Our Founder Jayden Klinac catches up with Bridget O'Connell from Food Ticker - chatting about our rebrand from For The Better Good. Read below to check out her interview:
The Auckland-based founder entered the water market around five years ago with For The Better Good (FTBG) – the country’s first compostable plant-based bottled water with its own collection system, including purpose-built collection points and composting stations throughout the country.
The concept caught on achieving return rates of around 40% and up to 90% – 95% at events, Klinac told the Ticker.
However, for some consumers, if you make a product that looks like a Pump bottle with a comparable $4.50 price tag there will be people who treat it like a Pump bottle and turf it after one use.
So, the perpetual problem-solver, whose other initiatives include New Zealand’s first compostable coffee capsules, sustainable plastics venture Plentyful, and drinks distributor Nudes, has come up with another option.
Anew is bottled alkaline water in plant-based packaging, but this time it is designed to look like a more expensive refillable bottle in an effort to shift consumers towards a reuse culture.
And on top of that, it also has a 100% recyclable bottle and cap, which can go into curbside recycling or into the designated Anew system for “recircling”, which will see bottles locally recycled and remade into new bottles.
And this is the bit that is of interest to manufacturers, who Klinac said have been coming to him in droves since FTBG hit the market.
“Over last three years particularly we have fielded hundreds and hundreds of requests from other brands that either make a really good oat milk or a fantastic pet food for example – whatever the product is inside they are an expert at it, but they are not packaging experts.
“Ten years ago that was fine, but in this day and age if you have got a premium product you need to show that the whole way through. If you have got harmful packaging the customer is going to relate to that as well.”
So, as part of getting Anew to market, Klinac has also restructured the business to offer the packaging system to manufacturers.
“We have got an entire system from raw material through to production and branding, then we give it to you to fill, then we collect it back and we can either wash it, we can turn it into a new product by recycling it properly or recircle it or compost it.”
Current clients included a pet food company, a couple of supplement manufacturers and one in skincare. One he could name was organic dairy company Durham Farms, which would be launching a new bottle for its A2 milk early next year.
In the meantime, Anew, which has an RRP of $6.99, is also getting traction, with the category managers at mainstream retailers Foodstuffs North Island and BP fast-tracking it into stores in just four weeks ahead of the summer NPD shutdown.
Klinac said Anew was being stocked in 11 New Worlds, but after cold email approaches had added another six in the space of a week.
“Wellington’s New World Railway Metro emailed us saying it is the most expensive bottle they have in the fridge where there are 99c bottles alongside it and they just sold the whole box in a week so ordered two more.”
Existing FTBG clients are choosing which water product to stock, with some like Les Mills opting to take both so customers have a choice at different price points, although next year FTBG will likely be rebranded to Anew too.
“What I’ve learnt over the last 10 years is there is no one-size-fits-all solution,” Klinac said.
“It comes down to consumers, and there are a myriad of different consumers – different buying behaviours, different disposing behaviours, different education levels on the environmental effects of plastic.
“There is no single solution you can say is going to solve all our problems, we are really trying to be customer-centric about it.”