What we put into our bodies is at least as important as what we put onto our bodies. The last years have seen superfoods, veganism, and a healthy and balanced diet rapidly gain popularity – and not without reason. A happy mind and body literally make for a happy life, as food directly affects how we feel and how our body operates. A brand that has more than understood this approach is Pona, distributing healthy and organic drinks made in Austria. Named after Pomona, the Goddess of Fruit herself, and avid supporters of the Kinderhilfswerk in Austria Pona’s philosophy couldn’t be more fitting – for a thoughtful lifestyle as well as the neubau eyewear universe. So, without further ado, why not let Anna, one of the founders of Pona, herself talk us through Pona’s impressive work – and get a glimpse of how the drink is sourced and made.
Why does the world need Pona? How did you come up with the idea?
The world needs Pona because we want to show and offer what real and genuine taste is without aromas, added sugar, additives etc. Pona offers genuine taste from pure and ripe fruits without any additives or added sugar.
We have been to San Francisco on a fact-finding mission and discovered a similar product in an organic deli. Since the producers of this drink had no interest in exporting to Austria, we decided to produce the product ourself – and therefore even better.
What makes Austria the perfect place to produce Pona?
Well, we live here. Apart from that, we are quite lucky and the quality of water especially the one we use for Pona, which is a mountain spring water from Carinthia where Pona is bottled, is very high. Additionally, we are close to Italy from where we get our fresh juices in the highest and best quality. Our producer is a small family business specialized in bottling fruit juices. All in all, everything came together quite well, so for us there is no reason not to produce here.
What fascinates you about your work?
I like the fact, that it is so divers. On the one hand you deal with fresh products, farmers and enjoy a very much down to earth environment in which nature itself is the biggest factor and cannot be controlled. On the other hand, you deal with distributors, small café owners and supermarkets, production scales, pricing and marketing. So, you are facing a lot of different needs and demands that have to go together somehow. But what fascinates me repeatedly is how good Pona tastes – although it tastes different every year depending on the climate. It’s the same as wine, you have good years and better ones. And even though our taste buds are so corrupted by the amounts of hidden sugar, salt and artificial flavors, we get so much feedback on how good Pona tastes.
What would goddess Pomona say about your drinks?
I think she would be sincerely proud. Because in the end we show that if you use fruits from a region where they grow naturally the best due to climate and soil and add farmers who give them the time and the right treatment (or basically no non-natural treatment), you don’t need artificial taste or added sugar. Nothing men invented or produced has exceeded what nature has been coming up with, ever. No sugared or flavored drink tastes as good as fresh juice from ripe fruits and it never will.
Living sustainable, healthy, and organic might seem like an impossible effort to many people – what are your tips and tricks for beginners?
I think we must get rid of the assumption to do everything at once and perfect. If just one decision of your day is done in favor of an organic, sustainable and healthy lifestyle, it has been a good decision. We don’t need to be dogmatic about these things and more importantly we shouldn’t be. Everyone should try and see how they can fit a sustainable and organic lifestyle in his/her life without making it difficult. It shouldn’t be difficult. It should be easy. You are doing it for yourself. Your health, your environment, your ethics, and your satisfaction. Every small step towards an organic and sustainable lifestyle is the right direction.
A lot! Pona has just been the beginning. We are already planning further products, all of them following one major principle: genuine food and drinks with real taste from real people. Working with what nature gives you and trying not to make it worse, since most of the time it’s the best you can get. Working with real people/ farmers who know their products and produce them up to the best standards hand in hand with nature rather than against it.