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May 14, 2024

Twenty-three years, nine brands and four successful exits. Serial entrepreneur Lance Collins has seen it all. 

Yes, he sold Fuze and NOS to the Coca-Cola Co. and reaped a windfall return. Yes, Coke also paid billions to buy BodyArmor, while Keurig Dr Pepper acquired Core Hydration for $525 million. There’s no question that his wins are impressive. 

But Lance will tell you that he’s made nearly every mistake one can make in the beverage industry and has experienced raw and desperate times, including mortgaging his house to stay in business. 

When asked about a throughline that has linked his companies and defined his career, Lance points to passion. He says it’s why he continues to develop new beverage concepts, such as organic sports drink Recover 180, fitness-centric energy brand Accelerator, additive-free tequila Casa Azul, better-for-you soda MyMuse and ZEN WTR, a brand of sustainable bottled water.

We sat down with Lance at the 2024 Beverage Forum, where he talked about his current and past ventures, lessons from successes and missteps, how he identifies white space and defines differentiation, the reason that entrepreneurs fail and why he encourages founders to make “fast mistakes.”

Show notes:

0:35: Interview: Lance Collins, Founder, BodyArmor/Recover 180/Accelerator/Fuze – Lance and Taste Radio editor Ray Latif reminisce on past interviews and why the entrepreneur is a “traveling salesman.” Lance also talks about the grind and long-term process of building a beverage company, getting into the beverage alcohol business and why he launched another sports drink brand. He also explains lessons learned from BodyArmor and how he’s applying them to Recover 180, the challenge of competing with Celsius, his take on Poppi, the impact of standout package design and why he credits great people to much of his success. 

Brands in this episode: BodyArmor, Fuze, NOS Energy, Core Hydration, Recover 180, Accelerator, Casa Azul, Celsius, Poppi, MyMuse, Bang, Monster Energy, Red Bull