DrinkCool introduces water in cartons to help care for the planet
A legendary Norwegian golfer takes on a new challenge
“Packaged in cartons, cool pure Norwegian water dreams of inspiring people to stay hydrated in a caring way, both for the planet and for the body. We want coolers to not only quench their thirst, but to cut plastic to save the planet. Now that’s cool!”
Water from Norway is clean and fresh, and sharing it with the world is the goal of the Norwegian startup DrinkCool. The carton for their new product has been designed, the taste has been developed, and now the new startup wants to create a community around the brand.
Norwegians are heavy users of wine packaged in paper cartons, and now Suzann Pettersen, a retired Norwegian professional golfer, has joined forces with the startup DrinkCool to introduce water in cartons. She is a board member and owner. With her help, the startup recently raised NOK 5 million in equity capital, and the company is valued at NOK 30 million.
With her international network, Pettersen is a valuable asset to DrinkCool. From her golf career, she knows what it takes to compete to become one of the world’s best players—along with the importance of staying hydrated. She “grew up” at the Oslo Golf Club, where she is now an honored member. Already at 19, she turned professional. In her second start, she won the Open de France Dames in a playoff over Becky Morgan. She retired from a 20-year career the day she holed the winning putt for the European team at the 2019 Solheim Cup, after having been away from golf for almost 20 months for a maternity leave.
The DrinkCool journey started in 2019, when Andreas Hatlevik and Erik Solheim founded the company. Later, CEO, Harald Maartmann came on board. With a business education from Switzerland and the United States, he also has experience with startups.
The chair of the board is Trond Halvorsen. Previously, he was marketing director for Norway’s largest juice manufacturer and has 25 years of experience in the grocery trade. Co-founder Erik Solheim is also a board member. He is a partner at Pareto Securities, also bringing a valuable network to the new startup.
DrinkCool cooperates closely with the Swedish-Swiss multinational carton packaging company Tetra Pak, which is established in more than 160 countries, with production in 55 countries, 25,000 employees, and NOK 120 billion in revenue.
“DrinkCool is the first brand of Norwegian water in a carton launched in Norway,” says Stig Seljeset. sales and marketing manager at Tetra Pak Norge. “Tetra Pak is a proud supplier of the packing material for DrinkCool. I say, ‘Go nature. Go Carton. Drink cool.’”
Tetra Pak uses plant-based materials to produce their cartons, which allows the water to maintain its cool temperature. The cartons are 100% recyclable, so they can be used to create other items.
Another strategic partner is Nen-produkter AS. They are the largest independent juice manufacturer in Norway. They are also among the owners of the startup.
DrinkCool comes in various flavors to fit your style: Natural, Apple Twist, Lemon Twist, and Raspberry Twist. And the water is alkaline. According to the DrinkCool website, “Alkaline water is a water with a high pH value…which measures how acidic or basic a substance is on a scale of 0-14 (0 is very acidic and 14 is very basic). Cool pure Norwegian water—which is 100% purified—has a pH value of +/- 8 and therefore is an alkaline water.”
The new startup is also proud that their packaging represents a 30% to 50% reduction in carbon emissions compared with that of traditional plastic bottles.
So far, DrinkCool has been distributed to all 7-Eleven stores located in Norwegian cities. The goal is to get distribution to all grocery and convenience stores in Norway. The switch from bottles to environmental smart cartons is a megatrend in many places in the world.
The global water bottle market is growing between 5% to 8% annually, while water packaged in cartons is growing over 100% annually. DrinkCool wants to become an international brand and will work toward that goal in Q2 of 2021.
Pettersen is going to take the time needed to make it all happen—and then some.
“I have no experience from the grocery trade,” she told the newspaper Finansavisen. “I have a steep learning curve!”
This article originally appeared in the Jan. 15, 2021, issue of The Norwegian American.