Jeff Bonisa plays hard. An avid diver and bicycle rider, he knows the toll strenuous activity can take on the body and why athletes of all types turn to energy-boosting products for help. But he noticed a gap in products that were natural and tasted good. So Bonisa created Mud Energy Gel to fill that void.
Made with performance-boosting ingredients and proprietary protein blend, Mud Energy goes one step further than other energy products by adding Sustamine to the mix—an ingredient that works on multiple levels to help rehydrate the body and sustain energy levels during exertion.
Bonisa, "The Mud Guy," recently answered questions from Packaging Digest about the brand and its distinctive packaging.
Q: What is Mud Energy Gel and why did you create it?
A: The adventure began in 2009. As an avid waterman, rider and generally just someone who likes to play hard, I saw a product gap in what we as athletes could use as fuel during strenuous activity. I was driven to create something that I could use in my adventures that would provide quality ingredients with a purpose that tasted great. As an executive chef, that part came naturally. And, with our convenient packaging, you can RIP IT. SIP IT. CLIP IT. with ease. Whether you are on land or in the sea, we have a formula that is made for you to help you ENERGIZE. MAXIMIZE. SUSTAIN. And keep you performing at your prime. WE are SERIOUS ENERGY FOR SERIOUS PLAY.
Q: Tell us about the packaging.
A: I raced mountain bikes downhill for five years and still ride every chance I get. I also free dive and spear fish. I love being outdoors and doing all sorts of activities.
I used the other gels for years knowing what they had in them and I finally decided to create something better with a whole range of added benefits over the other things on the market. I did this with the ingredients and, most importantly, Sustamine.
I also did this with our packaging.
After years of my wife grilling me for putting my dirty, sticky camelback hydration pack in the washing machine, I also made a packaging solution a priority with my product. After a few gels don't get taken out after a long ride, the product seeps out and into the bottom of the pack. It also happens when were diving and on the boat. It is not fun trying to get that stuff out of a pack or dive bag and off your dive mask, let alone out of the tools I keep while cycling.
That's basically what drove me to create a pouch where it could be clipped via carabiner to the outside of a pack or hydration system before consuming it and, more importantly, after consuming it. It gave me two awesome benefits. One, my pack stayed clean and, two, everyone could see the product as a sort of free advertising. It keeps everything clean and promotes out on the trail or hike.
Q: Why choose a clip-on pouch?
A: I used carabineers for kayak diving and it is a convenient way to keep things attached while paddling back through the surf zone. I knew this would be a great option as well for a pouch system that I could use while cycling and diving.
Q: How was this developed?
A: I sat in my garage/office and did numerous drawings until I finally came up with something that I thought would work. I knew from testing the film's holding capabilities that I needed a certain amount of material to hold the weight and just went from there. I also read about what athletes did and didn't like in a flexible pouch and tried to keep the mouth and consumption portion small so it didn't cut the inside of your mouth while running or cycling.
Q: Who is the supplier?
A: AC Label supplies the film. It's a great film that really holds up for our use. They are a great supplier to work with for this type of packaging.
Q: What is the pouch material?
A: Fasson Rapid Roll Silver cosmetic web is a polyester-faced laminated pouching material used in packaging of wet goods and liquids. It is heat sealable and provides barrier to oxygen and moisture. Construction consists of 48 ga. PET CT / 10# LDPE 0.000285 foil / 10# EMMA coex / 1.5 mil LLDPE.
I tested all sorts of films from various suppliers and for my needs and how I wanted my product to be protected and stay looking good with a nice durable film.
Q: How is the clip added to the pouch?
A: The carabineer clip is added by the user. We are currently placing a carabineer in each carton of Mud Energy Gels with Sustamine.
Q: Why this particular pouch shape?
A: The shape just ended up after numerous tries as the one that suited all of the things that I felt were really important and needed to be present. It also looked pretty cool!! I liked that we had more rounded flowing edges on the top portion where the product would be consumed. We have more product per serving than some of the others in the market requiring a bigger packet, but that also gave us more room for our logo and plenty of room to have Sustamine listed as a priority ingredient.