Energy One co-founder, Marion Barnaby, shares her business journey

In today’s Behing the Biz interview I’m chatting with Energy One co-founder Marion Barnaby.

This summer, Energy One are set to shake up the high-caffeine drinks market with their UK launch. The line-up includes; Original and Lite, Both are packed with four essential B vitamins including B3, B5, B6 and B12. The drinks are free from the metallic aftertaste that some competitor products have which makes me very intrigued to give them a try.

I hope you enjoy today’s Behind the Biz interview with Marion Barnaby

Share an overview of Energy One with us

The simple vision behind Energy One was to create a vitamin rich (4 x essential B vitamins) that marries a handy vitamin boost with one’s daily caffeine needs. Unlike their peers, Energy One targets an older, more discerning demographic with a more stylish (born in Switzerland), less in-your-face brand identity.

What led you to set up Energy One?

Energy One is a bold, all-encompassing drinks movement that began with a low-hanging fruit/anti-fatigue energy drink, but will quickly move into other more discerning functional drinks. This is a brand shorn of angry, image-over-substance hype that focuses instead on providing a best-in-class energy drink that deliberately avoids the supermarket & garage forecourt melee to focus instead on the often-overlooked independent sector, gyms, night clubs, vending, cafes/delis and wholesalers. 

How did you decide on flavours?

Our flavours are very akin to what you might imagine an energy drink would deliver. There are strong synergies with the Austrian-based market leader but with a better spring water/syrup ratio, which means no unpleasant metallic aftertaste. We were also adamant that we had a lite (50 calories) variant because today many people want a cleaner caffeine buzz with a reduced sugary edge.

What did you do before founding Energy One?

Cars are in my blood as a past motorsport manager for Lotus & Porsche Cars, one of the original architects of the Carrera Cup (GB) and a leading voice when it comes to the world’s first all-electric production vehicle. ‘I always felt my skills set was very transferable when it came to FMCG where new products come and go at breakneck speed and the finely-tuned underdog always has a shout.’  

Was becoming an entrepreneur always a career ambition?

I’ve always been a diligent organiser with strong project management skills, which means I’ve always been better placed than most to nurture an idea until it becomes a viable reality. 

Did the COVID19 lockdowns impact your business?

Lockdown provided an incredible boost for energy drinks who were a stay-at-home beneficiary at a time when the sales of sports drinks (closure of gyms, temporary halting of sports leagues) and more everyday soft drinks stalled. The thing about energy drinks, whether you love or loathe them, is that they have a very clear mandate of re-energizing, providing renewed vigour and vibrancy at a time when the world was a tad flat and uncertain.

Share a business high & low

High: Despite there being two undisputed heavyweights within the energy drink division the ease with which Energy One has generated both initial interest and orders both domestically and internationally has been a pleasant surprise, because as we know, in any vibrant product category there’s always room for a focused disruptor that is comfortable in its skin, by which I mean knows exactly what it does and doesn’t stand for.

The other massive plus is being able to align the energy-drink based business with co-founder Peter’s heartfelt Racing for Heroes cause, whereby money from every can sold supports this cutting edge, initiative, which uses motorsport to support disabled/able-bodied ex-servicemen (& women) in their ongoing bids to get back to work by participating in engaging, feel-good racing projects.  

Low: The escalating cost and demand for aluminium cans never ceases to disappoint.

Best advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?

Never be daunted by the ‘establishment’ brands that dominate your chosen product category. Clearly they have a lot going for them, but that doesn’t mean they’re flawless with no chinks in their armour! 

Huge thank you to Marion for taking the time to be a part of Behind the Biz. I enjoyed hearing about her personal business journey from former motorsport manager for Lotus & Porsche Cars to entrepreneur. I can’t wait to see Energy One disrupt the UK energy drinks market.

It hasn’t launched just yet but their new website will be coming soon.