When Zachary Barden invited a friend out for coffee only to have the idea rejected because his friend didn’t like coffee and wasn’t fond of tea, Barden decided a caffeinated hot cocoa product was long overdue. He spent much of this year researching and developing BUZZ COCOA.
Barden says the beverage’s appeal is more than just a chocolatey pick-me-up. At 75 cents a cup, he says,
Barden says the biggest challenge has been blending the product to ensure the caffeine content is consistent, and avoid issues with settling in the bag.
“I had to say I’m doing my due diligence, I’m taking the steps necessary to really make sure my consumers are better off. That really led me to doing my research on blending. And the whole commercial blending process for my product, is a chemical product where you can make the caffeine blend better with the cocoa molecules.”
When launching a new product like this, particularly in a space with so many major players like the beverage industry, Barden says it is important to be conscious about branding and connecting with the customer.
“Be sincere, but not too serious. BUZZ COCOA is something fun, but also something that will benefit you. In our social media, on our mailing list, even when you purchase our product, inside is a little letter that thanks you for buying our product, whether you’re a first time buyer or this is your fifth purchase, it’s really about dynamic value and increasing that value proposition to the consumer.”
BUZZ COCOA made its debut this fall and is available for retail sale online.
Ultimately, Barden says he is drawn to entrepreneurship because each experience, even one that ends in failure, is ultimately a learning opportunity.
“The average entrepreneur goes through four ideas, fails at four ideas before the next one takes off. It really makes you think, well why? And that’s because they’ve learned from their failures. The second part has to be the pure adrenaline from just thinking of an idea, staying up all night, trying to get it out on paper, understanding what your strategy is going to be…the idea that you ultimately become a better person in your personal life and your professional life when you learn from these experiences, that’s what draws me to entrepreneurship.”
From the markets of Budapest to the skyscrapers of London, Caitlin is our expert on all things European. Located in Copenhagen, Denmark, Caitlin keeps us up-to-date on the European startup landscape, plus culture, food and whatever she finds along the way.