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Splash Beverage Group Inc. (SBEV) Leadership Can Spot a Trend, Boasts Sales Growth to Prove It
May 17, 2021

Splash Beverage Group Inc. (SBEV) Leadership Can Spot a Trend, Boasts Sales Growth to Prove It

  • Splash CEO and Chairman Robert Nistico took Red Bull North America from zero to $1.65 billion in annual sales
  • Acquisition of Copa Di Vino in December was latest demonstration of Nistico and his quality leadership team recognizing accelerating trends
  • Splash’s product portfolio is comprised of alcoholic and non-alcoholic brands including TapouT performance beverages, the official training partner of the WWE
  • Splash’s sales doubled in the 1st Quarter 2021 to $2.4 million compared to 4th Quarter 2020. Almost reached the sales for the whole year 2020 of $2.9 million

George Clooney. Sean “Puffy” Combs. Ryan Reynolds. Robert Nistico. While the first three names likely ring a bell, Nistico is probably more of a mystery. Nistico may not be a celebrity entertainer, but he does have a common thread with Clooney, Combs and Reynolds insomuch that he’s been a part of successful beverage brands. Nistico has spent three decades in the beverage industry, including being the fifth employee and SVP/General Manager of Red Bull North America, where he led the start-up from zero sales to $1.65 billion annually. He also founded Marley Beverages, which was acquired in 2017 by New Age Beverages Corporation (NASDAQ: NBEV) (https://ibn.fm/uBYVK), and held executive positions at Diageo (NYSE: DEO), Republic National Distributing Company and the Gallo Wine Company. Nistico has now brought all those years of experience to upstart Splash Beverage Group (OTCQB: SBEV), where he has assembled a formidable portfolio of brands that are aligned with consumer trends. 

The Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based company has diversified beverages in the product bag, a strategy that de-risks operating in the highly competitive business while also allowing for cost-effective synergies across production and distribution channels.

Splash’s flagship non-alcoholic drink line is TapouT, a brand originally made famous in mixed martial arts (“MMA”) circles before transitioning into a lifestyle brand via a joint venture in 2015 by World Wrestling Entertainment (NYSE: WWE) and BlackRock’s (NYSE: BLK) Authentic Brands Group. TapouT performance drinks, the official training partner of the WWE, competes with the likes of Gatorade and Powerade, touting a far more complete package of electrolytes and vitamins than its peers.

Splash also offers a variety of alcoholic beverages, including Salt Naturally Flavored Tequila, Copa Di Vino “wine by the glass,” and Pulpoloco Sangria. All three are in the thick of consumer trends in their respective categories. Salt is a Mexico-made, 100% blanco agave 80 proof tequila, a spirit category experiencing strong year-over-year growth, momentum energized in part by Clooney’s Casamigos brand that sold in 2017 to Diageo for up to $1 billion (https://ibn.fm/wUBB5). After 6.6% growth in the category for 2018 to 2019 to 19.8 million cases, data suggests a similar increase in 2020 (https://ibn.fm/QmBOQ). 

Innovation is at the heart of the “wine by the glass” trend, where solutions such Copa Di Vino’s remove obstacles related to retaining freshness in premium wine that can be enjoyed anywhere without the need for a bottle, corkscrew or glass. After turning down offers twice on CNBC’s Shark Tank, Copa founder James Martin sold the brand to Splash in December, where it is now on shelves in over 13,000 retail locations (https://ibn.fm/gmxzI). 

Splash imports its Pulpoloco Sangria, the quintessential summer drink, from Spain. Again, getting in front of trends, particularly those that appeal to brand-loyal millennials, Pulpoloco is packaged in a low-carbon footprint, biodegradable paper can (called a catocan) that serves a double purpose of extending the shelf life of the product without using preservatives.

These brands are part of Splash’s strategy to quickly develop and/or accelerate pre-existing brands to exit for cash events. Nistico’s acumen and network were instrumental in attracting top talent committed to the mission. The team includes President and CMO William Meissner, VP of Product Development Sanjeev Javia, CFO Dean Huge and Aida Aragon as SVP of national accounts. Much like Nistico, the names may seem a bit unassuming until it is understood that they have held leadership positions at companies such as Sweet Leaf and Tradewinds Tea, SoBe Beverages, Fuze, Muscle Milk and more, not to mention Javia advising on nutritional plans for star athletes, including Tom Brady, Kurt Warner and Curt Schilling. Similarly, Huge was the 14th person hired at Catalyst Energy Corp., which was named Inc. Magazine’s ‘Fastest Growing Company’ as it grew to 440 people during his tenure.

The results speak volumes to the success Splash is achieving. After starting 2020 with sales of $112,003, revenue for the year climbed to $2.98 million, including $1.24 million in the fourth quarter. That sales momentum didn’t include the Copa Di Vino acquisition, which was completed in December—an achievement which should have investors on the lookout for what can be accomplished when those sales show up on the books in 2021. Additionally, Splash’s sales doubled in Q12021 to $2.4 million compared to Q42020, almost reaching the sales for the whole year 2020 of $2.9 million (https://ibn.fm/Gxc4L).

For more information, visit the company’s website at www.SplashBeverageGroup.com.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to SBEV are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/SBEV 

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