Last Shot is billed as a “3 in 1” beverage. The product is aimed at an energy, hydration and recovery positioning. And we’re not talking about recovering after running a marathon here; the product is launching in Las Vegas so its purported benefits as a hangover 'cure' are part of the message.
“We are already started marketing the product in local bars and nightclubs in Las Vegas,” Maurice Owens, CEO of EQ Labs told NutraIngredients-USA.
Go where the market is
Hangover 'cures' as a category have failed to take off in the North American market. Bayer, for instance, pulled its OTC product in 2010, though it had more success with it in Latin America. The product, called Alka Seltzer Boost in Mexico, features marketing more like an energy beverage.
Owens said keeping the marketing focusing on Las Vegas is a key part of the launch strategy. The company has plans for later nationwide distribution in convenience stores and pharmacies, he said.
“Las Vegas is the adult playground,” he said.
“The agreement with EQ Labs gives us the distribution and marketing we have been seeking in the United States,” said Derek Hopkins, president of Liquid Health, Inc. and owner Last Shot. “We feel the duration required to reach this agreement has provided a clear alignment between our two companies and focused direction for the Last Shot brand.”
The main ingredients in the product are vitamins B6 and B12. The product also contains 80 mg of caffeine, potassium and magnesium with low sodium, Owens said. The initial flavor is cranberry, and good taste is a big part of the equation, he said.
“Most of the products that call themselves hangover protection are in the form of a medicinal type liquid or a powder. If you drink them, they taste like medicine. Our differentiator is good taste, and being a ready to drink product,” he said.
The 5.5 ounce serving size is a differntiator too, Owens said. Despite the product’s name, it is seeking a middle ground between 5 Hour Energy, which owns the shot market, and the Red Bulls and Monsters of the world, which start in terms of serving size with Red Bull’s 8 ounce can and go up from there.
Alcohol in the mix
Owens is also not shying away from the consumption of energy beverages in conjunction with alcohol. Having both in the same can was banned by the Food and Drug Administration when the agency took the product Four Loko and seven other products that mixed alcohol and caffeine off the market in 2011. But it’s a matter of choice if the energy product is alone it its can.
“It’s carbonated, so it makes a great mixer. We have a lemon lime and a fruit punch flavor in the works.”