Sparkling Yerba Mate beverage brand CLEAN Cause has partnered with Silver Eagle Distribution to extend its reach throughout the Houston and San Antonio Texas region. Previously, the Austin-based brand primarily focused on expanding distribution efforts among West Coast retailers.
“What was so important about this deal was it was such a validation behind what we are trying to build. Silver Eagle is a big distributor and sparkling yerba mate is an ingredient that is still somewhat obscure and is just starting to gain momentum,” said CLEAN Cause founder and CEO Wes Hurt. “They saw the potential of the brand through the data and trends and were also able to identify the social impact of our brand – which will probably be driving consumer behavior for the rest of time.”
Hurt said he understands that Texas isn’t necessarily the first market an organic yerba mate beverage brand would target and is grateful that these distributors believe enough in what he has built to also recognize the mission behind the product. Fifty percent of all net profits* for CLEAN Cause go toward sober living funds and scholarships to help provide substance abuse treatment. *Or 5% net revenues, whichever is greater. So far the brand has donated over $1 million and more than 2,000 scholarships, according to Hurt.
When CLEAN Cause was established, Hurt began by building the brand’s own distribution center in Austin due to what he said was out of necessity. The company now ships product to over 10,000 stores through the network they built that stretches from Mexico to Canada, from their in-house center. By distributing in house the company is able to directly provide more job opportunities for individuals recovering from addiction.
“When you launch a brand and you are newly sober and you are claiming to give 50% of profits away and you are selling more expensive bottled water – nobody is really interested, understandably,” said Hurt. “We just said screw it. We put cases in the back of my energy-inefficient truck and started selling water door-to-door to retailers.”
Within the next six months CLEAN Cause plans to go through a “significant” Series B funding round to continue to scale their business. Hurt said he hopes to keep expanding with new distribution partnerships nationwide: “more distribution means more awareness and impact.”