Recovery drinks have come under fire in the past for containing too many additives, such as sugar and artificial colours. This has led to more companies applying the organic trend to new, innovative products to entice consumers back to such beverages.
One such product looking to establish itself in the natural recovery space is Refix. Made from seawater, this recovery drink is marketed as a natural way to restore hydration post-workout, or as a way to recover from a night out.
Raúl Anta, director of Refix, explains how sustainability and natural resources can be used to improve the perception of recovery drinks.
What was it that attracted you to the recovery drinks sector?
My experience lies mainly in the environmental sector, related to marine reserves. In 2015, I studied a master’s degree in Madrid on Natural Protected Areas, and my project consisted of how to increase the monetary value of a marine reserve so that politicians and citizens understood how important it is to protect the ocean and create more marine reserves.
I learned that the Galician coast produces 3% of Spanish GDP thanks to direct fishing; it’s one of the most productive coasts in the world.
We decided to extract a natural resource from the marine reserve (seawater) and create a sustainable and healthy product that respects the environment. This became Refix.
It all began as a project of environmental sustainability, and that has been transformed into a business venture.
Currently, we collaborate with the marine reserve Os Miñarzos, the only one in Europe that follows a bottom-up model where fishermen make initial decisions for the government to approve later.
What methods did you use in order to get Refix noticed and to viably fill the gap in the market?
Refix is the only drink on the market that is truly restorative. It eliminates hangovers produced by alcohol, which is something consumers immediately take to.
The most important newspapers in Spain quickly realised this and wrote about our product, and that took us to Latin America which then led us to the United States, and back to Europe in countries like Italy, Slovenia, Switzerland, and Austria.
Refix can be used for athletes to recover more than 80 different mineral salts lost by sweating, but the “hangover issue” made Refix a top-selling drink on Amazon Spain.
Why is there a pursuit of more ‘premium’, natural recovery drinks?
The main ingredient in most recovery drinks is sugar. They also have preservatives and colouring agents. Some drinks have two or three mineral salts included, but they are synthetic, added minerals.
So you can see how most recovery drinks are very harmful for health, because they are composed just like soft drinks. That’s why consumers know that it’s important to read labels, and most people end up choosing science-based, natural products.
Are you looking to expand the functionalities of Refix into other sectors?
We are going to make a half-litre format, but we will not any make more products or more flavours.
We have a unique product, and we want to work every day to improve each of its ingredients, and make a product increasingly sustainable for the environment.
Raúl Anta was speaking with FoodBev Media’s Harriet Jachec.
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