BevNET TV: An Interview with 82Go’s Hoby Buppert

It’s been a few months since Hoby Buppert took the stage at BevNET Live’s New Beverage Showdown; there, the Bawls co-founder dazzled the judges panel with 82Go, a simple and innovative 8 oz. plastic pouch of water. Buppert positioned the new product as one for runners and other active individuals who could carry the small package in a pocket, as well as open and drink it while remaining in motion.

Though Coco Café took home the win at the New Beverage Showdown, 82Go has gained some traction since then, receiving industry wide praise for the product’s innovative packaging, and inroads to distribution in South Florida, a coveted and influential market for entrepreneurial beverages.

In a recent interview at 82Go headquarters in Miami with BevNET CEO John Craven, Buppert explained that, while 82Go is in the business of selling water, the company has leveraged the uniqueness of its packaging to market the product to active consumers as well as expand on the number of occasions that individuals use water.

“We’re focused on the active consumer who is going to appreciate the benefits of the product. It makes the most sense to go to those consumers and develop a relationship with them because they’re the ones who are going to go out there and promote the use of this package,” Buppert said.

Buppert noted that while 82Go’s package is unconventional – opening the package requires one to tear a corner of the pouch off, most often with one’s teeth – he said that the product is catching on, particularly with runners, marathoners, and younger consumers.

“From what we’ve found, the learning curve is actually fairly quick,” Buppert said. “And [generally], the younger the consumer, the quicker they take to it.”

In this segment, Buppert offers a glimpse into the production of 82Go including how the package is created and where the company sources its water. Buppert also explains why the convenience aspect of the product trumps its environmental benefits in marketing the brand to consumers, and delves into how his second run at starting a beverage company compares with his first experience.