When SKU alum Aura Bora launched in 2019, the brand had five flavors: Lemongrass Coconut, Cactus Rose, Lavender Cucumber, Peppermint Watermelon, Basil Berry. With those favors, the craft sparkling water brand has gained incredible popularity, standing out in a category crowded with other sparkling waters. Auro Bora has expanded into more than 2.8K doors – from Whole Foods to 7-Eleven to Walmart. Founders Paul Voge and Madeleine Voge recently appeared on the Forbes 2022 30 Under 30 list of top founders.
While those five original flavors continue to be Aura Bora’s staples, over the past year the brand has launched four limited-edition flavors: Elderflower Grapefruit, Hibiscus Passionfruit, Chai Cranberry and Ginger Meyer Lemon, Aura Bora will release its newest flavor in April and June, although Paul Voge says he’s “sworn to secrecy” about what it will be.
Aura Bora exemplifies the power that limited-edition products can have for a brand, including the ability to generate ongoing excitement, serve as a test market for new flavors and create a sense of urgency among customers because they know there is finite quantity available. These limited-edition flavors also provide tools that brands like Aura Bora can use to offer retailers exclusives rs not available at their competitors.
Paul Voge talked to SKU about Aura Bora’s strategy of launching limited-edition flavors.
Spicing things up
SKU: How and why did you come up with the idea of created limited edition flavors?
Paul: We started Aura Bora because we were bored by conventional sparkling waters. Ironically, some of our hardcore consumers have had our original flavors for more than two years! We didn’t want them to get tired of Cactus Rose or Basil Berry, so we launched some new innovation (and we’ll continue to do so!) Your favorite ice cream parlor spices things up with a couple new flavors every season and we’ll follow suit.
SKU: What was that first flavor?
Paul: Ginger Meyer Lemon! We launched that one in summer 2021 to see if folks might be interested in a summer citrus refresher, and the response was huge. Although we started Aura Bora to combat the “boring citrus flavors of conventional sparkling waters,” we did our own twist on regular lemon with a slightly sweeter meyer lemon followed by a spicy ginger finish.
SKU: What was the response? How quickly did you sell out?
Paul: Response was amazing! We sold out in a month. That will always be our goal- each LTO production run we make more hoping for four weeks of sales.
SKU: How many limited edition flavors have you come out with? How often?
Paul: Every other month! We’ll do six in 2022. Hopefully more in 2023.
SKU: Are there flavors that did so well that you decided to add them to your regular assortment?
Paul: Yes! Ginger Meyer Lemon and Elderflower Grapefruit both did well enough to graduate to retail. Elderflower Grapefruit will be exclusive at Sprouts for 90 days starting in April.
SKU: How do you come up with your new flavors?
Paul: he flavors are equal parts divine inspiration and industry research. Or maybe neither; we don’t know for sure.
SKU: We saw you had a contest among your followers to come up with a new Aura Bora flavor. That’s such a creative way to engage your community.
Paul: yes we did take votes on Instagram.! The jry is out as to whether we’ll make it,
SKU: What has been your most popular flavor?
Paul: Chai Cranberry! We launched this as a holiday SKU and the response was amazing. We sold out on Christmas Eve. People were excited to have a special sparkling drink for time at home with family.
SKU: What are the benefits and challenges of creating limited edition flavors?
Paul: Operationally its challenging but totally worth it. Existing consumers are more loyal when they have something exciting to look forward to. New consumers might just find their favorite fruit/herb/flower get a sparkling water debut.
SKU: What is your next flavor?
Paul: I can’t say exactly but it definitely involves a popular sparkling water flavor from other conventional brands, but with our own Aura Bora spin.