Teddie Levenfiche talks to Grace Galler about why he believes matcha is “a superior source of caffeine” and how PerfectTed, which was featured on Dragons’ Den, has taken over the UK.
After appearing on the BBC’s hit series Dragons’ Den and receiving offers from investors in a flurry of different ways, the matcha energy drinks company was faced with a tough decision. Which dragon would help propel their brand to supermarket shelves in the UK?
New Food also had some questions when it came to creating the brand. What niche does it fill in the market? Why choose matcha over coffee or other energy drinks that are well-established? What really happens behind the scenes as you pitch a new drink to five ruthless financiers?
Grace Galler, playing the role of the dragon, spoke with Teddie Levenfiche (Co-Founder of PerfectTed) to ask for an updated pitch. She wanted to know how far the brand had come since the filming of the popular TV series in 2022.
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What is the history behind PerfectTed?
Teddie Levenfiche (TL), PerfectTed, is the brand that is spreading positive energy. We are also the brand behind Europe’s first matcha-powered energy drinks.
Marissa Poster, my co-founder, suffered from ADHD as a child and discovered that energy drinks and coffee exacerbated these symptoms. When she switched to matcha, she noticed that she had more energy and didn’t experience the usual jitters or crashes.
Teddie Levenfiche, Marissa Poster, and Levi Levenfiche are the founders of PerfectTed (left to rights).
She hooked me. We soon realized it was a superior caffeine source that gave us access to other amazing benefits, like antioxidants and vitamins. We were in the US when we launched. Marissa lived in New York, and I was living in LA, where matcha is huge. We moved back to the UK and saw an opportunity to help people by giving them a source that we used ourselves.
PerfectTed is different from other matcha beverages.
PerfectTed energy drink is made from matcha. We think of energy drinks in three waves. Red Bull, Monster, and other energy drink companies created the first wave. They focused on delivering energy at all costs. Second, natural energy drinks are a way to get the same point but with natural ingredients.
PerfectTed is the third wave. We know that consumers now accept natural ingredients, so our focus is on giving them a more lasting energy boost that does not cause them to crash or have negative side effects.
How do you ensure that your matcha ingredients are authentic?
TL By partnering directly with Japanese farms, we have eliminated all intermediaries. We are able to control sustainability and quality and put them in the most accessible form possible: a tin.
The faff involved in preparing matcha can often prevent people from consuming it. We’ve eliminated that barrier by allowing people to access the drink easily just by popping open a can.
PerfectTed will be accessible to UK consumers by 2023.
TL A Perfect Ted is always within a half mile, if not less. We are in over 1200 Tesco shops, as well as Planet Organic, Holland & Barratt, and Marks & Spencer.
We got our first foothold in the market by supplying companies like Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, and Amazon. We were approached by companies who said, “Hey we are currently giving our employees unhealthy energy which is causing them to crash in the afternoon.” We want them to be as productive as they can. “Can we stock your product?” That was how it all started.
What is your target audience?
TL: Everyone. The number one reason consumers purchase food and beverages is energy, followed by immunity. We meet both customer needs.
Our target market is anyone who is currently drinking caffeine or cannot drink caffeine due to it worsening their symptoms. This is the majority.
Why not drink PerfectTed in place of coffee?
TL Matcha contains an amino acid called altheine that regulates caffeine absorption into the body. You will feel a surge of energy for one to two hours after drinking a cup.
PerfectTed offers a range of matcha energy beverages, including Apple Raspberry, Pear Ginger, Pineapple Yuzu, and Pineapple Yuzu.
Matcha is a mixture of caffeine and altheine. This means that the caffeine in your body is absorbed over 46 hours. You can stay caffeinated longer but without the spike. This is a smoother caffeine. You won’t feel jittery or anxious like you do when drinking coffee. The can contains the same amount (80 milligrams of caffeine) as Red Bull or coffee but will last twice as long.
PerfectTed, will it change the perception of energy drinks?
Many people do not drink energy drinks. Women may not be a fan of energy drinks with a masculine image, such as Red Bull or Monster. Some working professionals also don’t like to crash after drinking these drinks. They have a negative connotation.