Growpacker Inc., a contract manufacturer of THC- and CBD-infused edibles and beverages in the United States, announced the launch of its Brand Incubator and Accelerator Program, designed to fast-track both THC and CBD brands sold in California.
The first participating company in the program is CERIA Brewing Company (CERIA), led by co-founders, Jodi Villa, CEO, and Keith Villa, creator and former brewmaster of Blue Moon Belgian White. Growpacker anticipates CERIA can quickly become a market leader for dealcoholized cannabis-infused beer in North America, due to the founders’ unique brewing process, custom formulations, great tasting brews and partnerships with top industry advisors.
The new Brand Incubator and Accelerator Program gives Growpacker manufacturing partners the opportunity to leverage the company’s industry expertise, gain early access to new formulations, receive discounted services and fast-track their market penetration in California. Growpacker retains an equity interest in the participating brands and companies, strategically aligning the interests of both parties and positioning Growpacker as a brand portfolio company, in addition to leading co-packer.
“We look forward to introducing this innovative new product category to America’s largest cannabis market through Growpacker's state-of-the-art manufacturing facility and distribution network,” said Keith Villa. “As the leading co-packer in cannabis, Growpacker is helping tomorrow’s brand names grow and scale commercially, while also accelerating the evolution of California’s adult-use market.”
CERIA’s Grainwave Belgian Style White Ale, a THC-infused dealcoholized craft beer, was introduced in Colorado in December 2018. The company’s first limited production run immediately sold out, and the brand is experiencing increasing consumer enthusiasm and trial. Growpacker and CERIA are planning to officially launch the beverage in California soon.
In May 2018, CERIA announced its partnership with respected global beverage industry advisors InterContinental Beverage Capital (IBC), to help commercialize the product and secure distribution. IBC has deep executive experience with companies such as Molson Coors, Coca-Cola, Anheuser Busch, Diageo, Red Bull and other global and US beverage companies.
“As our first incubator and accelerator brand, CERIA Brewing Company arrives at a transformational stage in our company’s evolution,” said Stephen Boyd, CEO of Growpacker. “We are excited to begin this journey with CERIA, and work with their talented team as they move their momentum across the country, establishing their market presence in California. We have seen tremendous interest in this incubator program and look forward to building one of North America’s largest portfolios of innovative cannabis brands.”
In addition to being part of Growpacker’s incubator and accelerator program, Keith Villa will serve as a strategic advisor to Growpacker for its cannabis beverage category, where he will play a key role in developing the dealcoholized THC-infused beverage segment, which is expected to become one of the fastest growing segments in the industry.