Matcha Works sparkling range

Matcha Works’ sparkling range has no more than 1.3g of sugar per 100ml

Natural energy startup Matcha Works is now selling its drinks via a “pioneering” WhatsApp service – which it claims is a UK first.

The service, which was  soft-launched in January, allows shoppers to order  directly via WhatsApp, and pay with one click using a mobile payment platform such as Apple Pay or Amazon Pay.

Shoppers using the WhatsApp service then receive “exclusive news, events, competitions and offers, and 24/7 customer support”.

It was set up in response to other social media platforms becoming “overrun with ads and fake accounts” said the business.

Rather than packing and sending drinks itself, Matcha Works is paying a fulfilment service to handle orders. The brand also faced the “added costs of providing more customer service” said co-founder Harvey Hodd. “We’re on the platform a lot more than we would be if we were on, say, a website,” he admitted.

However, WhatsApp allowed Matcha Works to have a more conversational and direct relationship with shoppers, Hodd added. The business would look at automating “certain services” in future.

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It comes as Matcha Works is gearing up to launch its first sparkling matcha range on 1 March. Three variants – Straight Up, Lemon & Lime and Watermelon – will be available in a stubby can (rsp: £1.99/250ml). With no added sugar, they contain between zero and 1.3g of sugar per 100ml – as well as 70mg per can of natural caffeine (28mg per 100ml). Like the brand’s other SKUs, they are made with organic matcha from Kyoto.

The new drinks will be available to order via WhatsApp alongside Matcha Works’ existing still green tea range.They will also be sold by grocers including Whole Foods Market.

The trio paired “very well with food” Hodd said. As a sparkling range, it also took Matcha Works “even more so up against artificial energy drinks”.

The brand wanted to make the energy category more relevant to younger shoppers, he added. “The idea of peak performance and extreme sports that many big-name energy drinks have touted is dying. It doesn’t bear much relevance to the modern consumer – especially in an urban setting.”