It’s hard to launch a brand in general, let alone launch a brand in the middle of a pandemic. But Bomani Cold Buzz, which debuted two weeks before the COVID-19 lockdown in March 2020, is shaping up to be the “little brand that could.”
Co-Founders Sam Madani, Kai Drewry, and Amin Anjedani formulated Bomani as the first alcohol-infused cold brew coffee drink, with only 110 calories, no sugar, and no carbs, targeted at the health conscious consumer. The product taps into a major trend in the consumer alcohol market: American spending on hard seltzer such as White Claw and Truly has spiked 127% from 2019, according to data from Nielsen Holdings.
Shirin Behzadi, Madani’s mother and former CEO of Home Franchise Concepts, is an investor and founding member of the startup. Her previous company provided a vital roadmap for growing the business based on two decades of success and leadership experience. "Through a lot of trial and error, we found the path to create a system that was effective and showed growth," she says of her time at Home Franchise Concepts.
With Behzadi as an adviser, the team has so far launched Bomani in 33 states, available both in stores and online.
“We worked closely with teams that helped us get to the distributors and retailers to highlight the product as the marriage of two really exciting growing categories, which are cold brew and low-carb, low-sugar alcohol,” Behzadi says. “At a time like this when there’s a lot of uncertainty in the market and consumer behaviors are changing, rather than freeze, we continued to move.”
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That tenacity is what Behzadi attributes the brand’s growth and success so far. “If you bump into a problem you can’t solve, then you need to look at the problem differently. Every problem has a solution,” Behzadi says.
With this principle in mind, the brand pivoted all its marketing efforts early on. That meant veering from the typical concerts and music festivals where the drink would’ve been a natural fit. Instead, Bomani ramped up efforts on the digital marketing side, including social media and working to get the products in the hands of the consumer whenever they could. “Bomani does well as a brunch drink and as a pre-gaming drink, so we focused on where we thought the consumer would understand the value proposition of the product,” Behzadi says. “We took a look at every way we could go to market and completely changed our approach.”
Another reason Bomani has been able to do well is that the team took special consideration to recruit an effective board of advisers and investors in the company. A key decision was to hire outside consultants who partner with organizations that merchandise the product on the street. “One thing I think is important to run your business is to know where good skill sets live,” says Behzadi. “We interview and vet organizations that are good at what they do but are also scalable.”
Overall, Behzadi says the reason Bomani has been able to continue to grow is a passionate belief in the product.
“Stick with it and have a laser beam focus on what you want to do, and proactively do things that will benefit the company. The worst thing to do in the face of adversity is to sit still. Move forward and don't let circumstances dictate the destiny of your company.”
Want to learn more about how you can manage and scale your food & beverage business? Check out the Diversify Your Food & Beverage Product Offerings, Learn About Food & Beverage Distribution, and Scale Your Food & Beverage Manufacturing Guides on Hello Alice.