The clue is in the name for Skinny Fizz - flavoured sparkling water with real New Zealand fruit extract. No added sugar, no artificial flavours, sweeteners or preservatives. It’s also skinny on the environment and for our pockets.
Skinny Fizz founder Shawn Beck had the Eureka moment while travelling in the US.
“I was on a bucket list roadie with my wife and soul mates across the American West and somewhere in a hot desert I was popping my, I don't know, hundredth can of flavoured sparkling water. And I was thinking to myself, you know, this is all right, I mean, there's nothing wrong with it,” Shawn said.
Shawn realised it could be so much better with some zing, some Kiwi lemons and limes. He then set to work to see if he could get something that tastes really good.
“I was firmly in the Soda Stream and smashing a lemon into a glass and pouring some Soda Stream into it. And I thought, well, can we make this? So 18 months later, we figured out that, yeah, we could actually make it where it's just lemons, limes, raspberries smashed into a pulp basically, and made into an extract, filtered once, and that's it,” Shawn said.
Skinny on the environment
One of the ways of keeping things skinny on the environment side and for our pockets, was using aluminium cans instead of plastic.
“Any plastic bottle we replace with a can is a good thing. Can aluminium is infinitely recyclable, this can has half of the aluminium already recycled. So it's already using a heavy amount of recycled material,” Shawn said.
Shawn has a background in venture capital and private equity, and spent 19 years on the boards of various companies. He was an early signatory for the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment - putting environmental, social and governance principles into investing.
“We were one of the early investors signed up to that, because we thought at the time and I still think and this is now 25 years later, that companies need to be thinking about good and not just profits. So we are trying, where we can to, as I say, use as least materials as we can, we try not to cover it all in ink,” Shawn explained.
“Our boxes aren't covered in all sorts of colours. We don't actually have a carbon footprint ourselves, we use shared resources everywhere, we use third party warehouses, we don't own any vehicles, we don't own a factory.”
While small in comparison to many of their competitors, Shawn believes Skinny Fizz can have a meaningful impact by doing small things that add up to lots of good.
“I'm such a fan of the let's just do what we can wherever possible, we just do what we can, do little things. I agree 100 percent that it will all add up and it will make a massive difference,” Shawn said.
Buying local is a part of this, an easy way for Skinny Fizz to minimise their impact on the planet.
“As long as things aren't moving around and obviously you're not pumping carbon in the atmosphere. So, for instance, the limes that we use come from Gisborne, the lemons come from Gisborne, the raspberries come from the Waikato. So even the small component stuff we've sourced locally as well, as I said before, it just tastes a whole lot better.”
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