On April 23, she dropped Lemonade. On May 3, she backed watermelon juice.
Yes, Beyonce Knowles, the superstar at the zeitgeist's apex this week after her release late last month of the intense audio-visual album Lemonade, is now an investor in a juice company.
The product is raw, cold-pressed watermelon juice (with "just a wee bit of organic lemon juice"). It's known as WTRMLN WTR, and it needs not vowels to sell: Knowles, along with other celebrities such as Taylor Swift, has allegedly been caught sipping it by tabloid and celebrity magazines such as Life & Style.
The juice is less expensive than some of the trendier cold-pressed juices of the world; a bottle runs about $4.99, or six for $19.99 on the company's own site, and is sold by World Waters, a New York City-based small company. Its founders, Jody Levy and Harlan Berger, write on their website that when they started World Waters three years ago, they had two goals. The first: Find a use for "discarded melons," which they explain are watermelons harvested by family farms that could not be sold to grocery stores due to deformations or blemishes. On the site, Levy writes: "The second, and equally as meaningful goal, was to introduce the awesome, super delicious, amazingly beneficial water from the melon to the world!"
Knowles generated headlines late last month when she made her own entrepreneurial move, debuting a line of casual athletic wear called Ivy Park.
The startup says annual revenue is currently on pace to triple this year last year, according to Fortune. It also says WTRMLN WTR is available at 7,500 retail locations, including Whole Foods, Kroger, and Costco. Juice production in the United States is a growing industry, as consumers turn to nutrient-rich, non-carbonated beverages. According to industry-analysis agency IBISWorld, juice production is a $13 billion industry in the United States this year.
Knowles, who is in the middle of her Formation World Tour, has already carved out marketing opportunities for WTRMLN WTR. According to Bloomberg, "it will be sold at concert venues throughout the tour and was featured in pop-up stores around the U.S. during the rollout of Ivy Park," her new clothing line.
How can entrepreneurs get Beyonce's investment dollars? One thing's clear so far: She's not going the path of Ashton Kutcher, who dove into Silicon Valley tech interests hard several years ago when he started investing. Knowles seems to be amassing, instead, a small health-and-wellness-focused portfolio. She has previously invested in 22 Days Nutrition, a vegan-diet kit.
The actual size of Beyonce's investment has not been disclosed, but according to Bloomberg Businessweek, Knowles is now a "meaningful" shareholder in the company, Levy said. And an old-school endorsement deal was never in the cards, she said.
"That's such an important differentiation between a traditional celebrity influencer connected to a brand, because this really comes at the mission level," she told Bloomberg.