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Long Blockchain Corp.  (LTEA)
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Long Blockchain Corp.

Business Description

We are a holding company operating through our wholly-owned subsidiary, LIBB. We are engaged in the production and distribution of premium Non-Alcoholic Ready-to-Drink (“NARTD”) iced tea in the beverage industry. We are currently organized around our flagship brand Long Island Iced Tea, a premium NARTD tea made from a proprietary recipe and with quality components sold primarily on the East Coast of the U.S. through a network of national and regional retail chains and distributors. Our mission is to provide consumers with premium iced tea offered at an affordable price.

We aspire to be a market leader in the development of iced tea beverages that are convenient and appealing to consumers. There are two major target markets for Long Island Iced Tea: consumers on the go and health conscious consumers. Consumers on the go are families, employees, students and other consumers who lead a busy lifestyle. With increasingly hectic and demanding schedules, there is a need for products that are accessible and readily available. Health conscious consumers are individuals who are becoming more interested and better educated on what is included in their diets, causing them to shift away from the less healthy options such as carbonated soft drinks (“CSDs”) towards alternative beverages such as iced tea.

CSDs have historically dominated the non-alcoholic liquid refreshment beverage market and been primarily controlled by two industry giants, Coca-Cola and Pepsico. However, a number of beverages began to emerge in the 1990s as alternatives to CSDs as part of a societal shift towards beverages that are perceived to be healthier. The alternative beverage category of the market has resulted in the birth of multiple new product segments that include sports drinks, energy drinks and NARTD teas.

Our management team consists of senior members with substantial experience in the beverage industry. Philip Thomas, our Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board and LIBB’s co-founder, has over 16 years of beverage experience. Peter Dydensborg, our Chief Operating Officer, has over ten years of beverage experience and over 30 years of experience in the consumer packaged goods industry. Management oversees all responsibilities of corporate administration and business development and research. We intend to expand our current management to retain other skilled officers and employees with experience relevant to our business focus. We believe our management team has developed strong commercial relationships with both customers and third party vendors. We believe that the experience, reputation and background of our management team will continue to be key factors in our success.

In addition to management, we have engaged Julian Davidson to assist us in the buildout of our NARTD tea business and potential expansion into alcoholic beverages. Mr. Davidson has nearly 25 years of experience in the beverage industry, including most recently serving as Chief Executive Officer of Independent Liquor NZ’s businesses in New Zealand, the U.S. and Canada. Independent Liquor NZ is a manufacturer and distributor of pre-mixed ARTD alcoholic beverages, as well as having beer, spirit and cider portfolios. Independent Liquor NZ was sold to Asahi in 2011 for approximately NZ$1.5 billion.

We currently use co-packing companies, Union Beverage Packers LLC, Polar Corp., and LiDestri Spirits, to manufacture Long Island Iced Tea. The product is shipped directly to distributors as well as to our warehouse in Hicksville, NY prior to delivery to sales partners. Principal assets include vehicles to support the marketing of the brand and to transport the product, as well as storage equipment for the warehouse. Our principal assets also include display equipment such as refrigerators and racks. This equipment is strategically placed at retail locations in order to market our product line.

We generally focus our sales efforts on approaching beverage distributors and taking advantage of their unique positioning in the retail industry. However, a portion of our sales efforts are also dedicated to direct sales, because some wholesale chains such as Sam’s Club and Costco request direct shipments from the product supplier. We commonly use store demos, as we have found a positive correlation between demos and sales, especially at the introduction phase in new stores. We expect to continue using store demos in order to increase brand awareness and sales as we continue to expand into new markets.

We also use co-op advertising (advertisements by retailers that include the specific mention of manufacturers, who, in turn, repay the retailers for all or part of the cost of the advertisement) and special promotions, together with its retail partners, so as to complement other marketing efforts towards brand awareness. Furthermore, management has adjusted pricing levels to reflect current pricing dynamics resulting from recent industry consolidation. Based on our general knowledge of the industry, management believes this trend is caused by the entrance of major multinational beverage corporations into the alternative beverage category, leading to lower prices and creating an environment favorable for mergers and acquisitions.

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