Bionade

A formula that changed the world
Germany
Company name: Bionade
Company size: Micro
Company web site: http://www.bionade.com
Date of Foundation: 1995
Nr. of Employees: <100

Case summary:
Bionade, inventors of a non-alcoholic fermented soft drink, initially created by the long established family brewery, the brilliant idea, which was well protected by patent and trademark, took off when the company gave the Brand a radical makeover, developing its personality and positioning it as a hip lifestyle drink that just happened to be healthy.

At the beginning, there’s always an idea
Albert Einstein once said, “A really good idea is easily recognizable: it’s one whose implementation seems doomed at the outset.” A simple sentence, as simple as it is brilliant, that reveals to each of us an insight which unfolds beyond mere physical theories. Everything not found in the world of physics and the theory of relativity, far away from the speed of light, energy and mass, surely feels magically drawn to Einstein’s farsightedness. This may be the reason why few people really understand Einstein but many still like and appreciate him today.

So it was with Dieter Leipold in 1995, master brewer of the small German private brewery: Peter, when he invented a seemingly impossibly drink, Bionade. “At the beginning, there is always an idea. One of the goals was to make a drink for children that did not have any artificial additives and that followed the purity requirements traditionally used to make beer. We found a way to ferment a non-alcoholic drink by converting the sugar that normally becomes alcohol into non-alcoholic, healthy gluconic acid.”

Until this time, however, hops and malt seemed almost lost. Bankruptcy threatened the small family brewery, founded in 1827. Dieter Leipold remembers: “It took eight years and €1.5 million of the family’s money to perfect the recipe”. Throughout this period, Dieter Leipold tirelessly researched his new and innovative drink. He withdrew from the sad reality of the beer brewery to find a new world, a world that with the help of small micro-organisms could signify the future for him and his family. The breakthrough came in 1995. After years of experimenting, the idea-filled inventor created an alcohol-free fermented soft drink. Dieter Leipold acted fast. He protected the brand and patent rights and founded the Bionade International GmbH…

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