Scheckter’s OrganicEnergy drink launched in SA

Toby Schechter, founder and MD of Scheckter’s Organic Beverages, former racing driver and son of South Africa’s famous Jody Scheckter, has launched Scheckter’s OrganicEnergy, described as the first 100% organic and vegetarian-certified energy drink in South Africa.

According to the PR, this creation has stemmed from his passion for a healthier life style while staying true to his commitment to organic farming. Recognising that there was a significant gap in the energy drinks market for a healthier alternative, he spent two and a half years developing the energy drink.

Launching the product in South Africa was something he wanted to do from the start. “My roots are here and I believe here are the consumers as well. South African’s are just as health conscious as the rest of the world and deserve a product that fits their beliefs and lifestyle,” says Scheckter.

“Growing up on an organic farm and my involvement in the day-to-day activities of running the farm gave me a deep understanding and appreciation for the processes involved in producing quality organic products.”

“After retiring from my career as a racing driver I began working in motor sport management and so was constantly in contact with energy drink manufacturers involved in the sport. I very quickly became tired of drinking energy drinks that tasted dreadful and were full cheap, unhealthy, poor quality ingredients. As a regular consumer of energy drinks, I wanted to create a real energy drink using real ingredients that consumers would enjoy, and so Scheckter’s OrganicEnergy was born.”

“Two and a half years of research, development, testing and pride has gone into creating our 100% natural organic energy drink. What we ended up with in the UK is the World’s first 100% Natural, Organic, Vegetarian and FairTrade certified and approved energy drink that doesn’t compromise on flavour or effectiveness – and we are the first energy drink to ever win a Gold award at the Great Taste Awards 2011.”

“I am incredibly proud of our great-tasting organic energy drink. It’s why I get up in the morning but I also wanted to found a company that wants to do more than just sell a healthy energy drink.”

“As a business, Scheckter’s OrganicEnergy is determined to inspire a healthier way of life for people and planet. The route of sustainability is at the heart of my company and producing an organic energy drink in sustainable ways is my passion. This is the cornerstone of the business and is where and how we began.”

“But I understand that no matter how much you share our values, if our drink doesn’t taste great we haven’t fulfilled our potential. Which is why at Scheckter’s OrganicEnergy we spend our days and nights sourcing our delicious super-food ingredients.”

The ingredients in Scheckter’s OrganicEnergy are all natural. No preservatives, artificial additives or colours are used.  Scheckter’s is a mix of Sicilian organic Lemon, Turkish & Iranian organic Pomegranate & German & Austrian Elderberry juices. A little raw cane sugar is added, followed by Brazilian Guarana. The active caffeine ingredient is raw green coffee bean extract which gives a more sustained release of energy than other energy drinks. Ginko Biloba is added which that helps mental performance and ginseng for additional energy and support for the body’s immune system.

It is reportedly the first energy drink in its history to win a Gold in the UK’s prestigious Great Taste awards and is available from Woolworths, The Wellness Warehouse, Kauai in Virgin Active Gyms, and selected Engen QuickShops nationwide.

Scheckter’s Organic is distributed in SA by JMC (aka J Melnick and Co); T +27 21 507 7700

Email: [email protected]; Website:

Reviewing Scheckter’s Organic Energy Drink – comment by registered dietician, Adrian Penzhorn on Food for Sport

“My first issue is more of a personal one but is the [beverage’s] repeated use of the word natural. Nowhere in nature can you find leaves and seeds in liquid form, to me natural means a whole food and unprocessed.  If man has touched it, dried it, ground it, extracted it, concentrated it…it is not natural anymore.

Next I want to break down their health claims into what research supports.

  1. Ginkgo biloba improves mental performance?  A review of literature suggests that this has not been consistently or reliably proven.
  2. Brazilian guarana for physical and mental endurance?  Guarana is another form of caffeine.  See coffee seed answer below.
  3. Coffee seed for increased metabolism and energy? Caffeine can increase metabolism for up to 3-4 hours post ingestion, but it does not provide a source of energy rather a reduced perception of effort. It can boost endurance performance by reducing perception of exertion but doses need to be 2-3 mg/kg body weight.
  4. Ginseng for your body’s resistance to stress? Research does not support this claim as ginseng has not been reliably evaluated as an isolated compound.
  5. Cane sugar for additional energy? It is the only source of energy in the can.
  6. Pomegranate and elderberry juice rich in antioxidants? Yes they are. Pomegranate juice and concentrate have been shown to assist in lowering cholesterol and improving artery health but mainly in mice and trials in very specific populations (diabetics) in the East. This still needs to be shown in general and Western populations and greater consistency in study design and dosages is needed. Elderberry juice is a source of flavonoids although the beneficial effect of these is not well proven.
  7. No preservatives? Lemon juice contains vitamin C (ascorbic acid) and citric acid, both used as preservatives. They may not be artificial but they are preservatives.
  8. No toxic chemicals? Caffeine is toxic and can be fatal in high doses. You would have to drink a case of these things to get to those levels but it can be toxic nonetheless.
  9. This blend of ingredients for a slower energy release? As energy only comes from the sugar I assume they mean that. While raw cane sugar does exhibit a moderate GI it is not really plausible to say this will provide sustained energy, in fact the totally unnatural high fructose corn syrup or isomaltulose used in other drinks can have a lower GI.

In summary, it tastes good and can be used as an energy and caffeine source for before or during exercise.  It is unlikely to have any other health benefits, especially when considering its high sugar content. As with all other high sugar drinks they should be consumed around exercise only.”