Interview: The Benefits and Future of Aronia Berries With A3 Aronia Accelerator CEO Blake Johnson

Aronia Berries from the A3 American Accelerator collective.


The world of berries is an exciting one that hasn’t been fully explored yet. Each type of berry has a different shade of color signifying a different nutrient profile and taste. Aronia berries are some of the healthiest in North America because of their sky-high ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) value and long list of health benefits.

Recently, I had the opportunity to learn about the American Aronia Accelerator (A3) group, a network of farmers, product producers and distributors with a passion for the exciting, America-grown and antioxidant-rich berries.

I personally have picked them at a paw paw farm here in Ann Arbor, Michigan, a city nestled 15 minutes away from where I currently live in Plymouth, Michigan, and  added the fresh berries to my smoothies and juices.

The following is an interview with Blake Johnson, the CEO of A3 Aronia Accelerator, and a short review of a delicious and “beauty boosting” health drink with Aronia berries, grapefruit and additional superfoods.

Johnson’s network of farmers and distributors has taken on the task of bringing this incredible berry to a nationwide audience, a mission I personally am 100% on board with having known and experienced the health benefits of Aronia first-hand.

In summer 2023, A3 stated that between 1.5 and 1.8 million pounds of Aronia berries were expected to be harvested, with a projected growth at a CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 12.27% from 2021 to 2028.

The Aronia berry industry is just now starting to ramp up, an exciting development for health conscious consumers and Aronia companies, led by Johnson, whose thoughts and plans for the Aronia berry industry were shared in the interview below.

Interview With Blake Johnson, CEO of A3 Aronia Accelerator

Blake Johnson, the CEO of America Aronia Accelerator

AHW: Thank you for joining us, Blake. Please tell me about A3 – how it started, what you do and how A3 has evolved over time.
BJ: A3 was first started as a way for me to go back to the farm where my grandparents lived and my dad grew up.  It was also a passion project for me to have an impact in health and wellness as both my parents and siblings are/were in the medical field.  This was a naturalistic way to help people take control of their health.
AHW: How did you get started in the industry?

BJ: I first started in the industry by launching a functional beverage called ax-water.  Ax-water was an aronia infused beverage to help consumers reach their daily antioxidants consumption.  We launched in 2017 and closed during Covid.  We weren’t able to do the traditional sampling events which hindered our growth.  It was a great experience and I met some fabulous people which is how A3 then started.
AHW: Have you ever had any health challenges you’ve had to overcome, and if so what worked for you to overcome them?

BJ: I have had multiple health issues including shoulder surgeries, 2 back surgeries, and neuropathy from back surgery.  I was hard on my body in sports and didn’t take care of myself during the season with nutrition and paid for it later in life.  For recovery after surgeries I focused heavily on nutrition and mobility to pull through these events.  I credit my quick recovery from listening to my body, pushing my body, and the amazing health benefits of Aronia.

Learn about the Aronia Accelerator project here:


AHW: When did you first discover Aronia berries and what are the benefits you learned or experienced from them?

BJ: I actually had an uncle in Nebraska that started raising Aronia berries and that is how I discovered them.  I researched the history and health benefits and knew it was something I wanted to get started growing.  Surprisingly some of the benefits I have learned have nothing to do with the health benefits.  No one knew how to grow these. My uncle had one year under his belt before I started.  There was a steep learning curve because there was no one to call to ask questions to.  So I used my engineering experience to develop plans of working through problems.

It also has given my family a lot of fun being out on the farm.  My nieces, nephews, and sons always want to go.  It sheds a different perspective on hard work and where food comes from.  There have been many great days seeing animals, answering funny questions for kids and slowing down the pace of a fast world that is usually our day to day.

AHW: Tell me about some products that feature your Aronia berries.

Aronia berry syrup.

Aronia berries have a dark purple color showing their antioxidant-rich nature. Source: Pinterest

BJ: So Good So You (website here) is a fabulous woman owned business that uses A3 organic Aronia.

Their product line is not only tasty, but they have a great brand and story behind them.

We also supply to a great company out of Vermont our A3 Organic Juice called Shrubbly.  Shrubbly is a sparkling beverage with apple cider vinegar and of course Aronia.

We also sell to another brand that manufactures Aronia gummies that are for sale on Amazon.  We cover products from supplements to nutraceuticals, beverage stick packs, to wine.  Aronia has a place in anything that is looking for the best berry in health and wellness. Aronia is the highest berry in polyphenols, catechins, resveratrol, just to name a few.  To say it’s a superberry doesn’t even quite give it the credit it deserves.


Blake Johnson is the founder and CEO of A3, and is an engineer by trade and an entrepreneur by passion. He brought the first U.S. Aronia berry enriched beverage to market, ax-water.
He is currently serving as a partner in the American Aronia Accelerator, BetterWorks (which is a new Aronia functional beverage) and works in the agricultural and biosystems engineering field. He volunteers on the NDSU (North Dakota State University) Agricultural engineering advisory board, and was a featured speaker at 1 Million Cups.

Product Review: A Refreshing ‘So Good, So You’ Grapefruit Aronia Drink

The first Aronia product I tried from the A3 collective is the ‘So Good, So You’ Grapefruit drink shown above. This drink is a wellness shot with unique ingredients designed for healthy hair, skin and nails.

If you like a little bit of tart and sour flavor, you will love the taste of this delicious and incredibly refreshing health shot. The drink tastes very similar to pink lemonade with an infusion of tart Aronia berry and grapefruit flavor.

The sour, citrusy grapefruit and the tart Aronia berry make for a delicious combination, one that will cleanse and delight your taste buds making it the perfect drink for consuming on an empty stomach first thing in the morning, or just before bed at night.

Learn More, Purchase or See the Full Drink Ingredients List Here


Grapefruit Aronia Drink Ingredients 

A3 Aronia Berry collective aka American Aronia Accelator.

Photo via


I loved the simplicity, uniqueness and organic ingredients in the So Good So You Aronia Berry drink.

It contains organic grapefruit juice, organic apple juice, organic Aronia berry juice, Bacillus Coagulans GBI-30 6086 (a probiotic), and organic silica from bamboo extract, and biotin.

These ingredients combine to create one of the most potent cleansing drinks I’ve tried in recent memory; a drink that creates health at the cellular level with micronutrients known for boosting gut health as well as hair, skin and nails health.

It contains fantastic ingredients including the star of the show, the Aronia berry, which is known for its heart, liver, and neuroprotective effects, as well as for skin health, weight loss/management, anti-obesity, and anti-infectious disease abilities.

Try this delicious Grapefruit Aronia Beauty boosting drink here, and don’t forget to check out the A3 Aronia network’s website here to learn more about this exciting project with its goal of bringing the incredible Aronia berry to a nationwide, health-conscious consumer base.


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About Nick Meyer

Nick Meyer is a journalist who's been published in the Detroit Free Press, Dallas Morning News and several other outlets. He founded AltHealthWORKS in 2012 to showcase extraordinary stories of healing and the power of organic living, stories the mainstream media always seemed to miss. Check out Nick's Amazon best-seller 'Dirt Cheap Organic: 101 Tips For Going Organic on a Budget' by clicking here, as well as its sequel Dirt Cheap Weight Loss.