Why You Need to Add Yerba Mate to Your Pack Bev Inventory

The caffeine source is meeting the consumer appetite for an organic smooth energy boost.

August 31, 2023

This article is brought to you by Guayakí Yerba Mate.


As beverage consumers look for better ways to get their caffeine fix, yerba mate—a versatile alternative to coffee, tea and soda—could be their answer. Guayakí Yerba Mate, a beverage company producing yerba mate products, has grown quickly in terms of distribution in natural stores and grocery stores. And now the company has its sights set on the convenience store industry and its customers.

“In the convenience channel, Guayakí Yerba Mate is the No. 1 single serve dollars per total distribution point (TDP) among all RTD teas and yerba mates and is currently ranked as the No. 7 RTD tea brand with only a 10.1% ACV, which is why we’re so excited about our future in the c-store channel,” said Brian Bousley, chief commercial officer, Guayakí Yerba Mate. “There is so much runway for Guayakí in this industry.” Compared to energy drinks, Guayakí is the No. 3 brand in average dollars/store/week/item (DSWI) last 52 weeks trailing only Red Bull and Monster. In fact, Guayakí average dollars (DSWI) in the convenience channel is $14.25, which is twice the average DSWI of the top-selling, emerging better-for-you energy brands.

Ranked by productivity in the convenience channel, Guayakí is the No. 1 single-serve brand in RTD teas and 48% more productive than the next-leading brand. When compared to the velocity of other caffeinated beverages, Guayakí is No. 3 in the energy brands segment and No. 1 in RTD coffees, which demonstrates the versatility of Guayakí Yerba Mate. Guayakí has an extremely high buy rate among focus brands in RTD teas, coffees and energy drinks. Guayakí also has the highest repeat rate among focus brands with 71% of consumers making 2+ purchases.

Yerba mate comes from the naturally caffeinated leaves of a species of holly tree found in the Atlantic Rainforest of South America. Yerba mate gives you a smooth energy boost that consumers say is different than many coffee, tea or energy drinks.

“We source regenerative, organic and fair trade certified ingredients that are better for people and the planet. This is right where consumers are going,” said Bousley.

Guayakí Yerba Mate is a registered social purpose corporation, and certified B Corp, with a mission to regenerate both people and planet through an aspirational business model the company refers to as ‘Market Driven Regeneration.’ In keeping with this mission, Guayakí Yerba Mate participated in the Regenerative Organic Certified pilot for yerba mate in the world and was the first company in South America to achieve gold status.

“A lot of suppliers talk a big game, but we live it,” Bousley said. “Going beyond sustainability by aspiring to be a regenerative business is something central to our DNA that we have lived and will continue to live as we grow as a company.”

And that purpose-driven mindset has attracted a loyal consumer base.

“We can see how loyal they are through not only our rebuy rate but also how they talk about us online,” Bousley said. “This consumer base is our biggest advocate, and they come back because of our values, product quality and the energy boost.”

Guayakí says its target consumer is 18 to 44 years old. Its products do “extremely well” on college campuses.

“Many of our consumers come to our brand because their values are aligned with ours,” Bousley said. “We also see that the younger consumer is more than ever gearing toward alternative caffeinated beverage products that are better for people and the planet, which is unlike past consumers.”

While Guayakí is an innovator in the caffeinated beverage space and has a proven track record of sustainability, do its products actually taste good?

“We check off all the boxes for consumer and retailer, but I think the biggest box that we check is taste. Our products are delicious,” said Bousley. “There is nothing but awesome potential for Guayaki in the convenience channel.”

This is the final installment of a two-part NACS Daily series on yerba mate. Learn more about Guayakí Yerba Mate.