Ever wondered about up and coming local brands and how they get started? Take Bangkok based Naatea for example; a healthy and refreshing cold brew tea brand that launched in the middle of the pandemic and during partial lockdown.
Bitesize caught up with Naatea founder, Khun Pratchaya “Sun” Sananvatananont to talk about wellness, flavours and why he hasn’t jumped on the delivery bandwagon.
Tied together under the concept of “daily dose of wellness”, Naatea (which is a play on the Thai word for minute), wants you to be mindful about what you’re taking in.
There’s already enough hype on fit food, what about fit drinks? Khun Sun says that the “drink well” aspect of healthy living is still somewhat under penetrated in Thailand. A lot of places still lean heavily on sugary drinks, or caffeine centric.
“That’s why I started naatea, to help people be well through tasty drinks that is packed with natural benefits and vitamins while also being super refreshing”
Naatea offers cold brew full-leaf tea. From fresh fruit teas, signature blends,topure tea selections made from locally sourced tea in Chiang Rai. Choose from a selection of Cold Brew Oolong, refreshing Cold Brew Earl Grey, or the Cold Brew Sencha. There are over 20+ choices to choose from.
The Pandemic Experience
Launching during the pandemic, where all dine-in options were closed was not ideal. The situation made Sun realize that Naatea had to take the necessary steps to tackle the barriers.
Naatea focused on Immune System menus, also giving away free drinks that were heavy on the Vitamin C and Anti-oxidants.
“We saw first-hand how customers can disappear,” said Sun. “We decided to weather the storm and open every day, which gave us insights into loyal customers who would come in for takeaway tea.”
Being a new, unknown player, Naatea was hit on all fronts and most of all, financially.
“Being brand new and a small setup, we were hit hard on all fronts. It was not easy to throw away the unsold goods (which we make daily, but there simply were no people) and the days of not being able to cover rent was difficult.”
The takeaway from Sun?
“We were launching new promotions/offers on a weekly basis, even when there were very few people! That is the point I am making, to keep trying different things as much as you can despite the situation.”
As a founder, this is essentially the most important mindset to adapt; do whatever you can to survive.
“It’s so important that the leader is very clear on how to survive financially, taking real action to adapt quickly in any situation.”
The Delivery Debate
It’s unheard of to launch an F&B brand without going on a delivery platform. Naatea has made a conscious decision to remain exclusively offline.
“Our drinks are best when freshly made. It also reflects our mission of drinking consciously and well,”said Sun.
Naatea provides a personalized experience with each customer, via recommendations that aligns with the clients’ nutrition needs or simply to raise awareness on drinking well. The venue is designed to be a quick, momentary escape of the bustling city life, more so than a quick call away from a delivery platform.
What’s next for Naatea? Sun’s mission is to open more branches in Bangkok within the next three years, continue to innovate through new menus as well as play a more active role in advocating for people to “Drink Well” through various platforms and events.
Want to jumpstart your drink well mission? Head over to Naatea and show this code ‘bitesizebkkxnaatea’ to enjoy a buy 2 get 1 promo from us!
Naatea is located at UBC II Building, Sukhumvit 33 (walking distance from Phrom Phong BTS & Emquartier).
Opening Hours: Monday-Friday (7am-5pm)