The cannabis industry is converging with standard consumer goods – that’s the premise behind cannabis-infused Mountjoy Sparkling Water. CEO Alex Mountjoy said in an industry that is producing increasingly familiar products, his brand aims to produce high quality consumer goods at the level of national brands.
“I’ve been in consumer goods for 22 years and always wanted to start a national beverage brand,” said Mountjoy, who was inspired by a friend who helped design the Monster can.
Mountjoy’s brand taps into a U.S. obsession with wellness – the cannabis product’s imagery suggests that Mountjoy Sparkling Water could seamlessly fit in with the Instagram crowd, with bottles being carried into yoga studios and sipped at parties.
Mountjoy shared the story of Mountjoy Sparkling Water’s brand development with Cashinbis.
What do you see in the future for cannabis industry consumer goods?
Given what we’ve seen, there’s a strong rationale underlying cannabis as a healthy lifestyle product that is indisputable, but it might take a while to realize its full potential. Cannabis consumer goods should be available as interstate commerce. I want to see Mountjoy Sparkling Water in the nation’s fridge.
Rather than defining new ways to reach consumers, it’s largely about trying to be the best we can be in an industry that’s becoming increasingly familiar in the way consumers interact with brands. We’re getting away from the iconic pot leaf and there’s little tolerance for crude, rustic themes. Anything with low level marketing or design is on the way out.
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How do you see cannabis infused sparkling water fitting into consumer lifestyles?
Sparkling water has characteristics that make it a pick-me-up – it refreshes the spirit. It’s a healthy product that can accelerate the absorption of pills in your system. I thought: Can I create an ultra fast-acting THC buzz with sparkling water? My family has been making sparkling water for many years. We had the know-how and the brand. We have origins in a tabletop family product, and this is the first cannabis product that deserves a place in every fridge in the country.
It blurs the line. It satisfies basic human needs, physical and psychological. Yes, it’s fun and recreational, but it’s also healthy and treats you well. It’s sugar-free, balancing, and a source of energy.
People can buy it in traditional medical marijuana outlets. Because it’s so accessible, people use it for pain relief in combination with other products, to ease anxiety, and all the standard medical marijuana uses.
Why are you marketing Mountjoy Sparkling Water as an alternative to alcoholic beverages?
It doesn’t bring out bad qualities in a person the way alcohol does. It’s the perfect alternative because we don’t drink just to get drunk, we drink for the social experience. Most of us have a love-hate relationship with alcohol. It feels good but can lead to a lifelong struggle. We don’t want to change our social routine. Mountjoy Sparkling is the perfect way to fit the routine and our cultural experience, with no conscious modification of existing behavior.
What inspired the recent redesign of your products?
With our experience in consumer goods, we wanted a photogenic bottle that people would take photos of and it would look great. For the elements in the label, the flavors are all expressed in the design. Rather than put an orange on the label, we put a design that is symbolic of an orange without using an orange. There’s a tendency with sparkling water brands to show spray, bubbles or water droplets. We wanted to convey that experience, but not literally.
What’s coming up for your brand in 2018?
We just signed a major distribution agreement for mainstream beverage in “Texas West” – in the first half of 2018, consumers will be able to buy our THC- and CBD-infused products in that part of the country.
We’re releasing a couple new flavors and a CBD-only version, available in early 2018. They will be available in grocery stores and liquor stores – you’ll start to see it in California and Texas markets.
The CBD version is not psychoactive, and there is no taste difference [to the THC version.]