North Sydney Times
5 November 2014
North Sydney duo, Drew Bilbe and Troy Douglas have stepped up their “drinking wild and free” mantra with the nationwide debut of Nexba Beverages in Coles Express and Coles supermarkets in November.
In what began as a bootstrapping process, eventually became the fastest growing beverage brand in Australia making up the third-largest market share in Australia’s ice tea industry. The 100% natural beverage boasts 50% less sugar than leading competitors and sustainable packaging that is designed to be more than just a “can in a hand”.
Exponential growth in Petrol and Convenience (P&C) has now led the young start-up to a 4.8% market share with a 36% growth rate.
“Three years ago, we set up our own canning line with the help of family and friends. Today, we have our own office and are preparing for our biggest ever launch into Coles Supermarkets – we’re pinching ourselves,” say the Nexba founders.
Based in the iconic Bayer building in North Sydney, the local entrepreneurs believe it’s now time “to play with the big boys in grocery.”
“The vibe in North Sydney is really conducive to what we want to achieve since it’s such an exciting hub,” says Bilbe.
“North Sydney gave us the chance to step up our game in this corporate district and provided us with a valuable support network to both mentors and trade partners.”
“We were fortunate to grow up with mentors who are classic entrepreneurs and real industry leaders – having that strong base was really a driving key to our success.”
Early clients of the low-sugar, canteen-approved ice tea range included North Sydney Boys and North Sydney’s beloved Treehouse Café but their client base has grown to include large retail names such as Virgin Airlines, 7-Eleven and now Coles.
“After launching in 7-Eleven, we took a stagnant category to 26% growth and added incremental sales by pulling in traditional soft drinkers and energy drinkers to this healthier alternative.”
“Our approach is both real and honest – we are genuinely passionate about creating more opportunities for Australians to jump on the healthy drinking bandwagon especially within the sugar-saturated market,” says Douglas.
The current range features Life’s A Peach, Sparkling Cherry Lime and Watermelon, and the Aussie pair are launching Brewnette – a natural cola with green coffee extract using bold, unroasted Arabica coffee beans.
“As beverage innovators, we are always looking to bring out new trends and product developments – we want to be a brand that excites consumers to drinking healthy both locally and overseas.”
NEXBA X TREEHOUSE COCKTAIL
RED MELON MARGUERITA RECIPE
45ml Gold Tequila
15ml Watermelon Liqueur
15ml Pomegranate Sugar Syrup
30ml Lemon Juice
60ml Nexba Watermelon Iced tea
Fresh Cubes of watermelon all blended together with a Herb and salt crusted rim!