Adam Clarke, of Obvious Products, has put an innovative new approach on a classic golfer’s drink
It was something that always bothered Adam Clarke of Obvious Products. Why was the Gunner cocktail, so popular in many golf clubs, not also available in the shops? And why did it take so long to serve in golf clubs?
So the chartered management accountant, who had spent almost 25 years working for a range of large international investment banks, got to work. The result is GUNRZ, a modern version of the non-alcoholic cocktail using a sparkling blend of ginger, citrus and bitters – pre-mixed and packaged in a stylish 500ml can.
Launched last month, and with clubs able to purchase direct, Clarke talks about the origin of the drink, how it has initially been received and his hopes for the future…
How did GUNRZ come about?
Last summer, I was looking for a new challenge. I started to investigate what it would take to develop my own Gunner recipe and branding and it snowballed from there. It certainly helped that my brother-in-law is a talented packaging designer… and now a shareholder!
What is the history of Gunners?
Much of it may be hearsay and the stories diverge a little, but it certainly seems to have originated in British colonial ex-pat communities, most likely in Hong Kong where the drink is still very popular today. I’ve heard the name Gunner comes from the fact the drink was first created by a soldier in the British Tank regiment – although that wouldn’t explain why in some parts of the world it’s known as a RockShandy! I don’t mind a little bit of mystery. I think it adds to the appeal.
Handing out samples at the GCMA 2018 National Golf Day
What’s the feedback to GUNRZ been like so far?
The reaction from golf clubs has been fantastic. Some of the long established private members clubs are not famed for their pace of change but there was widespread agreement a pre-packaged Gunner cocktail was a good idea. The big modern resorts have also been really enthusiastic about the product. Everyone seems to like the blend we have developed and are impressed with the branding.
My favourite feedback is ‘what a brilliant idea, why has no-one else thought of it?’ I have had that a lot. It provides clubs with a convenient, profitable and delicious non- alcoholic beverage, to be enjoyed both in the bar and on the course, that they know will be popular with their existing Gunner drinkers.
What does the future hold?
Over the next couple of years I hope to establish GUNRZ as the number one soft drink within golf. In many clubs, a Gunners is already the most popular soft drink sold over the summer and that’s without it ever being marketed. I think GUNRZ can capture much of this existing demand, attract new consumers and increase overall sales.
I’d then like to introduce GUNRZ to other venues where a long refreshing drink would also be popular – like tennis clubs, cricket clubs and gyms. It would be great to export it to golf clubs in Spain and Portugal where it should prove very popular sold from a drinks buggy. Then who knows? There are possibilities beyond the golf world. Ultimately, it would be great to see my drink on the shelf at the local supermarket.
By Mike Hyde