Picture this: it’s a sunny day in the tropics of the Amazon rainforest, near the equator. The early morning sunlight dances off the dew drops hanging from the leaves of the Cacao fruit, suspended from the branches, peaceful and undisturbed. Although cacao has been used by civilizations for thousands of years, farmed and harvested for its cacao seeds which are roasted to make chocolate, the plump juice of the fruit itself has been historically wasted, despite being loaded with incredible health benefits. 

When Jason Walter discovered this incredible fact, a lightbulb went off in his head. 

Operating from his home base in Wilmington, North Carolina, Jason had recently made a career shift to nutritional product creation. A cancer diagnosis had sparked his interest in seeking alternate ways to enrich his diet with more nutrient-dense drinks. Drawing on his background in engineering, Jason started learning about nutrition and began making and drinking juice concoctions. Every morning, he would go through the long procedure of making his drinks, which involved lots of veggies and other ingredients such as dandelion leaves.


While researching and learning more about raw materials, he came across the cacao fruit and learned about its health benefits. Jason went to a chocolate bean-to-bar class for 30 days to learn everything he could learn about cacao powder and chocolate. “That was where I first got introduced to the cacao fruit, and I just became obsessed with it,” says Jason.

As Jason went on to discover more about the cacao pod, and the delicious juice that can be squeezed from the pulp of its seeds, he became convinced that there was untapped potential. Jason went on to grow some cacao plants in his office, easier said than done, as they don’t grow in Wilmington. Using humidifiers, special lights, and planting the seeds in deep pots, Jason discovered that the taproot of the cacao plant dug down deeper than any of the other plants around it, getting nutrients from the soil that other plants weren’t able to reach.

Out of this research, bevCacao was born. 

Developing the product was not easy due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the shutdowns and shortages that it created, but Walter was able to come up with a finished drink in early 2022.

bevCacao is canned cacao juice squeezed from the pulp of fresh cacao fruit, delivering a supreme serving of antioxidants, electrolytes and minerals.

While a young product, the drink has already gotten recognition from the beverage industry. In May, bevCacao was named a finalist in the Best Functional Drink category of the 2022 InnoBev Awards. Presented by Zenith Global, a food and beverage consultancy firm based in the U.K., the awards recognize excellence and innovation across sectors of the global soft drink industry.

Being a finalist among large industry players such as Tropicana Brands Group and PepsiCo was a great feat for the company.

But it’s only the beginning for bevCacao, an antioxidant superstar with a bright future ahead.