The metro area guys behind Eruption, billed as an "all natural" dietary supplement, are aiming high and seeing red, but only time will tell if it's all just bull.
"It's going to be the next Red Bull," predicted James Rutherford, the local PR guy representing Brian Christensen and Joshua Shirk, the founding partners of Eruption Effervescent Energy drink.
Shirk describes Eruption as a "dietary supplement that can be used in all liquids" rather than an energy drink.
The most obvious way that Eruption differs from, say, Red Bull is that it's a powder that comes in a $1.29 packet requiring no refrigeration.
"We're looking at potentially doing some stuff in the military," said Shirk. "In the field, they are carrying around cans of Red Bull, and it's full of sugar and other stuff and it's weighing them down [when] it's 110 degrees." With Eruption, "They can carry 10 packets in one pocket and they always have a water source on them."
Shirk imagined the product a few years ago when he wanted to cut back on his alcohol consumption and he "got tired of going out to the bars and drinking Red Bull."
He claims it's preservative-free, loaded with vitamins and sweetened with stevia.
According to the media material, Eruption has zero sugar, 2 carbs, 10 calories. Rutherford said a packet contains "the same caffeine as a half-cup of coffee. Its launch flavor is Lava Lime, although they have Super Berry and flavorless coming out within the first year. It mixes as lime does with so many different combinations. Really versatile, and a lot less expensive than a Red," said Rutherford.
"Everybody we've sampled this to is blown away by how good it tastes. It works anytime you want to add a citrus lime flavor."
According to a random waitron at St. Louis Park's Sopranos, who volunteered to taste Eruption added to a glass of beer, it transformed an inexpensive tap brew into something better tasting. Later, when I was not driving, I tried it in a Corona. It didn't work for my tastebuds with the beer. But I liked it just fine in water.
"It also mixes well with spirits," said Rutherford -- "vodka sodas and margaritas. There are no energy margaritas on the market."
A launch party is planned for July 16 at Bootleggers to celebrate the product's release locally to stores. A national campaign is slated for the fall.
Although Shirk said women find Eruption light, healthy and mixable in the drinks they prefer, the product's most jarring YouTube commercials seemed geared toward a male demographic -- emphasis on the last seven letters of that word.
Wow, Uncle Rob
Ladies and gentleman, introducing Larry Fitzgerald Jr.'s "Uncle Rob" singing the Stylistics' "Betcha By Golly Wow."
Uncle had to put up with getting ribbed to pieces by the Arizona Cardinals superstar and his brother, Marcus Fitzgerald, who handled the camera on this YouTube video: www.startribune.com/a531.
Teasing aside, in the end, a nice family moment.
In praise of Prince
The magazine writer and author with the Twitter handle @ToureX announced that he's doing a series of lectures at Harvard next year titled "Why Prince Succeeded Beside The Obvious Fact That He Was Awesome."
"I'll look at the sociocultural reasons why Prince became an icon (besides the fact that he is awesome). I'm covering a specific period -- Prince's rise to icondom & the reason for it. Not the later period. It's a look at his 80's, not really 90's. Afterwards they'll be published as a book," ToureX wrote in other tweets.
The lectures, which will be open to the public, sound like allocutions that'll be heavy on objectivity.
C.J. is at 612.332.TIPS or email@example.com. E-mailers, please state a subject -- "Hello" doesn't count. Attachments are not opened, so don't even try. More of her attitude can be seen on Fox 9 Thursday mornings.