Charcoal on Call: Dirty Lemon Launches on Instagram

He started a baby food line in a past life, but now Zak Normandin has a beverage brand that’s in its infancy.

And like all parents who believe their children are unique, Normandin, who was a founder of Little Duck Organics, says that Dirty Lemon Water is launching with its own little bit of individual brilliance. No stores, just an instagram campaign and text-based ordering. The platform opens on Aug. 1 to new orders.

The high-pressure processed detoxification product is made with water, activated charcoal — an ingredient that’s currently on the rise in food and beverage applications — along with lemon juice and dandelion and ginger root extracts. The Brooklyn resident is manufacturing in Connecticut with an eye toward also launching in London, as well.

“Our goal is to build a global, direct to consumer brand,” Normandin told BevNET, cutting out margin hits that accompany the traditional distributor-to-retailer-to-consumer routes.

The text-based ordering will allow consumers who have finished their supply to send a text message to a number with billing, shipping, and their credit card number, which will be stored on a secure web site. A fresh 6-pack — six days on, one day off — will be sent with no shipping costs (initial pricing is $65 per 6-pack, according to the Dirty Lemon web site).

Unlike other detox products, Normandin said, the product isn’t intended as a cleanse, but as a way of pulling toxins from the body — the idea being that detox is the solution to urban millennials’ star-crossed love of unhealthy food and a healthy image.

“We’re marketing [Dirty Lemon] is as a balance for real-life indulgences,” he said. ”With cleanses, you have to change your lifestyle completely to participate. We want to do it in an approachable way.”

Part of that approachability comes from the brand’s Instagram-based marketing approach. Among the hashtags on the photo-based social media site are “#dirtylemonsays” and “#yestomore.“ The accompanying images do feature the beautiful people — but they’re indulging in booze, wine, pizza, and more signifiers of a grown-up lifestyle.

“This market is so entirely different from baby food,” Normandin said.