Nadav Haimberg, CEO
Onli Beverages, Palm Beach, FL
I had the opportunity to meet Nadav at the launch party for onli’s newest release – Black Tea Tangerine Ginger – a collaboration with Chef Clay Conley of Palm Beach’s Būccan and Imoto.
I have to say it was truly a pleasure getting to meet and chat with Nadav. Not only was he warm, with a constant smile, he was extremely interesting to talk to with his knowledge of the business. One thing I found particularly smart and endearing was how complimentary he was of the team he’s built around himself. He’s quick to share the glory with his branding guru, marketing team and those who have helped build and shape onli into the rapidly growing success it is today.
How did you get started with onli?
Onli was born out of an investment deal. A client had asked Nadav to find a beverage company that met a set of standards and guidelines and after several tries, they realized the type of product that they wanted to align themselves with was not something they could find on the market. Instead, they chose to go ahead and create the beverage company and through this effort we gained – onli™.
“It was a tremendous amount of hard work and luck.”
Why the name “onli”?
Their mission was clear: To create a beverage that focused not on functionality, but on taste. They didn’t want the primary objective of their drinks to be to give you energy or make you lose weight or hydrate you after a workout. They really wanted to bring a culinary edge to their brand and stand behind the idea of “food and drink” being about flavor and innovation, not function and benefit as a byproduct.
There was onli one way to do that.
They partnered with chefs, restauranteurs, etc. to create flavor combinations and tastes not available to consumers, they focused on value over price competitiveness, and they didn’t cut corners: Onli is all-natural, non-dairy, gluten-free, GMO-free, kosher certified and served in glass bottles vs. plastic.
How did you come up with the flavor combinations?
Nadav enlisted the help of his culinary friends and contacts to begin the initial flavor profiles. They honed in on hibiscus as their trademark flavor, seeing the value in bringing a fairly unknown taste to the market – similar to the efforts of POM for pomegranate.
I joked how pomegranate has found its way into half of the beverages you see on the shelves nowadays. Perhaps hibiscus will do the same.
Something I found fascinating was the energy they spent on locating the perfect water source for their beverages. Apparently water source, quality and properties have a major impact on the texture of sparkling water. They found that perfect water in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania.
How did you get distribution?
Once the water was discovered and the flavors were established, it was time to get this sparkling sensation on some shelves. And in Florida, we all know that means Publix! They tried the front door first, and when their word alone didn’t work, they went grassroots. They set up booths, did taste tests, and got the product into their end-users’ hands. Next thing, Publix started having customers ask for onli. This made the next round of calls much easier. They started with a few stores and are now in Publix throughout the state of Florida, as well as Whole Foods and a handful of independent markets.
What’s coming up next for onli?
For the future, they are looking to expand their flavor catalogue, continue to partner with culinary talents to create small-batch releases and expand throughout the Southeast, Northeast and Texas. They have 15-20 flavors in the pipeline that will be tailored to those we see released and just released their Chef Conley collaboration.
Check out of review of onli Beverages HERE!
onli™ is available all Publix and Whole Food throughout Florida and at a variety of independent markets including Amici Market.