Treo Drink Products is a local brand with global roots. Bob Golden, son of Snapple co-founder Hymie Golden, started Treo in September 2016 after discovering the benefits of birch water during a vacation to Scandinavia. His discovery sparked a determination to bring an organic, all-natural, plant-based drink to the U.S. market.
Today, Treo (pronounced ‘TREE-OH’) can be found in the organic aisle at almost any local supermarket, from DeCicco’s or Stew Leonard’s to Stop & Shop and Fairway. Easy to spot thanks to its creatively packaged colorful 16 oz. bottles, the drink is available in seven flavors, including Raspberry Lemonade, Orange Apricot and Coconut Pineapple. Its main ingredient, birch water, comes from the nutrient-rich sap of U.S. birch trees.
The company operates out of a 10,000 sq. ft headquarters in Harrison, employing 10 full-time staff members as well as sales representatives throughout the Northeast, Midwest and Los Angeles markets.
The drink’s popularity can be credited in part to the convergence of several health trends. “Sugar is the big demon now and that is a major selling point for Treo,” which contains a natural sugar called xylitol, explains company president David O’ Byrne.
The company is positioning Treo as “a fantastic organic alternative to higher-sugar drinks and sodas like Coke, Pepsi, and Vitamin Water,” says brand director Zoe McElligott, who adds that Treo has no artificial ingredients or preservatives and each 16-ounce bottle of Treo contains only 2 grams of sugar.
In addition, an increasing number of “Customers are looking for a better alternative,” O’Byrne says, noting the increase in people sticking to vegan diets. “People are so interested now in plant-based products.”
O’Byrne, a local Harrison resident, also sees many benefits in calling Westchester home. “There’s a great pool of talent in Westchester,” O’Byrne says. “It’s remarkable. We have the pick of the crop and also have some great local stores for our products.”
“Treo is also a family-friendly product,” adds McElligott. “With Westchester being such a family-orientated area, it’s great to interact with our customers [through events like sampling in local markets] in our key retail chains.”
Treo kept a tight focus upon its initial market launch in January of 2017, targeting local grocers in the Northeast region. However, the company quickly began shipping to Midwestern markets like Woodman’s, Safeway, and HyVee.
The brand may be less than five years old, but Treo’s reputation as a ‘Snapple 2.0’ of sorts is already gaining momentum. In addition to its presence in local and national supermarkets, Treo is also available on Amazon.com and LuckyVitamin.com. A possible brick and mortar store could be in Treo’s future.
“Treo’s main focus is on supporting our own retailers and building our brand in retail stores,” McElligott says. “We’re constantly looking at evolving trends and certainly aren’t ruling out having our own Treo brick and mortar concept store.”
Should that plan come to fruition, it’s clear Westchester will be an ideal home for Treo.