Mondias Natural Products (NHP.V) is acquiring Quebec-based functional beverage maple water startup Érablier for their SetPoint Beverages Business Unit subsidiary.

SetPoint Beverages makes functional beverages that are non-alcoholic, and include healthy vitals like vitamins, minerals, herbs, cannabinoids, both pre and pro-biotics and fruit and vegetable juices. Meanwhile, Érablier’s products are made from the organic and pure processed water obtained from sugar maple tree sap, which was apparently in high demand in 2018 because of the notion that water from alternative sources like coconuts or maple trees is somehow any different from purified water from the usual sources. It’s not.

If more people paid attention in science class they would know that and understand things like organic does not necessarily always mean healthy—hemlock is organic for example—and H2O molecules perform the same function in the body regardless of their origin.

But then companies like Mondias would have to find a new way to market their products.

Here’s what Dr. Patrick Frankham, CEO of Mondias, had to say,

“This strategic acquisition represents an excellent opportunity to enter the vibrant health and wellness beverage space using a natural and organic product obtained from Québec. Maple water is a unique natural product that is harvested by sophisticated and large-scale methods from which we obtain our starting material to create natural products for consumers.”

Mondias’ specialty is in evidence-based botanical products for the healthcare, bio-agriculture and organic markets. Its Holizen Laboratories division sells both oral and topical botanical medicine to try and handle otherwise unmet medical needs. Mondias works with McGill University’s Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Science to produce in botanical-based fertilizers for household plants, lawns and golf courses in urban gardens, nurseries and greenhouses.

Adventures with maple syrup

One of the highlights of attending public school in Ontario was the seventh and eighth grade trip to Montreal and Quebec City. We got on a crowded schoolbus for an eight hour trip across the 401, yelling and screaming at each other while periodically trying to straighten our cramped legs.

At the end of the trip we’d hit the sugar bush where some underpaid actress in filthy garb meant to approximate some New France sugarmaker would feed us various maple products before sending us back down the 401.

Okay, so it was a highlight for us kids. For the adults? Maybe not so much.

It took me thirty-odd years to realize that our teachers had the patience of saints for tolerating the antics of 50+ pre-teen jacked up on maple sugar, when I probably would have left them all stranded somewhere east of Kingston, Ontario with enough quarters to call their parents. Maybe.

If there’s any indication that we’ve learned from the previous generation’s mistakes it’s that we’ve found a way to make low-sugar maple beverages, as evidenced by Mondias latest acquisition. If that translates to their Érablier-derived products, then the next generation of teachers should have an easier trip getting their kids home from the sugar bush. Just tell them it’s special water made from maple trees. Odds are good they don’t pay attention in science class either.

The beverage will go through market testing in the coming month. There’s a suggestion that maple water drinks could follow the same demand curve as coconut water, which was valued at US $2.5 billion in 2017, and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 19.93% between 2017 and 2024, ending at roughly $9 billion according to an industry report.

And tell your kids to pay attention in science class.

—Joseph Morton

Written By:

Joseph Morton

Joseph is a Vancouver-based author and journalist with both a communications degree and journalism diploma (and a few novels) under his belt. His joie de vivre is to spin difficult technical topics into more human-centric narratives. Buy him a coffee and he'll talk your ear off for hours about privacy issues, blockchain, cryptocurrency and martial arts. Don't talk to him if you're either a tomato, a bully, or if you're not a fan of either 1984 or Tender is the Night. No. You can still talk to him. Just be prepared to be told why you're wrong.

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functional beverages
Holizen Laboratories
maple syrup
maple water
McGill University
Mondias Natural Products
organic food
SetPoint Beverages
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