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What’s a switchel? Innovative Idaho drink wins Trailmix competition for cash & Albertsons exposure

It’s Boise Entrepreneur Week and the Trailmix Pitch Competition announced its winner.

The winners were husband and wife Eric and Sam Herrera who co-founded Erth Beverage Company a ‘high quality and innovative beverage company.’

Erth won $25,000 and shelf space at Albertsons.

The idea was born when Sam wanted to use medicinal honey syrups to make drinks, and Eric, who has experience in the brewing industry, could bring the idea to life.

“What began as a herbal syrup with horrible execution is now a carbonated RTD functional beverage,” Sam said during the Trailmix pitch. “(it was) a quest to fill a hole that we found in the category for simple delicious products that are good for you, made by real humans and real ingredients.”

[2020: Creator of infused almond snack wins $20k from Boise pitch competition]

Products

Erth has a Sparkling Switchel, which is a new-age twist on the 17th-century drink. It’s made with real ingredients inducing as honey and apple cider vinegar which are sourced from Idaho. The drink is intended to support immunity and gut health and can be a sports drink substitute.

“The cool thing about switchels is that we are converting the kombucha consumers within the category to trade-in and trade up for an electrolyte drink that is prebiotic based, that’s less funky than kombucha, has no refined sugar, no caffeine, and not even trace amounts of alcohol,” Sam said.

The company also has a botanical craft soda. They make these drinks from medicinal plants, fruits, herbs, and spices. The drink is a replacement for high-sugar beverage and it could also be a cocktail base.

Erth currently has 50 retail partners, including the Boise Co-ops, Cinder Wines, and Hyde Perk Coffee. Sam said in 2019 the company made around $90,000 in sales, in 2020 it made around $100,000 in sales, and so far year to date Erth has made $256,000 in sales. 

Trailmix’s runner-up was Eric Torres Garcia, the creator of Cocoa Bombs. Coco Bombs is an alternative to ordinary hot chocolate powder. Torres Garcia won $5,000.

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Autum Robertson - BoiseDev Reporter
Autum Robertson is a BoiseDev reporter focused on Meridian and McCall. Contact her at autum@boisedev.com.

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