Woolies shelves alkaline water ‘different’ from the rest
Alkaline water is all the rage at the moment in the US. Ricky Herbert and Garrett Jandegian decided this was the perfect time to bring their new alkaline water Aqualove to Aussie shores. The team entered the sector with a bang, scoring a spot on Woolies’ shelves.
“We went through Woolworths water category review and were able to sell them on the strengths of Aqualove and how it would resonate with consumers. We felt the buyers had a good idea of the emerging market for alkaline water locally and the strong sales experienced in the US, so we felt like they were very receptive to taking on a new alkaline water,” Jandegian told Inside FMCG.
“Another aspect that we believe helped was having our own production facility (rather than outsourcing), which allows us to ensure Aqualove is competitively priced even against other regular waters.”
The owners said it wasn’t easy creating Aqualove since it was difficult to produce a high alkaline water of 9 – 10pH while still maintaining a good taste. Herbert said most of the factories lacked technology or expertise in creating it. After finding a factory that can create good alkaline water, it took them 18 months to launch Aqualove in Australia. They were able to get a loan from their distribution business to startup the new water product.
“After undertaking comprehensive research in the American market, we discovered alkaline water was a product that was fast gaining traction, but was yet to make an impact on Australian shores, so we felt there may be an opportunity to develop a local alkaline water,” said Herbert.
“We decided to scout the US market for a niche category that hadn’t hit Australian shores – we had good success previously in using the States as an indicator for future beverage trends locally – and it became quite clear that alkaline water was a huge market on the west coast and further research showed it was and currently is the fastest growing water category in the US,” added Jandegian.
“Externally, our biggest challenge remains educating consumers on the benefits of alkaline and why they should be seeking to drink a water with a higher pH.”
The team wanted to to set Aqualove apart from all the other water products that are already sold in the market. Since they wanted a dynamic water product that stands out from the rest, they decided to use a use a multi-coloured theme that is easily recognisable for their consumers.
“To this end, we used the pH colour scale as inspiration for our branding. It was also a consideration for us that the use and reach of social media is ever increasing thanks to Millennials who spend so much time on these platforms. Therefore we felt our branding and products should reflect this and be products that our consumers would be proud to show off and want to share with their friends and followers,” said Jandegian.
Herbert said that those who are planning their own businesses should believe in their products and be passionate about what they do, which will essentially make it easier for them to sell their products.