Tasks ahead

Hey guys thanks for yet another awesome day. We progressed heaps today. We have a company and brand name, product concept and pricing and we have a clear picture of what we are doing in the kitchen tomorrow. I have just posted on our blog and if you get time please have a read. Just want to make sure that even if we work separately we need to make sure we are all on the same page. Sara you are in charge of finding all answers for the product you are developing in the kitchen with Tom. Tom please assist or even take charge to develop the logo and labels for the product from there onwards. I would nail the pricing, sourcing packaging on Alibaba and fine tune marketing. Sara we also need to do a step by step guide for the customers and we will print a leaflet for the kit. Enjoy your evening and I will catch up with you guys at some stage in the kitchen.


Product concept and development

Well done team for putting heads together to move forward with kefir grains. We now have a clear product concept. We would be selling water kefir kits with dehydrated kefir grains and cherry juice packed in vacuum pack.

The market research this morning further confirmed the fact that kefir grains were in demand but not available readily in Dunedin. We were pitching a health and wellness product for gut health to a segment of the market that was predominantly female, baby boomer, well educated high involvement food customer that was willing to learn more to look after their health to improve and extend their lives. Our research has indicated that gut health is of a prime concerne and a well looked after gut has many health benefits.

We would continue to research at the farmers market on coming Saturday with an open mind should we bump into another segment of the market that might be interested in our product. We also need to look at our target market to learn how would they engage with our product in their lifestyle.

The tasks ahead are:


  1. How much dehydrated grains per pack weigh wise.
  2. How long to dehydrate to obtain an ideal product.
  3. How much cheery juice per pack
  4. How much cherries by weight required to make juice per pack
  5. How much mallic acid to add to stabilise the juice.
  6. Ph of the finished cherry juice.


  1. Price each component of the product excluding GST
  2. Wholesale price of 1 lit glass bottles from Alibaba.
  3. Pricing for the label on the bottle
  4. Pricing for the sugar pack and label
  5. Pricing for organic fair trade sugar, bulk wholesale
  6. Price for reproducing and dehydrating crystals.
  7. Price for crystals pack and label.
  8. Price for printing step but step instructions leaflet.
  9. Price for producing, packing and labelling cherry juice.
  10. Price for packaging the kit ready for couriers.
  11. Courier charges per kit for Otago region.
  12. Price for 2 pieces of muslin cloth 8×8 cm


  1. Customer support and high level of knowledge exchange would be of utmost importance for the success of the product. Our company would engage customers through several social media avenues and would seek feedback to best understand their needs and possible new products.
  2. Facebook page to post product benefits. It is almost like launching a new product segment and product category education is a must along side brand promotions. Customers would be given incentives to post pictures and tips as they start using our kefir. Demographic focused Facebook marketing would also be done to explore if that was the cheapest and the best way to reach our target market.
  3. A dedicated blog to educate customers with researched and published data on the advantages of using kefir on a regular basis. It will tag high profile naturopaths and their blogs and they would be given free kits to try for themselves and to further put the advantages on their blogs.
  4. A dedicated website to not just have an online presence and product education but to also sell the product through subscription.
  5. An initial investigation suggests that the company might be stocking the kits at antidote pharmacies, taste nature and health 2000 stores besides selling it at the farmers market and online sales.

Future Prospects

  1. The company realises that this is a lean business model and a fairly lucrative business could be launched with very little starting capital. The core of the business, water kefir crystals, can be produced with minimal labour and less than 50 cents per pack. Almost a similar amount to produce cherry juice makes it a very low expense product in terms of ingredients and labour.
  2. There is no dilemma that the business proposed has a short life spam. The company would either be sold at the upper end of the growth phase or new products trending and satisfying the health and wellness needs would be considered. Company might start selling kits for other fermented products.
  3. Keeping an eye on the customers would definitely suggest the company if it needs to enter the market of ready to drink kefir.
  4. If kefir trend keeps growing then the company might consider selling franchises across the country.

Food (kefir) for thought


Kefir grain definitely has health benefits.



Gut health is important, a very compelling evidence.


Well how good is this kefir guys!


Well a good comparison. We are not selling capsules, however, still good to know kefir drink is good for gut health.


Water kefir is right up there.

Some good info graphics too for our product fact sheet.



Kefir kits, a better match

Last week was fairly intense trying to come up with a product that our persona would want. We tried water and coconut water kefir drinks with cherry juice. Although water kefir tasted good and was even better with the juice, it posed another challenge. How do we stop the fermentation and what would be the shelf life of the product?

Water kefir was an anrobic fermentation hence ever when the bottles were sealed it would practically keep fermenting and would become alcoholic and fizzy and sour. The second challenge were the blogs and articles suggesting commercial kefir was less healthier than home made ones as it had considerably fewer probiotics.

We hit the hub with our survey to find out about the awareness of fermented products and healthy drinks. Sara would post a detailed version of the outcome however few highlights are listed here. Firstly, out of 24 surveyed, 14 would consume fermented products for health benefits. Only 3 people heard about kefir. Since our persona was educated and was willing to acquire knowledge for health benefits hence the findings were not totally discouraging.

Sitting at the hub drinking coffee and scratching our heads, we did have a Eureka moment! Thanks to our Masters’ student Penny and our dear lecturer Richard. Penny, a naturopath,ntold us that there was a shortage and a wait list to get kefir grains in Dunedin. Cool. Richard forced us to look harder at our business model. Challenging. The team came up with the idea of selling kefir grains.

Now it all makes sense. Kefir grains was a much better design solution for our persona than the bottled kefir water. We possibly need to start a subscription based business selling kefir grains and cherry juice. A lean business model suggesting to sell the business in the top end of the growth phase or offering a wider range of fermented products kits.

The task ahead is to come up with a brand, branding story, logo, packaging and visually simple reinforcing imagery. We also need to finalise our strategy for the coming Saturday farmers’ market survey.

Tell me team, who is doing what in next two days till we meet on Wednesday ❓

See ya🍒

Water Kefir, the way to go

Good to see the whole team together trying to solve this design problem! Obviously, Kanji was a stink bomb and kombucha was ordinary too. It will also take a long time to prototype kombucha as the fermentation takes more than a week.

Thanks Sara for bringing the fermented kefir for all of us to try.We concluded after tasting that coconut water based kefir was too pungent and a bit obnoxious to drink. On the other hand water kefir was fairly good. Although it tasted very sweet the sugar content was around 5%.The sugar content of the cherry juice was 7%. We mixed equal portions of cherry juice and kefir and the taste was still a bit sweet. The sugar content of the mix was 12% which is fantastic as compared to other drinks in the market.We are not sure of the shelf life of the finished product at this stage. We could add some malic acid to bring the acidity of the product down to 4 or 4.5 and then if we add sodium benzoate in it then it can act as an preservative.

Another important aspect is to check with the target audience if they are willing to incorporate a product like that in their life style. We will design a questionnaire and make another batch of the product and ask the guys at the hub tomorrow. We are aiming to find out if they use fermented products, buy or make healthy drinks and why do they do that. We also aim to find as to how and when they use these drinks at home. We would also give them a taste of the kefir and see what they think and if they have tried this product before. See you tomorrow with the findings.


This is an interesting place to learn about water kefir.

Water Kefir!!!

This is the start of the coconut water kefir! I got the water kefir grains yesterday from a naturopath and put the brew on this morning at around 10:30 am. I have done a batch of coconut water kefir (on the right – 3 cups organic coconut water and 1/2 cup water kefir grains) to test how that turns out. Personally, I think this smells really good! I can’t wait to try it with the cherry flavour!

However, on the left is just plain water kefir (3 tbsp organic cane sugar, fair trade, 2 cups distilled water[very important to use dilstilled], and 1/4 cup of water kefir grains. I have put this batch in just sugar water for the purpose of reproducing them so we have more to work with once the base batch of coconut water is done. Then, next time, we will be able to do more batches. Water kefir grains do not really reproduce in coconut water, so it is important that they are hydrated before use.

These batches should be done by Sunday morning at 1030. When that time comes I will change the kefir grain sugar water to make sure they don’t starve. I’ll update you guys later on to let you know how it goes!

Good luck with your persona reports by the way!