Early into an eight year stint in Japan, Rogues Co-founder Sean Cunial, was asking himself how Japanese colleagues were able to deliver a full and energised day of work after a full and energised night out.
It didn’t take long to recognise the answer lay in an array of the shot-type vitamin tonics found in convenience stores across the country. He also discovered these tonics could do a lot more than revitalise after a late night; different versions could support brain power, immunity, eye health and more. The concept of a range of tonics, each with specific functional benefits, was commonplace in Japan, yet unheard of back home. Sean wanted to bring these tonics to a new group of consumers, who are also known to enjoy a full and energised night out, and so began SHŌJŌ’s journey.
Meanwhile, in Australia, fellow co-founder Paul Fitzgerald had been watching the rapid adoption of new drink categories. Drinks that had been successful overseas - energy drinks, enhanced waters, Kombucha - were appearing in the market with considerable success, taking significant market share from the big brand manufacturers. He knew consumers were switching because these drinks answered their needs, but he also believed the speed of adoption was because the companies delivering were smaller and more nimble than the big guys; when they saw something that worked overseas, they could rapidly adapt it to the Australian market. When Paul heard from Sean about Japan’s range of tonics, that appealed to consumers by targeting real needs, he decided the opportunity to be the small nimble player was too good to pass up.
At the same time, co-founder Myles Davis and Dan Nistor were looking for their next challenge. Myles had just left a 10 year career in FMCG and Telecommunications, bringing a passion for consumer goods and having directly experienced the ‘craft’ revolution within the beer industry. Similarly, Dan had left a 20 year career in FMCG, and wanted to use his expertise in brand building and customer relationships in a more dynamic environment. Myles and Dan were both looking to get involved in something that would truly shake up and transform the beverage space.
Skip ahead to the present day, Sean, Myles, Dan and Paul have left behind the constraints of corporate frameworks and started Rogue Beverages, a boutique beverage company building a new beverage landscape. Rogue wants to give consumers what they want, not what is convenient to make, and believes that what today’s consumers want are healthy, natural drinks that cater to specific functional needs.
To help grow the seed, Sean and Paul reached out to kindred spirits for dynamic product, operational and technical solutions - with a nutrition specialist at its core. Enter Nikki Hart, registered nutritionist with a Masters in Nutritional Science, a love for creating healthy products and curiosity for the benefits of natural and traditional ingredients. Developing nutri-tonics in conjunction with Rogue Beverages gives Nikki an opportunity to incorporate emerging nutritional science with indigenously used botanicals that Māori, Aborigine and other cultures have used for centuries.
The company’s MISSION is to identify the best nutri-shot solutions available in Asia and bring them to the West. The team researches the best functional drinks from Japan, Korea and other parts of Asia, adapts and reformulates them to meet western needs and tastes, then brings them to market.
Every product needs a name. Given the idea’s origins, the founders looked to Japan for inspiration and found Shojo, a playful spirit who likes to live life to the full - something all the Rogues identify with. SHŌJŌ Turmeric Tonic was the first in the portfolio, launched in November 2018.
Ex Coca-Cola Company COO, with a 20 year career spanning general management, strategy, brand marketing, and stakeholder management within the food and beverage industry across Asia, Australia and the UK. During his extensive FMCG career, Sean led significant businesses for Coke in Asia including Japan, the Philippines and Indonesia, where he first encountered the functional shot category.
Ex Coca-Cola Regional Director with more than two decades of Consumer Goods expertise, and a history of establishing and strengthening Coca-Cola and CCA businesses. During his 14 years of GM experience, Paul developed an unsurpassed understanding of Australian and New Zealand consumers.
Ex Senior Manager at Lion with high level expertise in strategy, sales, marketing and operations across FMCG, Media and Telecommunications in Australia and the UK, who has worked with all levels of businesses from startups to Global companies.
A highly experienced and well qualified nutrition advisor and researcher, with over 20 years’ experience across all aspects of nutrition, and advisor to individuals, companies and industry groups. Nikki is an advisor to the food and beverage industry, a regular media spokesperson on a wide range of nutrition topics and contributor to several consumer and corporate health publications.
Ex Coca-Cola CCO; with over 20 years of strategic, operational and P&L experience, Dan has a comprehensive understanding of new business development, building new brands and customer relationships. During his FMCG career, Dan has worked across the globe, including Europe, Asia and Australia.
We are always on the lookout for the perfect partners for SHOJO.
Please fill out your details and one of the SHOJO team will be in touch within 48 hours.