BevNET: Beekeeper Brings “New Voice” to RTD Cold Brew

Posted: 10/02/2023
BevNET: Beekeeper Brings “New Voice” to RTD Cold Brew

Fresh Buzz: Beekeeper Brings “New Voice” to RTD Cold Brew

September 26, 2023 by Martín Caballero

Does ready-to-drink coffee need a “new voice” for the next generation of consumers? Beekeeper Coffee is aiming to make that case.

The new company, announced this morning, offers four-varieties of cold brew in 8 oz. cans: Double Black (dairy-free), Vanilla, Mocha and Caramel, all of which are sweetened with a “drop of honey,” according to a press release. The product is available online now for $44.99 per 12-pack case.

Beekeeper is backed by an influential group of founders from across sports, media and entertainment, including: Fara Leff, Chief Operating Officer of Klutch Sports Group; Paul Rivera, co-creator of Max’s “The Shop” and the Chief Brand Officer of Springhill Co.; David Creech, a former design lead at Nike and Brand Jordan; and Andrew and Nate Forbes of Forbes & Co., a national developer, owner, and manager of luxury shopping malls.

Leff and Rivera both share close ties to NBA star LeBron James; Klutch Sports Group manages the player’s career, and James’ production company is behind “The Shop.” The two men are also investors in premium tequila label Los Lobos 1707, of which James is a co-founder.

“We took a long look at the current marketplace and saw an opportunity to leverage our expertise and our network to bring a new voice to coffee,” Leff said in a statement. “The industry is overwhelming and intimidating, and the next generation of coffee consumers is craving something simple, fresh and aligned with their taste.”

While the category itself remains dominated by mega-brands like Starbucks, La Colombe and Dunkin’, RTD coffee startups have attracted an outsized share interest from investors and brand builders in recent months: see Taika Waiti coming onboard with Taika, Snoop Dogg’s partnership with Indo, or “Rambo” actor Sylvester Stallone introducing Tiger’s Eye Coffee via Gopuff.

In a statement, Rivera hinted at an “unexpected approach” to distribution that takes advantage of the group’s extensive network of relationships.

“Our network is driving some of the most relevant brands in culture today,” Rivera said. “We’re using that to take an unexpected approach to distribution through our network of sports, hospitality groups and brand collaborations.”

Along with growing sales, Nate Forbes cited “fragmented channels and a lack of innovation” within RTD coffee as his motivation for jumping into the business.

“Beekeeper is setting out to move the market forward with a fresh take,” he said.

According to the can itself, Beekeeper is distributed by Coffee Concepts, a Michigan-based LLC created last July.


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