Bill Bruce asks the winners of the recent Beverage Innovation Functional Drinks Awards how it feels to have won, and what the future has in store.
What does winning a BIFDA mean to you?
Caroline Sanders, global marketing and communications director, Tate & Lyle: We’re very honoured to have won this award, and are even more pleased as the competition at BIFDA is always tough! The award symbolises for us the focus Tate & Lyle puts on innovation and on partnering with customers to respond rapidly to consumers’ ever-changing needs. It is a great recognition of our ingredients and formulation expertise, and of the value we can bring to customers.
Henry Chen, Alo Drink: It means a lot for us to win a BIFDA. It’s a great honour considering the BIFDA is such a renowned recognition that is respected and well recognised in the global beverage industry. For us personally, it’s a comforting affirmation that our brand is doing something right!
Victoria Chirita, founder of AlphaBambi: Winning the category ‘Best natural functional drink’ has been tremendous, as it shows that I'm on the right track with NutriWater. Our work and effort has now been accepted at an international level. This result motivates me even more to keep on believing in my dream: creating a healthy, sustainable drink brand.
Pei Yee, Kino Biotech: Winning the BIFDA Awards adds more brand confidence to our loyal consumers across the globe, especially in Europe. We are strong in our brand presence in the SEA countries and many enquiries are pouring in from countries such as Germany, UK, Turkey and even as far as the Middle East. We see good strategic alliances to collaborate with FoodBev Media to internationalise our Kinohimitsu brand – more so as the BIFDAs has strong global presence. Winning is not our ultimate goal, but these awards allow us to collaborate with FoodBev Media to further internationalise our business and brand beyond the SEA region to new territories such as Europe and the US.
Rahul Narang, founder and chairman, Danone Narang: Success as well as conviction; that we can really make it happen.
Chris Simonian, Tap The Cap: It's nice when someone besides your family and friends recognises your product. After all, that's what they're supposed to do. We have poured our heart and soul into the creation and engineering of our cap that sometimes you get lost or discouraged when things don't quite work out. Therefore, it means the world to us to win this award. With all the products that judges saw and have seen, winning gives us that extra boost of confidence and validation to keep working harder. It's very motivating to be around a group of creative entrepreneurs that are all moving in the same direction. We cannot be more honoured.
How will you be using the win in your marketing and PR over the next few months?
Caroline Sanders, global marketing and communications director, Tate & Lyle: We'll spread the news to our customers first and will inform the beverage industry about Lemon-lime Carbonate Create through media, and of course through our brand new website.
Henry Chen, Alo Drink: We will certainly be broadcasting our BIFDA win in all of our marketing and PR over the next few months, as we feel it provides great value to our brand and helps differentiate us from our competitors.
Victoria Chirita, founder of AlphaBambi: I will use the award logo on my website, blog and on my Facebook fan page for my product. As you might know, I also have two vintage NutriWater promotional vehicles, my caravan ‘Kunibert’ and my scooter ‘Kunigunde’. They will also carry the award logo around Berlin.
Pei Yee, Kino Biotech: We will start with what we are good at – social networking – and we will leverage on the Awards to strengthen our competitiveness and leadership position in our current home market. We have strategised also to participate in more awards in the near future, such as the forthcoming 2012 InterBev Awards in the US. This will help us to reach out to consumers and to educate them on our ‘beauty and wellness from within’ concept: beauty and wellness that are supported and sustained from the cellular level.
Rahul Narang, founder and chairman, Danone Narang: We would like to publicise this win in trade as well as consumer magazines. We will also be using it in our below the line activities and point of sale, as well as on the collateral tools that we develop for the trade as well as consumer.
Chris Simonian, Tap The Cap: We have already sited the award on our website and all our marketing pieces. We will continue to highlight the award in all future marketing materials as well. We're looking at online strategies, advertising campaigns with FoodBev.com and other relevant publications to get the word out.
What’s the next step for for your business in the drinks arena?
Caroline Sanders, global marketing and communications director, Tate & Lyle: We'll look at increasing the size of the toolbox customers have to formulate functional beverages. We'll provide them with solutions to meet new consumers' expectations, such as increasing demand for fibre-enriched products, or the sustained trend for 'cleaner' labels and increased ‘product naturalness’.
Henry Chen, Alo Drink: We will continue to strive to innovate and deliver our message to consumers all across the world. We’ve had great success in the US and Canada over the past few years. In fact, in just three years, we’re now already the #2 brand in the 'shelf-stable functional juices' category in the US natural channels, and becoming a major player within conventional mass market channels as well. We’re now available in over 35 international markets and expanding every day. We plan to continue this trend and reach as many consumers all over the globe who are looking for a better, healthier and tastier beverage alternative.
Victoria Chirita, founder of AlphaBambi: To find the right people to work with. At the moment, we're looking for an investor and sales partners, so if anyone feels addressed now, please do feel free to contact me anytime.
Pei Yee, Kino Biotech: Kino BioTech Co Ltd continues to champion our ‘beauty and wellness from within’ to all consumer segments. We are searching and selecting potential likeminded business partners to market our all naturalness of Kinohimitsu drinks to new territories across the US and European countries. For those who are interested, they can visit us at our webpage.
Rahul Narang, founder and chairman, Danone Narang: The next step for us is to continue the high growth we're experiencing for Qua – Natural Mineral Water from the Himalayan foothills, and also work out on the national rollout on B'lue by adding a fourth variant to the portfolio. In the long run, we will look at beverages in the health, wellness and functionality space. I feel the Beverage Innovation Functional Drinks Awards are a great platform to experience innovations from across the world, and interact with a diverse community covering the entire value chain from idea to execution in the beverage space.
Chris Simonian, Tap The Cap: This May, we will be at the 2012 Beverage Forum in New York City. We will also be exhibiting at the VitaFoods Expo in Geneva. Our next steps are to focus on getting as much as exposure as we can. The goal for Tap The Cap is to procure a licensing agreement.