The soda market is following in the footsteps of craft beers and specialty wines, with gourmet products gaining in sales and large manufacturers -- such as Pepsi and Coke -- looking to buy into the "boutique" beverage world by acquiring companies such as Izze, Hansen's and Jones. Reed's recent move into the public arena via an IPO signals continued growth in the gourmet soda industry and highlights great interest in healthy products. As the market becomes saturated with companies making "natural" claims, consumers will educate themselves before hitting the grocery aisles. This is going to raise the bar for manufacturers and distributors, and the truly healthy beverages/products will become more sought after, and so more prominent, on store shelves.
Chris Reed, founder and CEO of Reed's Inc., Los Angeles, (maker of Reed's Ginger Brew, Virgil's Root Beer and China Cola)