Bossa Nova Superfruit Company: New Product Innovation Palo Hawken is co-founder and vice president of research and innovation at Bossa Nova. Bossa Nova was born out of the founder Alton Johnson’s fascination with the fruits of Brazil. While visiting there on business, he was constantly served platters of local fruits with unrecognizable flavors and names that invariably were accompanied by intriguing stories of health and healing. Because many of these legends seemed too good to be true, he initiated one of the first university studies to analyze them in greater depth. The results were compelling enough to launch a multiyear R&D effort to find the best way to commercialize the two most promising items: the acai and guarana fruits. In the summer of 2004, Bossa Nova was completing a regional southern California test market of its launch product: a line of premium, guarana-flavored carbonated energy drinks. This line had four SKUs: a rainforest refresher and an energy drink in both regular and diet versions.
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