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Archive for February, 2009

Today was the day when we finally got to see our latest creation – aka Aquapax in its 2009 production guise. It’s one thing to sign off a piece of flat artwork, and another thing to have a mock-up made in a different material, to give a degree of design perspective. But seeing the real thing as it’s come off the production line and ready to be warehoused prior to shipping to customers is something you can never ‘know’ for certain until you see it.

I can honestly say that I’m happier with the real thing than I was with any of the computer generated images, despite their function being to portray an item in its theoretical ‘best light’. There’s simply no substitute for feeling the paper folded around the water and knowing that without absolute commitment, we would never have got this far! As I sit here looking at the subtleties of what I believe is an iconic design, our new Aquapax already feels like a pair of old jeans, that ‘just fit’ whenever you put them on.

I had a conversation with a very professional journalist on Friday who was reflecting that ‘packaged water’ is an unnecessary drink. I conceded that I still drink tap water at home, but that in an increasingly obese world, it’s irresponsible to keep knocking water in favour of flavoured beverage options. The fact is that our ‘packaged water’ Aquapax gives health conscious thirsty people the best option possible for calorie free natural hydration, with a natural mineral balance that you can taste for its purity, and the absence of anything that shouldn’t be there.

Aquapax is quite simply healthier than other beverage options, and (to be fair to our plastic competitors) while any packaged water has a lower carbon footprint than any other packaged beverage option, Aquapax is uniquely packaged in the proven lowest carbon footprint package option compared to all other portable packaged waters available.

That is why we claim Aquapax as ‘a pure thirst for the environment’ along with our other trade mark, ‘think inside the box’ – it just makes ecological common sense. I’ll caveat that with “unless you’re in a position of impossible luxury, where you have fresh drinking water on tap whenever and wherever you feel thirsty!” 🙂

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Wordplay I confess, but hear me out… The banking catastrophe, the credit clutch, call it what you will. They’re taking their toll on so many seemingly good businesses that terror appears to be the prevailing mood of 2009.

Terror has a way of shutting down open minds, causing buyers to retreat to familiar grounds and the old tactic of beating up the usual supplier while blaming someone else (anyone else) for making them do it… That in turn has potential to squash innovation and inspiration leading to an inevitable status quo that says tomorrow will be pretty much like today.

Yet we retain hope and confidence – perhaps the revolution really is getting closer, where real leaders stand up to show the way forward. With our brand new Aquapax we have some genuinely wonderful news for anyone open minded to it; the funkiest looking carton we’ve ever seen, containing one of the purest natural beverages ever packaged. A potential inspiration to anyone that low carbon alternatives to everything are an option if you simply open your mind to them.

The Brown government makes noises about eco-sensitivity, while driving anyone inclined to consider green alternatives to question themselves about the incentive.

I think it was Napoleon who once said “a leader is a dealer in hope” – come on Mr.B get with the programme. The fact is that low carbon alternatives generally cost fractionally more to produce. If the government applies a standard VAT percentage, it makes them more expensive than carbon intensive products! Dooh as Homer (Simpson) would say. It’s not really that difficult to see the status quo is driving a continuing brown future.

If a low carbon economy is desirous, why not incentivise genuine alternatives to carbon intensive products? Aquapax is a proven low carbon alternative to conventional portable (typically bottled) water – be that packaged in a can, plastic, bio-polymer or glass ‘container’.
Small things do make a difference… 🙂

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Following the snow of a couple of weeks ago, we had some pretty severe winds last week and lost a fence post plus 2 panels between us and our neighbours. It’s our responsibility, so this last weekend was spent digging up the old broken post and ‘planting’ the new one.
I was quite surprised on taking the old fence down to the local MRF (materials recovery facility – aka ‘dump’) that their wood recovery facility (tip) had all sorts of metal and other elements attached to anything remotely resembling wood. I’m unclear how they recover/recycle/reuse any of the wood afterwards, but based on what I saw, it certainly can’t be simple.

It’s one of those sod’s laws that one bag of post-crete wasn’t quite enough to finish the job properly, meaning a trip back out to the DIY store for another bag. So I’ve now got a 3/4 full bag of postcrete left and was’nt able to finish the job before losing the light. Aah well, these things are sent to try us…

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The year has started with a vengeance and it was rather embarrassing to see it’s been a fortnight since my last blog. It’s great to report that Aquapax will be in at least two of the most fabulous and exciting stores in Paris (Colette and Bon Marché) from the end of this month.

Our expanding distribution in France is directly down to the energy of the team at the company we have partnered with in France. Drinkyz is a young business with an enviable infrastructure and depth of management. Its hands on CEO, Alexis Vaillant is completely passionate about the Aquapax opportunity he has secured for his business. He has the drive I knew we needed to harness in any territory where we can’t physically do the job ourselves.

The other reason for growth right now is in no small part due to our revised Aquapax pack design, which is now printed and ready for filling at the end of this week. I’ve spoken previously about the cracking job SunHouse have done with our design and just another 2 weeks to go now (full quality testing before shipping) and we’ll have our new baby in the warehouse ready for customers.

Because the new Aquapax design is so different to the current version out there on the shelves of our wonderful retail network (we are worthy), it seems strategically sensible to revamp our website too. If you haven’t seen the current version, visit quickly because it will be ‘going down’ within the fortnight.

Our original site was about establishing a presence when we launched the business in 2006. Since then we’ve been listening to customer feedback on Aquapax rather than resting on our laurels and selling through ‘deals’. We’ve taken everything that customers love about Aquapax and bought that to the new design, while keeping the same exceptional (award winning) product quality within. It won’t be long now before we’ll ask you to join our revolution… come along – you can tell your Grand children you once helped change the way things were… 🙂

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