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Kaló Hemp Infused Seltzer
Kaló Hemp Infused Seltzer is coming to Maryland store shelves. And rather than start this Brand Profile with what the product is, it’s probably best to educate readers on what it is not. Ivy Wimberley, Kaló’s Director of Trade Development, said it best during a recent interview with the Beverage Journal: “On the sales side, the hardest thing has been getting people to understand the difference between hemp and marijuana. We are NOT a marijuana seltzer! We are a hemp-infused seltzer. A big part of my job has been educating people.”
She continued, “We love being able to give somebody a product that’s good for you and that can help you relax. We also love turning the skeptics. Kaló is something that will help you take a breath after a can or two. Some people think it’s a hoax. But we’re giving them an all-natural way to feel good with something that’s plant-based.”
Wimberley and her team are so confident that they’ve made Kaló’s slogan for 2022: “Feel Good Fast.” Wimberley stated, “We wanted to create something that you could drink that indeed would make you feel good fast. You have all of the positive benefits of the hemp plant in one drink. Not only do you get the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, but you get 15 milligrams of CBD.”
Kaló seltzers are hand-crafted and come in eight flavors: Black Cherry, Ruby Red Grapefruit, Ginger Lemonade, Blood Orange Mango, Lemon Lavender, Raspberry Lime, Pomegranate Peach, and Strawberry Watermelon. They are sold in 12-ounce cans either individually or in multi-flavored eight packs.
Kaló seltzers are also 100% vegan, gluten-free, and kosher certified. “I think we are the only hemp-infused or CBD seltzer that is kosher certified, which hits a nice market,” noted Wimberley. It’s also a good mixer in various vodka, gin, and rum cocktails with the www.drinkkalo.com website featuring such recipes as a Raspberry Refresher, Blood Orange Sparkler, Grapefruit Sunrise, and Kaló Mule.
WHAT SETS IT APART
Hillview, Kaló’s New Jersey-based parent company, is a third-generation farming business run by the VandeVrede family. They spent more than two years crafting a new way to harness all of the healthy elements found in hemp in a water-soluble form that customers can easily digest. That means no weird aftertaste.
Erin Stivala, Kaló’s Director of Marketing, noted, “It took two years because we wanted to be the best tasting [in our niche]. We tasted others and found that, unfortunately, what you get with a CBD or hemp seltzer is what’s called ‘nanoemulsion.’ They take CBD oil and spin it really fast to get the particles super tiny. But it’s still oil, and oil and water do not mix. You always get that gross, oily aftertaste. For our product, it’s truly water soluble. We’re able to extract the water molecules out of the hemp plant.”
She added, “And with our water-soluble technology, when you drink Kaló, you’re going to be feeling something out of it in five minutes. And it’s likely going to be good.”
THE REWARDS AND CHALLENGES
For some, Kaló Hemp Infused Seltzer is an “outside-the-box” product in the beverage business. It has certainly come with its own set of challenges getting to store shelves in such states as Florida, New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Georgia.
Stivala acknowledges, “Regulations have been challenging. There is a cannabis product in it, and every state has their own legal requirements. Sometimes, individual stores have their own requirements! We have had to be extremely agile and patient. We’ve had to make sure what we are doing is all compliant. That’s been the biggest hurdle, for sure.”
Both she and Wimberley, though, anticipate success in the Maryland market. For Wimberley, this marks a return of sorts as she is a Towson University graduate and was a former star member of their competitive swimming team. “I think our product is going to do really well in Maryland,” she said. “We did over 10,000 cases in New Jersey in just our second year. Maryland is very similar to New Jersey in that you have beautiful shores, but you also have your cities and your college towns. I’m indeed a Towson University grad. So, I know from the ground that Marylanders are very eclectic and open to new products. Kaló is something Maryland definitely needs!”
Click Here to check out the article as it appeared in The Journal.