Energy Drinks

1798 Words Oct 29th, 2006 8 Pages
Keeping tabs on your competition is one thing.

Decorating an entire wall of your office with their products is quite another.

For Tyler Benedict, it 's a way to remember how hard he 's worked and how quickly it could all slip away.

His display of more than 200 energy drinks represents the success he 's earned in an industry that 's more likely to send intrepid entrepreneurs into bankruptcy than into Donald Trump 's tax bracket.

"About 80 percent of these are gone," he says proudly. "Most energy drinks fail in six months."

Benedict is the founder, owner and CEO of Greensboro-based Source Beverages, a thriving energy drink company with expected revenues of $2 million this year and distribution in more than 20 states.
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"We 'd give people samples, and they 'd say it was awful. I 'd be thinking to myself, ‘We 're eating Taco Bell just to get by, and they don 't even like it, ' " Kristi Benedict recalls.

Even when the money from Quaker Oats was nearly exhausted, Benedict wouldn 't give up.

The couple moved to Greensboro, and Benedict started over in late 2001, working from home and borrowing money from family and friends. His new product was a ready-to-drink beverage called Burn.

"We wanted to make something that was different than anything else out there," he says.

Creating the basic components of Burn wasn 't difficult. At his father 's agency, Benedict had worked on accounts for vitamins and nutritional supplements.

"I knew the basic ingredients that needed to be in there, so I just had to find a way to make the drink taste good," he says. "So many energy drinks taste like medicine."

Benedict talked family and friends into sampling his home-brewed concoctions to get an honest opinion.

"You find yourself having to rely on friends and family, and I lost a few friends in the process," he says.

Benedict found that some beverage distributors tried to take advantage of him, and he dealt with a few unsavory characters while figuring out how to sell the drink.

He also had a tough time convincing people to take him seriously.

"My dad always said once you hit 30, people start respecting you," Benedict says. "And

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