Written in mid 2022 by Charlotte, Co Founder of Olive My Pickle
For years, Shai and I resisted the idea of packaging and selling our pickle juice…why? Not sure, but I think we just discounted it as something only a handful of people would care about.
But a few years ago we decided to step into it. We created two flavors of pickle juice, which we named LiveBrine: Classic Kosher Dill and Turmeric + Spice.
People are drinking pickle juice!
Fast forward to present day. LiveBrine has become so popular that both flavors are in the top 7 sellers of our line of over 40 products! It was finally time to take LiveBrine seriously, and for the past few months we’ve been busy doing just that.
In this article, we’ll take you through the process, from how we discovered and developed the flavors, to our decision to craft a new image for LiveBrine.
We’ll show you The Making of LiveBrine and how we turned our dream into a reality.
Where Do We Even Begin?
LiveBrine’s concept had been proven. For a few years we’d been experiencing the stories of feedback from our customers about the benefits of drinking pickle juice. Week after week at the farmer’s market we’d hear comments like these:
- "Drinking pickle juice has changed everything for me."
- "I completely switched over from sports drinks."
- “I drink this before bed and I no longer have muscle cramps.”
- “I take a shot after running to rehydrate.”
- “I take a shot first thing to ‘get things moving’.”
- “Since starting on LiveBrine my acid reflux is resolved and I’ve gotten off my medication.”
LiveBrine Pickle Juice Anyone?
We’ve been giving away free pickle juice shots at our farmer’s markets for years. Every time someone takes one, it's an opportunity to educate them about the health benefits of drinking pickle juice.
Did you know:
LiveBrine is made with high mineral sea salt and is abundant in sodium and potassium. Both of these are electrolytes that balance the body's water levels and aid hydration.
Pickle juice is the only 'sports recovery' drinks with scientific backing. Studies confirm that pickle juice is effective at stopping muscle cramps.
The food enzymes found in lactic acid fermented pickle juice aid the body's own efforts at digestion and take on part of that burden. Because 70% of the body's energy goes toward digestion, fermented pickle juice frees up energy. Pickle juice is the original energy drink!
We knew LiveBrine was a hit, now what?
Our idea was to create a true “collection” of products, which meant somewhere between 6-8 distinct flavors. But where to even start?
You can only have so many conversations about something until it's time to JUST TAKE ACTION. We were at that point.
The conversation was between me, Shai and our Kitchen Manager Bryan, who has a culinary and mixology background.
What would the distinct flavor profiles be? In the beginning we were simply flavor focused. “A spicy one!” “A fruity sweet one!” “Let’s try citrus!”
Momentum on Flavors and the A-Ha Moment that Shifted Everything
They call it an a-ha moment, but this was really an entire a-ha day for LiveBrine.
Each Monday we start the week with a meeting of our customer happiness and marketing teams. It’s always a rich time.
We recap what happened the prior week:
What are we hearing from the customers?
Are there any trends related to service levels?
What were the complaints?
Are there any new and wild questions from the customers this week?
On this a-ha morning, we were talking about LiveBrine, specifically how a customer told us they include pickle juice with their morning green drink. Michelle, our Customer Happiness Lead commented, “we should do a LiveBrine flavor with a green theme.”
When she said green, a lightbulb went off. In addition to a focus on flavor, we needed to have each variety represent a separate and distinct COLOR.
Olive My Pickle has always been themed around color: from our colorful barrels at the market to our colorful product packages, to our ‘color your microbiome’ slogan.
Color represents health and vitality, and ‘eating the rainbow’ is a simple approach to gut healthy eating.
Later that day, after our meeting had ended, I walked across the street to Publix get a salad for lunch and pick up a few groceries for the house.
I make a habit of checking the healthy beverage section for BOGO sales and one of my favorites, Sol Ti, was on sale. I picked up my favorite–because I’m drawn to the color– the Blue Spirulina and suddenly it all clicked:
Color - gotta have it.
And finally: SUPERFOODS.
THAT would be the direction of LiveBrine.
The Creative Process of Product Development
After the flavor + color + superfood revelation, things progressed swiftly because we finally had a defined scope: LiveBrine would not just be a high mineral, probiotic pickle juice. It would be a flavorful, colorful and superfood infused probiotic pickle juice!
The first task was to source ingredients. The superfoods and flavors needed to be available in powdered form, which are extremely concentrated and typically maintain more of the health benefits when powdered.
We were also looking for the highest quality of these concentrated powders. That meant no anti-caking agents like silicon dioxide, thickeners like maltodextrin or artificial preservatives.
You’d be surprised how hard it is to find certain powders without these… even certified organic products can contain some of these.
We found some clean sources of powders and ordered in small quantities of a bunch of fun, random stuff! Carrots, leeks, beets, strawberry, cherry, tangerine, lemon and various hot pepper powders. Blue Spirulina, blue green algae, Chlorella, Dragon Fruit powder and more.
Bryan began concocting different flavor combinations. Each Monday in our meeting, we’d taste them as a team. We tweaked and talked, and Bryan would go back in the kitchen with his marching orders from the entire team to make the changes. One by one, week after week, we settled on our 8 flavors.
Meanwhile… the Branding
Pickle juice’s time has come. But just as we need to educate an audience that may not be aware that ‘not all pickles are created equal’, the same goes for its juice.
We have so many people at the farmers market tell us they love to chug pickle juice– but a lot of the time it’s the vinegar stuff and sometimes it has sugar, high fructose corn syrup or yellow dye 5.
You DO NOT want to be drinking concentrated forms of any of these.
Education is a big part of marketing LiveBrine pickle juice. We wanted LiveBrine to stand on its own two feet, to tell its own story, and in order to do that we decided to create a fresh, new brand.
How to get that done? We brought in a world class design and branding agency, Future Friends, located right here in our backyard in sunny Florida. We love working with local people who we can actually meet in person!! Not only that, Future Friends has done a ton of design work for many of the local food companies whose founders we know and call friends. I reached out to Danielle, owner and chief creative and we started the process.
The project started with gathering inspiration and having a kick off discovery meeting. What are we trying to achieve? What’s LiveBrine’s personality? How does it relate to Olive My Pickle?
Here’s what we determined were the most important attributes of the LiveBrine brand:
- Fun and colorful. Relevant and on trend without looking like too much of a departure from the ‘parent’ brand, Olive My Pickle.
- Accessible to everyone. LiveBrine should be friendly and not complicated, overly complex, too high minded or dry and intellectual.
- Credible and trustworthy. This was a functional food conferring real health benefits after all.
Another key goal. Many people’s brains read the word “Livebrine” as the word “LIVERbrine.” (Maybe this is you?) We know this from our farmer’s markets. Longterm, repeat customers that have been drinking LiveBrine for years would pronounce it Liverbrine. A key design directive was to create a logo and typography that solved the LIVERbrine problem.
Future Friends got to work and presented us with three separate and distinct branding options for the Livebrine. Here’s what those looked like:
Bringing it all to market
After the logo, colors, fonts and the back of the product layout were wrapped up, we had final artwork to present to our printer.
We decided to print directly on the pouch, versus ordering labels and sticking them on pouches. To do this we needed to create plates for each design.
On a project involving 8 separate SKUs with front and back artwork ended up being 49 total separate plates. Each plate is $250 so you can do the math. For several months we’d been anticipating the expense and planning for it.
Several months ago we’d opened a separate savings account and have been putting money toward the “LiveBrine Fund” since then. Not only were plate fees gonna cost a pretty penny, additionally since we were printing these we’d need to meet minimum order quantities of 6,500 per SKU. Funding the first order was also part of our cash savings plan.
So LiveBrine’s launch is pre paid for, thanks to financial discipline and good planning. These are both skills we learned the hard way after 12 years in business.
As of this writing, the pouches are in print and due to land in several weeks. We haven’t launched the products yet, that’s planned for October 2, 2022.
Don't wait. Try our two classic flavors of LiveBrine today:
How do we promote Pickle Juice shipped to your door?
You can create the most beautiful, functional and delicious product line in the world, but you also have to do a great job of telling people about it! For LiveBrine, we decided to go big.
The Big Dill is the premier online community of pickle lovers on the internet.
The social media pages have a combined following of +400,000 passionate pickle lovers. At Olive My Pickle, we’ve been aware of The Big Dill since it started in 2019 and always wanted to do a promotional partnership with them.
The Big Dill throws The World’s Largest Pickle Party Party each year. This year, Olive My Pickle is headed to Baltimore, Maryland to celebrate all things pickles! We’ve signed on to be the official Brine Chug Challenge sponsor, so our LiveBrine is going to be on the center stage for this fun, hilarious and viral event.
Stay tuned for the official launch of LiveBrine.
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