Morinda’s New Path

MORINDA
Founded: 1996
Headquarters: American Fork, UT
Top Executives: Brent Willis, CEO
Products:Healthy beverages, skincare, supplements

 

Morinda establishes its new home within the New Age Beverage family of healthy beverage companies.

The world’s leading experts on the health benefits of Tahitian Noni Juice never experienced a humble beginning. Morinda exploded onto the health and wellness scene in the late 1990s, introducing the industry to the superfruit noni. With an original line of consumable and topical noni products, the company offered consumers three things: better health, better appearance and financial freedom through the business opportunity. From explosive expansion in its early years to a more stable pattern of growth in the last decade, Morinda has continued to offer those same three benefits, growing to over 300,000 distributors with a presence in more than 60 countries.

Today, Morinda is poised to experience explosive growth yet again, following its December 2018 merger with publicly traded New Age Beverages Corporation.

New Age, New Beginning

On December 5, 2018, Morinda announced this new direction for the company. Merging with New Age Beverages Corporation (New Age) represented a huge opportunity for both companies—Morinda distributors would now have access to select New Age product lines and New Age would now have a completely new distribution channel. The New Age portfolio includes Marley coffees and yerba mate beverages, Xing teas, Búcha kombuchas, Coco Libre coconut water, WATERisLIFE artesian waters, as well as recently acquired Brands Within Reach brands, which includes Evian and Illy.


“At New Age, our dream is to become the leading healthy beverage and lifestyle company in the world.” —Brent Willis, CEO

The merger announcement also presented beverage industry veteran Brent Willis as the new CEO for the combined company. According to Willis, this new venture will empower New Age to pursue its ultimate goal. “At New Age our dream is to become the leading healthy beverage and lifestyle company in the world,” he explains. “We will achieve our goal by flawlessly executing our business plan and by staying true to our purpose—to educate and inspire the planet to ‘Live Healthy.’”

A new company, a new CEO and a new goal—but what would the thousands of existing Morinda distributors think? “We were a little nervous, you never know what the reaction will be with big news like this,” says Adam Olsen, Director of Marketing and Communications. “When we held our first global event following the announcement, we were very excited to see what the pulse of the room would be. We found that our leaders embraced this merger. Brent won them over 100 percent immediately. His energy and assertive take on the world really resonated with leaders and consultants—the reactions were universal.”

Morinda distributors were suddenly more than consultants—they had the opportunity to become owners of this new company. “We wanted to make everyone owners,” says Shon Whitney, Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing. “We created a program where our distributors can earn stock in the company and part owners. We shifted from a founder-led company to a public company where everyone could be an owner. It’s really been a huge plus for our culture.”

Two quarters in, the combined company is hard at work shifting into its new omnichannel distribution model, which includes Morinda’s direct-to-consumer sales, and New Age’s e-commerce, affiliate and retail sales. Both the leadership and the investment community are excited by the company’s progress thus far.

“I believe we are doing great and well on our way to achieving our goal,” says Willis. “The integration could not have gone smoother so far. Not only have we gained over $4 million in cost savings from synergies and already fully combined human resources, legal, IT, and operations, but most importantly, we have done those things while staying on plan and delivering our 1st quarter financial targets. We emplaced our first ever banking line for $35 million. We sold a non-core asset for $55 million, and we increased our cash balance to over $40 million. Altogether. That is huge for our company and puts us in an incredibly strong financial position.”

The Morinda Opportunity

What began as a product line defined by Tahitian Noni Juice has expanded to include six “brands” within the Morinda collection:

  • Tahitian Noni – Noni juice, essential oils, serums and body lotions
  • ‘NHANCED CBD – Topical CBD oil, body cream and gel
  • TeMana – Noni-infused skincare and cosmetics
  • HIRO – Noni-infused energy beverage

Distributors can now share products from these Morinda brands as well as select lines from the New Age collection of products, which has inspired a younger generation of both customers and prospective distributors. “Our past demographic was women over 40 with our original product,” explains Whitney. “These new brands make us more attractive to a millennial audience. We’re seeing more sign-ups in the younger demographic from our CBD and TeMana lines in pretty large numbers in Asia and that’s starting here in the U.S. as well.”

New distributors are guided through the Morinda onboarding system, which includes training through the company’s Morinda University online program and in-person training events. Qualifying distributors have access to the Morinda University Advanced Course where they’re invited to specialized training on social media, lead generation and best business practices.

Social media is a priority for Morinda, especially in recent years. “We love it, we embrace it and love to share the personality behind our brand—we hope it resonates with a large audience,” says Olsen. “We want to be a consumerfriendly brand, so we set an example for our distributors to use social media in an authentic, creative way. We feel like we have a cool story to tell and want to be a good example.”

A Reinvigorated Future

Morinda’s entrepreneurial culture has been a constant from the company’s inception, but the New Age merger has given distributors and corporate employees a new vision for the future. “There’s an aggressive streak now in the company,” says Whitney. “Being 22 years old, you get comfortable—this merger has shaken that up.”

“The merger has reenergized the growth mentality that was such a big part of our past and culture for so many years,” Olsen adds. “In the early days, we were ambitious—we wanted to show the world how much good this fruit from Tahiti could do. We had ambitions to share noni with the whole world. Now we see that bold ambition from Brent and New Age—we have a ‘take on the world mission’ that meshes well with our company’s history.”

Morinda’s goal is to be the #1 healthy beverage company in the world. To achieve it, the leadership team is pursuing three main objectives—to expand in both new markets and new demographics, to launch new product lines and perfect Morinda’s new omnichannel distribution model.

With new research, product lines and strategic announcements anticipated for years to come, Morinda has a lot to look forward to. “We have everything we need to be successful, and nothing is going to stand in our way of achieving success,” says Willis. “Our key is to be fast, first, and focused, and maybe a bit fanatical. As we do, everyone will benefit as a fellow shareholder.”

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