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Beverage startup Thunder Coffeemilk to seek partner in 12 months

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Jun 3, 2024
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Thunder Coffeemilk will seek a strategic investor in 12 months, co-founder Dave Temple tells Axios exclusively.

Why it matters: The Florida-based beverage startup is betting that Australian-style coffee milk will hit the spot with U.S. consumers.

Zoom in: The self-funded company is looking for a partner that is "keen on sustainable growth within the beverage segment, but also understands the unique challenges that lie within," says Mathis Martines, the company's vice president of sales.

  • The company declined to comment on a valuation or the amount of capital it plans to seek at this time.

How it works: Thunder Coffeemilk is a take on Australian staple ready-to-drink coffee milk (90% milk and 10% powdered coffee, sugar and flavored syrup).

  • Thunder Coffeemilk brews its shelf-stable beverage using milk and coffee so there is no settling at the bottom, Martines says.

Catch up quick: Temple, who immigrated to the U.S. from Australia, founded the company with fellow dairy farmer Ed Henderson six years ago to stir some life into a stagnant liquid milk category.

  • The idea was to introduce a version of the drink here, given the two countries have similar demographics, Temple says.
  • Development took four years, with the company coming into the market in 2023.

Yes, but: While it has proof of concept, Thunder Coffeemilk has some work to do including building out its brand and team to make it more attractive for an investor.

By the numbers: Thunder Coffeemilk is sold in about 1,200 locations in retailers such as 7-Eleven in Florida and QuickCheck in the Northeast.

  • It is also sold on Core-Mark's curated platform, which is a top distributor to convenience stores with over 45,000 locations, and by food distributor KeHE.

The latest: It just added food distributor United Natural Foods, Martines says.

What they're saying: "Our brand promise is not functionality or low calorie. We want to be the best-tasting coffee on the shelf," Temple says.

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