18 February 2015
Q&A With Troy Douglas and Drew Bilbe, Founders of Nexba
Founded by two young entrepreneurs, and old friends Nexba is Australian owned and operated and the latest obsession here at HFB. We are loving their delicious ice teas and they’re the brains behind Australia’s first ever natural cola!
Nexba is a fresh brand that’s encouraging Australians to lead a healthier lifestyle with their range of natural, low sugar, low calorie ice teas. They tapped into the often over-looked school market and have made a name for themselves with their antioxidant rich, fruit infused drinks.
We had a chat with Drew Bilbe and Troy Douglas about what it takes to start your own business and how they came to develop these amazing drinks.
What inspired you to create Nexba?
Our vision is to encourage Australians to lead a healthier lifestyle and drink better. We were first inspired to start Nexba, a natural beverage brand, when Drew tried the local ice tea in Mexico while studying abroad. The name Nexba actually comes from ‘Rio Nexpa,’ the beach where Drew was first hit with the inspiration to bring a healthy, natural, low sugar drink to the shores of Australia.
Aussies take a lot of pride in living a healthy, outdoors lifestyle and Nexba is created exactly with that in mind. All our drinks are natural, low calorie and preservative free. We want to encourage all Australians to make healthier decisions, one can at a time.
What are the health benefits of drinking Nexba in comparison to other drinks on the market?
Nexba is completely natural, preservative free, low sugar and Australian made. Our ice tea range is only 73 calories per can and contains a fraction of the sugar of other ice teas and soft drinks. It’s also green tea infused for an extra health boost.
Our aim is to create better, healthier drinking options. Australians are starting to wise up to high-sugar drinks and want more- we want to give it to them.
What do you think has been the major contributor to Nexba’s growth?
A few months ago Nexba launched nationally in Coles! It was our first step into supermarkets and marked a massive milestone for our start-up.
Since launching in Coles we’ve seen not only huge growth, but amazing support. Nexba is now easier to find than ever and we love hearing from school kids, yogis, personal trainers and people from all walks of life who have just discovered our drinks.
What has been the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome?
When people aren’t familiar with you or your brand, the biggest challenge is securing meetings with decision makers. Our biggest lesson is that persistence and hard work really pays off.
In the very beginning it is about picking the key person in charge and being bold in approaching them directly. In the very least, every meeting and new relationship will lead you to an opportunity or a new idea.
What’s your favourite flavour from the Nexba range?
That’s a tough one! [Drew] Mine would have to be our Nexba Watermelon Ice Tea, which was one of the very first flavours we created. It’s become a cult favourite amongst Nexba fans.
[Troy] I’d have to go with Brewnette, which is our newest product. It’s an exciting flavour because Brewnette is the first Australian natural cola infused with green coffee extract, which has a tonne of associated health benefits. It’s an awesome pick-me-up or cheeky mixer!
What’s one piece of advice you would give someone who is wanting to start their own business?
We live by the mantra that life and business is more fun when you say yes. We started Nexba in our early 20’s and have never looked back.
Every challenge we’ve gone through has helped us set up a stronger business. All small businesses face hardships but it’s strengthened our core. There will always be things that you look back on and wish you had done differently, but if you learn fast and don’t repeat them, they’ll turn into your greatest asset.
What’s in store for Nexba in the future?
2015 is set to be an epic year for the Nexba crew! We’re working on an exciting new product that we know you’ll love! We can’t give all our secrets away but it’ll be super fruit flavoured and unlike anything available now. Stay tuned…
What’s your top tips for staying healthy and keeping fit?