Mindset Energy: How a Father-Son Duo Perfected Their Product

In the competitive world of energy drinks, one brand stands out for its unique approach and commitment to positivity and wellness. OU Kosher certified Moe’s Mindset Energy Drink is designed to foster a positive mindset and a healthier lifestyle. We had the opportunity to speak with Moe, the founder, to learn more about his journey, the inspiration behind the brand, and what sets Mindset Energy Drink apart from the rest.

OU Kosher: So Moe, if you could just give me a general overview of your company and what your role is and Abie’s role.

Moe: Yeah, sure. So Moe’s Mindset Energy Drink is a good-for-you, low-calorie, 0-sugar energy drink. It all started with my son Abie who’s in college. He discovered this idea because he needed some extra caffeine energy and didn’t really like and enjoy drinking coffee. This led us to come up with an idea to start any drink with the word “mindset” in it to keep the positivity going. That’s really what this drink is about. It’s about keeping positivity, having a great mindset, and being better for you. If you’re going to drink this, you don’t want sugar, you don’t want calories. And that’s basically where the market is going right now anyway.

This drink checks all the boxes of what we want. With that said, the process began, and we just put this whole concoction together. It started in college, with late nights, studying, traveling, and all of that. It was something we were very excited about, something we were both interested in, and we said, “Let’s just give it a shot.” We came up with these flavors through intense market research. We did a lot of market testing on the West Coast over 90 days. So we knew all about our product even before launch. And obviously, we had to make it kosher because we wanted to drink it as well. That’s basiclly the overview of how and why it got started.

OU Kosher: How did you come up with the name “Mindset”?

Moe: We came up with the name “Mindset” because we wanted everything to focus on mental health and wellness. We wanted to create something specific with a positive mindset which we want everyone to experience. If you see “Mindset” on your desk or while playing sports, it might give you that boost to stay in the right mindset instead of someone telling you to do so. We just wanted it to be around you at all times to give you that positivity. There’s a positive saying on every can, a motivational saying, to boost that as well. With the extra caffeine and great flavors, we thought it would be a great combination.

OU Kosher: Your focus groups, did you hire a company to set them up?

Moe: Yes, we did. We wanted to get honest feedback, so we hired a company to run the focus groups. They helped us choose people, asked questions, and collected their thoughts and input. This helped us improve our flavors and make sure our drink meets what people want.

OU Kosher: How did you choose the demographic?

Moe: They gave it to everyone, distributing it to locations from gyms to 7-Elevens, supermarkets, health food stores, and breakfast restaurants. This way, we could get a feel for where it performs the best. Among the best were gas stations, health food stores, and breakfast places that open from 6:00 AM and close around 1:00 or 2:00 in the afternoon. A lot of people going to work like to pick up an energy drink for the morning or maybe for lunch.

OU Kosher: So, the company you hired actually distributed to these outlets? Is that how it happened?

Moe: Yes, they drove around and handed out products exactly as they are.

OU Kosher: How did you collect data?

Moe: They went in every week, counted how many cans were left, gave us the sales data, talked to the owners or managers, and gathered all that information. They sent us spreadsheets and had conversations every week about how it was performing, what flavors were selling best, and where it was performing best. We also received feedback on the packaging and did a lot of samples in these locations, testing with customers just walking by.

OU Kosher: Was there someone from the focus group company talking to actual consumers in the stores?

Moe: Yes. They set up spots in front of the stores to test the product and gave customers a questionnaire about what they thought of the product, whether they liked it, if they would refer it to a friend, and what they could compare it to. All different types of questions gave us great feedback. The feedback comes from the public. I could love it all day long, but if the public doesn’t, it doesn’t mean anything. Thankfully, we got great feedback from the public, which is why we decided to continue with the formula we made.

OU Kosher: Did your product’s label and ingredients remain the same when you went to market as they were during testing? Did you make any changes?

Moe: No changes. I kept asking, especially in the first few weeks of testing, “What do we need to change?” But you have to remember, we didn’t just make this and go to market. It took us about two years to study what colors, flavors, ingredients, and packaging would work best. We put a lot of work into it, and that’s what they told us. They said, “You know what, it looks like you did put your work in because what you did here is working.”

OU Kosher: Can you give me an idea of some of the comments you received? Any comments on the fact that it was kosher? Moe: Yes. Last summer, we walked into a 7-Eleven, and I started talking to the owner. I told him we had a great delicious drink that was better for you. He was interested, and when I showed him the can, he said it looked very appealing. I mentioned it was kosher, and he said, “It’s kosher? Bring it right in!” This was a non-kosher consumer, just an ordinary 7-Eleven located on the Jersey Shore.

There’s a Jewish community there, so when I said kosher, he was intrigued. For that customer, kosher really took it over the top, and he said he’d take it. The truth is, when I don’t have my energy drink with me and I want to go get one, I go into a supermarket or 7-Eleven, and I can’t find a kosher energy drink with the ingredients we have. There’s too much sugar in other drinks or things I don’t want to consume. Knowing the market a bit more than the average person, I believe we have something unique.

OU Kosher: Is your product sugar-free or does it have any sweeteners?

Moe: We have a natural sweetener, monk fruit extract. So, no added sugar. It’s 20 calories.

OU Kosher: How did you decide on the amount of caffeine?

Moe: Through research. We have 160 milligrams of caffeine. I’ve had drinks with 300 milligrams of caffeine, and while I like them, I couldn’t sleep that night. It’s just too much. However, too little is just too little, so we came up with the right amount. You don’t crash because there’s no sugar, and you don’t get the jitters. 300 milligrams is like four cups of coffee in one sitting—it’s a bit much. So, we toned it down, and it’s perfect. You feel something immediately, and it lasts for a few hours.

OU Kosher: What differentiates you from your competitors?

Moe: It’s the reduced sugar and cleaner label. I believe it’s better than any other drink out there. I walk into supermarkets and stores, wanting to buy what we have, but I can’t find it. It’s better for you, kosher, and all about positivity. It gives me a good feeling, so when I drink it, I’m happy. I am very confident this drink is the best one out there.

OU Kosher: As far as marketing is concerned, are you selling? Are you on store shelves right now?

Moe: So right now, we are selling strictly through our website.

OU Kosher: And when did you start sales?

Moe: We started about a year ago. We’re looking for the right distribution and the right partner. We want to do this the right way. We’re in no rush, we currently have a lot of people reaching out to us all the time, and we just want to see what works best. We want to see if it’s in our area, if it’s in our wheelhouse, and what other brands they’re carrying. I’m not saying we have something that everyone needs to have, but we want to go in the right direction.OU Kosher: You’re looking for a distributor right now. You’re not talking to retail outlets yourself?

Moe: No, not as of yet. Again, we’re not doing that because we have people reaching out to us. We want to see where that goes, take it step by step, and if it doesn’t pan out the way we want, we’ll take a different direction and adapt.

OU Kosher: How are you doing your marketing right now? Are you mostly using social media?

Moe: Yeah, we’re doing social media. We also have people contacting us for that, and we’re doing many local events. I have two boys, Abie and Victor. They’re involved in the community, in basketball leagues, and in various events. We sponsor a lot of these events with our logos on jerseys and things like that. As for social media, we have a few influencers we’re working with who have a lot of followers in the right markets. One of them is Ally Clifton, a broadcaster for the LA Lakers. She has over 100,000 followers and takes our drink wherever she goes. It’s great reach and a great way to get started.

OU Kosher: Is Ally a paid influencer, or does she just like the product?

Moe: That’s a great question. It started with her liking the product. We sent her a few drinks, she posted about them, loved them, and reached out to us, and she became a brand ambassador. We also got an ad agency representing college athletes, reaching out to us to further promote the drink.

OU Kosher: Are the college athletes another paid outlet?

Moe: It started with giving the product to the players to see if they liked it. They posted about it, and if they believed in the product, we continued conversing about working together.

OU Kosher: Just in terms of production, where are you doing the fulfillment?

Moe: We’re doing fulfillment in LA and using a co-packer for production. The co-packer handles both production and fulfillment. We started with production out west, and we have inventory back home in New York.

OU Kosher: Who did you work with on the flavors?

Moe: That was in-house research with input from friends and family. We asked for feedback on whether the samples were too sweet, too strong, or too sour. We did all of that in-house, but we worked with a flavor company and the co-packer for the beverage development.

OU Kosher: As far as kosher certification is concerned, why did you choose OU?

Moe: For me, it’s the most popular and easiest to connect with. So I went to them without thinking twice. It was one we felt like we could trust.

OU Kosher: Are you producing new products or working on new flavors?

Moe: Yes, we are working on new flavors and products based on customer requests and to keep things fresh. Introducing new flavors keeps it exciting and engaging for our customers.

OU Kosher: Can you tell me how your two sons are involved in the business?

Moe: My younger son just graduated high school and will join soon. Abie and I have been working on this for a couple of years now. We handle whatever needs to be done daily, whether it’s reaching out to distributors, taking interviews, working on social media, or shipping orders. We also stay in touch with the co-packers to handle any issues that come up.

OU Kosher: Other than production and fulfillment, are you doing everything yourselves?

Moe: Yes, we’re doing everything ourselves.

OU Kosher: When do you think you’ll start distributing more widely or at least in stores?

Moe: Within the next three to six months. We want to stay in our area to see what’s going on and stay on top of it. We prefer to be hands-on, and our area includes New York, New Jersey, and the Tri-State area. Even when we go down to Florida, it’s easy to control and get an idea of placement and feedback, which is crucial for us.

OU Kosher: Have you created any other food or beverage products before?

Moe: In this industry, no. I’ve been in business since I was a kid, but this is my first product in the food and beverage industry. When Abie presented the idea to me, I thought it was fresh and young. We did our research, and things started to snowball from there.

OU Kosher: So, you’re essentially an entrepreneur with a background in other projects and products?

Moe: Yes.

OU Kosher: Is this company your full-time job now?

Moe: Yes, it’s full-time.OU Kosher: What advice would you give to someone starting a food company?

Moe: My advice would be to do the research, love what you do, and stay consistent. There will be days when you feel uncertain, but you have to keep pushing. Things will turn around if you stay committed and passionate about your work.

OU Kosher: Have you made any mistakes along the way?

Moe: Not yet, but I’m sure there will be some in the future.

OU Kosher: Thanks for sharing your story with us, Mo. It’s been great learning about Mindset Energy Drink and your journey.

Moe: Thanks for having me. It was a pleasure.