6 ISSUES FOR JUST £6 Subscribe to Hampshire Life today CLICK HERE

Interview with Toby Scheckter

16:39 27 October 2011

Toby Scheckter

Toby Scheckter

Claire Pitcher visited Toby Scheckter at his dad's farm in Overton to discover how he came to produce the world's first organic energy drink...

Interview with Toby Scheckter


Claire Pitcher visited Toby Scheckter at his dads farm in Overton todiscover how he came to produce the worlds first organic energy drink...









Laverstoke Park Farm on the outskirts of Overton is known as The University of Organics and one of its most recent graduates is Jody Scheckters son, Toby. At 33 years old, hes been following in his fathers entrepreneurial footsteps. He started racing at just 10 years of age while living in South Africa and continued when the Scheckter family moved to the UK and to Laverstoke.



I was racing on weekends and working on the farm during the week, which was a bit of a reality check, one minute I was signing autographs, the next driving a tractor!


It was while he was working in America that this young entrepreneur had a light bulb moment. Working in motorsport management he was often dealing with a variety of sponsors and more than once he worked alongside energy drink manufacturers.


I realised there must be room for someone to produce a much healthier version. I didnt enjoy drinking any of them; I didnt know half of the ingredients on the can.


Drink up


So work began on Scheckters Organic Energy drink.


I spent two years developing the concept, sourcing ingredients and putting them together, says Toby. I thought I would have it finished in just a few months, but it took much longer than I thought. To get all the approvals and certifications was quite a mountain to climb; but Im so happy with the end result.


The development took place at Laverstoke; everything Toby needed was on hand, including his fathers support.


There were times when things were a bit tough, but he was always there to help and offer moral support.


Back to nature


All the hard work and perseverance paid off, as Tobys created a world first in that this drink has 100 per cent natural ingredients, all of them organic.


People can say a product is natural if they like, and theres no one to stop them, but most of the time theyre not natural at all if you look at the ingredients. We much prefer to use organic, its much clearer as to what it means; no pesticides or chemicals just working with nature, says Toby.


Scheckters Organic Energy is also suitable for vegetarians and its Fairtrade Certified.


Look on the side of the can and theres nothing you wont recognise; no chemicals, no colourants, I could go on. But the proof is in the tasting. Made with natural spring water with added elderberry, lemon and pomegranate juice, its very refreshing.


Since finishing the product, things have been non-stop for Toby and business partner Charles Phillips. The drink is already in 100 Waitrose stores across the country and you can also pick it up in Holland and Barrett.


For many it would be quite daunting to pitch a brand new product to such large companies, but thats where Charles comes in, admits Toby, He really fulfils a skill set that I dont have; he has a greater business brain, so together, when pitching to companies theyre a force to be reckoned with.


Try before you buy


Of course its all very well having the drink in the shops, but if its not branded and marketed then no one will notice it, this is more Tobys forte.


We have been to a lot of organic events, organised a lot of tastings and samplings and been to a lot of festivals. Its all about getting people to try it, and once they have its unanimously liked and they become fans. Further good news came when Maclaren agreed to take the drink to race weekends for the rest of the year and Tobys hoping to reach the 500,000 sales mark before the end of 2011, having just launched in South Africa. In 2012 the energy drink will also be available in America, and perhaps even in Scandinavia, Brazil, Japan and Russia. This is a huge achievement for someone still in their early 30s, but Toby seems to be taking it all in his stride.


Im just taking it one week at a time really, you cant be complacent. Were still on a knifes edge; its hard being a start up, especially at the moment. Our first year has been great and thats enough, for now.


Time out


This year has been all work and no play for Toby. He has recently moved to London, but still goes back to Laverstoke three or four times a month to see his family. As for socialising, I think I have become quite boring since the drink actually launched. I have less of a social life, and fewer friends. Those I do have complain at me and turn up at my house to drag me out. But I cant wake up with a hangover; I see it as a waste of a day. The little time I have I like to put my feet up or go to the gym.


Who knows what the future holds for this Scheckter, there must surely be plenty of spin-off, organic products just waiting to be produced?


We have a light version developed already, which contains fewer carbohydrates. We could do spin-offs, but the key is to stick with the one that works best and be the best at it. We have enough on our hands with this at the moment.


This businessman clearly has a sensible head on his shoulders.


Award winning


Tobys energy drink is already winning accolades, including a Great Taste Gold 2011, it was Commended in the Soil Associations Organic Food Awards 2011 and achieved finalist status in two categories at The Natural and Organic Awards 2011.

How does it work?

Extracts from organic raw green coffee beans and organic guarana give the physical and mental endurance from caffeine, the organic gingko biloba will help your mental performance and the organic ginseng will help your body deal with stress better. Organic Fairtrade raw cane sugar helps blend the flavours and provides additional energy. Plus organic pomegranate and organic elderberry juice are known to be rich in antioxidants.

0 comments

Shop with us at Great British Life

More from People

Yesterday, 14:57

Whether you’re single or looking to treat a special someone, here are an array of days out in February - to suit any budget

Read more
Thu, 11:32
Chris has travelled the world, but he will always be inspired by his New Forest home

Saving the world’s wildlife is Chris Packham’s mission, but nowhere grabs his attention more than his favourite place, the New Forest says Peter White

Read more
Wed, 16:21
Getty Images/iStockphoto

While you were unwrapping presents and feasting during Christmas there were people sleeping rough in a town near you. Now there are controversial new plans to ban begging in Southampton, but is this the right thing to do? Alice Cooke asks

Read more
Tue, 16:30
Spacious kitchen-dining-family area at Elizabeth Place

Who lives in a house like this? Possibly you do. Emma Caulton talks to architect Huw Thomas

Read more
Tue, 09:52

Following his retirement and a move to New Milton, Tony Clegg was inspired to pick up a paintbrush. He talks to Sandra Smith about finding his own style

Read more
Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Choosing to leave their life in France to take on the family farm was a huge leap of faith for Dagan and Jess James, but thanks to some forward thinking and a large herd of buffalo, the couple are thriving says Nancy Judge

Read more
Tuesday, January 26, 2016
Monday Night Football with Ed Chamberlin © Sky Sports/Andi Southam

Obsessed with sport from a young age, Sky Sports’ Ed Chamberlin talks to Andy Greeves about his love for Southampton FC and how the city’s hospital saved his life

Read more
Monday, January 25, 2016
Getty Images/iStockphoto

Extra definition or just an itchy aggravation? Chris van Schaick ponders the revival of the vegetation adorning so many gentlemen’s faces at this time of year

Read more
Monday, January 4, 2016

It can be all too easy at this time of year to slip into bad habits and comfy slippers. Instead of hibernating, why not take up a new hobby says Claire Pitcher

Read more
Monday, January 4, 2016
Getty Images/iStockphoto

With the recent news that high-tech cameras are to be installed across the county, are we being over-policed in order to raise a few bucks for the council, or is this a necessary evil if our roads are to remain safe? asks Alice Cooke

Read more
Monday, December 21, 2015
Martin Freeman by bellaphon under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 licence (creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/) via flic.kr/p/7HHVPu

Some of Hampshire’s best known personalities have revealed what they most love about the county. Here, we compile some quotes from our interviews over the years

Read more
Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The Victorians started the craze and now it wouldn’t be Christmas without crackers on the festive table. Viv Micklefield travels to Alton to see how some of the finest examples in the country are made

Read more
Monday, December 14, 2015
Rachel Lowe now has a whole series of board games and a fragrance and beauty business

Portsmouth local Rachel Lowe changed her whole life with the roll of a dice, and for many, Christmas wouldn’t be the same without the family crowded around one of her board games says Peter White

Read more
Thursday, December 10, 2015
Cliff Brown: 'Painting is therapeutic, escapism. It is great if others like it, but you can't paint for other people because you can't possibly access their minds'

When suggesting to Cliff Brown I sense the presence of a rebellious streak, we are an hour or so into our Sunday afternoon interview, time enough for me to detect, if not cultivate an admiration for, the free range approach which underpins both his lifestyle and passion for painting.

Read more

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad
subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Hampshire's trusted business finder

Job Search in the Cotswolds



Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search