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用龍舌蘭做汽水,能有市場嗎?

用龍舌蘭做汽水,能有市場嗎?

Rachel King 2021年09月10日
Maywell公司生產的碳酸汽水,以龍舌蘭做增甜劑。

長期以來,由于對糖分以及其他添加劑的依賴,碳酸飲料似乎逐漸失去了人氣。然而在過去幾年中,這個市場又有所崛起,但以下這些碳酸飲料絕對稱得上與眾不同。

2020年創建的Mayawell便是其中最新面世的一個品牌,它涵蓋一系列精心調配的碳酸飲料,完全不同于平常的那些可樂和檸檬汽水,其口味包括樹莓黃瓜搭配黑醋粟、草莓生姜搭配芙蓉花,以及菠蘿芒果搭配姜黃。每罐飲料含糖均不超過4克,熱量40卡路里,同時還含有5克發酵纖維。這些碳酸飲料采用了天然活性龍舌蘭(Active Agave)作為增甜劑。據該公司介紹,龍舌蘭能夠促進消化,并提升免疫系統和新陳代謝。

目前,Mayawell的產品通過其網站、精選店和亞馬遜網站(Amazon)進行直銷。這家總部位于奧斯汀的公司稱,每出售一瓶,都會將部分收入用于支持原著墨西哥社區以及森林再造。

《財富》雜志最近采訪了公司聯合創始人文森特·瑞伊斯和奧利弗·沙特沃斯,談到了其創業首年的經歷、碳酸飲料初創企業的競爭格局,以及公司的未來規劃。

Mayawell公司聯合創始人文森特·瑞伊斯和奧利弗·沙特沃斯。圖片來源:Courtesy of Mayawell

為簡明起見,采訪內容略有刪減。

《財富》:可否透露下您二位成立Mayawell之前的職業背景?

文森特·瑞伊斯:在成立Mayawell之前,我是麥斯卡爾酒行業的一名先驅。當我第一次開始談論麥斯卡爾酒可以與龍舌蘭酒相媲美時,人們都覺得我瘋了。1999年,我創建了自己的品牌El Se?orio,2010年將其出售給一名戰略合作伙伴。自那之后,我將注意力轉向了龍舌蘭保健效用的研究。我覺得我的人生使命就是幫扶瓦哈卡州土著居民社區,并盡自己最大努力為其賦能。

奧利弗·沙特沃斯:起初,我在廣告行業工作了幾年,之后在2012年,我在自己的公寓中從零開始,白手起家創建了一個名為Esperos的社交影響力品牌。受TOMS的啟發,公司致力于銷售背包和其他配件,并通過與海地、洪都拉斯、危地馬拉和肯尼亞等國的非營利性機構合作,為人們接受教育提供資助。到2016年,Esperos銷售額達到了7位數,遠銷四個大陸20多個國家。出于多種原因,我最后離開了這家公司,創建了一家基于植物的無毒個人護理品牌,名為Curie。后來我將該公司賣給了由多名強生公司(Johnson & Johnson)前高管組成的團隊,他們更改了品牌名,并進行了重新定位,從事批發業務。

是什么啟發你們創建了Mayawell?又是什么讓它從眾多新碳酸飲料品牌中脫穎而出?

瑞伊斯:說起這個很有意思,奧利弗和我都受到了龍舌蘭女神瑪雅胡尓的啟發。在前西班牙文化中,她是生命和活力的重要象征,因此,我希望打造一款兼顧身體健康和可持續發展的龍舌蘭產品。我花了6年多的時間與研究人員和科學家團隊合作,開發了公司獨特的活性龍舌蘭產品,并證明了其在維持健康腸道菌群方面的效用。

幸運的是,奧利弗和我通過一位共同的好友介紹認識,命運讓我們走到了一起,并創建了Mayawell公司。我們在紐約市花了一周的時間,探討共同的愿景和信念:益生元將在確保當代客戶腸道健康方面發揮重要的作用。在第一周結束之時,我們決定開展合作,并成立這家公司。

沙特沃斯:如今,益生元領域有點類似于狂野的西部。市場上有很多品牌都在宣傳益生元的作用,但并沒有真正的科學依據支撐,在某些品牌中,它們的產品并不含益生元纖維。Mayawell的獨特之處在于,我們開展了6年的科學研究,能夠證實我們的活性龍舌蘭可以保留健康腸道菌群,改善腸道整體健康,這也是我們所宣傳的功效。此外,我們還在瓦哈卡州創建了出色的社會影響力項目,由文森特執掌,我們通過龍舌蘭種植、作物造林以及將龍舌蘭纖維改造為編織材料,對土著社區進行支持。您的每一次購買都將為這些動議提供一臂之力。

Mayawell的口味包括草莓生姜、菠蘿芒果、樹莓黃瓜和梨子青檸。圖片來源:Courtesy of Mayawell

Mayawell品牌的一個重要賣點在于,碳酸飲料是一個更健康的選擇。對于未來推出的飲料配方,你們會采取什么樣的研究和開發流程?你們會對哪些配料進行測試?

沙特沃斯:從一開始,我們便受到了15世紀果汁甜酒理念的啟發,其受歡迎的原因在于它有助于消化,也能夠提神。與此同時,我們希望在其中融入一些墨西哥風味,并開發可以吸引廣泛受眾的產品。畢竟在我們看來,當代汽水完全能夠做到健康與口感兼得,因此,我們希望打造一款口感風味俱佳、人見人愛的飲品。

瑞伊斯:令我們感到非常幸運的是,我們的合作方是全球最好的產品開發者之一,而且我們與其合作來發現可以讓客戶眼前一亮的風味配方。在此基礎上,我們會縮小最中意的候選配方,并通過團隊討論來決定哪些風味有望成為市場的寵兒。

長期以來,至少在過去10年中,很多消費者出于對健康的考慮,開始放棄熟悉的碳酸飲料品牌。你們覺得在過去幾年中發生了哪些變化,這一趨勢是否會延續下去?

沙特沃斯:2017年,美國瓶裝水銷量超過了汽水的銷量,這還是這么多年以來第一次出現這一現象。這個轉折點背后的原因似乎在于,人們越發意識到過量攝入糖會引發眾多負面影響。即便如此,最近的調查顯示,美國人每日平均攝入22茶勺的添加糖分,也就是每日350卡的額外熱量,含糖飲料是最主要的元兇。與此同時,95%的美國人每日的膳食纖維攝入量都在推薦值以下,而膳食纖維對于消化道健康至關重要。

瑞伊斯:在Mayawell,為了解決這兩大問題,我們在每一罐產品中僅添加了1茶勺的糖,同時提供20%的日推薦膳食纖維攝入量。我們的產品升糖指數低,果糖含量也低,對于有著廣泛飲食要求的人群來說是一個絕佳的選擇。種種跡象表明,客戶想要的是一款口感和功能性俱佳的產品,而且令我們感到振奮的是,公司今后有機會在這個新興領域大展拳腳。

每罐12盎司裝Mayawell益生元碳酸飲料都含有5克可發酵纖維,其熱量低于40卡。圖片來源:Courtesy of Mayawell

Mayawell稱,公司會將每筆收入的一部分用于支持墨西哥土著居民社區和造林事業。能具體解釋下創建這個項目的原因嗎,以及公司會如何捐贈這些銷售所得嗎?

瑞伊斯:作為一位土生土長的瓦哈卡州人,我認為有一點十分重要:土著人社區應該得到公平、平等的待遇,他們對我們的土地,特別是龍舌蘭有著深厚的認知。與奧利弗一樣,我們的目標是與我們的龍舌蘭采購合作方一道,打造一家能夠帶來積極影響的公司,并重點關注瓦哈卡州。

在過去20年中,我已經通過我的非盈利機構Hermano Maguey與當地社區建立了良好的關系,這些社區也是Mayawell的合作伙伴。我們將通力合作,為當地社區提供龍舌蘭種子庫、造林所需的原生植物物種,以及種植龍舌蘭作物的資源,以供出口創利。通過從合作伙伴手中采購龍舌蘭并將公司利潤的2%投入這些項目,我們將努力為瓦哈卡州帶來實質性的影響。(財富中文網)

譯者:馮豐

審校:夏林

長期以來,由于對糖分以及其他添加劑的依賴,碳酸飲料似乎逐漸失去了人氣。然而在過去幾年中,這個市場又有所崛起,但以下這些碳酸飲料絕對稱得上與眾不同。

2020年創建的Mayawell便是其中最新面世的一個品牌,它涵蓋一系列精心調配的碳酸飲料,完全不同于平常的那些可樂和檸檬汽水,其口味包括樹莓黃瓜搭配黑醋粟、草莓生姜搭配芙蓉花,以及菠蘿芒果搭配姜黃。每罐飲料含糖均不超過4克,熱量40卡路里,同時還含有5克發酵纖維。這些碳酸飲料采用了天然活性龍舌蘭(Active Agave)作為增甜劑。據該公司介紹,龍舌蘭能夠促進消化,并提升免疫系統和新陳代謝。

目前,Mayawell的產品通過其網站、精選店和亞馬遜網站(Amazon)進行直銷。這家總部位于奧斯汀的公司稱,每出售一瓶,都會將部分收入用于支持原著墨西哥社區以及森林再造。

《財富》雜志最近采訪了公司聯合創始人文森特·瑞伊斯和奧利弗·沙特沃斯,談到了其創業首年的經歷、碳酸飲料初創企業的競爭格局,以及公司的未來規劃。

為簡明起見,采訪內容略有刪減。

《財富》:可否透露下您二位成立Mayawell之前的職業背景?

文森特·瑞伊斯:在成立Mayawell之前,我是麥斯卡爾酒行業的一名先驅。當我第一次開始談論麥斯卡爾酒可以與龍舌蘭酒相媲美時,人們都覺得我瘋了。1999年,我創建了自己的品牌El Se?orio,2010年將其出售給一名戰略合作伙伴。自那之后,我將注意力轉向了龍舌蘭保健效用的研究。我覺得我的人生使命就是幫扶瓦哈卡州土著居民社區,并盡自己最大努力為其賦能。

奧利弗·沙特沃斯:起初,我在廣告行業工作了幾年,之后在2012年,我在自己的公寓中從零開始,白手起家創建了一個名為Esperos的社交影響力品牌。受TOMS的啟發,公司致力于銷售背包和其他配件,并通過與海地、洪都拉斯、危地馬拉和肯尼亞等國的非營利性機構合作,為人們接受教育提供資助。到2016年,Esperos銷售額達到了7位數,遠銷四個大陸20多個國家。出于多種原因,我最后離開了這家公司,創建了一家基于植物的無毒個人護理品牌,名為Curie。后來我將該公司賣給了由多名強生公司(Johnson & Johnson)前高管組成的團隊,他們更改了品牌名,并進行了重新定位,從事批發業務。

是什么啟發你們創建了Mayawell?又是什么讓它從眾多新碳酸飲料品牌中脫穎而出?

瑞伊斯:說起這個很有意思,奧利弗和我都受到了龍舌蘭女神瑪雅胡尓的啟發。在前西班牙文化中,她是生命和活力的重要象征,因此,我希望打造一款兼顧身體健康和可持續發展的龍舌蘭產品。我花了6年多的時間與研究人員和科學家團隊合作,開發了公司獨特的活性龍舌蘭產品,并證明了其在維持健康腸道菌群方面的效用。

幸運的是,奧利弗和我通過一位共同的好友介紹認識,命運讓我們走到了一起,并創建了Mayawell公司。我們在紐約市花了一周的時間,探討共同的愿景和信念:益生元將在確保當代客戶腸道健康方面發揮重要的作用。在第一周結束之時,我們決定開展合作,并成立這家公司。

沙特沃斯:如今,益生元領域有點類似于狂野的西部。市場上有很多品牌都在宣傳益生元的作用,但并沒有真正的科學依據支撐,在某些品牌中,它們的產品并不含益生元纖維。Mayawell的獨特之處在于,我們開展了6年的科學研究,能夠證實我們的活性龍舌蘭可以保留健康腸道菌群,改善腸道整體健康,這也是我們所宣傳的功效。此外,我們還在瓦哈卡州創建了出色的社會影響力項目,由文森特執掌,我們通過龍舌蘭種植、作物造林以及將龍舌蘭纖維改造為編織材料,對土著社區進行支持。您的每一次購買都將為這些動議提供一臂之力。

Mayawell品牌的一個重要賣點在于,碳酸飲料是一個更健康的選擇。對于未來推出的飲料配方,你們會采取什么樣的研究和開發流程?你們會對哪些配料進行測試?

沙特沃斯:從一開始,我們便受到了15世紀果汁甜酒理念的啟發,其受歡迎的原因在于它有助于消化,也能夠提神。與此同時,我們希望在其中融入一些墨西哥風味,并開發可以吸引廣泛受眾的產品。畢竟在我們看來,當代汽水完全能夠做到健康與口感兼得,因此,我們希望打造一款口感風味俱佳、人見人愛的飲品。

瑞伊斯:令我們感到非常幸運的是,我們的合作方是全球最好的產品開發者之一,而且我們與其合作來發現可以讓客戶眼前一亮的風味配方。在此基礎上,我們會縮小最中意的候選配方,并通過團隊討論來決定哪些風味有望成為市場的寵兒。

長期以來,至少在過去10年中,很多消費者出于對健康的考慮,開始放棄熟悉的碳酸飲料品牌。你們覺得在過去幾年中發生了哪些變化,這一趨勢是否會延續下去?

沙特沃斯:2017年,美國瓶裝水銷量超過了汽水的銷量,這還是這么多年以來第一次出現這一現象。這個轉折點背后的原因似乎在于,人們越發意識到過量攝入糖會引發眾多負面影響。即便如此,最近的調查顯示,美國人每日平均攝入22茶勺的添加糖分,也就是每日350卡的額外熱量,含糖飲料是最主要的元兇。與此同時,95%的美國人每日的膳食纖維攝入量都在推薦值以下,而膳食纖維對于消化道健康至關重要。

瑞伊斯:在Mayawell,為了解決這兩大問題,我們在每一罐產品中僅添加了1茶勺的糖,同時提供20%的日推薦膳食纖維攝入量。我們的產品升糖指數低,果糖含量也低,對于有著廣泛飲食要求的人群來說是一個絕佳的選擇。種種跡象表明,客戶想要的是一款口感和功能性俱佳的產品,而且令我們感到振奮的是,公司今后有機會在這個新興領域大展拳腳。

Mayawell稱,公司會將每筆收入的一部分用于支持墨西哥土著居民社區和造林事業。能具體解釋下創建這個項目的原因嗎,以及公司會如何捐贈這些銷售所得嗎?

瑞伊斯:作為一位土生土長的瓦哈卡州人,我認為有一點十分重要:土著人社區應該得到公平、平等的待遇,他們對我們的土地,特別是龍舌蘭有著深厚的認知。與奧利弗一樣,我們的目標是與我們的龍舌蘭采購合作方一道,打造一家能夠帶來積極影響的公司,并重點關注瓦哈卡州。

在過去20年中,我已經通過我的非盈利機構Hermano Maguey與當地社區建立了良好的關系,這些社區也是Mayawell的合作伙伴。我們將通力合作,為當地社區提供龍舌蘭種子庫、造林所需的原生植物物種,以及種植龍舌蘭作物的資源,以供出口創利。通過從合作伙伴手中采購龍舌蘭并將公司利潤的2%投入這些項目,我們將努力為瓦哈卡州帶來實質性的影響。(財富中文網)

譯者:馮豐

審校:夏林

For a long time, it seemed like sodas were increasingly unpopular, with focus on all the sugar and other additives. But over the last few years, there has been a boom in the market—but these sodas are different.

Among one of the newest options is Mayawell, which launched in 2020 with a curated range of sodas that aren't your average colas and lemon-lime fizzy drinks. Flavors include raspberry cucumber with black currant, strawberry ginger with hibiscus, and pineapple mango with turmeric. Each can has less than four grams of sugar and 40 calories per serving, packing five grams of fiber in as well. The sodas are sweetened with organic, hand-harvested Active Agave, which the company says improves digestion while bolstering the immune system and metabolism.

The brand sells direct-to-consumer via its website, in select stores, and Amazon. And the Austin-based company says it supports indigenous Mexican communities and reforestation with every purchase.

Fortune recently spoke with cofounders Vicente Reyes and Oliver Shuttlesworth about the first year in business, the competitive soda startup scene, and plans for the future.

The following interview has been condensed and lightly edited for clarity.

Fortune: Can you share a bit about your professional background prior to launching Mayawell?

Vicente Reyes: Prior to launching Mayawell, I was a pioneer in the mezcal industry. People called me crazy when I first started talking about how mezcal could compete with tequila. I started my brand El Se?orio in 1999 and sold it to a strategic partner in 2010. After that, I turned my focus to the health and wellness benefits of agave. I feel like my life's mission is to support indigenous communities around Oaxaca and empower them in whatever way that I can.

Oliver Shuttlesworth: After a couple of years in advertising, I launched a social impact brand called Esperos in 2012. Inspired by TOMS, we sold backpacks and other accessories and helped fund access to education through partnerships with nonprofit organizations in countries such as Haiti, Honduras, Guatemala, and Kenya. I bootstrapped the brand from my apartment, and by 2016 had built the brand to seven-figure sales with distribution across four continents and more than 20 countries. For a variety of reasons, I ultimately parted ways with the company to start a plant-based, nontoxic personal care brand called Curie, which was subsequently sold to a group of former Johnson & Johnson executives, rebranded, and repositioned for wholesale distribution.

What inspired you to launch Mayawell? What makes it stand out in the growing crop of new sodas on the market?

Reyes: Interestingly, Oliver and I were both inspired by the goddess of the agave, Mayahuel. She is an important symbol of life and vitality in pre-Hispanic cultures, and I was inspired to create a sustainable agave-based product that promoted wellness. I spent a little over six years working with a team of researchers and scientists to develop our unique Active Agave and prove out its efficacy in retaining healthy gut bacteria.

Thankfully, fate brought Oliver and me together to create Mayawell after we were introduced by a mutual friend. We spent a week in New York City discussing our shared passions and our belief that prebiotics would play an important role in gut health for modern customers. At the end of that first week, we had decided to partner together and found the company.

Shuttlesworth: Right now, the world of prebiotics is kind of the Wild West. Several brands on the market are touting prebiotic benefits with no real science behind them and, in some cases, zero prebiotic fiber present in their products. What makes Mayawell unique is that we have six years of scientific research that shows that our Active Agave does what we say it does: retain healthy gut bacteria to improve overall gut health. Beyond that, we have an incredible social impact program in Oaxaca helmed by Vicente through which we support indigenous communities with agave cultivation, crop reforestation, and the repurposing of agave fibers into woven materials. Every purchase helps support those initiatives.

A key component of Mayawell's brand is that this soda is a healthier option. What was your research and development process like for coming up with recipes? What kind of ingredients did you test?

Shuttlesworth: From the outset, we were inspired by the idea of drinking shrubs that date back to the 15th century, consumed as much for their digestive benefit as for refreshment. At the same time, we wanted to incorporate certain flavors from Mexico while developing products that appealed to a wide audience. After all, our thesis is that modern sodas can be both healthy and flavorful, so we wanted to develop products that are easy drinking and delicious for all to enjoy.

Reyes: We have the incredible fortune of working with one of the best product developers in the world, and we work collaboratively with her to identify flavor profiles that we believe would be interesting to customers. From there, we narrow in on our favorites and decide as a team which flavors we believe will resonate best in the market.

For a long time—at least over the last decade—it seemed like many consumers were starting to turn away from familiar soda brands, mainly due to health concerns. What do you think has changed in the last couple of years, and do you think this trend will continue?

Shuttlesworth: 2017 was the first year that bottled water outsold soda in the USA in many, many years. That marked an inflection point that seems to stem from a growing understanding of the negative impacts of excessive sugar consumption. Even so, recent studies show that the average American consumes 22 teaspoons of added sugar per day. That's about 350 extra calories daily, with sugary beverages playing an outsize role in that. At the same time, 95% of Americans fail to consume the daily recommended value of dietary fiber, which is extremely important for digestive health.

Reyes: At Mayawell, we help address both of these issues by offering a product that has only one teaspoon of sugar while delivering 20% of the daily recommended value of fiber in every can. Our products are both low glycemic index and low in fructose, making them a great option for people with wide ranging dietary requirements. Customers are showing every indication that they're looking for products that offer both flavor and function, and we're excited by the opportunity to play a big role in this emergent category moving forward.

Mayawell says it supports indigenous Mexican communities and reforestation with every purchase. Can you explain more about the inspiration for this program as well as breakdown how those purchase proceeds are donated?

Reyes: As a native of Oaxaca, it is important to me that indigenous communities who have such incredible knowledge of our land and, more specifically, of agave are treated fairly and equitably. Together with Oliver, our desire is to build a company that helps to create a positive impact with our agave sourcing partners, with an acute focus in Oaxaca.

Over the past 20 years, I have developed strong relationships with local communities that Mayawell partners with through my nonprofit organization, Hermano Maguey. Together we provide local communities with access to an agave seed bank, native plant species for reforestation, and resources to cultivate agave crops for profitable export. In sourcing agave from our partners and reinvesting 2% of our profits into these programs, we are working to make a meaningful impact in Oaxaca.

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