Product Spotlight: Runa Guayusa Tea Drinks

January 22, 2013
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Product Spotlight: Runa Guayusa Tea Drinks

Summary
Runa is a line of functional beverages that use Guayusa tea as their main ingredient.  Guayusa is a native Amazonian tree leaf that has been brewed like tea for thousands of years by indigenous communities in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Guayusa Tea offers a clear, focused energy by balancing as much caffeine as one cup of coffee with twice the antioxidants of green tea.

Runa currently offers four flavor varieties for their Guayusa based drinks.  The ingredients are all natural and centered around fresh brewed organic guayusa.  Other ingredients include organic cane sugar for sweetness and for flavor:  organic spearmint, lemongrass extract and organic hibiscus flowers.

The Guayusa leaves are purchased from Indigenous Amazonian farmers in Ecuador.  While Guayusa leaves are widely consumed throughout the Indigenous communities, Runa has given these farmers access to the international market in a way that previously was not possible.  This partnership has created social benefits far beyond simple buying and selling of tea leaves.  Runa is investing in community development projects and by helping plant over 150,000 trees every year.

Guayusa Benefits:
Guayusa contains the same amount of the world’s most prized stimulant, caffeine, as one cup of coffee. However, guayusa also has other stimulating compounds- theophylline and theobromine that combined create a balanced energy effect without any jitters, crash, or jolted buzz. Theophylline is a clarifying and uplifting compound also found in green tea. Theobromine is the stimulant found in dark chocolate that offers that pleasant whole body feeling many are familiar with.

Analysis
Runa is truly a unique story that is easy to fall in love with.  Some products are simply made from a mix of ingredients that are put in a package with a label and set on a shelf.  Runa, however, has a deep story behind the origins of the product that goes far beyond simply selling a natural energy drink.  The founders decided that not only would they use Guayusa to develop a natural energy drink but that they would help entire communities of Ecuadorian farmers in the process.  This impact cannot be measured only by the number of Guayusa leaves purchased, trees planted and financial investment in the communities.  The benefits extend far beyond that.  There is a delicate balancing act that will need to be played out as Runa ramps up production and more Guayusa leaves are consumed than may be available.  Increased volume will certainly have repercussions througout these Indigenous communities and Runa will need to work closely with these groups to understand the long term effects.

You would be hard pressed to find a more natural energy drink product on the market with such a unique story.

 

Company: Runa
Brand:  Runa
Category: Tea Drinks
Location: USA
Packaging: 14oz bottle
Claims: Certified Organic, Natural, Low Calorie
Slogan:
Focused Energy
Price:
$2.65
Flavor Varieties
Traditional, Mint, Hibiscus-Berry, Lemon-Lemongrass
Website
drinkruna.com

 

 

 

 

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