Beverage Startups

The Plug Drink – Say Goodbye to Hangovers

The Plug Drink - Say Goodbye to HangoversAttractive packaging and promising ingredient list? Yes, I am talking about the new player in the recovery drinks category. The Plug is an anti-hangover beverage product created by The Kim Bros. Today, I have the pleasure of talking with Ray and Justin Kim, Co-Founders of The Plug.

1. How did you come up with the idea of creating The Plug?

Raised in an entrepreneurial household, we were inherently curious and always coming up with new business ventures. From a young age, we were always together and still do everything together, challenging and improving each other in sports or in school. With a background in playing collegiate baseball, and with a work hard, play hard mentality, we began to seek a healthier alternative to boost productivity to support our lifestyle choices. Three years ago, we saw that there was a growing demand for a hangover solution, but a limited supply of truly effective hangover recovery products available in the U.S. This imbalance was an opportunity to bring a proven alternative from Korea and share it with the U.S. consumers. Together, we created The Plug.

This is where the mission of creating the perfect recovery drink began, and how The Plug evolved from concept to reality. From interviewing manufacturers, to tasting 50+ different iterations of the drink, to partnering up with a marketing agency to create our brand identity and website build, to successfully launching our product on Indiegogo, to going live on our website.  We are truly thankful for what we have accomplished in 2019, and are excited to see what 2020 holds for us as a team and a company.

2. The Plug consists of 13 different herb plants. Can you tell us more about the mixture and benefits of these ingredients?

The Plug is an all-natural recovery drink that helps detox your liver and boost your productivity the following day after a night of drinking. Our unique formula contains a superior mix with 13 natural herbal ingredients that help restore, recover, and recharge your body. These ingredients were carefully selected after years of research and development and millions of dollars invested not only in the proprietary formula, but also in the proprietary state-of-the-art distillation process.

The Plug Drink - Say Goodbye to Hangovers

Utilizing South Korea’s expansive ecological area, The Plug sources pure bedrock water from the foot of the Unak Mountain in Pocheon. The ingredient list includes DHM (oriental raisin tree), dandelion, chrysanthemum, and honeysuckle, which work together to support the breakdown of alcohol in the body and help your liver to flush toxins in a speedy fashion. In clinical research trials, The Plug was shown to significantly reduce specific hangover symptoms including sleepiness, headaches, vomiting, dizziness, and nausea.

3. I have to admit, there is a little resemble of Soylent when it comes to packaging design. Do you think consumers may mix up your product with Soylent’s line?

We do not believe consumers will mix up The Plug with Soylent since we are in different beverage spaces to begin with. Soylent is in the meal replacement category; whereas, The Plug is in the anti-hangover recovery drink category. We target a different customer base that might actually overlap, which is a net positive to our Company.

4. The creation of a good-tasting beverage isn’t easy. What difficulties did you face during the development process?

For The Plug’s fantastic flavor, we honed down the taste for 8 months going back and forth with our manufacturer in Korea to make sure it would be the best in the market. The main root of our superior taste actually boils down to our proprietary formula and proprietary state-of-the-art distillation process. Narrowing down the taste to one light, crisp, and tropical flavor that would resonate well with the consumer. This was a top priority of ours since we were introducing a new product into an emerging industry. From our own personal experiences as a consumer, we knew that the first impression would be reflected in our packaging design and taste of The Plug.

5. Every milestone is very important. What would you say is The Plug’s biggest achievement so far?

As a company, we are most proud of turning an idea on a whiteboard into a company with 10 employees and we are continuing to grow each month. We are also very proud to have companies like Amazon, Alibaba, and Google personally reach out to have our product on their platform or to offer services to assist us better.

The Plug Drink - Say Goodbye to Hangovers6. What is the biggest goals set for 2020?

The biggest goals set for The Plug in 2020 would be scaling online and offline both domestically and internationally. We would ultimately like to secure a national big retailer contract by the end of 2020. Our ultimate goal this year is to get The Plug into the hands of as many consumers as we can, so that every consumer or potential consumer can enhance their productivity in whatever form that may be, and eventually become an essential part of our customers’ lifestyle.

7. What advice would you have given yourself before you started out in the beverage business?

If we had to start over, what we would have done differently is to A/B test more within our pre-launch stage on what worked and what didn’t work. We realized the more you A/B test the quicker you are able to find out the benefits of certain ads vs others. Also, one of us should have had a Computer Science degree that would have helped a lot as well.

For more information visit The Plug’s 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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