One main tweak is the size—the original product, called Before Elixir, was 8 fl oz, while these new Bibi will be in shot form at 2 fl oz per serving.
“These will be the most compact drink [in the category] on the market, all the others are 3.4 fl oz or above,” Du told us. “I decided to do this based on conversations where I learned people want to put it in their purse, and when they travel, they would love to bring something like this along.”
Is the category picking up steam?
The herbal and dietary supplement hangover market is projected to hit $1.9 billion in 2018, up from $1.6 billion last year, Marketwatch reported, citing Euromonitor data.
The hangover shot category is still relatively small. Bibi Beverages’ main competitors in the category include Drinkade and Morning Recovery, both at 3.4 fl oz per bottle, and the current top results when searching ‘hangover cure shot’ on Google. (The latter got a $8 million injection led by Altos Ventures, Forbes reported in April).
Based on her competition, Du decided to go with branding that was more fun and whimsical. “One of our core brand values is being fun and bold, and that’s something I didn’t see in any of the packaging and branding out there,” she said.
“People are going out and want to have a fun time, I wouldn’t want to take something that looks medicinal,” she added.
She also wanted to make sure that her product won’t be mistaken for an energy shot. “People are concerned about how unhealthy they are,” she said.
Milk thistle, magnesium, and more
Du worked with Texas-based JW Nutritional, a contract manufacturing facility, to make sure the active ingredients she had used in the bigger format would still be efficacious served in a smaller dose.
She also diversified the line so that it’s not just a hangover cure in different flavors. Nightcap and Lighten Up contains oriental raisin tree, milk thistle seed extract and two amino acids to help drinkers avoid hangover symptoms and prevent flushing.
Morning After contains ginger extract, B vitamins, and activated charcoal to help with the post-drinking symptoms felt, well, the morning after.
The product IndieGogo launched on Monday, and products are due for shipment in September. Previous retailers carrying Before Elixir will have the opportunity to switch over, though with a much lighter product, Du will be exploring internet sales more.
However, brick and mortar sales will still be main part of her strategy. “A lot of people are spontaneous. When you go pre-game, it’s BYOB, where do you go before you go the party? The corner liquor store, not the Shopify website, and that’s where I want to be.”