Joe Gehrke and Daphne Raj, founders of ice tea manufacturer The Greenstone Drinks Co, started the business because they couldn’t find any low-sugar drinks that tasted natural. Gehrke expressed his desire to bring healthier options to the market and launch a premium coconut water.
What is your company background, how did you start the business?
“Greenstone Drinks Co. is an independent New Zealand-owned company which makes 100 percent natural, lower-sugar drinks, and has a mission to do more good than harm.”
What are the current product range and variants and how do these products stand out in the market?
“The first range from Greenstone Drinks Co. was Teza Iced Teas, which were the first real-brewed iced teas in New Zealand. Most iced teas use reconstituted powdered tea. Teza has recipes that are 40 percent lower in sugar than leading soft drinks or juices and only 85 calories per bottle. The flavour from the real brewed tea base avoids the need to add low-calorie sweeteners.”
Has there been any recent company news?
“Our big news is that we recently launched a premium coconut water, from single-source Nam Hom coconuts in Thailand. This means the water is fragrant and naturally sweet, and we believe the glass bottle protects the flavour better than tetra-paks and cans, which most other coconut waters come in. It’s a coconut water for drinking, not blending into smoothies.”
What are the plans for the business moving forward, is there any expansion on the horizon?
“As consumer concerns about health and sugar grow, we are developing new 100 percent natural, lower-sugar beverages to bring healthier, all-natural options to other beverage categories.”
Where are your products currently available to buy, and are you looking at or wanting to expand your availability? If so, where would you like to see the product situated?
“Our products are mainly available from cafes and restaurants, and some selected supermarkets.”