Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc will buy antioxidant beverages maker Bai Brands for $1.7 billion in cash, the company announced this morning.
Founded in 2009 by Princeton resident Ben Weiss, Bai drinks have no artificial sweeteners and boast only five calories and one gram of sugar per serving. Bai sweetens its drinks with plant-based ingredients and infuses them with antioxidants from coffee fruit and white tea.
Weiss, who owns a majority of the company that sells carbonated flavored water, coconut water and teas, will continue to lead Bai for Dr Pepper.
Dr Pepper, which also owns soft drink brands like Schweppes and 7UP, had about a 3-percent stake in Bai prior to the announcement of the sale. Dr. Pepper bought a minority stake in Bai for $15 million last year. Bai is one of Dr Pepper’s so-called allied brands and is distributed through Dr Pepper’s networks. According to representatives from Dr Pepper, Bai is expected to generate about $425 million in net sales and add $132 million to its sales in 2017.
Soda companies have been investing in drinks that are seen as healthier by consumers and contain less sugar. Coca-Cola, for example, now owns Vitamin Water, Honest Tea, Zico Coconut Water and Odwalla.