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How I Started an Innovative Bottled Water Company

Howdy, my identify is Seán Moran. I am the founder of EauLab® which a start-up beverage brand decided to evolve the worldwide bottled water category with a variety of body-helpful waters firmly rooted within the shortly rising sphere of health and wellness. 

The ‘eau’ part of EauLab® comes from the French word for water and the model is pronounced: oh-lab. A couple of issues drove me to discover and pursue this area. 

The bottled water sector as an entire has been sluggish in maintaining with a shortly altering market. Little actual attention is being paid to growing shopper demand for functionality, water is primarily bought in plastic packaging, and continues to be being transported hundreds of miles. It’s shortly turning into a case of bottled water needing to evolve, or develop into irrelevant.

The Story of EauLab®

As shoppers worldwide seek more from their beverages past flavor and hydration, our brand mission is to deliver nature and science together. So as to add actual worth to water with plant-based functionality and different uncooked components which might be useful to the human physique the best way Mother Nature meant. And to offer these waters in packaging that’s each sustainable and aware of the setting. 

Lineup of EauLab® Healthy Water Beverages.

Contrary to traditional soda improvement considering where a drinks range is often defined by numerous flavors, our SKUs are developed, differentiated and pitched by body perform. Once we do use taste, it’s 100% natural and delicate as we’re in the beginning, a water model.

Our market-entry strategy is usually daring and brave, with a small pinch of probably loopy. That’s, to roadshow this Brand and staff up with a multi-national beverage firm from the outset who will help deliver this Model to market shortly and in a meaningful means.

What are your ballpark monthly or annual revenue numbers?

Since we are in roadshow mode to get the brand some exposure, and companion, we are pre-trading – as in, we haven’t bought a single can of water. 

The only metric I can supply is the sampling take-rate at our first exhibition, IFE.  The Intestine Help Water was such successful, we had individuals coming again to the stand every morning for an additional can.  By the morning of Day 2, our stand inventory was utterly out and had to hop in a automotive and cross London to gather more from the AirBnB we have been staying in.  In 4 days, we acquired by way of 978 cans. That is a whole lot of cans to handle – and a variety of speaking!

What’s your backstory and how did you provide you with the thought?

I used to be born in Chicago to Irish mother and father and returned to Eire as a child.  After college in Dublin, I acquired on a aircraft to NYC with an American passport to get into the promoting agency world.

It was a profession selection I adored and rose up by way of the ranks of account management at international businesses Saatchi & Saatchi, Ogilvy, TBWA. No day was the identical, every shopper assorted very in another way – a meeting for detergent within the morning, and chocolate or cookies within the afternoon. 

That is the place I discovered concerning the energy of the brand and how it can successfully differentiate you from the competitors on many levels. It’s additionally where I discovered about what I consider to be probably the most highly effective concept in advertising – focus. 

Of not being scared of doing one factor properly, of appealing to at least one sort of buyer. When a beacon shines shiny, like moths to a flame, one can find many other several types of clients being interested in your brand – they could even characterize a much larger proportion of your quantity than your core customer.

Arriving at EauLab® was truly fairly a journey for me and the method was typically shaped by issues past my control. I created a speciality leaf tea brand a number of years in the past for distribution in main supermarket chains.

On the very start, I spent most days filling my little automotive to the ceiling with cartons and driving to each individual grocery store, checking goods in, bringing them to the floor and stacking the cabinets myself.

A really humble beginning nevertheless it positive exhibits you shortly what’s selling, what’s not, and which are your robust markets. Sadly, I ‘d gotten right into a business with a companion I didn’t know nicely and whose conduct was decidedly erratic. The state of affairs turned untenable, and ended. It was a very troublesome period.

This is when my interest in ready-to-drink tea, fairly than tea leaves, kicked in and I started to explore a health benefits angle in an incubator program who discovered some benefit in the initial considering. I typically joke now with the program director that I walked in with one concept which was challenged each approach attainable and came out with another.

This is the place EauLab® was born and that too is a continued means of learning and creating.

Take us by way of the method of creating and testing your water drinks?

I debuted EauLab® at the biennial Worldwide Food & Drink Occasion 2019 commerce present in London which is the most important exhibition of its sort in the UK. Preparing for it was probably probably the most challenging and intense durations of my life. 

Next Era Water.

Having booked an area at the show with an event organizer, I put the telephone down and took a deep breath in the realization that there was simply 8 months to take an early concept and turn it into a totally flushed out brand, with real product to sample so that others might see and contact the vision.

A basic case of leaping from the high-board after which determining what to do on the best way down.

With my advertising hat on, I reside by one motto – it’s not what you do, it’s how you do it.  So how the model is perhaps expressed was of paramount significance.

I approached a young design staff in Poland (we’ve got but to satisfy in individual) who had helped me on one other undertaking and so the process of sharing my imaginative and prescient in very rough sketches began. The will from the outset was clear – easy, daring, lovely and act in another way from other beverage manufacturers.

It’s not what you do. It’s the way you do it.

There have been two essential features in creating the EauLab® Body vary. Firstly, I looked at scorching subjects within the health and wellness sectors corresponding to gut well being, immune wellness, healthier power, free-from, vegan and clean label in order that a variety had shopper relevance.

Secondly, and by far the most important challenge was to discover a firm who might produce a minimum beverage run for sampling on the trade show.

Capacity of canning strains within the UK is critically stretched so discovering a slot was an enormous problem. I might afford to supply one drink so we determined to go together with our Intestine Help Water because it was a scorching matter that may be recent storytelling at IFE, and so it was.

Intestine Help Water.

I noticed pictures of real product for the primary time on a Friday afternoon standing within the airport security line on the brink of fly from Ireland to the UK for IFE as the cans have been being packed into the boot of my sisters automotive…with the trade present beginning two days afterward Sunday.

It was a bit of a shock to see that the white background of the can sleeve paintings had not been printed but I used to be just relieved to have something to pattern…the show must all the time go on! And, the error gave me another concept. 

Describe the method of launching the business.

Intellectual property (IP) was one of many first things on the to-do record.  From the moment the EauLab® identify was a eureka moment, trade mark purposes can be submitted every time the cash would permit. I can’t emphasize sufficient the significance of this facet for any business.  

EauLab® Emblem

Long before a product vary and packaging design have been nailed down, social media for EauLab® started. I felt it was important to start out the story as early as potential.

It’s a bit like speaking about your café long before the doorways have opened. It’s an amazing alternative to elucidate why you’re doing what you’re doing and to slowly unfold the brand viewpoint. It also signifies that your postings are build up which brings a specific amount of gravitas when others have a browse. They will get an instantaneous really feel for the brand and the way it is totally different.

We use an internet site template from Wix which may easily be custom-made and maintained ourselves. It presents control, flexibility and may be changed simply because the brand evolves and as we get slightly smarter.

How we do it.

An enormous lesson in the course of thus far is to not wait till every part is ‘good’. 

I am a Virgo and have perfectionist tendencies but balancing this with speedy execution is crucial. Are issues ever good? I feel not. However the quicker you execute, the quicker you will study and have the ability to tweak and push on.

Since launch, what has worked to draw and retain clients?

The World Meals Innovation Awards (WFIA) are held along side the IFE commerce exhibition and I felt it was a terrific opportunity to test the brand and see what 14 unbiased judges situated everywhere in the world needed to say. I additionally seen it as a advertising effort and a good way to get the brand some attention. 

With finances restraints, the model was entered into just three classes and the decide’s response was goosebump-making. 

EauLab® achieved finalist for the three classes it entered: Greatest Model, Greatest Drink Idea and Greatest Well being & Wellness Drink. I nonetheless get goosebumps. 

From that, curiosity within the brand by retail consumers and distributors from everywhere in the world has ignited which is a superb vote of confidence and a pleasant option to open a dialogue. Journalists too, latched on in a short time.

How are you doing in the present day and what does the longer term appear to be?

To go from 0-60, shortly, includes discovering the proper partnership from the very beginning. So energies at the moment are spent getting the model on the market, partaking in dialogue and seeing how we’d associate.

We have now created one thing extremely differentiated, completely related and stand out in a cluttered area – which I feel will attraction to an enormous company who seeks to be progressive but the place the company setting doesn’t all the time lend itself to creating something recent and distinctive.

Simply after IFE 2019 in London, we have been approached by Ecotrophelia Next Meals Era and invited to apply to showcase at Anuga October Fifth-9th, 2019, which is the most important food and beverage trade present on the planet happening this yr in Cologne, Germany.

Ecotrophelia Next Food Era aims to collect probably the most progressive food ideas and after a rigorous software and selection course of, we just came upon that EauLab® was successful in being chosen to exhibit in the future tendencies pavilion.

We are slotted for the Anuga Horizon 2050 area inside the show which highlights the most important meals tendencies we’ll expertise by 2050 with new applied sciences – and visionary considering. A huge honor. 

We’ll present the debut EauLab® Body range, however the product improvement thought course of by no means ceases. More than ever, I consider a brand of stature must have the ability to compete in a multi-channel setting.

To determine a approach that fits within a master brand assemble yet manages to be related to very totally different shopper segments by offering options which might be tightly tailored to them. We’ll take the Anuga alternative to introduce EauLab® Athlete and EauLab® Youngsters with body-helpful waters firmly rooted in plant-based and pure uncooked components.

Smiling Water.

That is just the tip of the iceberg. In the future, I see a world where we’ll all select a water for a physical, psychological or emotional need. For a time of day. For a mood. To deal with stress, to sleep, to focus…maybe even to recollect. A water that may range upon our gender, our genetic disposition, our stage of life.

What. Why. How.

EauLab® has additionally ignited interest inside the beverage business. I’ll be going immediately from the Anuga present and flying to Dubai as an invited guest speaker on the International Bottled Water Congress.

It’s a veritable who’s-who within the area and will probably be exciting to talk concerning the model and see what opportunities or partnerships may exist forward.

Via starting the beverage enterprise, what have you ever discovered?

I’ve discovered probably the most by making mistakes.

One specific mistake has all the time stuck with me. It was a first and essential assembly with the grocery purchaser of one of many largest retailers within the UK and Eire.

While the product was superlative to anything on the cabinets on the time, the model concept we’d ended up with after a lengthy exploratory was rubbing me the improper approach. My intestine just felt it wasn’t proper and as with many start-ups, we didn’t have the time, price range or assets to do some unbiased research.

The interior debate raged inside the workforce until something needed to give approach to avoid an deadlock. So I agreed that we might current the model as it was…on condition…that we might have various course in-hand which I developed within days.

Within the meeting, the customer nodded all the best way.  Agreed on the ‘why’ and ‘what’. However when it got here to the ‘how’, she shook her head and stated it wasn’t a path she was snug with.

I knew full properly that this second might be the one alternative to proceed a dialogue in the direction of attaining an inventory and getting on shelves. I reached beneath the desk and placed the alternative concept on the table. The customer instantly smiled and exclaimed “Yes, that’s extra prefer it!”

So, what I discovered from this – firstly, even with the most effective intentions and skillset be prepared to get it fallacious. Take heed to your intestine intuition. Don’t be afraid to vary course, shortly. 

And, most significantly, all the time keep in mind that consumers are captivated by manufacturers as people, not as consumers.

What platform/tools do you employ for what you are promoting? What kitchen or cooking utensils or gear you couldn’t reside with out?

My biggest luxurious of the day is that first espresso within the morning.  Refusing to embrace capsule-culture, I exploit a basic stove prime Bialetti Moka Categorical first designed in 1933.  

The Bialetti Moka Categorical in all her glory.

I work from the west coast of Eire with a telephone and laptop computer which make the world appear to be a small and related place. I thank Steve Jobs, day by day.

What have been probably the most influential books, podcasts?

That’s straightforward – The Do Ebook Firm, a publishing home based mostly in London who produces inspirational pocket guides for artistic entrepreneurs, makers and doers. ‘The thought is an easy one: that individuals who do issues, can encourage the rest of us to go and do superb issues too.’ 

The Do Ebook Company

‘Ogilvy on Promoting’ can also be a favorite pick-up on occasion. I used to be very fortunate to satisfy David when working at Ogilvy NY.

I was first introduced to him as he waited for the elevator sporting a well-worn tweed jacket, attribute pink suspenders (‘braces’ over here as suspenders mean one thing altogether totally different), and leather-based briefcase with an exquisite chestnut patina.  

“Are they paying you adequate?”, he requested. Stunned and flustered, I uttered “Yes, I feel so.”  He smiled as the elevator doorways closed and off he went. Amusing that this e-book cover now has a strapline “I hate guidelines.” That was David.

‘Ogilvy on Promoting”

Recommendation for different meals and beverage entrepreneurs who’re just beginning out?

My foodie buddies obsess about…the meals. That may be a perfectly natural and needed. Make it delicious, make it fantastic, make it one of the best that it can be.

Nevertheless, as a model man, I’d need to profer that that is just a jumping-off point in case you are starting a business.

Many moons in the past, I discovered and have never forgotten an previous saying within the advertising company business and it applies superbly to anyone starting a meals business. Elmer Wheeler coined it in 1937 and it’s sensible in its relevance immediately: “Don’t sell the steak, sell the sizzle”. 

So start to look how you’ll make the expertise totally different. This may be little things like presentation which value little, however are observed by your clients and converse volumes that you simply care.

One little café that simply opened near where I stay presents probably the most superb picnic box to-go with Irish cheeses, Irish chilly meats, sourdough bread, chutney.  All pleasant. The icing on the proverbial cake is the recycled brown cardboard box, recycled brown paper serviette, the eco-friendly picket utensils, all tied up with a bit piece of brown string. Tiny detail, large constructive notion…and absolutely nothing needed to be stated.

My parting words are this: opportunity exists in even probably the most well-trodden areas. It’s our job as creators to craft something new in even probably the most crowded or tired sectors. Because a transparent and extremely distinctive expression rises like a phoenix from the ashes…and your clients will see as it completely recent, and totally different. And so the cycle continues. 

All the time keep in mind, it’s not what you do, it’s the way you do it. 

The place to study extra

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