Watch out LaCroix and Spindrift, there’s a new sparkling water brand on the block and it has some seriously chill vibes to spread. Recess, a line of CBD-infused sparkling water, launched earlier this month and is taking aim at the creative community as its core audience.
Founder Benjamin Witte has been developing the brand for over a year now, with the goal of creating something that anyone can have at anytime of the work day to help a person relax and get their creative juices flowing. “I have always been naturally hyper and wired. I started using CBD daily and as a result I felt much more balanced. I was more productive, more creative and less stressed out and anxious,” Witte said.
So, Witte linked up with a formulator out of the Hudson Valley with a background in syrup development for sodas and cocktails. Together the two spent six to seven months coming up with the perfect flavors—blackberry chai, peach ginger and pomegranate hibiscus—that would be both complex and sophisticated. Witte wanted flavors that would set the brand apart from competitors in the space, including LaCroix.
After the flavors were settled, Witte worked with design firm Gin Lane and Day Job Studios on the brand identity and the purpose of the brand. Recess needed to be more than just a flash in the pan—a brand that infuses CBD into its products simply because it feels like the trendy thing to do.
Instead, Witte wanted to create a brand that could go beyond sparkling water. One day perhaps, Recess powder will be available for your afternoon cup of coffee or glass of water. Witte wanted to create a lifestyle and wellness brand that cares about creativity and helping those creative types relax and unwind.
“In a world where people are increasingly stressed out, anxious and overly simulated and searching for solutions to feel balanced, whether it’s the rise of meditation apps, yoga, the rise of cannabis, Xanax, the rise of mindfulness, time well spent … it’s all an indicator that people feel increasingly overwhelmed and a little off center by modern society. That’s fundamentally what Recess is all about,” he said.
That’s why the brand purposefully kept the packaging simple and avoided being too CBD heavy. “I don’t think about Recess like a CBD company or a beverage company,” Witte added. “We are using a CBD beverage to establish a use case for taking a recess.”
Recess will start posting regular “profiles” of creative people on the brand’s Instagram account, beginning with Blanca Guerrero. Those posts are essentially Recess’ answer to influencer marketing for the creative community, with shots of the artist’s workspace and a can of Recess artfully displayed here and there.
“All the marketing, you are seeing in social media, is fundamentally about selling this mindset of balance and clarity, being calm, cool, collected and trying to create this association with the use case of having a Recess and being creative and productive,” Witte added. So far, almost all of the brand’s Instagram posts have been videos overlaid with calming sounds to really add a relaxing mood to people’s feeds.
Recess is available for purchase on the brand’s website. The brand is also working with Amazon to sell the product there.