Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Inside Zevia: A Q&A with CEO Paddy Spence

For better or worse, I am not a blogger who routinely checks her stats. I write to write and share what I want to share. But when I have checked over the past few months, I've noticed something interesting: a lot of the search engine traffic is related to Zevia.

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Zevia is a zero-calorie soda that is sweetened with stevia, monk fruit extract and erythritol. It could be considered a healthier alternative to diet sodas that feature artificial sweeteners and other chemicals and colorings.

I've been drinking Zevia for years - my current favorite flavors are Orange and Cola Lime - before the blog and before the company reached out to me. For me, it fills the void left by former Diet Coke addiction without making me feel like I'm chugging formaldehyde. I usually drink about one a day, with lunch or dinner, and love having the treat.

When the rep contacted me most recently, I had one thing I wanted - and it wasn't more Zevia (though that is always nice). I wanted to respond to the perceived interest in Zevia and ask the CEO, Paddy Spence, about his thoughts on the product. Is it bad for you? Are there side effects? Can it be incorporated in a healthful diet?

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Q. What does "sweet smart" mean?
A. "Sweet Smart" is our new natural sweetener blend, which uses a high-purity form of Stevia mixed with Erythritol and Monk fruit extract. The addition of Monk Fruit makes Zevia much sweeter, but contains no fructose or calories and – just like stevia – is natural, does not effect blood glucose levels and has no negative side effects. Our new sweetening system has significantly enhanced the taste of Zevia, making it the #14 diet soda in U.S. supermarkets, according to SPINS/IRI data.

Q. Are there any side effects to Zevia?
A. Zevia's zero-calorie natural sweeteners allow people to indulge in a guilt-free way, due to the lack of calories, sugar and artificial sweeteners. I personally consume around 8 cans of Zevia per day, and drinking Zevia has had no negative effect on my health. In fact, since replacing sugar with stevia in my diet, I feel better than ever before.

Q. Many people are concerned about consuming sugar substitutes. What makes Zevia/stevia different?
A. Stevia and Monk Fruit are plant-based sugar alternatives that do not cause side effects. Other sugar alternatives such as Aspartame, Sucralose and Neotame are artificial sweeteners that some studies indicate may have a variety of negative health consequences. In fact, a recent University of Iowa study of almost 60,000 women found that those consuming two or more artificially sweetened diet sodas per day had an increased risk of heart attack and stroke. Zevia offers an alternative to sugary, high-calorie drinks that is naturally sweetened and contains zero calories or sugar.

Q. What goes into formulating a flavor?
A. Every soda flavor has a variety of different flavor “notes,” and so the starting point for us at Zevia is choosing how we would like a given flavor to taste. Cola, for example, contains both “spicy” flavors such as cinnamon, clove and nutmeg, as well as citrus flavor notes from lemon and lime. Once we have determined the balance of flavor notes, we create a range of prototypes and taste, taste again, and then taste some more. It can be a lengthy process to get the flavor just right, but tasting soda is quite enjoyable, and the final results speak for themselves.

Q. Are there any new flavors coming? 
A. We are always working on new flavors, and our fans give us a lot of great suggestions. Right now, we don’t have anything new we can share, but we will have new announcements in the next few months.

Q. How does Zevia stay on top of new research and developments?
A. Our fans, who are passionate about what they want to see from Zevia, are the most exciting source of new ideas for us. In addition, we closely monitor new ingredient developments and new products on the market, as we are committed to continuous improvement and innovation in our product line.


  1. I love that instead of asking for more product you asked for info to serve you're readers. You're a great ambassador and blogger.

  2. Thank you for this! I've never tried it, don't even know if we have it in NZ, but have been hearing a lot about it lately. Maybe I'll get to try it when I go to the US in a few weeks!

  3. I will have to look for this, I never drink soda, but sometimes i like something sweet and bubbly.

  4. I had no idea there was so many flavors! We have cola, ginger beer, lemon lime and grape here.