Meet the founders of What A Melon
Hey! Thank you so much for taking part. What makes What a Melon so special?
No problem at all, nice to meet you. What A Melon is a delicious naturally hydrating watermelon water packed full of electrolytes, antioxidant lycopene and muscle-loving amino acid citruline.
I am completely in love with the concept of your website. What was the creative process like?
Thank you! The product was conceptualised, recipe developed and packaging designed all in-house and a local branding agency helped us create the wider brand and marketing materials. The agency helping inject a load of fun into everything, including the website!
What was the production process like with What a Melon? Did you run into any hiccups?
It took us a year to develop the drink and work out a production process that protected the ingredients and maximised the nutrient content whilst giving the drink a 6 month shelf-life. We spent a lot of time on the development and I think we tasted around 15 different types of watermelon fruit!
A lot of people are focusing on eating and drinking healthier. How do you feel about being involved in the health movement?
We love being a part of the health mega-trend. Our mission is to create drinks that both improve consumers health and also do society some good. We’re incredibly proud to be approved as the first European ‘B Corp’ in soft drinks. B Corp is like the Fairtrade stamp but for a whole business.
Where can I find What a Melon?
We are stocked nationally in Itsu, Whole Foods, Selfridges, Planet Organic and Nuffield fitness centres. You can also buy online through our website.
Having an idea is one thing, but bringing it to life is another. How did you know it was a good move?
We spent a lot of time talking to consumers and getting product feedback. The natural hydration category is been dominated over the last few years by coconut waters but from our research we found that most of the consumers we chatted to didn't like the taste of coconut water and didn't drink it. We also spoke to retailers and wholesalers to get their buy-in and support before we produced our first production run.
Finding and securing a manufacturer must have been tricky – how did you go about sourcing the right one for you?
You're right, it was a challenging process and it took time. We initially looked at global reports listing the countries with the highest watermelon production and exports and then took it from there! We've been lucky to secure an exclusivity period too with our manufacturer.
What is the best advice you would give to other food and drink entrepreneurs like yourself?
Given how competitive the soft drinks (and FMCG) sector is I would really try to produce a product with as many unique selling points as possible to stand out from the crowd. It's also really important to make sure you have decent funding as it always ends up costing twice as much as you think and taking twice the time to make progress!
A little bit controversial, but why do you think some juice brands prefer to add the naughty stuff instead of keeping it simple and appealing?
Preservatives can extend the shelf-life quite considerably which has the obvious commercial benefits, so I can understand why some companies add them to their products. It is easier and cheaper for them to have fewer production runs with larger volumes vs a higher number of small and more expensive production runs producing products with a shorter shelf-life. We however like to keep it as close to nature as possible and What A Melon is made from just watermelons and lemons.
How did you fund the first batch of What a Melon?
We have luckily funded the product internally through historical sales of our health drink Alibi. We also raised over £110,000 through a crowdfunder campaign which provided funds for our initial product marketing.
Who designed the beautiful packaging?
My very talented colleague Aleisha designed our packaging in-house. We're very lucky we have an amazing, bright and bold fruit for inspiration!
What do we have to look forward to over the coming months?
We're focussing on expanding our distribution over the coming months and getting What A Melon into as many shops as possible. We are developing different flavour variants too and have some exciting new products in the pipeline!