An Idea Neither Liquid nor Certain (But it Deserves to Try)
In 2016, Fabiana Szwarcun was in Solly Lake City, Utah when she stopped at a cafe to ask for a bottle of water. On receiving it, he understood nothing.”When I saw the box, I thought it was milk,” she told Brazil Journal. Fabi left the café with a box in his hand and an idea in his head to create a similar brand in Brazil and replace notorious pet bottles with more sustainable and clean packaging in a staple product for the daily life of children / people.
Four years later, Fabi and Rodrigo Gidankin, his partner and cousin, launched Agua Na Caixa, a brand of bottled water that appeared in supermarkets last week. Packages Agua Na Caixa – in Tetra Pak – is 54% paper (made of wood from accredited forests) and 28% green plastic (made of sugar cane). The rest of the aluminum, which is necessary to prevent light from entering the package but is still without a renewed alternative.
The company’s goal is to achieve a set of 100% renewable materials, but in the meantime, “we’re already considered an 82% win, as the glass and plastic packages use 100% of the materials that cannot be replaced in nature.”
Agua Na Caixa contains another difference: the design is entirely designed to encourage reuse: the mouth, for example, is larger than traditional bottles, making the bottle easier again, and there are alerts that encourage reuse.
To come up with the idea, the founders raised 3 million Brazilian riyals through “friends and family”. According to Rodrigo, the startup has a cash-generating model, but it will seek new resources to accelerate growth.
Rodrigo previously worked in PPG Industries, a multinational company that manufactures paints, paints and specialty materials. Fabi worked for six years at Brockter & Gamble and spent some time at Amazon.
The bottled water category is not present in Brazil, already has a market in the United States, Europe and Canada. In the United States, the first was the best canned water (the brand Fabi drank in Salt Lake City). Recently, the value of Just Water – founded by Jaden Ibn Will Smith – reached over $100 million.
In Canada, Flow – which also puts water in the box – is preparing for public listing on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Agua Na Caixa is negotiating with retailers to reach over 1,000 selling points by the end of the year, focusing on São Paulo and Rio. The brand will also be sold on the Amazon marketplace.
According to Rodrigo, one of the obstacles preventing the development of the market is that the costs of the production of funds are higher than that of the plastic bottle, which makes the price of the final consumer slightly higher than the price of the most brands. Water control. He said: “But studies show that the consumer is willing to pay more for sustainable products, and this industry has grown a lot.”