An interview with David Meniane, owner of Victoria's Kitchen.
In case you missed it, Phil Lempert named Victoria's Kitchen Organic Ginger Lemonade a Pick of the Week for Phil's Food Reviews! We followed up with David Meniane, owner of Victoria's Kitchen, to gain more insight in how this great product was developed. Here he shares with us how his company transformed traditional lemonade, what went into making his lemonade unique, and how he is educating himself more on ways to be more sustainable.
What inspired you to create your new product? Is there a particular niche or segment of the market you were focusing on?
I've always been a fan of the traditional American lemonade. When we decided to expand our line, I quickly realized that most lemonades on the market had either 55-60g+ of sugars per bottle or were made with zero-calorie sweetener. I wanted something in between that was delicious but also refreshing, so we set out to create our modern interpretation of the lemonade. With only 18g of sugar per 16oz, it has between 60-70% less sugar than the average lemonade.
What makes your product different and able to stand out against similar ones? How important has differentiation been in developing this product?
We are not a full-calorie lemonade or a diet lemonadw. We are the only company that offers a real lemonade with real organic lemon juice and real cane sugar, just much less of it. Only 9g per 8oz. The beverage market is competitive and differentiation is key.
What was the process like of designing your package, and how do you feel the final result has impacted perceptions of your product?
When designing the package for our low cal Organic Ginger Lemonade, we wanted to keep the same look that has made the Victoria's Kitchen brand successful but also really wanted a bottle that would stand out on the shelves. We really spent some time on picking the yellow we wanted to use for the background. We wanted something that said refreshing and clean but also kept the vintage look of our brand.
Does your product have relevant health attributes? What are they?
Yes, our lemonade includes 5g of organic, cold-pressed ginger and real cayenne pepper. Both these ingredients have been shown to have tremendous health benefits for hundreds of years. I stay away from making too many health claims, but ginger has been shown to have drastic effects on inflammation, indigestion, pain and cholesterol.
What sustainability efforts have you made with your product/packaging?
To be honest, sustainability has not been on the forefront of our company, simply because I never spent the time to educate myself enough. Over the last six months, I've spent more time doing research on the subject and decided to introduce our products in 12oz aluminum cans. The weight difference makes a huge difference on the amount of fuel we consume to move the product and cans are 100% recyclable. Our cans will be available for pre-order in November 2015 on our website.
Through creating a new product, what would you say were the most difficult parts of the process and what came the easiest?
When developing new products, we walk a fine line between creating a product that is innovative enough to stand out but also conventional enough to find its market right away. If a company wants to stay in business, it needs products that will first and foremost sell.
Developing new products in a long-term game, we try to be patient and try many different things before locking a formula. Also, each product is always a work in progress and we're constantly re-evaluating existing products for potential improvements.
Anything you would change if you were starting from scratch again?
I'm very happy with the lemonade we created. It has the perfect amount of sweetness, high quality ingredients and a little kick. I wouldn't change a thing.
Besides your product, what's one out on the market that you admire?
Big fan of LaCroix Sparkling water. In terms of positioning, pricing and taste, I think they are a great example to follow.