Billed as a “natural energy drink” containing 140mg of caffeine from green tea extract and matcha, FinnishIt contains 10-15 calories per 12 oz can and is sweetened with monk fruit and stevia.
As SOMI co-founder and CEO Arianna Salinas shared with FoodNavigator-USA, since the beginning of 2023, the Austin-based energy drink startup will focus on improving its end product for consumers. , made some updates to its beverage line.
Salinas has spent the first half of 2022 partnering with local retailers to sample products and understand what consumers think of them. After that, she said, with that information in her hands, SOMI could spend the second half of the year restructuring and repacking and making some changes in the new year.
SOMI chooses smarter, slimmer cans
In terms of packaging, SOMI has decided to move on from the 16 oz. to 12 ozSmoothThis is more in line with current energy drink brands such as ZOA, C4 and Monster, Salinas said. But not only was the decision based on what SOMI’s competitors were doing, there were several practical reasons for the brand to make the switch.
One, in a larger can format, SOMI consumers would say:Not finished yet or not cooled enough when finished‘ said Salinas. But she also mentioned another practical reason to move to smaller can sizes.
“[The] Matcha naturally settles, so if you don’t eat it right after opening it, it will settle at the bottom of the can.“
Prescription change to non-carbonated energy drink
In terms of reconstitution, Salinas said SOMI’s move from carbonated to still is the biggest change. For one, “Matcha doesn’t dissolve in water, so I wanted to actually shake it, but I had to add gum instead.For us that kind of defeats the whole purpose of our product‘ she added.
But as is often the case, restructuring comes with some tradeoffs, Salinas points out. “It turns out that with everything on the market you have to sacrifice something. If it’s not sugar, it’s sucralose. If it’s not sucralose, it’s gum…and we wanted to keep that clean label without sacrificing ingredients.“So in the end, SOMI used a non-carbonated version to replace the original carbonated version.
Three New Flavors Inspired by Japanese Traditions
A switch to a new can size and non-carbonated version wasn’t the only part of the brand’s renewal, it also released three new flavors (Yuzu Lemonade Matcha, Fancy Mango Matcha, and Osaka Redberry Matcha).
These beverages pay tribute to the origins of Japanese matcha, SOMI’s main ingredient. For Yuzu Lemonade, SOMI says “Familiar lemon flavor“When”Asian tasteFor the fancy mango drink, SOMI was trying to tell a very specific story about Japanese mango, Salinas explained. .
“There are certain types of mangoes in Japan, [that] They…treat like jewels. Enter the shop and [and] Buy them from your jewelry case—as if they were your prized possessionsSo, at Fancy Mango, Somi was going to “With that story as a point, it also ties in traditional flavors. ”na
Regarding Osaka Red Berry Matcha, SOMI said, “Stick to red fruitsBecause most berry-flavored beverages turn blue, Salinas said. Citing another Japanese tradition, she said Japan has a tradition of picking strawberries. This is a familiar taste while SOMI pays homage to Japan.
The decision to use a combination of stevia and monk fruit as a sweetenerThe monk fruit itself has an aftertaste.Stevia itself has an aftertaste“but by using two, they are”It was well balanced with no aftertaste.‘ she explained.
Grow at a sustainable pace
While many beverage startups feel the need to get their products to as many stores across the U.S. as quickly as possible, Salinas said of SOMI’s more localized, slow-and-steady approach to market strategy. explained. SOMI’s main focus right now is Texas, specifically Austin, Texas (although the product is also available on his Amazon).
“Often when a brand comes in, it expands very quickly and then implodes because it can’t keep up.‘ said Salinas. “Riding on the ledge is one thing. Getting a product off the shelf and into the consumer’s hands is another thing.”
In addition to announcing new beverage flavors and can sizes, SOMI announced that another partner, Salinas, willideal partner‘ focuses on natural products.
While the East and West Coasts tend to attract the attention of food and beverage start-ups, Salinas said Austin has become a hub for food and beverage innovation, with Clayton Christopher, Sweet Leaf Tea and Deep Eddie. Founder of vodka.
“Silicon Valley for tech, Austin for CPG” she added, noting that Southern hospitality is here to revolutionize the food and beverage industry.