Viveau reimagines sparkling beverages with a healthy twist
Based out of Nova Scotia, Viveau has created a sparkling fruit beverage with a 50/50 blend of fresh-pressed fruit and lightly sparkling water.
Available in four flavours, Viveau is non-GMO and contains no added sugars, dyes, and synthetic flavour additives. The fruits are sourced from farmers in Annapolis, N.S. The lightly carbonated sparkling water is sourced from Spa Spring Mineral Water. Viveau is also the first beverage in North America to be Clean Label Project Certified.
I caught up with Viveau’s president and co-founder Ted Grant to discuss the company’s journey so far and future plans.
What inspired you to start Viveau and when did you start it?
TG: The concept for Viveau was conceived in the summer of 2018. We were motivated by what wasn’t on the shelf. The sparkling water category was uninspired — essentially all brands had the same offering of tap water and fake flavouring. It was evidently clear after trying many of the brands that represent the competitive set, that taste and real ingredients were not a focus. This is where we really honed in, knowing there was an entire population out there who cared about these very same things we do, and this would ultimately become our wedge.
What types of products/flavours do you sell?
TG: Viveau currently offers four different flavours: tart cherry, wild blueberry, crisp apple, and ripe strawberry. All our products are considered healthy hydration and can be found in the sparkling water aisle in most major grocers across the country.
Where are these products manufactured?
TG: We manufacture all our products in rural Nova Scotia. A significant contributor to our value proposition is the incredible mineral water that we use. Sourcing this quality of water is not easy, as it must adhere to our strict guidelines around quality. We found the perfect source in Spa Springs, N.S. We also source all of our fruit from Canadian farmers. Showcasing the amazing resources we have in our own backyard is incredibly rewarding and we hope to see more brands join us in doing so!
What challenges did you encounter on your food entrepreneurial journey?
TG: Where does one begin! A phrase that is consistently repeated is, “If it were easy, everyone would do it.” Building a consumer packaged goods brand in a saturated space is very challenging. It is even more challenging when you are trying to disrupt the status quo by producing a premium product in a category that is filled with cheaper offerings. One thing you realize is that every challenge has a solution. As long as you are solutions driven, it will all work out. While we were most definitely not alone in this particular challenge, launching a beverage brand just before a global pandemic hit was also quite a hurdle. Sampling and trial is a big part of launching a new food or beverage product, so we had to get very creative in terms of how we got Viveau into the hands of consumers to try us out!
What’s unique about the company and the product?
TG: We are the only lightly sparkling water on the market using real fruit (never from concentrate) and a mineral rich water source. We pride ourselves on real ingredients with an unparalleled taste. Our sourcing story is localized, supporting communities of farmers across this country.
Where are your products sold?
TG: All major retailers across the country including Loblaws, Costco, Sobeys, Safeway, Save On Foods, Quality Foods, Metro, Farm Boy, Longos along with scores of independent grocers and food service accounts.
Why did you get Clean Label Certified?
TG: We wanted to make a statement — one that reflected our commitment to transparency, trust, and the truth. The industry has a lot of misinformation, and we want people to know exactly where this drink comes from, what’s inside, and the many reasons to believe!
How are you managing supply chain issues?
TG: We are laser focused on finding solutions to the various challenges related to the supply chain. We have a team of people that work every day to support our procurement needs. We hope with the end of the pandemic in sight, the supply chain will somewhat normalize.
What are your future plans?
TG: We want to raise awareness around the importance of choosing real ingredients. We want to provide people more choices to find real ingredients while providing healthy products that consumers can feel great about consuming. Our goal is to be an industry leader in the real food movement.