Interview-Discussion with Leilo on Kava & Market Headway


Leilo is the leading kava brand in the United States. Inspired by the South Pacific’s kava culture and seeking to help Americans relax without the drawbacks of other substances. It provides several all-natural, non-addictive drinks, shots, and other functional product lines.

Sol Broady is the founder and CEO of Leilo. During his time in school, Sol grew Leilo from the prototype stage to a multimillion-dollar brand carried in over 750+ retailers across the country. He has gained national media recognition for pioneering the first mainstream kava company.

01. What motivated you to come up with this product; is Kava the next buzzword in the industry? How is your product different from the rest of your competitors?

Leilo began when Sol, Leilo’s founder, traveled to the south coast of Fiji in 2018 and befriended a local named Benji.

Benji introduced Sol to his family and village elders and gathered everyone for a traditional kava ceremony. Mixing from a centuries-old turtle-shell bowl and sipping from coconut shells, they spent hours drinking kava and sharing stories.

Sol felt himself becoming increasingly relaxed, sociable, and happy – shocked by how well kava worked for him.

Upon arriving back in the states, Sol and Benji kept in close contact, often speaking of a dream to share kava beyond the South Pacific shores.

We believe that kava is the future of the relaxation category. Whereas alcohol, marijuana, and other substances have significant drawbacks, kava has been used in the South Pacific for centuries safely and effectively. Kava provides relaxation without the sacrifice and is already FDA-compliant as an ingredient. Consequently, it can be distributed widely without the regulations of competitive ingredients. It is perfect for those seeking a relaxing buzz while living a healthy lifestyle, especially without alcohol.


02. According to industry sources, there has been a substantial rise in the consumption of non-alcoholic drinks among individuals. What technologies are incorporated into the production lines to boost the output?

Non-alcoholic drinks are becoming increasingly popular worldwide, and the market is already quite saturated. Leilo is differentiated from the competition because of its pioneering efforts regarding its core ingredient: kava. Our brand has multiple domestic and international patents protecting the special production process we invented to create great-tasting, highly potent kava beverages. It is a combination of these patents and our litany of trade secrets, developed over three years alongside clinical research, which ensures Leilo’s products are best-in-class, a fact for which the market has rewarded us.


03. Where is the main ingredient, ‘Kava,’ sourced for your beverages? Demographically, which regions/states have been a success for the company so far? In foresight, which region/state would be a key investment pocket for the company?

Our kava is sourced directly from Vanuatu, a small archipelago nation off the coast of Fiji in the South Pacific. Vanuatu is the world’s largest kava exporting nation and is well-known for producing some of the strongest and purest kava available. It is then lab-tested and refined in the US before being sent to our co-packing network for final production into the Leilo products available today.

Leilo’s largest consumer bases are in Florida, where over 200 kava bars have emerged in the last several years, as well as New York, California, and Hawaii, where kava grows endemically. That being said, our products can be found in over 35 states and are shipped nationally via and Amazon. Recently, we signed a distribution agreement in Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the Dominican Republic, and Grenada. We are working on further international distribution and intent on seizing the first-to-market position amidst the kava industry.


04. Companies are innovatively promoting their product offerings through various channels & strategies and are mainly focusing on e-commerce platforms. What has been your marketing strategy so far?

Beyond our retail presence, Leilo runs a significant e-commerce business and has been most successful marketing through organic user-generated campaigns. We have found that while Leilo may not be for everyone– those who enjoy Leilo love what we represent. By collaborating with our active consumers, we market our products through the stories of those who benefit from and enjoy our products. This strategy provides strong social proof to potential customers and allows them to learn more about how Leilo can benefit them.


05. Are these non-alcoholic drinks consumed as Ready-to-drink (RTD)? With the rise in allergies and veganism globally, what food preferences are included in Leilo’s target audience?

Leilo began as an RTD kava brand, the first of its kind in the world. As we have grown our audience and strengthened our supply chain, we will soon launch additional kava-based products, including powder and shot formats, among other innovations.

We are proud to say that all Leilo products are vegan, kosher, halal, non-GMO, gluten-free, and all-natural. Consumer health is a paramount priority to us – true relaxation is only attainable when you can trust every component of the product you’re drinking.


06. Currently, Leilo offers Kava drinks with 6 different flavors. What factors inspired the idea behind these flavors? Do you plan to expand and diversify the product portfolio in the coming years? Where do you see yourself?

As kava root is grown for years before harvest, it naturally has an earthy and bitter taste. This profile is strong and can be off-putting to those trying it for the first time. At Leilo, we have created proprietary technology to maintain the root’s traditional calming effects while masking the taste. This led us to our current flavor portfolio, designed to provide the best-tasting kava while staying true to kava’s island origins.

Beyond introducing additional product modalities, we will continue to innovate as the leader in great-tasting kava, using our technology to bring consumers the options they are looking for. Specifically, we are focusing on expanding our “lite” sugar-free line, formulating products that uphold our current taste innovations in a presentation built for the modern health-conscious consumer.