Advanced Refreshment

Manufacturer of private label bottled water and tea-based beverages

From its headquarters in the Seattle area, Advanced Refreshment quenched the thirst of many customers across the United States and Canada. Advanced Refreshment was a private label manufacturer of bottled water products and cold fill value-added beverages. The Company manufactured its products for grocery retailers, club stores, drug stores, and mass merchandisers in the United States and Canada from its bottling facilities in Burlington, Washington; Stockton, California; West Valley City, Utah; Dallas, Texas; and Hamburg, Pennsylvania.

The Value Creation Opportunity

The Kainos team identified Advanced Refreshment as a potential partner in the rapidly growing private label bottled water category, which was capturing a greater share of the overall beverage market as it represented a convenient and healthy alternative to other beverages at an attractive price point.  The industry was capacity constrained, which presented an opportunity for the Company to invest in new capacity at attractive rates of return and create a national footprint in what was then only a regional business. Furthermore, at the time of acquisition, Advanced Refreshment had only recently begun to introduce value-added beverage products, and we believed there was significant opportunity to expand the Company’s product portfolio to create a higher-margin, strategically relevant business. Our vision was to leverage Advanced Refreshment’s capabilities and introduce more value-added beverages to the marketplace, while implementing operational efficiencies to create a national private label solution with a national footprint.

Change Capital At Work

When the partnership began in 2007, Advanced Refreshment had only two facilities in Burlington, Washington and Stockton, California. To establish Advanced Refreshment as a national beverage provider, the Kainos team invested heavily to add three new facilities in Dallas, Texas, Hamburg, Pennsylvania, and West Valley City, Utah. As the expansion was taking place, the team increased its new product development efforts to produce higher margin, value-added beverages, including flavored waters, cold-fill green tea and fruit-based beverages.

We also strengthened the Company’s management team with the recruitment of a new CEO, CFO, and heads of operations, product development, sales and marketing. The investment in talent was critical to ensure the effective implementation of the Change Capital strategies that were planned. We were also able to help the Company generate significant cost savings across the business by greatly reducing the amount of plastic it was using in its packaging, a benefit to the environment as well, while also implementing tighter controls and tools for reducing overall manufacturing and freight costs.

In 2013, Advanced Refreshment was purchased by Niagara Bottling, a leading private label bottled water company in the United States.