Brian Pitzer - In the Clear

When Brian Pitzer came up with the idea of selling caffeinated water, he got a lot of weird looks and questioning glances. Why would anyone want something like that? People get their caffeine from coffee and soda; people who drink water will just drink water, so that’s never going to fly. Three years later, Avitae energy water can be found stacked on shelves in cities across the country and grows more visible every day. His idea is going from a puddle to a great lake in a hurry and expanding every year.

“I don’t know if it was the way that I was raised or what, but when I decide to do something, I do it,” say Pitzer. “I knew this was a great idea and that there were people out there that wanted this product.”

While attending The Ohio State University, Pitzer would put caffeine pills in his water or Gatorade to give himself an extra jolt of energy to get through class and workouts in an effort to avoid the unhealthiness of soda or coffee. The only problem was the medicinal taste from the pill coating, something absent in Avitae thanks to natural caffeine.

“We used to think that we had a pretty specific group that was drinking Avitae,” says Pitzer. “It’s kind of the beauty of it that it’s appealing to so many different walks of life that we can’t target, and that’s coming from a marketing guy.”

With his roots in marketing and advertising, Pitzer talks about Avitae as if it were a living person who walks and talks and has a personality. He describes the product’s first three years as its birth to its awkward adolescence and now, 2011 is going to be its coming of age. Future plans include a double-dose-of-caffeine Avitae and some major endorsements from NFLers Rey Maualuga and Johnny Knox, with more to come.

“Columbus has really been the perfect place for us to start out and grow,” says Pitzer. “We really have the same kind of aw-shucks, not-too-flashy, but work-hard-and-do-a-good-job-at-what-we-do mentality.”

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