Green-tea based drinks brand OOb took first prize at the inaugural DrinkPreneur event in London yesterday, winning high praise from judges including Tesco soft drinks buying manager David Beardmore.
Oob, led by founder and former Loreal exec Leonardo Laforgia (pictured below celebrating his win) saw off stiff competition from runners-up Bella Berry, Vegesentials and Enerdrinks to take first prize at the event, organized by MyDrink Beverages and Zenith International, which is designed to help incubate entrepreneurial beverage talent.
BeverageDaily.com caught up Laforgia after the event to hear his thoughts on the prize, the main component of which is a half day spent with Tesco’s buying team, led by Beardmore, who will discuss opportunities for the brand both within his stores and in the wider market.
“This is the completion of 16 months development work. It’s been an amazing journey and I’m thankful of getting the opportunity,” Laforgia tells us in this podcast.
OOb is a green tea based drink with green tea extracts and super fruit juices, nested in popping pearls made of seaweed on the outside with a core of super fruit juice. It was selected as the winner out of 20 finalists including Claire Nuttall, founding partner of Thrive Unlimited and Keith David Robinson, director at CompareTheWholesaler.com.
The range comprises three drinks – Apple Green Tea with Lychee pearls, Cranberry Green Tea with Acai pearls and Mango Green Tea with acerola pearls.
“We’re not creating a bubble tea, but a drink that brings the possibility of enjoying taste, flavour and texture in an entirely new way,” Laforgia adds.
“The ritual of having a fat straw indented in the packaging relates to the consumer need of experiencing the tea as the overarching flavour together with the pearls, that’s where the magic lies!”