It’s not even fair to call this an energy drink, because it’s the purest, simplest, cleanest energy drink possible. It’s not fair because all the worry and legislation over the dangers of energy drinks can’t possibly apply to a product like this. This really shouldn’t be called an energy drink , and yet, this “energy drink in disguise” is exactly that.
With a nod to Earth Day (and the growing concern regarding California’s water crisis), the Energy Drink of the Month is flavored, caffeinated water by Avitae.
Pronounced “ah-vee-tay”, Avitae’s line of caffeinated waters is perfect for consumers who want their caffeine without added sugars or artificial colors/flavors.
Last year, Avitae’s President and CEO was gracious enough to answer some quality and food science questions I had about the non-flavored products (read that Q&A here). This year, Mr Norman Snyder was gracious enough to again grant me an interview to discuss the new flavors.
5 MORE Questions with Norman E. Snyder, President & CEO of Avitae USA, LLC
GEG-1: Last time we talked, you said that the plan was to introduce new flavors before looking at a carbonated product. Can tell me what inspired the new flavors? How did you determine which flavors to pursue, and were there any that were close but didn’t make the cut?
NS: The inspiration came directly from consumers. We do many sampling events at retail locations, festivals and other events that we believe attract our consumers. The first comment made by the majority was “it does taste like water.” The second comment/question was “do you have flavors?” It was pretty easy from that point. We did research on flavors that are currently popular and tasted several. We initially narrowed the field down to six that we thought were great recognizing that we could only introduce three or four. We selected the four best internally then conducted third party taste panels. Ironically the four that we selected were also selected by the taste panels. The two that did not make the cut maybe used in future products.
GEG-2: How long did it take to bring these new flavors from concept to market, and what was the biggest challenge?
NS: Approximately six months. The biggest challenge was, as perfectionists, getting exactly what we wanted. That usually requires several iterations as we were not willing to compromise on any point.
[GEG Note – Avitae has several part-time employees but only 16 full-time employees, so launching four new flavors in six months is pretty impressive, in my opinion]
GEG-3: The unflavored Avitae comes in three caffeine amounts: Energy Kick – 45mg, Energy Boost – 90mg, and Energy Blast – 125mg. I love this variability because there’s something for those more sensitive to caffeine, and something for those who need something a little stronger. How was it determined how much caffeine the new flavored versions should contain?
NS: We are basically going after three consumptions occasions/products: diet soda, coffee and energy drinks. Each different strength is targeted at the people that use those products. As 90 mg is presently the best selling product, we believed that strength to be the best choice. Again, we listened to our consumers.
GEG-4: As Avitae’s President and CEO, what are you most proud of and what keeps you up at night?
NS: I am most proud of our overall corporate philosophy and product positioning, in that we provide the healthiest solution for people that want a boost but also seek an alternative to the artificial, high sugar, and otherwise less than healthy products that exist today. Many things keep me up at night but right now it is keeping up with demand of our products and growth.
GEG-5: What is Avitae’s next big hurdle/goal?
NS: Expansion. We are moving into several new markets and adding additional production facilities. I admit, it is a great problem to have to face. We are also considering several new products.
[GEG Note – to find the nearest location selling Avitae, try their store locator: http://goavitae.com/find-now/ ]
Huge thanks to Mr. Snyder and the whole Avitae team — keep up the good work!
Learn more about Avitae!
Bottom Line and Points to Remember
Great for those seeking a simple delivery of caffeine that’s portable, resealable, and not as likely to go flat in a hot car, Avitae’s line of caffeinated waters are healthy and effective alternatives to the typical energy drink.
Remember, according to the 5 Levels of Fatigue, Level 1 is dehydration. To limit caffeine dependency and overuse, make sure to try plain water before relying on caffeine to perk you up. Healthy adults should not exceed 400 mg caffeine per day but minors, pregnant/nursing women and those sensitive to caffeine all have different recommendations for caffeine intake maximums. [See caffeine intake guidelines in previous post]
Read more about the 5 Levels of Fatigue and learn how Biological Sensitivity and Consumption Specifics impact the effects of caffeine – Are You a Monster or a Rock Star: A Guide to Energy Drinks — How They Work, Why They Work, How to Use Them Safely (available through iTunes, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and more)
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