Designed as a calorie-burning formulation, Celsius is shaping a new category of beverages.
Steve Haley, chief executive officer of Delray Beach, Fla.-based Celsius, is no stranger to understanding consumers’ desire for beverages. For 20 years, Haley helped distributors and manufacturers predict where their industries were going. So it’s only natural that Haley would put his own company on the leading edge of a new beverage trend.
For 17 years, Haley worked in technology, primarily for a software company called Pivot Point. He eventually became the chief executive officer and helped distributors and manufacturers run their businesses and distribute their products. When Haley sold Pivot Point, he decided to retire, and got into the beverage business merely as an investor. But as he learned more about the business, he realized that an investor was not exactly what he wanted to do for the industry.
“As I got to know the beverage industry â€”both at the ground level, literally with the trucks and the guys and the routes and the warehouses, and getting into the stores and [seeing] customers buying them â€” I saw one of the things I had learned many years before,” Haley says. “The company that owns the category wins. So instead of creating the 100th energy drink or the eighth vitamin water, let’s create new categories.”
Celsius Holdings Inc., initially founded as Elite FX, began in 2004 with that vision of creating new beverage categories. The first offering, Celsius, is a soft drink formulated to burn calories. The word Celsius is internationally known as the way to measure temperature. The Celsius product is thermogenic, Haley says, and he wanted a name that would connotate burning heat or energy. The product is off and running, and later this year Celsius will create another category, although Haley won’t reveal the plans yet. The company’s goal is to create a new category every year.