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Sipper: Delicious sparkling iced tea

12 Apr 2021

Sipper is an exciting new Kiwi beverage brand, home to sparkling iced tea. The iced tea is made with lightly brewed organic tea, a dash of organic apple juice and natural flavour extracts.

The 330ml cans are available in three flavours - Earl Grey Lemonade, Black Peach, and Hibiscus & Honeybush.

The idea came to Sipper’s founder David Ball while he was taking a break from drinking alcohol.

“I started working on Sipper a couple of years ago when I was in between jobs and taking a break off the beers after a big summer. After working in China for a few years I became very keen on drinking tea, hot and cold,” says David.

“One day I had made a big pot of earl grey tea and forgot to drink it. I decided to store it in the fridge in a soda stream bottle and when I went to drink it the next day I thought, why not make it fizzy and squeeze a lemon in it?”

“It was delicious, refreshing and I thought, why can't I buy this at a shop?”

Developing Sipper

With a background in food science, David started playing around with flavours and slowly working through the product development phases.

“I wanted to create a drink that was refreshing, healthy and something with a point of difference that wasn't really being done in New Zealand,” says David.

“When I was researching how to produce my product on a commercial scale and looking into contract manufacturing facilities around New Zealand, I came across a new company called FreeFlow Manufacturing. After a few chats with the boys at FreeFlow Manufacturing they surprisingly ended up offering me a Job as their Production Manager.”

David took up their offer, beginning work at FreeFlow Manufacturing, whilst continuing to develop Sipper. David says working full time in a busy job while trying to start a company by himself was a challenge, but ended up being a blessing in disguise.

“While having a super busy full time job with a rapidly growing company slowed down the process of getting Sipper on the shelves, it also gave me more time to fine tune the product and brand.”

“And having super supportive bosses and access to use a finely tuned production facility (and everything that comes with that, like good contacts with suppliers) has been quite a gamechanger for the start-up phase of Sipper.”

Sipper launched into Farro Fresh in February 2021 and is also available to buy online.

“My first sales pitch was with Farro Fresh. I was so nervous. But it went well and they placed an order almost straight away,” says David.

Proudly NZ Made

Sipper joined Buy New Zealand in 2020 prior to their launch, ensuring the “New Zealand Made” Kiwi trademark was on the back of their cans and six-pack boxes. The Kiwi trademark is printed in dark blue, matching Sipper's brand colours.

David says it’s important to let consumers know Sipper is produced in New Zealand.

“I'm proud of the produce that comes out of New Zealand so it's important to showcase this on my packaging. I use an extract produced with lemons from the Hawke’s Bay in the earl grey lemonade, and also organic apple juice from Hawke’s Bay in all three flavours to add a touch of sweetness for balance,” says David.

“A lot of consumers these days would prefer to reduce their impact on the planet and buying locally-produced goods is a great way to do this.”

“I also choose to package my drinks in cans as it's the most sustainable form of beverage packaging as aluminium can be recycled an infinite number of times, while glass and plastic can only be recycled a handful of times.”

David hopes to export Sipper in the future and believes the iconic Kiwi trademark will be beneficial.

“After living in China for a few years I got a good understanding of how much they love, and more importantly, trust products from New Zealand.”


Sipper is available at your local Farro Fresh or online at Enjoy a Sipper

The “New Zealand Made” Kiwi trademark is available for Kiwi trademark licence holders to download online to print onto packaging.


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