Happy Labor Day!

We humans are capable of building great things. This is The Harmony of the Seas, a Royal Caribbean ship.

It’s the largest cruise ship in the world. It cost $1B, weighs 227,000 tons and took 2,500 people about 3 years to complete. At 1,187 feet long, the 18-deck ship is taller than the Eiffel Tower and holds the record for being the widest cruise ship ever built. It’s called a floating city – with more than 2,500 staterooms, 20 dining venues, 23 swimming pools and a park with more than 10,000 plants and 50 trees. It takes more than 2,300 crew members to operate and 30,000HP to cruise. Incredible.

We built a caffeine gummie.

Ridiculous comparison, yes, even laughable I’ll admit, but have you tried these amazing little power packed gummies? And it took us close to same same amount of time to build them: 2 years of development which was started in my kitchen. We worked with some brilliant food scientists from Stanford, we consulted with the Army, had conference calls with LSU’s Research Team, and then we qualified as one of the few lucky startups to get to work with the National Food Laboratories (NFL). There were many more innovative industry experts along the way and we thank everyone of them for getting us to this point. We still think we can improve upon our product and will continue to iterate, that’s what we do. There is a surprising complexity to our little squishy energy gummie, different than the floating city, but there is a lot of detail in each and every ingredient just the same.

The Army had an interesting story to share with us during development. They had worked on a “reduced bitterness” caffeinated beef jerky and they made it taste just like regular beef jerky. The only problem was that the soldiers were consuming well beyond the amount of caffeine they should have been, because there was no zing, no caffeine bitterness, no indicator. Soldiers couldn’t shoot straight, they were shaking in their boots. The Army had to dial the bitterness back in to make sure everyone that came in contact with that beef jerky knew it wasn’t just regular ordinary jerky, it had a special power to it. This was key for us, because we didn’t want our caffeinated gummies to taste like their candy counterparts or people would eat them like candy, especially if children got a hold of them. So we created a bitterness scale, and we made sure we left the zing in the thing. The zing, or caffeine bitterness in our first product falls between 10-15% which we thought was perfect based on specific target audience testing. This spawned the slogan “Taste the Power”. Now you know these gummies mean business.

We also spent time on the texture and feel of the gummie. We took the 3 Bears approach to line up the “just right” soft and moderately springy texture, and that wasn’t easy but it is important as new consumers taste sensations come together. The original gummy bears are too hard which makes your jaw hurt, but too soft like an all pectin gummy and they fall apart and feel weird in your hand. Punch’d Gummies are just right and feel all grown-up now.

Another area that we spent time on was the ingredient quality. The amount of knowledge we picked up about the food industry during our research was both educational and alarming, and enough for a book. We could have cut corners on ingredient quality, the source, process, vendor, and more but the key factor that drove us was that these were for us. We were going to eat them, and give them to our families, our kids, our friends. That makes it personal and changes everything. We aren’t trying to shave a few tenths of a penny out of our costs, we aren’t substituting artificial or synthetic ingredients for natural because it was more convenient, these are made with love. That’s what missing most in the food industry today, that’s why you see so many new natural products these days.

Here’s what we used: Fruit and juice from Lemons, Limes, Oranges, Apples, Grapes, Grapefruits and Pears. Pure Green Coffee Bean Caffeine. Organic Brown Rice Syrup. Organic Cane Sugar. Purified Water. High Grade Gelatin. Citric Acid. Vitamin C Ascorbic Acid. Coconut Oil. Carnauba Leaf Wax.

Here’s what didn’t use: Corns, Corn Syrups, High Fructose Corn Syrups, Corn Sugars, no GMOs, no artificial sweeteners, no sugar substitutes, no synthetic ingredients(caffeine), no Taurine(synthetic), no Aspartame, no Acesulfame Potassium, no Advantame, no Neotame, no Saccharin, no Sucralose, no sugar alcohols like Xylitol, Sorbitol, Eryhtritol, Maltitol, Mannitol, Lactitol, Isomalt or Hydogenated Starch Hydrolysate, no Phenylalanine, no Inositol, no Glucuronolactone.

Compare us to other products on the market. Nothing gives you more power from so little. We don’t use a heavy dose of sugar or glucose/fructose like others because it’s all bad for our bodies and our health. There’s no sugar rush, no face flush, no spike or crash. They just work, well. We want to earn your trust in us and our Punch’d Gummies. We did our homework, and we’ve been popping them for two years now.

So relax today, you’ve worked hard to get to this point in your life, enjoy the time off. Pop a few Punch’d Gummies to get up for work tomorrow. Pop a few more after lunch and then for the drive home. We’ve got you covered so you can turn up the energy anytime you need it to bring out your best and keep that smile on your face. You’re too pretty to scowl, show some teeth!

Closing thought.. Imagine how many Punch’d Gummies could fit on that ship for all the crew and the passengers! I bet there is huge cost and weight savings in the energy gummie v. coffee, energy drink and soda numbers we could plug into the annual budgets. If you work for a cruise line, get a hold of us :)