Re-inventing the beverage industry

Marc Schaal
3 min readApr 4, 2021

The beverage industry hasn’t changed over the past 100 years and no longer meets the expectations of modern consumers.

The non-alcoholic beverage industry is expected to reach 1,15 trillon$ in sales globally by the end of the year (2021) — That’s larger than the mattress industry ($44B by 2025), the eyeglass industry ($170B by 2025), and the cosmetics industry ($758.4B by 2025) combined. Despite its current size, the projection gives an impressive growth trajectory (5.68% CAGR 2021–2025).

This industry has been democratized in the early 1900s with the expansion of brands like Coca-Cola or Pepsi. These companies were able to sell and distribute non-alcoholic beverages at scale, bottling their drinks and using distributors, brokers, and retailers to market and sell to consumers worldwide.

This model eventually led Coca-Cola (KO) as one of the most valuable companies in the World until the 2000s, when Microsoft (MSFT), and then Apple (APPL) took an unprecedented dimension with highly scalable business models.

Today more than ever, industries have to iterate to survive and maintain relevancy. However, the non-alcoholic beverage industry has changed very little in the face of new technology and rapidly shifting preferences. The vast majority of drinks are still bottled, sent worldwide to retailers, transported home by consumers, discarded, and only a few are recycled.

The modern consumer desires sustainable products, direct connection with brands, personalized experiences, and online shopping — so far, the shift in consumer behavior has largely been unaddressed in the beverage market.

So what is the limitation? Why is this massive industry unable to innovate?

The answer is water — Water is incredibly heavy, bulky, and cheap, so it automatically can’t be shipped to consumers directly. This simple limitation gives no choices to the thousands of brands on the market to distribute through retailers, where they are all fighting against each other to secure space on the shelves. For small brands, this also means to be in direct competition with Coca-Cola, Nestlé, or Pepsi.

When Clement and I started working on Bello, we knew that we wanted to develop a solution that has the potential to drive the future of this industry worldwide.

For us, three fundamental long term needs had to be addressed to have a chance to achieve that goal:

  • Sustainability — Remove/Reduce drastically packaging and transport pollution
  • Build intimacy — Enable DTC and online shopping at scale
  • Innovation — Bring new beverages on the market faster and efficiently

It was clear to me that tap water has to become a platform to reproduce every drink available on the market right before consumption.

Over the last 14 months, we’ve built the next-generation hardware that delivers clean water tasty beverages, elevated by novel customer relations and distribution strategies.

Bello Home, our countertop water dispenser, purifies water and enables personalization with a line of compatible pods able to reproduce every premium beverage on the market; Mineral water like Evian, flavored water like Hint, vitamin water like Bai, and much more.

Apple has used this model to perfection to re-invent at least two industries (music with iPod/iTunes, and the mobile phone with the iPhone/App Store). They have built a sleek and well-engineered hardware device used as a platform to distribute personalized apps or music services at scale. We can find many similarities between the CDs and beverage industry today.

We can wait to tell you more about our product 💦
Stay healthy, positive, and well hydrated.

More is coming. 💙