Beverage Startups

bfresh spitiko – The handmade refreshment born in Greece

bfresh spitiko - The handmade refreshment born in GreeceNowadays, consumers are looking for healthier choices, when it comes to refreshments. Sugars and preservatives are just a couple of ingredients customers are trying to avoid. Bfresh spitiko, a Greece based refreshment brand focused on healthy lifestyle. Today I have the pleasure to speak to Vasileios Roubis, founder of bfresh spitiko.

1. Your business values healthy lifestyle and handmade products. What inspired you to start this business? How did the idea of creating beverages come to mind?

My passion for sports and healthy lifestyle drove me to become a tennis coach. Always seeking out new opportunities, I also engaged with the water treatment systems in the field of food service. Connecting these two different areas I came up with the idea of a handmade beverage made from fresh Greek fruits without sugar and preservatives. My home kitchen became soon a laboratory where different recipes were made and tested by my partners and friends. It was then when one of my partners asked me “Why don’t you turn this idea into a real product?” That was the moment I was inspired bfresh spitiko.

Soon I’ve discovered that standard choices in the menus of HO.RE.CA. sector were limited and were lacking of healthy and handmade products. Also, in cases were fresh juices were offered, there was the need of maintaining a variety of fresh fruits and valuable time for preparation.

I leveraged the opportunity to provide for the 1st time a handmade refreshment with freshly squeezed taste that businesses could easily and quickly mix it and offer it to consumers. A new disruptive concept that offers a healthy and fresh choice through an appealing and stylish packaging.

I started then to offer, at a small scale, to selected partners bfresh mix made from fresh fruits and experimenting further with recipes and ingredients. I’ve always being passionate about handmade and real products, I truly believe that everything made by hand and with real materials, people will enjoy and love it.

bfresh spitiko - The handmade refreshment born in Greece2. There are 3 product families available in 9 unique flavors. Could you tell us more about them? What kind of similarities and differences do they have?

Through taste explorations and with a vision to leverage the wealth of fresh citrus fruits by selected bio farming producers across Greece, we crafted unique refreshments, offering a “freshly squeezed” taste experience. bfresh is not just another refreshment but an innovative concept.

Bfresh inspires a community of healthy lifestyle by following sustainable business practices, offering superior quality, artisan, handmade beverages. All our beverages have something in common; they don’t contain added sugars and preservatives.

Also, many stages of the production process are handmade such as the zest and squeeze of citrus fruit and they contain unique blends of fresh fruit and ingredients, full of antioxidants. What differentiates bfresh beverages is the different blend of natural ingredients that define 3 product families:

The organic family includes lemonade with agave & ginger and chilly lemonade.

The low-calorie family contains lemonade with ginger, lemonade with Chios mastic and pomegranate with green tea. Indicatively, lemonade with ginger contains only 5 kcal per serving. And the no added sugar family, which has naturally occuring sugars contains pomegranate with greek mountain tea (caffeine free), apple with camomile, apple with bergamot and sour cherry with grapes.

3. Bfresh spitiko are handmade refreshments available in 100% recyclable glass bottles. Why this is important for your target market?

For us one of the reasons that bfresh is a success story is the innovative packaging. We’re offering to target market (HO.RE.CA.) a smart and unique product that brings storage, money and energy saving. This way we can respond to specific needs of food & beverage establishments that look for a premium quality product. Another factor that raised the demand is the bfresh jar. Bfresh is served in an elegant and attractive way -in a sophisticated- jar that is signed with a special measurer. The measurer indicates the suggested mix dose where water (mineral or sparkling) is added. The mix for preparation is available in 100% recyclable glass bottles with shelf life of 12 to 18 months. Each bfresh mix saves the environment from 25 RTD bottles. Also, it can be stored without refrigeration and after opening it is stored in the refrigerator for up to 20 days.

4. Today, bfesh spitiko is available only in Greece, Cyprus and Germany. Do you have plans to expand and offer these products to other Europe countries? If yes, to which countries?

Till now it turns out that bfresh is a highly competitive product for expansion to foreign countries. We continually receive positive feedback, especially during our participation in big European trade fairs of food and beverage sector. We are in initial stages, although there is rising trend across Europe towards bio, handmade and without sugar products. Premium quality and innovative packaging of bfresh is constantly gaining exposure. Our current target is mainly Europe and in the long-term USA.

5. Bfresh spitiko operates in HO.RE.CA sector. What are the main benefits and difficulties operating in this sector?

The fact that we operate mainly in HO.RE.CA. plays a key role to the growth of the company. We offer a unique product with special characteristics that responds directly to market needs. It is actually designed to help and bring value to HO.RE.CA. sector. bfresh was introduced to the Greek market and became in a few months the must have for distributors & favorite drink for consumers. It has “disrupted” the traditional menus by adding the category of handmade beverages. So, I’d say that among the benefits are: low competition, many opportunities and the potential of a strong and dynamic network that can support bfresh future endeavors.

Regarding difficulties I’d mostly emphasize to spreading across the industry the concept around our products. The road here isn’t paved with petals because is hard to launch new products in the competitive landscape of beverages market. However, when a partner, re-seller or final consumer gets into bfresh philosophy, then becomes a loyal fan and gladly communicates our values.

bfresh spitiko - The handmade refreshment born in Greece6. Do you have plans to enter retail sector? Why?

We receive such positive feedback from people across the globe. Every day we have several requests on our emails about where can someone drink bfresh. Even people that come to Greece for vacations, are wondering when is going to be available to their country. We deeply respect and listen to consumers demand that helps us to affirm and refine our products. We consider retail a very interesting distribution channel and we’re preparing a specific product, tailored to final consumer needs. We mostly target deli and bio markets.

7. What advice can you give to those who have an idea but might not have enough courage to start their own beverage company?

I think the most important elements that should be kept under consideration are: quality product, attractive packaging, credibility, persistence and willingness to take action.

For more information visit bfresh spitiko website.

About Ugne Butkute

Ugnė Butkutė is a project manager at DrinkPreneur. Ugnė is responsible for attracting contributors, maintaining quality of content and keeping readers satisfied with DrinkPreneur

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