We get asked all the time - 'what made 2 university students start an energy drink company?' 🤔
Well here's the down-low...
Picture this: 👀 it's 11pm on a Thursday night, with the end of semester nearing, the common area in our university halls was filled to the brink with students pushing their way through their final assignments and maxing out the study hours left before exams. 🧠 We get out of the lift to join our fellow classmates and the scene is something out of a movie. Students everywhere, with headphones in and laser focus staring at laptops crammed anywhere they could sit (because who doesn't love a bit of camaraderie to get through the night), the only sounds being keyboards tapping away, the squeak of highlighters and the thwack of a pingpong ball as students lined up for their study breaks with a competitive game of table tennis. Then we noticed the tabletops - empty cans and glass bottles strewn everywhere - energy drinks. The vital diet of a university student.
As avid energy drink consumers ourselves, we personally felt like the offerings available in New Zealand were sub-par when it came to high levels of artificial ingredients and refined sugars. We needed the energy - but where was the better option? So we got chatting to our fellow students and realised this packed room felt the same way we did.
Brad and I were in our first year of university and living at the AUT Halls when we had this 💡 realisation. And so we started researching. We found the incredible 🍃guayusa leaf, and knew this ingredient would be perfect for our drinks. From there, the idea kept growing stronger and stronger - we were tasting the first iterations of what would become Phoric and it felt so surreal.
We originally made these natural energy drinks for students like us, but quickly found that so many other kiwis wanted a clean alternative too. Now, our supporters range from students, to professionals, busy parents, DJs and tradies - with 3 flavours there's something for everyone 🙌🏼
We had amazing support from our peers, mentors and from the university throughout those early stages. We participated in the AUT X-Challenge, a dragon's den style event, where we pitched to a panel of judges, all incredible NZ entrepreneurs (Lisa King, Vaughan Rowsell, Dale Clareburt and Josh Comrie!) We were lucky enough to take out the top award for that night, and the cash and prizes helped us formulate our MVP.
On the other side of this great support, so many people told us we were crazy to try to take on this industry. And maybe we were. (We still are if you ask me!) But we wouldn't have it any other way. We are so excited about the opportunity to provide our fellow kiwis with great-tasting, refreshing and natural energy drinks and hugely appreciate your continued support 💛
PS. We always get asked where the name 'Phoric' comes from, our answer: when you have the energy to be on top of everything in this busy life, you feel euPHORIC 💥