The New Zealand-based company has secured the exclusive distribution rights for Ti Tonics, enabling co-founder and developer Dr Tracey King to continue to manage the brand simultaneously with The Better Drinks Co. team.
The Better Drinks Co. CEO Craig Cotton says the collaboration is not a traditional partnership – more an alliance between two brands and the people behind those brands, creating a better way of doing business.
“The old way would have seen a corporate either try and replicate or piggy-back off the brands of the other business. But in true ‘challenging for the better spirit’, The Better Drinks Co. has joined with Dr King to foster and grow the Ti-Tonics brand, building on its existing sales, marketing and distribution capabilities,” Cotton says.
The collaboration means “fanaTIcs” will get greater access to Ti-Tonics beverages from early February as The Better Drinks Co. incorporates the products into its distribution network, Cotton says.
It also sees Dr King joining The Better Drinks Co. senior leadership team to help grow the Ti-Tonics brand and share her entrepreneurial enthusiasm to progress the total business.
Cotton says the opportunity to join forces with Ti Tonics makes perfect commercial sense.
“We identified an opportunity to work with Dr King to foster her emerging functional beverage brand rather than launching a product in the same space. This came from recognising that Ti Tonics is a uniquely differentiated product that we love – it just needs a push and a helping hand to educate consumers and widen its reach.
“When we launched The Better Drinks Co. from Charlie’s Trading Co. in June 2013, we set out to provide consumers and retailers with better choice and a better partner in the beverage business.
“Dr King developed Ti-Tonics for the same reason – to give people around the world a great tasting, ‘better for you’ beverage, containing Polyphenols and antioxidants,” Cotton says. “Ti Tonics combines white tea and NZ grape seed extract with real fruit flavours to produce those great tasting drinks.”
Dr King has chosen The Better Drinks Co. to take her brand to the next level of local and international growth. “We constantly field requests from consumers all around the world asking us when we will be available in their city,” says King. “Our relationship with The Better Drinks Co. will allow us to confidently approach those new markets and make Ti Tonics available to those consumers.”
“The Better Drinks Co. was the natural choice of partner for us as we approach the next stage in our expansion as a company. They are a fantastic bunch of people that are simply focused on being better – our values are beautifully aligned.
“Beverage is an extremely competitive market so we are proud of what we have achieved to date on our own. However, there is no question that partnering with a like-minded and progressive company such as The Better Drinks Co. will help us achieve the kind of scale that our world-class drinks deserve,” King says.
The Better Drinks Co will focus on increasing brand penetration within NZ and Australia while Dr King will focus on continuing to grow the brand and expanding into further export markets, predominantly the US.
Both The Better Drinks Co. and Ti Tonics have robust expansion plans and will continue to invest in people, go to market strategies and new product development, Cotton says.
About The Better Drinks Co.
The Better Drinks Co was founded in 1999 as Charlie’s and today is one of New Zealand’s most well-known beverage companies. Charlie’s was founded by childhood mates Marc Ellis, Stefan Lepionka and Simon Neal on the principle of providing quality and freshly squeezed juice to consumers, with honesty being the cornerstone of the product offering.
Charlie’s listed on the NZX in 2005. The same year it bought Phoenix Organics, a manufacturer of a range of natural, organic juices, sparkling drinks and waters. In turn, Charlie’s was purchased by Asahi in September 2011 and was renamed The Better Drinks Co in June 2013.
Better is a challenge and a promise that gives The Better Drinks Co. something to live up to. Better range, better choice and being better at everything from sourcing, manufacturing and final delivery via customers to consumers.
The “being better” philosophy is a foundation element in building the company’s stable of brands providing the fundamental premise on which opportunities and products can be built.
Today The Better Drinks Co delivers beverages across several categories under the Charlie’s, Phoenix Organics, Real Iced Tea Co and Sunkist brands. Charlie’s and Phoenix beverages are found in cafés, service stations, supermarkets and restaurants in New Zealand, Australia and in more than 12 export markets world-wide.
About Ti Tonics
Founded in 2010, Ti Tonics was born from a passion to give people a better beverage choice; a ‘super’ drink. The idea for the products came about after Dr Tracey King met two scientists (Dr Peter Wigley and Dr Andrew Broadwell of BioDiscovery NZ Ltd) who explained to her that much of the goodness in fruit and vegetables comes from the skins and seeds. They offered her the opportunity to partner with them to develop the idea and from there, Tracey’s partner James Ehau (beverage entrepreneur) and Dr Yeap Foo (senior research scientist) came on board.
Ti Tonics products don’t just taste great; they also contain Polyphenols through a grape seed extract (the active compounds responsible for the health benefits within red wine and green tea) and less than 2g of sugars per 100mls, while delivering antioxidants through a white tea base.
The brand has made a big impact in a short period time. It has won a number of awards including a gold medal for best tea based beverage and a gold medal for supreme overall beverage (small producer) at the New Zealand Juice and Beverage Awards in 2012, and has been a finalist at the Beverage Innovation Awards (Global) in 2011.
Products in the range include pomegranate, blueberry, nectarine, mango and passion tea.