Of all the dumb pitches that crossed my desk today, this one might just take the dewy-eyed prize for “oh good heavens, this is an awful idea.” Pzaz (presumably pronounced “pizazz”) is like a breath spray, but instead of minty fresh, the “zero calorie mist” is an “energy igniter” packed with caffeine and will hit your bloodstream faster than [insert your favorite tasteless drug joke here].
The pitch is borderline unbelievable, claiming that it is “allowing the consumer to elevate their own levels and maintain their charge with micro doses.” Don’t get me wrong, I like a gallon of coffee every now and again myself, and I’ve been known to have to scrape myself off the ceiling of the cafe after an espresso or six too many from time to time, but a “juicy strawberry”–flavored caffeine spritz just sounds like a weaponized perfume gone horribly wrong.
“I started the company because I wanted to create a consumable product that would thrive at the places where I most frequently shop. After visiting hundreds of convenience stores and speaking to thousands of their customers, I became obsessed with the uncompetitive, gross, unsafe, and unappealing world of energy shots,” Jonah Reider, the company’s “culinary entrepreneur and founder,” said in a press release. “I developed Pzaz with a team of experts who share my interest in revitalizing a dead retail category and redefining what it means to be energized.”
Somehow, the company managed to convince Vice Ventures, Animal Capital, Azure Capital and others to put an undisclosed amount of cash into the company, which makes me just hate everything about this even more.
“Playful and ‘zazzy’ brand” my backside — I just don’t want to live in this reality anymore.
This post may have been slightly inspired by me being a grumpy fucker today, and one too many espresso drinks this morning.