and beyond. The company already has strong representation with Impact Group, which it signed on in October of 2017. The combination of Impact Group, L.A. Libations and KonaRed’s internal sales team puts the brand in a position to continue to acquire new consumers.

The company also recently entered into a strategic capital raise with Venice Brands, an emerging consumer brands platform located in Los Angeles that focuses on building future category leaders in the food and beverage space. The agreement with Venice Brands gives KonaRed the capital necessary to further expand its presence in the RTD coffee and beverage industries. The investment will generate working capital, amplify sales and marketing efforts, add to the team and drive new product development initiatives. The brand also added a new strategic board member, Michael Hartman, who has deep marketing experience through his leadership positions at Pepsi, Frito-Lay, Zevia, ONE, Seaworld, Bush Gardens, Chuck-E-Cheese, and others.

KonaRed recently launched new packaging and 32-ounce multi-serve bottles for its cold brew coffees. The coffees, along with all KonaRed products, are available nationwide at fine retailers including Kroger, Safeway, Whole Foods, Target, Costco, Sam's Clubs, Vons, Albertson's, Pavilions, SuperValu, Fred Meyer, King Soopers, Smiths, Vitamin Shoppe, Kwik Trip, 7-Eleven and many other retail outlets.

About KonaRed

Grown on the Big Island of Hawaii in the Kona coffee belt, 2,400 miles from the nearest continent, KonaRed's ultra-premium coffee begins with the finest seeds, the highest-quality soil, the purest water and the cleanest air on the planet. On this tropical oasis, the brand’s farmers take pride in growing and harvesting what is widely regarded as some of the best coffee you can find anywhere on Earth. These coffee beans and the nutrient-rich fruit that surrounds them serve as the foundation of all of KonaRed's premium coffee products. Offering a variety of deliciously smooth ready-to-drink cold brew coffees, coffee beans, coffee fruit juice, coffee extracts and coffee nutritional supplements, all KonaRed products are made with all natural and GMO-free ingredients, with several products containing gluten-free and vegan ingredients. For more information, please visit www.KonaRed.com, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

About L.A. Libations

L.A. Libations is a next-generation beverage incubator engaged in multiple aspects of the industry focusing on unmet consumer needs grounded in health, wellness, and social responsibility. L.A. Libations engages globally with over 200 entrepreneurs annually, partnering with as well as creating and incubating brands in emerging beverage categories. Current portfolio includes such brands as Gloe Plant-infused Beverages, Arya Turmeric Sparkling Water, Bru Bone Broth, Trimino Protein Waters and Roar Organic.

L.A. Libations is an innovation leader serving as the Emerging Beverage Category Captain at many of the nation’s leading retailers. L.A. Libations is the key innovation partner of The Coca-Cola Company, which is also a minority owner in the company.

About Venice Brands

Headquartered in Southern California, Venice Brands focuses exclusively on investing in and partnering with emerging consumer brands that it believes are "on trend" and where its team of executives and functional experts can add substantial value. The team combines its industry knowledge and networks with robust data analysis to identify emerging market trends, invest in exciting brands that it feels are uniquely positioned to capitalize on those trends and, most importantly, help these brands to grow and scale.