Meet the co-founders of CanO Water
Hi Josh, Ariel and Perry, please tell us about the creators behind CanO Water.
We’re three close friends who grew up in the same town.
With over a decade of experience in branding and graphic design, Perry decided to apply his skills to his new venture. With the vision of creating a product that has an impact visually as well as functionally for the environment, Perry teamed up with his good friends Ariel and Josh to help further develop the idea and launch CanO Water.
Ariel has a background in the city where he was a headhunter scouting programmers and quant researchers for hedge funds and banks globally. After helping to bring the concept to life, he left his job to focus full time on CanO Water as he saw a gap in the market and was keen to educate people on the benefits of using aluminum vs plastic.
Josh's background lies in the events and nightlife industry, with experience in marketing and having previously run a successful events company, Josh saw a perfect fit within the vision of CanO Water and his passion for the healthy lifestyle.
Sustainability is a big deal right now, so very excited for what you’ve all created. What was the inspiration behind it?
The inspiration was twofold, initially to bring the bottled water market into the 21st century by using more sustainable alternatives to plastic but also to create something what looked good and functioned well! All in all, to create something with a purpose and not just another brand that slipped into an already saturated market.
CanO Water was created to reduce the impact plastic bottles have on the environment by being 100% recyclable, and resealable. Our aluminium cans be recycled and back on the shelf as fast as 6 weeks after they have been recycled.
What was the process like from concept to launch?
It was a fairly difficult process as none of us came from a beverage producing background; there was a lot of liaising with can manufacturers and people from the industry, as well as making sure everything was legally compliant. We were so intent on creating this product that after all it didn’t take too long. We developed some concept samples that we went to Selfridges with who gave us our first order. 5 months later we were stocked on the shelves.
How did you feel when you received your first sample?
It was a real feeling of accomplishment that we managed to turn an idea into an actual thing! But at the same time it was pretty scary as we had 300,000 units initially made and knew we needed to shift them.
What is your favourite thing to do when you’re not running CanO Water?
Running CanO Water has become somewhat of a 24/7 job! If we’re not in the office we’re out at events networking or just trying to meet new people. We all love to keep fit and go to the gym so we try and fit that in as much as possible as well as generally being quite outdoorsy and try to escape the city as much as we can.
How did you all fund the business in the beginning?
We used our own money until we found investment. It wasn’t a great deal but it was definitely a commitment…
Do you have plans to introduce any more sustainable alternatives?
Defiantly, we’re planning on building a whole range of exciting products but we don’t want to give away too much right now… watch this space.
What has been the most exciting and the most challenging experience so far?
Most exciting has been delivering cans directly to HRH The Duke of York at Buckingham Palace. Ariel even got to sit and have tea in the Queens chambers!
The most challenging is definitely the distribution and logistics of running a drinks company, things can go wrong quickly and you need to try and keep your cool.
What are your top tips for marketing a food brand?
We believe that engaging with your customer is really important, through sampling and events we’re able to meet and educate our target audience and educate them on the benefits of CanO Water.
We also take great pride in what we do and ensure everything we put out is at a high quality.
How would you define being a young entrepreneur?
Being a young entrepreneur is fun and exciting but also one of the most challenging experiences there is.. you need to be able to adapt quickly and teach yourself things you never thought you would need to do. It’s basically being a jack of all trades. Every day is a different day which also keeps you on your toes!
What plans do you have for CanO Water over the next 12 months?
Right now we’re looking into different can sizes & flavors to hopefully launch this year. But before that we want to make sure that we are the go-to alternative to single use plastic bottles and that means being next to every plastic bottle on the shelves being sold.