An entirely new energy drink has hit stores throughout the country.
Phoric is the brainchild of two recent university graduates, Holly Sutich and Bradley Hagan. After experiencing first-hand how most university students struggle through exams by consuming countless energy drinks (but feel guilty because of the high sugar and artificial ingredients), the pair saw an opportunity to make a change for the better. So, taking the path-less-trodden, they created a natural energy drink for the new generation, by the new generation.
“Phoric has been four years in the making and it’s an incredible feeling to see it hitting the shelves throughout New Zealand,” says Sutich. “Our generation is hooked on sugar-laden energy drinks to meet the high-demands of study or to climb the corporate ladder. Phoric is a new kind of energy drink, with the ambition to change the world for the better and provide a natural alternative for consumers.”
The active ingredient is Guayusa, an ancient Amazonian leaf found in Ecuador. Containing caffeine, polyphenols and antioxidants, the leaf is a revered ingredient of tribal tradition and delivers a clean-feeling energy.
“At our heart, we’re a social enterprise committed to making a difference in New Zealand,’ says Hagan. “Youth suicide, stress and depression are problems the country continues to grapple with, including some of our closest friends and family. We’re committing five cents per bottle sold to a mental health foundation, with the ambition to increase to 20 cents per unit within four years. We want to make a positive impact to people’s health through business.”
The pair were the Overall Supreme Winner and Winner of the Social Enterprise category at the AUT X-Challenge, landing a $35,000 investment to develop their idea. And, with the help of some heavy hitters like Chris Quin at Foodstuffs North Island, private investment, a well-connected board and an advertising agency, the business has serious support.
“At Foodstuffs North Island we have a real focus on supporting exciting new start-up New Zealand businesses and where we can be part of their efforts to become globally successful,” says Chris Quin, CEO, Foodstuffs North Island.
“Bradley and Holly are a couple of amazing young New Zealanders having a go and they’ve worked incredibly hard to understand customer drivers and develop a product they believe meets many key customer needs. We have been proud to support them and now partner with them in some of our stores.”
An aggressive marketing campaign kicked-off the brand’s advertising, posing the question, ‘What the phuk is Phoric?’ on digital billboards and street posters, and social media has gone into overdrive.
“It has been a privilege to help the team turn their dreams into reality,” says James Polhill, Managing Director, Hello: The Conversation Company. “Very rarely do we get an opportunity to develop a brand from scratch and demonstrate the diversity of our work. We’re continually inspired by the entrepreneurial duo and building the brand has been rewarding.”