The Helmsman Group approached the project by initially piloting extensive research on flora and fauna of orange orchards in Seville, Spain. As a result of the research, we found, named, and ultimately patented a wild yeast, which features a unique property of only fermenting simple sugars. With this yeast, we could ferment orange juice, yielding a lightly effervescent, slightly alcoholic (2.9% ABV) beverage reminiscent of a mimosa. While traditional fermentation of orange juice creates a beverage that is too acidic to enjoy, this wild yeast only converts fructose, which leaves enough sugar after the fermentation process to produce an enjoyable, low-ABV orange beverage.
This product provided opportunities for fresh orange crops. Since this beverage was novel, proof of concept was required. We partnered with an existing hard kombucha brewery Novo Brewing and became the #3 SKU in overall sales performance. RedBud Brands bought the intellectual property to produce the beverage under the name Sundaze.