Sunshine Beverages LLC, a Winston-Salem energy drink maker, said Tuesday it plans to launch in December a zero-sugar, zero-calorie sparkling energy water product.
The company said the product will include vitamins, electrolytes and “just enough natural caffeine” in three flavors — citrus lime, pomegranate acai and lotus pear.
It is the first line extension for Sunshine.
It is holding a launch party for the new product from 6 to 8 p.m. Dec. 12 at Fiddlin’ Fish Brewery, 772 Trade St. NW in Winston-Salem.
Sunshine bills its energy drinks as a healthier lifestyle option in three flavors: ginger berry, blueberry lemonade and Clementine twist. It offers 8.4- and 12-ounce beverages.
A majority ownership stake was taken in November 2017 by private-equity firm Teall Investments LLC, which is led by local entrepreneur Ben Sutton Jr.
The company has gone from one to 14 full-time employees, led by president Lizzie Ward and chief operating officer Jack Tally.
In the past two years, the company has grown from primarily a local beverage darling to being sold in more than 3,000 grocery and convenience stores, restaurants, bars, breweries, coffee shops and golf courses. The states are Alabama, Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.
It is in every Lowes Foods store and 90% of Food Lion stores. It also went from being carried in 50 convenience stores to an expectation of being in more than 1,000 by the end of 2019.
Sunshine’s expansion push has been directed mainly in urban markets. Though millennials are the target demographic, company organizers say the 8.4-ounce beverages are popular with many generations.
The company said its customer base is split 60-40 between female and male consumers.
A 12-ounce can contains 60 calories and 70 milligrams of caffeine — about the same as a cup of coffee. The 8.4-ounce cans have 40 calories. All of Sunshine’s beverages are naturally sweetened with stevia and pure cane sugar.