Bottler delivers a buzz
Date: Tue, 16 Apr 96 13:55:09 -0700
From: Peter Langston <psl>
Subject: Bottler delivers a buzz
[This product was just made for software sweat-shops!
No, I didn't have any particular place in mind... -psl]
Forwarded-by: Keith Bostic <email@example.com>
Bottler delivers a buzz with caffeinated water:
-- by Dianna Bisswurm, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
MILWAUKEE -- First there was artesian water, a natural drink.
Then there was coffee, with its jolt of caffeine.
Now, in a merger of two of the hotter products in the beverage
industry, there is caffeinated water.
Water Joe, bottled in Crivitz, Wis., by Nicolet Forest Bottling Co.,
went on the market three months ago in Milwaukee, Madison and Chicago.
Today, 69210 bottle a week are being shipped to nine Midwestern states,
said David Holdener, president of Nicolet Forest.
The product, which tastes like water, sells for about 89 cents
(U.S.) for a half-litre bottle. The amount of caffeine in the water
equals that in one cup of coffee, the bottler says.
"It's really meeting all of our expectations," said Rick Nap,
Wisconsin representative for Nicolet. "The key thing we want consumers
to realize is it's a caffeine alternative in a healthier format."
David Marcheschi, now a 29-year-old real estate broker in Chicago,
came up with the idea of putting caffeine in water when he was trying to
stay awake while studying at Arizona State University. He found a
chemist who created the proper formula, and Mr. Marcheschi then created a
company, Johnny Beverages Inc., to market the concept.
Chris Connor, a 34-year-old furniture company owner, joined Mr.
Marcheschi to help sell the idea.
They spent a year promoting the concept before Nicolet Forest joined
the project. The eight-year-old company entered a joint venture with Mr.
Marcheschi and Mr. Connor to help finance Water Joe's production and
distribution. Neither side would disclose the investment.
Water Joe makes up less than 10 per cent of Nicolet's total sales.
The 18-employee company mainly bottles non-caffeinated artesian water.
Water Joe's target market is working people and students, both of
whom need a shot of caffeine at times. The drink doesn't have the bitter
taste and staining attributed to coffee, Mr. Marcheschi says.
His challenge is to distinguish Water Joe from the 50 or so bottled
water labels that can crowd supermarket shelves. Mr. Marcheschi's
solution: He wants stores to place the drink closer to coffee items on
That kind of talk is a jolt to people in the coffee industry.
Robert Nelson, president of the National Coffee Association of
America, took a long pause and could only respond "What?" when a reporter
described Water Joe. Mr. Nelson and others in the beverage industry
could not recall a drink like it; Mr. Nelson went so far as to call Water
"People don't just drink coffee for the caffeine," he said, after
gathering his thoughts. "They drink it for the overall experience of
coffee, which includes aroma and taste."
Water Joe has received corporate approval for shelf space in many
Piggly Wiggly, Pick 'n Save, Target and Walgreens stores in the Midwest.
The company also is test marketting five-gallon water cooler refills
of Water Joe in offices.
Nicolet Forest and Johnny Beverage also are working to produce a
one-litre bottle and a pop-up sports nozzle to replace the twist cap by
© 1996 Peter Langston