Grins is passionate about giving kids and all other consumers healthier options in a beverage marketplace that is too often the enemy of their good health.
We couldn’t do what we do without someone with expertise in food science who shares that passion.
Craig Bair is that person.
Bair has more than three decades of experience working in the food industry. He has a PhD in food science from Iowa State University and has worked with companies including Frito-Lay, GNC, Quaker Oats and many others.
When he came across the then-fledgling organic segment back before it became one of the hottest trends in food sales, he purposefully molded his career to help these manufacturers he saw who were striving for a healthier, more natural product.
“It became my passion,” Bair said. “ It was so much different from the conventional food business, where a lot of people were out there just trying to make food look better and taste better without any conscious effort to trying to keep the nutrition as good as it was naturally.”
In the years since, Bair has been an innovator, always wanting to try things nobody else is doing, with the central goal of making every product he works with as nutritionally beneficial as possible.
“I love being ahead of the curve” he said.
At Grins, we share that passion for innovation, and for working hard every day to make sure there are options on store shelves that will help people, not hurt them, in their quest to live a healthier lifestyle.
Dr. Bair continues to work with us as we strive to make our products even better, based on the needs we see as we talk to experts in the schools, military, youth sports and other groups we visit in our work.
We’re happy to share his expertise and passion for natural ingredients with you in every bottle of The Official Beverage of Happy People.
A few days ago, I was buying lunch at a local grocery store with my toddler daughter. I live in an area where Grins is not yet available, and as I picked beverages at the drink cooler, I was confronted on one side with a row of Monster energy drinks. With names like “Assault” and “Rehab” on the 16-oz cans, I decided to turn to the other side of the cooler.
Over there, a label on a bottle of Vitamin Water told me that the folks at Vitamin Water think “it’s no coincidence that ‘morning’ and “mourning’ are only one letter apart.” Basically, they hate mornings, and they’re pretty sure you do, too.
What a downer.
On another shopping trip, I found myself stopped a light, my daughter in the back seat, right next to a big sign with the Monster energy drink logo above an announcement about the “Real art of pole dancing contest” to be held at a local bar later that week.
I see kids drinking all of these beverages all the time, and I have to wonder–are these really the best messages for them?
All of us–kids and adults–are confronted with enough negativity these days. There’s always a new study telling us something in our pantry is full of chemicals that are killing us. Politicians’ public dialog has become a toxic minefield of name-calling and cynicism.
I don’t need the beverage at my lunch table adding to this chorus of pessimism.
The folks at Grins feel the same way. That’s why the Grins brand is built on a positive message.
It’s named for the physical reaction we think you’ll have when you drink Grins. Grins is about leaving behind the complaining, the blaming and the sense of hostility that can be hard to escape these days. We want to be a bright spot in your day, not a reminder of something you should be griping about.
At the same time, Grins is trying to provide a better alternative to the beverages already on the market. You won’t find questionable herbal blends, caffeine, artificial colors or quadruple-digit daily values of anything in our cheery green-and-white bottles.
The Grins team is made up of positive people. They wake up early, see opportunity in every day and find joy in the work they’re doing. That’s the attitude they take with them into every school, every convenience store and every distributorship they visit as they work to build this brand. And their positivity seems to be contagious, as many folks embrace the brand before they even try the beverage, and people who say they “don’t drink stuff like this” end up polishing off entire bottles of Grins before these meetings end.
Grins is committed to playing a positive role in the beverage landscape. We hope to provide a lift to your day when you reach for us in the beverage cooler, and we guarantee you we’ll be a bottle you can turn toward–and not avoid–when you’re out shopping with your kids.
It’s been a busy several months here at Grins headquarters, but there’s never a bad day when you’re selling Grins.
From the Wells Thompson Signature Soccer camp in January to the meetings we’ve had with school officials all over the Carolinas to the Southeast Petro-Food Marketing Expo we attended last week in Myrtle Beach, people everywhere seem to love the taste of Grins and the positive message we carry.
We wanted to keep you up-to-date on a few things, and we hope you’ll stay tuned to this blog in the months to come, as we expect to have more exciting news about The Official Beverage of Happy People.
- Grins is now available in all Quality Mart convenience stores. You can find a list of all their stores here, and don’t forget to check our full list of retail locations here to see where else we are available.
- Grins continues to be a hit in school cafeterias. We’ve heard from school administrators that kids are regularly choosing us over their usual Gatorade and other sports drinks. That’s great news, because we know we provide a healthier product than these beverages, and the reason we exist is to help kids (and everyone, for that matter) make healthier beverage choices. We’ve started a separate page on Grins in Schools to provide information on where we’re being served. Check back often, because we expect this list to grow rapidly.
As recently as six months ago, Ben Bloodworth was happy at work as a commercial real estate agent with The Meridian Realty Group in Winston-Salem, N.C. Working on a variety of real estate investment projects and brokering deals such as Sheetz convenience stores in North Carolina, Bloodworth enjoyed what he was doing.
“Everything was going great,” he said. “I thought that’s what I’d be doing for the rest of my life.”
When longtime friends Nathan and Ed Battle pulled him aside this past September, asking him to sample a new beverage they were bringing to market, Bloodworth found himself with a new sales opportunity too enticing to pass up.
“When I saw such huge potential for a fantastic beverage and brand, I knew I had to jump onboard,” he said.
From the moment he tasted Grins, Bloodworth loved the beverage. But beyond that, he loved the simple, positive message behind the brand, and since September he’s been working to spread it, meeting with convenience store owners and distributors.
Grins is currently available in 20 convenience stores in Forsyth County, and Bloodworth is getting a positive response as he works to get it out to more stores and more markets.
Grins is finalizing deals with several distributors and plans for its products to be available in convenience stores in the Carolinas, Virginia, West Virginia, Georgia and Tennessee in the next six months.
“I know the day will come, but we have yet to have an unsuccessful meeting,” he said. “We honestly have not had one person dislike this product. Everybody loves it.”
Bloodworth said he thinks the beverage’s appeal lies in the fact that it delivers a strong, genuine flavor that doesn’t come off as watered-down, as many drinks marketed as “better-for-you” do. At the same time, it’s lower in calories than the average juice drink and doesn’t contain any artificial colors or flavors.
“It tastes like it shouldn’t be good for you, but it is,” he said.
Beyond the beverage, Bloodworth is excited about extending the Grins brand into apparel and other products. Grins is The Official Beverage of Happy People, and the brand is simply about optimism, happiness and approaching life with a smile.
“We are all about positivity,” he said.
And that’s why, even though he never would have envisioned himself this time last year as Grins’ director of sales, Bloodworth looks forward to Mondays and is always happy to get to work.
“You can’t complain about selling Grins,” he said.