Free digital copy
Get Speciality Food magazine delivered to your inbox FREEGet your free copy
Borne out of founders Dan and Emily Watson’s small Battersea kitchen, BumbleZest is a range of carefully crafted recipes made using natural ingredients from around the world. As well as tasting great, each product in the range has been designed to help the consumer manage the challenges of modern life. “I struggled to keep a balanced lifestyle working in property and living in a city with lots of distractions,” explains Dan. “With my previous work I was drinking too much coffee and alcohol and experienced high levels of stress and anxiety, which along with skin issues in time led me to develop BumbleZest.” Dan’s journey to healthy beverages started with drinking simple lemon water with a drop of honey, to which he started adding different herbs which he grew in his small Battersea garden. “I wanted to start sourcing other incredible ingredients that might help, so I packed in my day job to launch BumbleZest.”
The term ‘functional’ is to be seen on all sorts of food and drink products these days, but their purpose isn’t always clear. Dan explains, “In ‘functional’ drinks, the ingredients have been carefully chosen because of the different ‘function’ each ingredient can offer. For example, if you are looking for a drink to give you a pick-me-up you wouldn’t put relaxing chamomile or lavender in it, but you might include matcha or ginseng. Some of the ingredients we use are milk thistle, turmeric, moringa, yerba mate, activated charcoal, apple cider vinegar, ginger and spirulina.”
“We stand by our belief that if we let the ingredients do the talking people can come to their own understanding of what each drink will do for them,” Dan continues. “With health at the forefront of everyone’s mind across the globe at the moment, there is a huge momentum building of consumers becoming more and more educated on their general health and wellbeing.”
What’s in the range?
The BumbleZest range consists of 10 drinks in three different formats; consumers can enjoy a refreshing sparkling can, give their body a boost with a health shot or unwind by sipping the brand’s light CBD tonic water paired with their favourite premium spirit. “Our drinks are packed full of the very best quality ingredients we can source and we want our customers to really benefit from them. We pride ourselves on maintaining a high quality range of drinks that our customers expect and deserve – consumers need to trust what they are buying.”
CBD is a growing market in the UK, and the BumbleZest team is at the forefront of its use within drinks in the British market – its CBD tonic was launched in July 2019. “We love CBD,” says Dan, “and there is a reason it is such a successful market in the US and elsewhere.” The brand responded quickly to consumer demand: “We have had lots of customers raving about CBD’s effects on them personally, and thought that it would go incredibly well in a tonic water. Tonic is often enjoyed with a premium spirit to help people unwind in the evening, so it was a natural fit.”
Who buys BumbleZest?
“We believe we have a drink for everyone, no matter how they are feeling,” says Dan. “We have drinks if you need an energy boost, need help unwinding after a busy day, if you’ve overindulged the night before, need help with focus in a big meeting coming up or if you need help with your gut/digestion.” The products work for consumers of all ages, as Dan explains: “Collagen, which is in one of our health shots, is great for older shoppers as the natural collagen levels in people’s skin reduce over time.”
BumbleZest’s approach to functional beverages makes them stand out in an increasingly crowded market. “Our drinks are not a base of boring and cheap apple juice with a little bit of ginger and a pinch of cayenne pepper,” says Dan. “The unusual pairings of our many ingredients make the recipes unique, and we let the ingredients do the talking – that’s why we simply list the ingredients you will find in each drink on the labels.” Shelf life is not an issue with these products: “all of our drinks are ambient with a long shelf life of 14 months from production, which helps offer some comfort in these uncertain times,” Dan explains. The environmental impact of the business is also front of mind: “as a company we are very conscious of our impact on the environment, which is why all of our packaging is recyclable and we use small glass bottles or non-BPA aluminium cans for our products.”