Prejuvenation drink: Soochi eyes expansion of healthy ageing spritz with supermarket push in New Zealand
Soochi’s spritz is a berry spritz infused with collagen, elastin, hyaluronic acid, prebiotics, reishi and vitamin C, and is designed to aid skin and gut health.
The ready-to-drink spritz was first launched end January of 2021, into cafes, restaurants, Soochi’s online store and some supermarkets such as Farro and FreshChoice.
Within the few months, the firm has sold more than 5,000 units in New Zealand.
Soochi is now in the process of launching into several supermarket chains including Foodstuffs, New World, Pak’n’Save, Four Square, and Countdown with an expected launch in May.
Healthy ageing focus
Soochi developed the spritz as a functional beverage to cater for healthy ageing and beauty-from-within.
According to Soochi’s CEO, Tina Chou, modern society has cultivated a one-dimensional standard of beauty.
“This negative narrative is making us feel more anxious, insecure, and not adequate of ourselves.”
The firm was adamant on flipping the script and focusing on healthy ageing, instead of anti-ageing.
“We’re encouraging people to eat and drink functionally so that they can radiate wellness from within rather than focus on how they look on the outside.
“It's all about how you feel on the inside that translates to how you look on the outside. It’s about rejuvenation and prevention coming together to help people radiate wellness from them.”
Soochi was then created to be a convenient, ready-to-drink beverage that can be enjoyed on-the-go.
“We have found most people drink Soochi in the afternoons or as a great alternative to alcohol in the evenings. Most people also notice a difference in their skin and gut health within four to six weeks of continuous use (one can daily).”
Each can of Soochi spritz contains collagen to increase skin elasticity and decrease wrinkles, vitamin C to support collagen synthesis and prevent free radical damage, and dietary fibre for healthier digestion.
Alongside the functional ingredients, the spritz is a blend of sparkling water, and berries such as blackcurrant, pomegranate, raspberry, and yuzi for flavour.
Soochi is targeting two key consumer groups, which are females in their 50s and millennial females. For the latter, “ultimately, they are also our brand advocates as they share content on social media,” Chou said.
The ingredients in Soochi’s spritz such as fruits and vegetables are sourced locally in New Zealand, while items like reishi are from China and collagen from Germany.
“We try to source locally and sustainably as possible, to showcase what New Zealand has to offer,” Margie Hunt, food technologist at Soochi said.
The clinical evidence behind the functional ingredients was also important for Soochi.
For instance, its dietary fibre comes from Fibersol-2 (ADM) which has been shown to attenuate glycaemic response to carbohydrate consumption following intake of Fibersol-2. It was also found to reduce absorption of dietary triglycerides.
For collagen, Soochi sources from Gelita (branded: Verisol). Verisol has been clinically studied to reduce skin wrinkles, decrease cellulite, and improve nail strength.
Export and other business plans
Soochi is planning to export the spritz in its second year of operation, citing Australia and Singapore as potential markets.
In terms of new products, the firm is hoping to launch three products within the course of this year and expand from there.
The firm also adopts a consumer-centric approach when it comes to product development. It created a page on its website (‘co-create’) to collect feedback from consumers.
Hunt said: “We want to hear from consumers on what they want to see, allowing us to push the boundaries on products and flavours.”
Soochi was part of an accelerator programme by Sprout which offered selected companies access to mentorship, funding and investment.