QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS - LIFESTYLIGE DRINKS IN INTERVIEW
Michael Brandt, Kees van Tol and Kai Rebhan founded LifeStyle Drinks GmbH in 2015. With great expertise and just as much enthusiasm, the three entrepreneurs sell non-alcoholic premium and functional drinks as well as exotic spirits to customers all over the world who appreciate something special.
If you love lifestyle and functional premium drinks, you can't get past "LifeStyleDrinks". Why is that?
Quite simply because we are the supplier with the broadest and, above all, most exciting portfolio. We fill a vacuum: with us, customers can already find 40 international brands with around 250 products, most of which they would otherwise never have come across. These are niche products - mainstream doesn't interest us. And in the not too distant future we will present 100 brands with 1000 products - we promise!
When will a drink be allowed to join your "LifeStyleDrinks"?
We have several glasses on when it comes to selection: First and foremost, we look for high-quality products with great taste. In addition, there should be great packaging that meets our ecological standards. And last but not least, we look for people who are good to work with and fun to be around. Those who score with real innovations are not always the big ones, but often the small ones.
Where do you look for innovations?
On the Internet, at trade fairs, on trips - we are definitely something like truffle pigs in a market that is constantly on the move. Many new trends come from the USA or also from Great Britain, with London as the hub. Germany is unfortunately several years behind here! Other nations are much more open-minded, because their primary concern is not just to quench their thirst. Nevertheless - among our bestsellers are definitely the premium water varieties. Water, as the healthy basis of any diet.
But your customers also come from Germany?
Also, but not only. Our company is perfect in the sector called "omnichannel distribution." We sell 360°, so to speak - to end customers as well as to wholesalers, all the way to importers based on another continent. Online and offline. We develop trends further or set them ourselves.
Which trends are currently important?
Only fruit is 90s, coconut water has long been mainstream - what excites us are new types of performance drinks and coffee drinks that play with extremely unusual mixtures. The many alternative milks on the market also have a lot of potential for development. Seedlip, the first non-alcoholic spirit, has been particularly successful.
What about the production of your own drinks?
The nucleus of LifeStyleDrinks is, in a way, our own beauty drink OCÓO, which won all the industry and design awards as the best functional drink shortly after its launch in 2011. Now our red beauty-berry mix is available in a brand new, deposit-free glass bottle with a sexy design, and we are currently conquering the Arabian market with it. Since we now have a lot of expertise, we are sure that in three years' time there will certainly be ten of our own products in the overall range.
Why is the Aloe Vera drink Allure preferred by the disciplined type and the Puerto Matea by those who appreciate harmony?
Today, target group research is no longer just about sociodemographic groups, but a lot about brain research - keyword "neuromarketing".
There are certain motives and values that are anchored very deeply in people. The subconscious has a lot to do with our purchasing decisions, and so we have defined various target groups or keywords for our lifestyle-drinks.online platform, to which we can tailor our products and communication, so that customers can find their new favorite products even though they don't know them yet.
What particularly appeals to you about your job?
We get bored quickly. However, through LifeStyleDrinks we are constantly dealing with innovations and exciting people. We also see ourselves as an incubator: as a kind of business angel, we want to support young talents and help them develop their ideas and bring them to market. That's where almost all of them fail.
About the founders of LifeStyleDrinks
Michael Brandt (60) - The Strategist
Over the past 40 years, he has worked in all areas involving food and drinks: gastronomy, large events, manufacturing and distribution. First as a manager in medium-sized companies and the international industry, and since 2001 as an entrepreneur.
Kees van Tol (50) - The diplomat
Due to his multilingualism and Dutch roots, he is at home all over the world. Briefly employed in trading, since 1998 he has built up the convenience company named after him to great market importance in the Netherlands and Europe and has been working with Michael Brandt on various projects since 2004.
Kai Rebhan (36) - the hands-on creative
As a studied media designer, he can implement a lot of creative work in the company himself, which saves money and, above all, time! Young and dynamic, he also had the idea for the first beauty drink OCÓO in 2010, since then he has been working as an entrepreneur with his two partners.