Leading Brands, the Canadian beverage manufacturer and distributor, has begun shipments of its new "optimised performance beverage" TREK after an extremely positive reaction from distributors involved in earlier trials.
Leading Brands said that the OPB was a "scientifically formulated hydration system that delivers the functional elements the body requires to prepare for, sustain and recover from any type of activity" . The drink's initial roll-out will focus on selected retailers in Canada and specific markets in the western, central and eastern United States.
Leading Brands' chairman and CEO Ralph D. McRae said: "This is the culmination of more than two years of persistent effort, creativity and imagination. We have created an entirely new category of beverage that is already generating excitement in distributors and retailers and will soon invigorate the consumer. This is a significant milestone and a very proud moment for our company and all those who contributed to the launch of TREK."
Bob Miller, president of the US arm of Leading Brands, added that distributor reaction to TREK had been "nothing short of extraordinary" and that demand for the product had exceeded even the company's most optimistic forecasts.
But Leading Brands is not prepared to promote its new product by word-of-mouth alone. The company has planned a major marketing drive for TREK, which will feature at a number of events across North America during the summer. A national and regional advertising campaign designed to introduce the brand and educate the consumer on the science behind the OPB system will also start next month.
The company claims that it is not only the science of the drink which is different - although thus far it has been somewhat vague about exactly what the OPB system is and how it works - but that the packaging for the drink is also revolutionary.
TREK comes in a reusable 620ml bottle topped with what the company calls a Click Cap, which opens with a single turn of the wrist and clicks audibly when fully closed. The cap can also be securely attached to a belt or bag by means of a heavy-duty clip fixed to the bottle. The bottle also has a compass in the bottom and the mirrored label with a map ruler.
It is clear from this that the drink is aimed squarely at the outdoor adventurer, and that it is much more than a simple sports or energy drink. This is also reflected in the recommended price - US$1.99 to US$2.99 a bottle - and Leading Brands is clearly confident that the effects of the drink are so good that the high price is more than justified.