Functional Transparency: Pioneering Higher Standards in the Energy Drink Category

Posted on 26 July 2016


Mission: Possible - India & Organic Caffeine
Hiball travels to India to show everyone "It's All Good":

From humble beginnings selling cases from the back of his car in 2004, Hiball Energy’s Founder Todd Berardi has grown his company to become the number one selling and fastest growing natural / organic energy drink brand in the U.S. As distribution and sales continue to grow exponentially for Hiball, so does the company’s dedication to sourcing the highest quality active ingredients for energy; the best scenario for the consumer and the planet. Breaking away from the typical energy drink’s cryptic energy sources, Hiball is adamant about providing transparency to consumers on all levels, especially when it comes to how they source their organic and Fair Trade certified ingredients.

Todd Berardi and Dan Craytor, Director of Sales, recently traveled to Chikmagular, India to visit the organic coffee plantation where they source their organic caffeine, the main active ingredient found in all Hiball energy drinks. Behind the decision to travel halfway around the world and dive deep into India was Hiball’s dedication to giving consumers a totally new level of visibility when it comes to the ingredients found in energy drinks. While in India, they immersed themselves in the organic farming process and picked coffee beans alongside the farmers while becoming intimately familiar with the ethical working conditions that are provided on the plantation. Farmers and their families are given a place to live on the farm and provided with healthcare and daycare. Additionally, no child under sixteen years of age is permitted to work on the farm.

To witness a true organic environment was a game changer. Fig and silver oak trees provide a natural forest canopy to shade the coffee berries as they ripen. Certain plants were introduced to attract insects so there’s no need for pesticides. For Berardi, the trip further validated Hiball’s mission of making the healthiest and most sustainable energy drinks on the planet. “We are excited to bring this transparency to light as our organic and fair trade ingredients for energy are what makes Hiball unique, premium and efficacious – versus mainstream energy drinks that are artificial, synthetic and full of ingredients that don’t reside in nature,” said Berardi. In addition to their Fair Trade certified, organically sourced caffeine, Hiball products contain absolutely no artificial ingredients, a rarity in the energy drink category. A special highlight was sharing cans of cold Hiball with the coffee pickers at the end of their day as they unloaded their gunny sacks full of coffee berries. They enjoyed hearing via a translator that they had a hand in Hiball’s creation, not to mention the boost of energy after a day working on the plantation.

When asked about the catalyst behind the move to Fair Trade certified sourcing, Todd explained, “The Fair Trade certification process yields higher quality ingredients by ensuring ethical farming and business practices throughout the supply chain which results in improved workplace morale. We are happy to pay a premium to support the farmers and their communities in which the ingredients are cultivated.” Fair Trade USA’s guidelines are set forth to support their mission to bring empowerment, both economic and social development, as well as environmental stewardship to farmers and workers around the world. “As long as Hiball is on the shelf, we will continue to support and enforce these standards when sourcing our ingredients,” adds Berardi.

Hiball has recently launched several Fair Trade certified line extensions to add to their growing portfolio. Among these are a suite of cold brew coffees and a line of high protein energy drinks. Most recently they launched Alta Palla (Italian for "high ball") a refreshing, organic and fair trade certified sparkling juice beverage available in four flavors.

With consumer demand continuing to trend toward clean, organic, and sustainably sourced products, what’s also transparent is that Hiball is well positioned for incredible growth in the coming years.

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