SFFS17 Video: MatchaBar Co-Founder On “Billboard Effect” for Cafe, RTD Business

MatchaBar, a retailer and producer of matcha-based beverages, is all about creating a billboard effect.

In an interview at the recently held 2017 Summer Fancy Food Show in New York City, Graham Fortgang, co-founder of MatchaBar, explained that the company’s cafes in Manhattan and Los Angeles act as a “huggable billboards” for the brand’s RTD drinks as well as incubators for innovative ideas.

“They’re our test kitchen,” Fortgang said. “It’s a way to figure out who we’re talking to, what they want and how they’re reacting to our products.”

Creating a billboard effect isn’t limited to MatchaBar’s cafes. In March, the company introduced new packaging that they describe as “billboard bottles.” Along with the brand logo, the white labels feature pithy copy, such as “Original Matcha is your guru’s guru,” and “Apple Ginger Matcha’s nutrition facts are not alternative.” The company works with local comedians and social mavens to create the labels, which are updated every three months.

“It’s a way for us to connect directly with the demographic,” Fortgang said.

Watch this video to hear more about MatchaBar’s marketing efforts in and outside of its cafes, and how it is attempting to create “disruption in the energy space.” Fortgang also discussed his experience as a participant in BevNET Live’s New Beverage Showdown and the role it played in the company’s development.