For husband and wife team Darian and Alexia Bregman, the goal of starting a business together is what brought them into the beverage industry. The pair, whose backgrounds are in aviation and advertising, respectively, wanted to work on something that they could build from the ground up.
And when you take one look at Vuka, it’s clear that that’s just what the Bregmans did. The brand, which means “wake up” in Swahili (the Bregmans hail from South Africa, where it is a popular expression), was in development since 2007, with the package – an aluminum screw top bottle – coming before the liquid inside. The brand comes in a mixture of carbonated and non-carbonated formats, and it was designed to encompass “different kinds of energy for different occasions.” All of this is very different than the traditional array of flavors (and perhaps a sugar free) that make up the majority of energy drink brands.
At this point Vuka is trying to be a “mile deep and inch wide,” which is why the team is really focused on developing the Colorado market. They’ve been increasing their sales each month and have even brought on a chain, Safeway, to help them further build their roots in their home state. From there, they will have many decisions to make about growth, with the current thought process being to start attacking the coasts.
Regardless of how it plays out, their emphasis on not being a me-too product and carefully planning their approach to market makes for an interesting lesson for aspiring beverage entrepreneurs.
In this video, BevNET.com’s Matt Kennedy sits down with Darian and Alexia Bregman at their office in Denver, CO. The product development process, go to market strategy, and more are discussed.