Launched in April 2015 and led by CEO and Chief Relaxation Officer, Ahmed Elafifi who has worked for both Red Bull and Coca-Cola, the relaxation drink Tranquini is available in 16 countries across three continents with an ambitious plan to continue rapid market introductions. Claire Phoenix found him ‘’Positively Relaxed’ and ready to talk:
What was the thinking behind the brand launch and how did it happen?
After a lot of hard work I had reached the zenith of the beverage industry, helping to lead some of the most prestigious global soft drink companies. I was respected and materially fulfilled. Yet I did not feel fully satisfied because I was simply living to work. It was at this time that I had a much-needed epiphany— I desperately needed to start the next chapter of my life. I decided to take some time out and visit the Austrian Alps to rest, reflect and consider my future. It was here, amongst the tranquility and serenity of these beautiful mountains that I realised positivity and being in control of your own destiny is incredibly precious. From that point on I decided to create a proposition that embodied the calm and peacefulness that this wonderful landscape exudes. I decided to use my beverage industry expertise to establish Tranquini, a company with a philosophy that actively promotes positivity, stress-free living and a tranquil lifestyle. In collaboration with an experienced management team we created a simple natural relaxation beverage that also enables consumers to relax, to be productive and adopt a more positive outlook on life.
What is your background and what strengths could you bring to the brand?
I have over 25 years of experience within the consumer goods and beverage industries. As an experienced globetrotter, I have maintained senior positions in nine different countries, overseeing business operations in more than 60 countries worldwide. I also served as Chairman and Managing Director of Coca Cola’s Hellenic Polska region. Prior to this, I was the Eastern Europe, Egypt and Asia Regional President at Red Bull. My background within the beverage industry demonstrates my competence, as well as experience and understanding of the beverage industry and its consumers. Moreover, I am supported by a management team of experts who have a combined experience of over 200 years in premium beverages and lifestyle brands. I am proud to say that my colleagues and I have embraced the ‘Positively Relaxed’ lifestyle. We aspire to be model ambassadors for the brand by placing equal importance on our work and home life, as well as paying more attention to our fitness, wellness and mindfulness. For these reasons, I am confident Tranquini will not only continue to lead the functional relaxation beverage space but the beverage sector as a whole.
“Unrealistic goals set you up to fail” an interesting quote from your website. What are your targets and how are you doing so far?
On an aspirational level our main target is to establish the relaxation drinks category and lead its development because there is consumer need everywhere. Last year alone, we launched in a remarkable 16 countries across 3 different continents, and our latest successful launches were in France and Kuwait. This year we are rolling out an aggressive market introduction strategy that will see Tranquini rapidly expanding into more countries around the world. We will soon be available in 25 countries by early 2016 – bringing our Positively Relaxed message to approximately 50 countries by the end of the year. These include Germany, the UK, Ireland, Italy, Belgium, India, China, Singapore, Indonesia, Jordan and Canada. The warm reception to Tranquini and the Positively Relaxed Lifestyle we espouse, has been very encouraging.
Green tea naturally calms and focuses the brain. What are the other ingredients in Tranquini?
Tranquini Positively Relaxed contains chamomile, lavender, lemon balm extracts and natural theanine from green tea. Numerous reliable studies conducted with these extracts and their active ingredients have proven their efficacy in reducing stress and relieving anxiety, without causing drowsiness. All of our ingredients are blended into a lightly carbonated drink that can be enjoyed at any time inducing relaxation through its stress and anxiety reduction. We also encourage Tranquini consumers to adopt the Positively Relaxed Lifestyle so they meet the day to day challenges of life with a mentally productive mindset.
Through which channels does it sell?
Tranquini is becoming the new beverage of choice for supermarkets, convenience stores, horeca outlets, hotels, spas and other distribution channels across the globe who want to offer their shoppers a positive way to relax. These include the likes of Spar, Carrefour, 7/11, Shell, BP and Coop. So far we have had an exceptional response to our range of beverages in each market and we look forward to continued success.
What are the three variants and how do they differ?
Tranquini is currently available in three variants: Tranquini Original, Tranquini Jade and Tranquini Zero. Each of these variants has been carefully developed to appeal to different consumer taste preferences across the world.
Tranquini Original and Tranquini Jade contain carbohydrate fructose and the amount present is at least one-third less than the content of carbohydrates in most of the natural juices or regular sugar-based soft-drinks.
Tranquini Positively Relaxed boasts a pleasant fruity flavor and contains only 6.5g of fructose and 27 calories per 100 ml. Tranquini Jade has the same natural formula as Tranquini Original but contains unique green tea notes and only 5.6 g fructose and 23 calories per 100 ml, while Tranquini Zero contains zero carbohydrates and zero calories but all the great taste that our customers expect of Tranquini. We have achieved this by replacing sugar with sweeteners, including the naturally sourced sweetener from the stevia plant.
By which method is it filled? Hot fill, cold fill or aseptic and why this choice?
We use cold filling to protect the great flavor of Tranquini followed by flash pasteurisation. This is because our beverage doesn’t contain preservatives, and we adhere to the highest standards of quality and safety.
How does Tranquini differ from other relaxation drinks on the market?
Tranquini is more than just a relaxation beverage, it is a lifestyle proposition. We have created a brand new and refreshing ethos that fits the needs of today’s consumers who desire to prioritise mindfulness and lead an actively relaxed life. We see that consumers are increasingly investing in products that serve a purpose beyond their initial function, and we believe that what differentiates Tranquini from our fellow competitors in the relaxation beverage market is that our brand is part of a broader lifestyle movement. We not only encourage people to think more positively, but also live a healthy and productive lifestyle.
Are consumers ready for a relaxation drink? Do they understand the benefits?
Consumers are most certainly ready for a relaxation beverage. This is evident in the strong reception Tranquini has received in the markets in which we have launched.
I often say that the zeitgeist of the 90’s is best summarised in a ‘work hard, play hard’ attitude. In the 21st century this concept has become outdated. People are increasingly concerned about their physical and mental health. They still want to work hard and achieve success but not at the expense of their own wellbeing or family life. Tranquini addresses this trend by encouraging a balanced and active lifestyle that promotes positivity and wellbeing.
What are your plans for 2016 and beyond?
We will continue to lead and establish the relaxation drinks industry and have an aggressive market introduction strategy that sees us rapidly expanding into around 50 more countries around the world this year. We also plan to continue to spread the philosophy of our Positively Relaxed Lifestyle directly to our consumers. Our recently launched Tranquini Feel the Flow campaign, which produces weekly content inspiring consumers to appreciate the benefits of staying calm and focused daily, has been particularly successful in allowing us to convey our philosophy. Flow, quite simply, means being in an active state of relaxation so that you can handle whatever life throws at you in a cool, calm and collected way.
The Tranquini Feel the Flow campaign was launched in December last year and will be rolled out to 30 countries with a brand film in the coming months of 2016.
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