Nexba’s story started on a beach in Mexico back in 2010. A 23 year old Aussie boy, Drew Bilbe, was on holiday, sipping a homemade drink and pondering the connection between the huge soft drinks market and the growing obesity and diabetes epidemic in Mexico (…as you do…).
But seriously – it got him thinking.
“Surely there’s a way to make a natural, healthy drink that tastes just as good as the sugary, artificial ones?!”
And just like that, the quest to make Australia’s first naturally sugar free drinks began.
Drew came home from Mexico with a suntan and a plan. He roped in his 21yo best mate (and now brother-in-law) Troy Douglas and together, these two young Aussie boys turned that teeny tiny seed of an idea, into what’s now an award-winning business. A business making an impact and with plans to improve the lives of people around the world.
Of course, the Nexba path isn’t a silky, shiny road paved with gold. The journey from that first light bulb moment to today has had more than a couple of twists, turns, and middle-of-the-motorway breakdowns.
Little adventures; like ordering a canning line from China that came with no English instructions, hand-placing 50,000 lids when the canning line broke, and having to drive Sydney to Melbourne overnight for client meetings because... no money... are all part of the Nexba story.
However, it was on one of those 10 hour overnight drives to Melbourne that the boys’ passion started to pay off. They impressed the socks off 7-Eleven to the point where they said, “Yes. We want to stock Nexba nationally!” So, the Nexba team scrambled to meet the order and step up production. After more than a little bit of oh-em-gee frenzied panic and sleepless nights, Nexba’s first drinks hit the 7-Eleven network.
It was the better-for-you beverage Aussies had been waiting for. It kicked off a 26% category growth, with 68% of those sales being Nexba alone.
Pretty sweet result for two boys with a tiny idea and a bucket load of passion!
But, never ones to rest on their laurels, the boys knew they had more work to do.
So, they set about brewing up a concoction that would ultimately jettison Nexba into its next phase. The boys wanted to create an alternative to the sweeteners out there.
A sweetener that DIDN’T contain sugar or artificial nasties.
Nothing like that existed in Australia, let alone the world.
And the boys wanted to create one that tasted amazing and was super healthy. The concoction they painstakingly brewed over six years is now the globally patented Nexba Natural Sweetener Blend.
It’s an “I can’t believe it’s not sugar” mix of stevia and erythritol* that tastes ah-mazing and has zero (yep, none, nada, zip, zilch) calories. Plus, it doesn’t make your mouth feel all weird (or *whispers* do even weirder things to your tummy) like other sugar substitutes. This, Nexba’s magic blend, means you can enjoy great tasting drinks, without any nasties or sugar.
Cheers to that!!
The next few years were a rollercoaster of flavour development, ideas and a whole lot of trial and error. Oh yeah, and a fair dose of amazingness too – like when they were awarded 2017 Product of the Year - the biggest consumer voted award around. Plus about a gazillionty other well-deserved awards.
Today? You can find a whole heap of different Nexba drinks in supermarkets, service stations and convenience stores across Australia – with a few new flavours and drinks about to hit the shelves.
*Erythritol is naturally produced by the fermentation of starches in some fruits and vegetables and is the science-y name for the sweet part you ferment out of melons and pears.
Bubbling with innovation, the Nexba team are just getting started. With their globally patented Nexba Natural Sweetener Blend they’re on a mission to reinvent all traditionally high sugar and artificial categories.
Last year, the boys removed over 543 tonnes of sugar from the diets of Australians alone. Now if that’s not staying true to their mission, we don’t know what is!
Their most recent wave of product innovation sees them challenging yet another issue, gut health. Recent research has shown that poor gut health can contribute to diabetes and obesity. Plus, artificial sweeteners have been shown to be toxic for our guts. There are lots of beverages that promise to make your tummy happy. Yet, the bacteria in the bottle doesn’t necessarily even make it to your gut! That’s why the boys brewed up another incredible idea and worked hard to create their smart and robust probiotics. They’re now adding these happy gut buddies to a range of Nexba drinks, including their Kombucha and Probiotix Water so your gut can get a boost without your tastebuds having to compromise.
Whether you’re looking for the perfect mixer for your G&T without a side-dose of insulin spiking, a fun fizzy drink for your kids’ parties that’s going to stop the side-eye from other parents, or a refreshingly great tasting, good-for-your-guts Kombucha, Nexba delivers.
And they’ve got big plans to take those options to the world with Sainsburys UK stocking Nexba from November 2018! Maybe they’ll even disrupt some other unhealthy food and drink categories out there too! We can only hope!
They can’t wait to create more delicious choices that help everyone live a naturally sweet life.