Yanni Hufnagel

From WikiAlpha
Revision as of 23:53, 20 January 2024 by WendellStephens (Talk | contribs)

(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to: navigation, search
Yanni Hufnagel
Born August 26, 1982
Nationality American
Education Cornell State University (B.S), University of Oklahoma (M.Ed.)
Occupation Entrepreneur, basketball coach

Yanni Hufnagel (born August 26, 1982) is an American entrepreneur, investor, and former college basketball coach. He is the founder and CEO of Lemon Perfect, a flavor-enhanced lemon water brand. Hufnagel currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia.[1]

Before founding The Lemon Perfect Company, Hufnagel worked as an assistant coach for the Nevada Wolf Pack men's basketball team under Eric Musselman.[2] Before joining Nevada’s coaching staff, Hufnagel served as an assistant men’s basketball coach at UC Berkeley, Vanderbilt University, and Harvard University. He served as a graduate assistant coach for the men’s basketball team at the University of Oklahoma before joining the coaching staff at Harvard.

Early life and education

Hufanagel was born in New York City and raised in Scarsdale, New York. He is Jewish.[3] He developed an interest in entrepreneurship as a teenager, winning the Investment Challenge, a national investment competition, in his junior year of high school.[4] He attended Scarsdale High School, where he was a team captain on the boys’ varsity lacrosse team. He was a student commentator on a local cable TV channel for the boys' varsity basketball team’s games.

Hufnagel pursued higher education at Pennsylvania State University, where he played lacrosse as a defenseman.[5] In 2002, he transferred to Cornell University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in industrial and labor relations in 2006. At Cornell, Hufnagel was a student manager for the Big Red men's basketball team.[2][5]


After college, Hufnagel built a college campus-specific reviews website called Loud Campus.[6]

In 2017, Yanni Hufnagel founded The Lemon Perfect Company—currently headquartered in Atlanta—maker of flavor-enhanced lemon water brand Lemon Perfect. Hufnagel was inspired to start Lemon Perfect after a friend of his wrote a book about the ketogenic diet that included meal plans that called for beginning every day by drinking organic lemon water.[4] With only five calories and zero sugar, no artificial flavors or sweeteners, and 2 net carbs, Lemon Perfect bottled water is low glycemic, fast-friendly, and high in immune-boosting vitamin C.[7] The company’s products are also certified Plastic Neutral.[7] The beverage brand offers seven flavors[4] and is available at retailers across the U.S., including Publix, Amazon, and Target. Lemon Perfect is widely considered one of the most innovative emerging beverages in the marketplace. The company’s mission is to sustainably reimagine bottled water by promoting great-tasting, healthy hydration—anytime, anywhere, and for everyone.

The beverage was recognized as one of the "Best New Products" at BevNET's Best of 2019 awards.[8] Lemon Perfect gained significant attention when internationally celebrated award-winning singer-songwriter and entrepreneur Beyoncé Knowles-Carter posted a photo on Instagram in January 2020 showing a bottle of Lemon Perfect Dragon Fruit Mango in her limousine.[4] Knowles-Carter later invested in Lemon Perfect’s Series A financing round.[9]

As of October 2023, Lemon Perfect has more than 300 capital partners and has raised over $80 million in funding investors.[4] Among the company’s investors are six-time NBA All-Star Blake Griffin, Brooklyn Nets Guard Spencer Dinwiddie, former NBA player Channing Frye, Washington Wizards Forward Kyle Kuzma, former NBA Guard Nick “Swaggy P” Young, New York Knicks Guard Josh Hart,[10] and leading consumer products funds Beechwood Capital, Goat Rodeo Capital, Melitas Ventures, NNS Capital, and Trousdale Ventures.

In 2023, Lemon Perfect achieved $60 million in retail sales,[7] and as of February 2023, the company’s valuation is $150 million.[11]

Hufnagel has said in multiple interviews that among his goals are for Lemon Perfect to be the number-one brand in the Flavor-Enhanced Water category by dollar share and for the company to contribute to the removal of millions of pounds of sugar from the American diet. Lemon Perfect uses a proprietary Organic Stevia Leaf extract blend as a sweetener.

Lemon Perfect’s packaging is distinctly bright and vibrant. The brand has partnered with several notable professional athletes to date, including WTA player Sloane Stephens, Philadelphia Eagles Quarterback Jalen Hurts, and Atlanta Hawks Guard and 2022 NBA All-Star Dejounte Murray. Murray posted a photo on Instagram during the 2022-23 NBA season of himself carrying a case of Lemon Perfect Dragon Fruit Mango into State Farm Arena.[4]

As of December 2023, The Lemon Perfect Company has 90 employees.

Hufnagel is also an investor in Dog is Human, a business dedicated to creating superior canine health products by combining veterinary science with human-grade ingredients, and better-for-you cookie dough brand DEUX.


  1. [1]
  2. 2.0 2.1 [2]
  3. [3]
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 [4]
  5. 5.0 5.1 [5]
  6. [6]
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 [7]
  8. [8]
  9. [9]
  10. [10]
  11. [11]