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|Manufacturer||Bawls Acquisition LLC (Miami, FL)|
|Country of origin||USA|
|Related products||Coca-Cola, Jolt|
BAWLS Guarana is a highly-caffeinated soft drink based on the guarana berry. BAWLS Guarana was created by Hoby Buppert, who formed a business plan for selling a coffee alternative while in business school. Buppert started selling BAWLS Guarana in Florida in 1996 under his company Hobarama. After a computer gaming website praised the soft drink in a 1998 product review, BAWLS Guarana became popular with computer game players, who wanted caffeine to give them energy while playing. This enabled Buppert to start sponsoring gaming events like LAN parties and video game leagues.
BAWLS Guarana is now manufactured by Solvi Acquisition. Headquartered in Twinsburg, Ohio, BAWLS Guarana beverages are available at supermarkets, convenience stores and electronic retailers across the United States.
Entrepreneur Hoby Buppert, who had graduated from the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration in 1995, developed a business plan for BAWLS Guarana as an independent study. Buppert realized that there was a potential market for highly-caffeinated soft drinks, seeing their popularity in Europe at the time. He wanted a caffeine alternative to coffee that was light and not as sweet as other caffeinated soft drinks at the time. After research, the entrepreneur formed his drink idea around guarana, which naturally produced caffeine. The soda's name came from Buppert's vision to have a bold, memorable name for the soft drink. Buppert has also stated that the name is an acronym for "Brazilian American Wildlife Society".
Buppert started the company Hobarama in Florida in 1996, and began to sell BAWLS in November of that year at a Miami nightclub. He perceived Florida to be a good base of operations, based on his younger target market's familiarity with guarana-based soft drinks from Latin America. In his first year, Buppert reported revenues of $400,000. In the summer of 1998, a website dedicated to PC games posted a positive review of the drink, sparking interest in Buppert's product with gamers. To capitalize on this, Buppert's company began sponsoring LAN parties. BAWLS Guarana also became the beverage sponsor of the Cyberathlete Professional League. In 2002, CompUSA started to carry BAWLS Guarana in its retail stores. To further attract video game players, Buppert struck an agreement with Interplay Entertainment to feature BAWLS Guarana in-game as product placement in 2002's Run Like Hell, as well as 2004's Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel.
Hobarama started to expand their target audience to BMX racers and paintball players. In 2004, BAWLS Guarana became a sponsor of the National Professional Paintball League. By 2005, Hobarama had sold 20 million bottles of BAWLS Guarana that year. The following year, Hobarama began sponsoring events in the fashion industry, as well as marketing to the military through the BAWLS "military pack" of bottles. Hobarama also announced in 2006 a new sponsorship agreement with the National Professional Paintball League, making BAWLS Guarana the league's official energy drink. In 2008, GameFly announced a partnership with BAWLS Guarana to give discounts for each other's products and services.
In 2009, Buppert left Hobarama. In 2010, amidst financial issues, a restructuring plan for Hobarama was put into place. In 2012, BAWLS Guarana announced that they had purchased energy drink brands Crunk Energy Drink and Strut & Rut.
BAWLS Guarana Original
BAWLS Guarana Original is the flagship drink of the BAWLS family. BAWLS Guarana Original bottles have 64 mg of caffeine per 10 ounces. BAWLS Guarana Original is also available in 16-ounce cans that contain 102 mg of caffeine. BAWLS original is known for its unique flavor and bottle. The ingredients are carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, citric acid, natural guarana extract, sodium benzoate (preservative), caffeine, natural & artificial flavors, and caramel color.
BAWLS Guarana Cherry
BAWLS Guarana Cherry is a cherry-flavored variant of the beverage. BAWLS Cherry is available in the 10-ounce glass bottle and 16-ounce can.
BAWLS Guarana GΣΣk BΣΣr
BAWLS Guarana GΣΣk BΣΣr is a variation on root beer. It is available in the 10-ounce glass bottle and 16-ounce can.
BAWLS Guarana Orange
A Mandarin Orange flavored variant. BAWLS Orange is available in the 10-ounce glass bottle and 16-ounce can.
BAWLS Guarana Ginger
BAWLS Guarana ZERO
BAWLS Guarana ZERO is a zero-calorie version of the drink.
BAWLS Guarana is bottled in blue 10-ounce glass bottles with a bumpy texture. According to Buppert, the bumps around the bottle were meant to represent "bouncing balls inside the bottle punching their way out".
The drink is also packaged in 16-ounce cans. Buppert states that the introduction of cans in 2006 happened through their relationship with the paintball community, who had issues with glass bottles. In an effort to create a unique design reminiscent of the bottles, foaming ink is applied to each can to create a tactile, bumpy pattern. To achieve the effect, can manufacturer Crown Holdings spot-applied the ink, which at the time was new technology developed by INX International Ink. The cans were introduced in May 2006 at a paintball tournament, and were at first not intended for distribution. After positive reception however, the cans were test-marketed in the summer of that year with three distributors in the Midwestern United States, and then expanded to 70% of the product's distributors by August 2006.
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