Juiven8 Drinks: Ali Turner and Johan Carstens

The start-up founder talks market research, global growth and targeting the fitness market with a protein drink that's geared towards a wider audience

Name: Ali Turner and Johan Carstens
Company name: Juiven8 Drinks
Location: South East
Date launched: 10/11/2014 
Website: www.juiven8.com

Tell us what your business does:

Juiven8 is the the UK’s first ready-to-drink protein fruit juice that’s made with real fruit, fruit juice, coconut water and a 12g boost of whey protein. Juiven8 has been designed specifically with active people in mind to help support workout performance, post workout recovery, and help build and tone lean muscle.

Our main USP is that our drinks are blended with real fruit (not from concentrate) and are not milk based, therefore providing a healthy alternative that is packed full of the associated health benefits of the carefully selected fruit that we use.

Where did the idea for your business come from?

We have always been interested in products that can optimise regular gym workouts, sports activities and exercise programmes.

Aware that men and women have different workout goals, it occurred to us that the protein supplements aimed predominately at male gym-goers wanting ‘bulk’, were quite off-putting for women – who aim at lean muscle and fine tone.

How did you know there was a market for it?

Initially market research was conducted via personal trainers, local gym goers and through personal networks to understand whether there was a need for a product like this and what the level of interest around our concept was.

We took market research to the next stage by conducting sampling and getting concept feedback at the Miss Galaxy Universe pageant to an audience of c.1,000 who were largely female, worked within the fitness industry or had a keen interest in fitness, so already understood the benefits of protein drinks.

What were you doing before starting up?

We both come from corporate backgrounds, Ali has spent the last 10 years as a marketer for some of the biggest leisure brands, and Johan as a technical business adviser to the finance industry.

Have you always wanted to run your own business?

Running our own business has always been on both of our agendas, however timing and other external factors have previously put a halt to pursuing a venture such as this. It’s fantastic to finally be in a position where we have the knowledge, experience and funding to really bring an idea to life.

How did you raise the money?

Juiven8 is entirely self funded!

Describe your business model and how you make money:

Juiven8 is currently available to buy online at juiven8.com in packs of six, 12, 24 or 48, and will also soon be available on monthly subscription, which will offer even better value to our customers. We are currently in discussions with various gym chains and retailers, as our aim is to see Juiven8 on the shelves too.

What challenges have you faced and how have you overcome them?

Our biggest challenge has actually been of a technical nature! Our drink has been in development for almost 12 months, as it’s quite a mission to successfully blend various types of protein with natural fruit juices and fruit extracts; and produce a product that not only tastes great, but retains the goodness of the fruit, and has a shelf life.

We’ve been very fortunate to work with a team of technical and development experts within the juicing industry, who’ve made production possible.

What was your first big breakthrough?

We’ve been fortunate enough to forge bonds with some well known brands who are extremely supportive of start-ups. They’ve promoted us to their customers, which had greatly helped spread our message to a wider audience and drive online sales.

What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?

Don’t be shy of asking for industry support, and business advice from people. Do make sure you’ve got the PR side covered. We’ve used the PR platform JournoLink, which is designed for small businesses and has really delivered results for us.

Where do you want to be in five years’ time?

The game plan is growth, we want to turn Juiven8 into a global brand that offers a wide range of innovation-lead fitness products to support the fitness goals of active people everywhere.

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