How to Start a Beverage Company

by Vanessa Cross; Updated September 26, 2017
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Bottled and canned beverages include soft drinks, sports drinks, energy drinks, and water. The number of non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages available in commercial cooler sections has grown tremendously over the years. Industry publications such as Beverage World and Beverage Digest report how beverage manufacturers and distributors have maintained a competitive edge in markets where the need for on-the-go hydration has remained constant. The high entry costs into the beverage business, however, makes sound business planning and market research key for new market entrants.

Items you will need

  • Bottling plant facility
  • Bottling equipment
  • Beverage recipe supplies
  • Computers

Start a Beverage Company

Step 1

Conduct market research before entering this competitive business, as it requires substantial start-up costs. Industry news and beverage reviews for non-alcoholic drinks can be obtained free from Industry market research reports are available at This includes in-depth market research information on beverage market size and market segmentation; product and market trends, risks, and opportunities; and profiles of key participants.

Step 2

Join bottled and canned beverage industry organizations such as the American Beverage Association (ABA). The ABA membership provides access to beverage industry information and definitions of industry terms, as well as a valuable supplier directory.

Step 3

Research product development suppliers. Learn about the various options in flavors, sweeteners, carbonators and coloring. Machinery for supply chain management, decals and labels, closures, and testing will also have to be considered. Options for product bottles/cans, cases/trays, and displays/stands are numerous. A great place to start this research is through the ABA supplier directory.

Step 4

Obtain required licenses and permits. A beverage company of any sort, whether alcoholic or non-alcoholic, will be highly regulated and require government licenses and permits. Health permits are also a big part of operating a beverage company. Contact the local government business office or a local attorney to find out more about the licenses and permits required.

Step 5

Construct or purchase a bottling plant. This will be expensive, and many beverage companies opt to start by outsourcing production to existing bottling companies with compatible systems, when the outsourcing company is not a direct competitor in the market.

Step 6

Market the business through television, radio and print media. Set up an online website for the new beverage. Develop a sales team to market the beverage to general markets such as grocery and general stores, as well as specialty markets such as cafes and restaurants.

About the Author

Vanessa Cross has practiced law in Tennessee and lectured as an adjunct professor on law and business topics. She has also contributed as a business writer to news publications such as the "Chicago Tribune" and published in peer-reviewed academic journals. Cross holds a B.A. in journalism, a Juris Doctor and an LL.M. in international business law.

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