Blooming and Booming with Noah Wunch of Ruby Hibiscus | re:COGs Podcast Episode #38

The Power of the Flower

Brewing a Booming Beverage Brand with Noah Wunch of Ruby Hibiscus

Join re:COGs host Mike Gelb for a refreshing taste of the fizzy, floral, and functional beverage business with Noah Wunch, founder of Ruby Hibiscus. This enlightening discussion traces Noah’s journey in crafting a drink as nourishing as it is delicious. From sourcing organic hibiscus to pioneering sparkling innovations, Noah shares how a passion for healthful hydration blossomed into a rising beverage brand.

The Hibiscus Epiphany: Discovering a Powerhouse Ingredient

Headquartered in New York, Ruby Hibiscus is shaking up the functional beverage space with flavorful infusions free of artificial ingredients and excessive sugars. Noah’s quest began with a simple mission – to create a better-for-you beverage he could make at home without relying on unhealthy additives. When his homemade hibiscus drinks hit the spot, Noah knew he had stumbled upon something special.

Still Waters Run Deep: The Evolution of Ruby’s Signature Sparkle

Noah reveals why hibiscus is such a powerhouse ingredient despite being overlooked by the beverage industry. He examines past attempts to bring hibiscus drinks to market, extracting crucial lessons that laid the foundation for Ruby’s recipe for success. Noah walks us through Ruby’s evolution from initial still beverages to effervescent fan favorites, discussing the iterative process of refining flavors and formats to wow wellness-minded consumers.

Broken Bottles and Tough Lessons: Overcoming Operational Obstacles

Building a beverage business is a challenging feat, and Noah lets us in on the challenges that arise when a startup makes waves. From broken bottles in shipping to quality control conundrums, this conversation offers an unfiltered look at the operational acrobatics involved in keeping Ruby flowing. Noah shares strategies for inventory financing, working with co-packers, and why staying lean has been integral to Ruby’s rise.

The Secret Sauce: Creative Tactics for Making a Splash in Stores

As Ruby continues to blossom, Noah unpacks the brand’s omnichannel approach to growth. He contrasts selling DTC versus on Amazon and reveals Ruby’s “secret sauce” for making retail launches sparkle – a wildly creative demo program involving Noah personally delivering cases to stores across the Mid-Atlantic. Listeners will learn why hustling in the field is key to earning priceless partnerships as a young brand.

Grit, Grind, Grow: Why Tenacity is a Founder’s Best Friend

While the beverage business can be brutal, Noah’s tenacity and problem-solving prowess showcase the grit it takes to brew something great. Join Mike and Noah as they explore finding the sweet spot between growth and profitability, the pros and cons of various sales channels, and why sometimes a hundred dollars of inventory is more valuable than cold hard cash. You’ll walk away with a deeper appreciation for the blood, sweat, and hibiscus it takes to carve out a category of one’s own.

Listen In:

Listen in as Noah distills his experience into a potent blend of insights on:

  • Crafting a unique better-for-you beverage with no artificial ingredients
  • Uncovering the untapped potential of hibiscus
  • Iterating from still to sparkling based on consumer feedback
  • Navigating inventory nightmares and quality control challenges
  • Staying lean and leveraging angel investors to fuel growth
  • Balancing DTC and Amazon in an omnichannel sales strategy
  • Hustling in the field to support retail launches
  • Creative sampling tactics to build a loyal customer base
  • Why grit and tenacity are a founder’s best friends

Listen to the Entire re:COGs Series:

Tune in to re:COGs, the podcast series that examines the essential aspects of inventory management, supply chain optimization, and operational excellence, all through a COGs-focused lens.

Hear business operators and thought leaders from growing consumer brands share their thoughts on product manufacturing.  Through inspiring stories and critical conversations with top experts across CPG, food, fashion, and other industries, listeners are treated to valuable insights and actionable advice that can be applied to any growing business as it scales up operations.

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