Frescos Naturales, a Latino-owned beverage company specializing in healthy and refreshing drinks, made a notable appearance on Shark Tank. The brand, known for its diverse range of beverages crafted from fruits, grains, seeds, flowers, and water, is a testament to the vision and entrepreneurial spirit of its founder, Juan Ignacio Stewart.
The Founder and the Birth of Frescos Naturales
Juan Ignacio Stewart, the brains behind Frescos Naturales, hails from La Antigua, Guatemala, and embarked on a journey that would eventually lead him to create a thriving beverage business in Boulder, Colorado. His story is one of cultural inspiration and entrepreneurial innovation.
The seed of Frescos Naturales was sown when Juan created a drink called “Rosa de Jamaica” for his son, Joaquin. The drink resonated with Joaquin, who suggested the idea of selling it. In 2018, Juan took his son’s advice and started selling “Rosa de Jamaica” at the local farmer’s market. The response from customers was overwhelmingly positive, encouraging Juan to explore the world of beverages further.
Recognizing the potential of his products, Juan ventured into creating drinks in various flavors. In 2020, he officially launched Frescos Naturales, in partnership with his brother-in-law, Sebastián. Their journey had only just begun.
What Is Frescos Naturales?
Frescos Naturales, based in Boulder, Colorado, is a company that specializes in producing a variety of healthy beverages. These beverages include Sparkling Rosa de Jamaica, Sparkling Tamarindo, Sparkling Maracuya, Sparkling Piña, Guayaba, and Sparkling Mango. Priced at $19.99, these drinks are crafted using water, fruits, grains, seeds, flowers, and sugar, ensuring a balance of flavor and healthiness.
These beverages are available in 57 different retail stores across the United States, making them accessible to a wide audience of health-conscious consumers.
The Journey Before Shark Tank
Before making its way to Shark Tank, Frescos Naturales had already embarked on an impressive journey. The idea for the brand was sparked in 2018 when Juan Stewart introduced his “Rosa de Jamaica” drink to the local market. The positive response from customers fueled his determination to turn this idea into a full-fledged business.
Juan and his team had prior experience in the food industry through their company, Green Belly Foods, established in 2015. Green Belly Foods gained recognition for its Gutmalon hot sauces, which were available in over 200 markets. Building on their entrepreneurial spirit, the team saw an opportunity to expand their presence by self-distributing their beverages.
However, to take Frescos Naturales to the next level, they needed to establish partnerships with major grocery store chains and gain wider recognition in the market.
The Shark Tank Pitch
In Season 14, Episode 12 of Shark Tank, Juan Stewart entered the tank with his Latin American beverages brand, seeking a $130,000 investment in exchange for an 8% equity stake, valuing the company at $1.6 million. His pitch revolved around the uniqueness of Frescos Naturales’ beverages, which contained 5-10 grams of sugar per can and only 60 calories.
One of the standout features of their products was the “Rosa de Jamaica” flavor, which resonated with Latin American consumers but was not widely available in most stores. Despite being a niche flavor, the brand had gained acceptance in Kroger supermarket retail stores.
The business had humble beginnings, starting with just one flavor of Jamaica, and managed to achieve $182,000 in sales in its first year. By 2022, the company’s sales had reached $100,000, with ambitious projections of reaching $330,000 to $350,000 by the end of the year. The cost of producing each can was $0.88, which they sold wholesale for $2.10, with varying retail prices at approximately $4.50 per can.
The sharks’ reactions to the pitch were mixed. Daymond John, Kevin O’Leary, Mark Cuban, and Lori Greiner opted out of the deal for various reasons, including the challenging nature of the business and differences in investment preferences.
However, Daniel Lubetzky expressed his belief in the brand’s on-trend products, even though it operated in a competitive market. He offered to invest $130,000 in exchange for a 25% equity stake, contingent on the support of the other sharks.
Kevin O’Leary, intrigued by the potential, offered a counterproposal with a 30% equity stake. After some negotiation, Daniel Lubetzky and Juan Stewart settled on a deal: Daniel would invest $130,000 for a 25% equity stake in Frescos Naturales. This agreement marked the next step in the brand’s journey.
Post-Shark Tank Success
The exposure on Shark Tank had a significant impact on Frescos Naturales. Following the episode’s airing on January 20, 2023, the brand’s website, drinkfrescos.com, experienced a crash due to the surge in traffic. The immense interest generated by the Shark Tank appearance led to thousands of visitors flocking to the website, causing it to temporarily go down.
This increased visibility and recognition were evident in Boulder, Colorado, where more people began to discover the brand. The episode’s broadcast introduced Frescos Naturales to a broader audience and fueled its growth.
Net Worth of Frescos Naturales
As of 2023, Frescos Naturales is estimated to be worth approximately $520,000. The beverages industry in the United States is a substantial market, with a projected worth of $88.77 billion in 2023. With a growing interest in health-focused beverage brands utilizing natural fruit ingredients, the industry is poised for further growth. By 2027, it is anticipated that the industry could be worth up to $158.90 billion in the United States alone.
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Frescos Naturales: Still in Business
Juan Stewart, along with his brother-in-law and partner, continues to successfully run the Frescos Naturales business. With their headquarters located in Boulder, Colorado, the brand maintains a team size of 5-10 employees, working diligently to promote and distribute their healthy beverages.
In conclusion, Frescos Naturales remains a thriving business as of January 2023, building on its Shark Tank experience and poised for further growth in the competitive beverage industry. Juan Stewart’s journey, driven by a desire to offer refreshing and health-conscious options, serves as an inspiring example of entrepreneurial innovation and cultural pride.
Frequently Asked Questions
When Was Frescos Naturales Founded?
Frescos Naturales was founded in 2018 but officially launched as a food and beverages company in 2020, according to information available on LinkedIn.
Who is the Founder of Frescos Naturales?
Frescos Naturales was founded by Juan Ignacio Stewart.