Kenzo Designs evian’s 2015 Collector Bottle

evian+Kenzo 2014 designer water bottle.  Courtesy of
evian+Kenzo 2014 designer water bottle. Courtesy of

Every year evian releases a limited edition glass bottle designed by a fashion house.  This year is no different, with evian and the French fashion house Kenzo joining together to release their 2015 limited edition designer glass bottle.  This year’s bottle design features a wavy zig zag pattern in purple and yellow print.  Via, Kenzo’s creative directors Carol Lim and Humberto Leon, describe the wavy pattern as the French Alps (purple lines) and the mountain spring water (yellow lines).

Including Kenzo, this marks the eighth year that evian has partnered with fashion designers to launch premium collectible water bottles.  Starting with Christian Lacroix in 2008, evian has also partnered with Jean Paul Gaultier (2009), Paul Smith (2010), Issey Miyake (2011), Andre Correges (2012), Diana von Furstenberg (2013), and most recently Elie Saab (2014).

evian's designer bottles throughout the years, startingn with Christian Lacroix (far right) to Kenzo (far left).
evian’s designer bottles throughout the years, most recently in 2015 with Kenzo (far left).  evian began their fashion partnership in 2008 with Christian Lacroix (far right).

It seems that evian has really carved out a niche for themselves with these collectible bottle designs.  Consumers interested in fashion or otherwise (myself) anticipate the launch of these bottles and pick up a few of them.  After missing on first few bottle designs, I’ll be adding the Kenzo glass bottle to my collection this year.

Here’s some more photos of the Kenzo evian glass bottle design.

evian's 2015 collectible glass bottle, designed by Kenzo.  Courtesy of
evian’s 2015 collectible glass bottle, designed by Kenzo. Courtesy of
evian's 2015 collectible water bottle, designed by Kenzo.  This one appears to be a plastic bottle.  Courtesy of
evian’s 2015 collectible water bottle, designed by Kenzo. This one appears to be a plastic bottle. Courtesy of

5 Questions with Dollar Shots Club’s Darin Alpert

Dollar Shots Club - why pay more than $1 for a shot? Courtesy of
Dollar Shots Club – why pay more than $1 for a shot? Courtesy of

Most manufactured products are sold through retailers and typically include a mark-up.  This is necessary for the retailer to earn profits from carrying the product on their store shelves.  It also gives consumers a “one-stop shop” to find all products they need.  Online retailers and companies that sell directly to consumers cut out the retailer and thus can sell their wares at lower prices.  This is the case with Dollar Shots Club, an energy drink company that recently sprouted up that cuts out the retailer.  BevWire recently caught up with Darin Alpert, the Chief Marketing Officer of Dollar Shots Club.

BevWire (BW): First of all, what is Dollar Shots Club?  Are you guys product manufacturers, product distributors, or a combination?  How long have you guys been in business?

Darin Alpert (DA):  Dollar Shots Club is a monthly membership for great tasting, affordable energy shots.  We officially launched in September 2014. We are a combination of manufacturers and distributors. We don’t see a reason for consumers to pay for retail markup of their energy shots.

BW: How did you guys come up with the idea for Dollar Shots Club?  Did the success of “Dollar Shave Club” play into the decision and business model?

DA: Dollar Shave Club was a great motivator.  We saw that one company owns 90% market share of the energy shot market and charges $3 each for their shots.  The reason they are $3 each is because of all the layers of distribution.  We cut out those layers and know how much consumers enjoy products online over retail.

BW: Who is your target market, and how do you plan on communicating with them?  And what makes Dollar Shots Club’s energy shots unique from other energy shots on the market?

DA:  Our target market is people that drink energy shots or energy drinks and want to save money.  We communicate with them via social media. The biggest differentiation is price, taste and convenience. Ours cost less, taste better and are shipped right to your door without having to wait in line at the store.

BW: Seeing that cultivating a strong subscription base is critical, and finding new customers are equally important, what are some of your biggest challenges toward business growth?  What are some strategies Dollar Shots Club is using to overcome these challenges?  What consumer marketing campaigns can we expect to see in the future?

DA:  One of the biggest challenges we have is getting consumers to taste our shots since taste is so crucial. We offer our first month for free so people can try the shots. Once people try the shots they love them! As far as customer base, we are signing up 5-10 people per day and have been doing so since September. Our retention rate is currently above 80%.

The biggest strategy for increasing business exposure has been giving away the first month for free. We don’t want to build the infrastructure of going to events and taking on additional costs so our online advertising promotes the first month for free. We’ve also partnered with like minded partners that can help us get the word out. We’ve got a few things in the works that will increase our exposure 🙂 We can’t talk about them yet though.

BW: Seeing that the business model currently supports one flavor and one market (the 48 contiguous states of U.S.),  how would the expansion plans look like?

DA: We chose our one flavor (Berry) because it is the most popular energy shot flavor. We will expand flavors depending on demand from our membership. We’re here to serve our members needs. We don’t want to take on international expansion until we dominate the United States.

Certainly an interesting approach toward selling energy shots revealed in this interview with Darin.  While many people prefer instant gratification from product purchases, there are a growing number of consumers increasingly comfortable with stocking up and buying online.  Certainly looking forward to seeing Dollar Shots Club change up the energy shots segment.

Canadian Remembrance Day , American Veteran’s Day

Hi Everyone,

No post today for Canadian Remembrance Day and American Veteran’s Day.  Check back next week for regular posts.  In the meantime, I’m still actively tweeting.



Pepsi Creates Caleb’s Kola By Recycling Pepsi Natural

Caleb's Kola - Pepsi's craft soda made with kola nut, cane sugar, brown spices, and citric acid.
Caleb’s Kola – Pepsi’s craft soda made with kola nut, cane sugar, brown spices, and citric acid.

The declining trend for soft drink consumption has not deterred Pepsi from launching a craft soda to attract an elusive demographic: millenials.  Maybe five years is long enough for everyone in the beverage industry to forget, so it may be worth reminding readers of Pepsi’s history.  It wasn’t that long ago that Pepsi launched Pepsi Natural (Pepsi Raw if you’re in United Kingdom) patterned the same way, with its natural ingredients and glass bottles.  Are Pepsi Natural and Caleb’s Kola essentially the same thing?  If yes, does Pepsi stand a better chance of making Caleb’s Kola a success five years after the Pepsi Natural failed?

From the ingredient list and glass bottle packaging, Pepsi Natural and Caleb’s Kola look very much alike.  Both sodas are made with kola nut and cane sugar, and come in glass bottles to highlight its authenticity.  Both drinks are also available through limited distribution, with Caleb’s Kola only available through Costcos in Maryland, New York, Virginia and Washington, DC.  Both products came off Pepsi-branded delivery trucks.  And both are produced in Pepsi bottling facilities rather than Caleb’s Kola being made by small, localized independent bottlers.  It seems that many aspects of the product and business practices are identical between the two.  A key point of differentiation does exist between them – which could help Caleb’s Kola succeed – is the marketing.  Branding the product as Pepsi may have been a factor of the Pepsi Natural’s failure.  The overt association with Pepsi may have made the “natural” aspect of their product less believable.

Prior to its launch, Pepsi Natural’s UK team gave out product samples for 6 weeks.  Results were favorable.  More than 1.2 million bottles were sampled and over 80% of samplers claimed they liked the taste.  An additional 75% of respondents stated they would be purchase the soda.  As we now know, the sales results did not mirror the sampling efforts.  Pepsi Natural was discontinued quickly after its launch.  Pepsi UK discontinued the natural soda in 2010.  Norway had it for nine months before ceasing sales support in 2011.  In the US, its end date is unknown by certainly by 2011 Pepsi had moved to focus on other sodas.  It certainly looks like the odds are stacked against Caleb’s Kola, but times have changed and it may actually fare better than Pepsi Natural with its new name.

Maybe Caleb’s Kola will find more success in 2014 than its 2009 predecessor.  Millenials and consumers generally have valued healthy consumption more highly in the years since.  Branding the product under a different name also limits the association with Pepsi.  And tools to market Caleb’s Kola are better than the ones available to promote Pepsi Natural.  If Caleb’s Kola is to be a success, let’s hope Pepsi has learned from its failures with Pepsi Natural.