Some energy drinks may provide many with the pep they need in their steps, but the drinks often leave consumers wanting more in terms of taste. Since 2006, Cintron Beverage Group has strived to be the energy drink producer that puts taste first.
“We’ve been evolving and have redesigned our product lines,” CEO Rich Wyatt says. “Cintron is more of a premium, lifestyle brand with a Latin flair.”
Although the company’s products have evolved, Cintron has always focused on natural flavors, creating Latin-inspired tastes through careful use of citrus and tropical fruits. After developing Cintron Original, the company expanded its product line into a diversified portfolio of premium beverages that includes iced teas, fruit-ades and different flavors of energy drinks.
Having distributed products through the United States and into the Caribbean and South America, some of Cintron’s focus in the coming years will be on its energy drink lines, an organic tea offering and liquid energy shots. By reinvigorating the product line, the company believes it can pick up some solid distribution partners and new customers.
“So far, the liquid energy shots are being well-received,” Wyatt says. “As for the organic tea, that comes in a 14-ounce glass and has some unique, Latin flavors. It can be placed in an all-organic store just as easily as in a 7-11.”
Product development at Cintron is a process of regular brainstorming that determines possible flavor combinations. From there, the company often reaches out to its reliable base of suppliers that are highly involved in the product trials.
“A lot of people provide input in product development,” Wyatt says. “We always keep our eyes and ears open, and we are a fluid company that can constantly change and evolve.”
What sets the company apart, aside from its products’ taste, is a sales and marketing approach that positions Cintron as a premium lifestyle brand. The end-result is a brand identified with fun, energy, healthy living and great taste. Although the core target market for Cintron is the same late teen-to-30s demographic that energy drinks have typically appealed to, Cintron believes it has a formula that allows it to appeal to a wider age group.
“We are committed to the premium lifestyle approach,” Wyatt says. “With product placement, we focus on the typical chains, but the way we market and present throughout the marketplace determines the consumers we are going after.”
For example, the company recognizes the connection between energy drinks and extreme sports. Cintron has a racing boat that Wyatt pilots in what he refers to as “elite premium events.” In addition, the company’s media relations and advertising efforts are focused on determining the best outlets for promoting the premium message, which helps present Cintron as a lifestyle brand that extends far beyond extreme sports venues.
The company has scaled back some of its distribution efforts in favor of focusing on solidifying its presence in a few key markets. It also reduced its staff levels, now employing about 15 people. This is part of a plan to grow controllably, stay lean and keep inventory low.
“It is not always easy for us, considering the production runs we have to make, but our people can wear many hats,” Wyatt says. “Our people are versatile; they are able and willing to do what it takes for us to succeed because they put their hearts and souls into the company.”
There are some exciting opportunities on the horizon for Cintron. Wyatt says the company is working on a number of stadium and restaurant deals, which should help Cintron’s ability to expand in various markets. “We can use those relationships as a jumping off point and increase distribution,” he says.
Glass-bottled organic tea sales are also expected to do well. Wyatt says the product is unique and has mass appeal. The energy drink market is a crowded one, but the tea product goes along with Cintron’s focus on positioning itself a little differently.
“Our hope is that the tea will do well this season and then double sales next season,” Wyatt says. “Each year we’ve gotten better, and I look for our sales to go up at an even more significant pace.”
Cintron will continue to use a number of different distribution channels and devise creative marketing plans that allow the company to promote products and provide consumers with sampling opportunities. Brand loyalty can be fierce among energy drinkers, Wyatt stresses, but Cintron is confident that it can persuade people to make the switch once they’ve experienced the difference.
“We are confident with what we are developing, and we will focus on expanding sales and distribution so we can start connecting the dots and filling in markets,” Wyatt says. “That means we will be pushing to develop bigger markets. As we grow, we will look for ways we can continue to cut costs while still delivering products that we feel are superior.”