Powered By SōRSE Partner Spotlight: Mad Tasty

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Written by | May 17th, 2021

Contrary to popular belief, being in a band is not all sunshine, roses, and adoring fans. Whether you’re a solo artist, duo or multi-piece band, it takes a lot of time, energy, creativity, and effort to make, record, perform, and market music. Someone who knows this well is Ryan Tedder, front man for the band OneRepublic. Over the course of his career, Ryan has shown the ability to capture the feelings and experiences that matter to people and put them in songs; now, he has taken those same feelings and experiences and put them into Mad Tasty, his CBD beverage brand.    

In 2018, after a few tough years on the road (in 2016, the band logged 400,000 miles) and dealing with anxiety and sleep issues, Tedder decided to start his own brand of CBD-infused sparkling water called Mad Tasty, having spent a great deal of time researching CBD and its potential health benefits. He decided to name the brand Mad Tasty because he wanted something approachable, fun, and delicious that his friends, family, and fans would love to drink. Tedder knew that it was important to hydrate over the course of the day, but he didn’t love how water tasted, so he decided to create a beverage he would want to drink that featured CBD because he liked how it made him feel. The challenge was finding the right partner to help him create flavor profiles as well as provide the emulsion that would seamlessly deliver the CBD.  

STARTING THE JOURNEY: REFINING THE CONCEPT 

The team at SōRSE started working with Tedder on Mad Tasty in the fall of 2018. Michelle Sundquist, Director of Commercialization (aka “the Jedi of flavor”), and the members of the R&D team worked hand in hand with Tedder to develop the beverages that launched in the spring of 2019. When asked to describe the experience working with Tedder from concept to commercialization, Sundquist commented, “Our initial conversations with Ryan were really focused on the kind of experience he wanted his friends and family to have. Because he was so excited to share his experience with others, he wanted to try to find a way to get the drinks to market quickly. In order to help Ryan reach his goal, we focused on ingredients and flavors that would be popular and that we knew would provide a stable flavor platform. He also wanted a beverage that was really flavorful but not loaded with calories, that you could drink a few of without feeling full. That’s how Mad Tasty as a flavored sparkling water came to be.”   

DEVELOPING FLAVOR PROFILES 

In terms of coming up with Mad Tasty’s first two flavors, Sundquist stated, “We wanted to create a clean flavor profile, so we built the beverages around our emulsion’s citrusy, slightly tangy notes. Grapefruit was the first flavor that paired really well with it. The slight bitter notes of our emulsion added to the pithy notes you find with grapefruit juice. We also really liked the sweetness and softness of watermelon; pairing watermelon with kiwi gave the drink another layer of depth and pop. We worked really closely with Ryan as we experimented with flavor and carbonation, adjusting them as needed to match the beverage he had imagined. We all wanted the consumer to open the beverage and be immediately hit with flavor and bubbles. They’d start to drink it, and it would be instantly refreshing.”  

 DETERMINING DOSING 

At the time Mad Tasty was being formulated, most producers were creating low dose beverages, in the 10 to 15 mg range. Sundquist commented, “10 mgs was pretty much the standard in 2017. We decided to bump it up to 20 mg because we wanted to make sure that Ryan’s audience was getting a good value and experience with the beverage.”  

ADDING TO THE OFFERINGS 

Two months after the initial meeting, the SōRSE team met with Tedder again to sample some prototypes and further build out the product’s story. Sundquist commented, “In late 2018, we did all the beverage design, and we had the first cans coming off the production line in mid-February of 2019. Once we got the first two flavors off the ground, we started working on the profile for Mad Tasty’s third flavor, Unicorn Tears. With that beverage, we were trying to create the feeling of something magical, given the drink’s unique name. The flavors in that are playful and tropical – it’s a base of white tea with a touch of Dragon fruit and a drop of POG, a childhood favorite. That beverage launched summer of 2020.” Tedder continues to grow Mad Tasty one product at a time; Mad Tasty launched a line of wellness shots and a new flavor, Yuzu Citrus, in Summer 2021.

REFLECTING ON THE PARTNERSHIP  

When Sundquist reflected on SōRSE’s partnership with Mad Tasty and formulating the beverages, she brought up Tedder’s commitment to creating a quality product as well as providing people with clean water around the world. “Early on we were eager to be a part of this project, because of Ryan’s goal to give back to the community and promoting access to clean water. For every 12 ounce can of Mad Tasty sold, the company donates 12 ounces of clean water to people in places in need through their partnership with Drop4Drop. That was a great reason to do everything we could to make these products successful. Being there on site, watching Mad Tasty be produced proved that our emulsion was truly easy to integrate into the production process. The experience also solidified my belief in our technology and what we are doing to move the industry forward.” 

If you are a product developer who has a great idea for infused product and needs help further developing your concept with the goal of getting your product to market efficiently, our R&D team is happy to walk through the process with you and recommend a SōRSE emulsion that best fits your needs, just as we did with Mad Tasty. Book a call with our team today! 

  

 

  

  

  

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