Published: 08:15, 05 June 2019
| Updated: 09:32, 05 June 2019
A budding entrepreneur has used his struggles to get up for university lectures as inspiration for a new product, marketed as a healthy alternative to coffee.
Former Wrotham School student Alex Turner has launched a caffeinated fruit juice, which he says provides the same 'boost' as coffee or more traditional energy drinks, but with added health benefits.
Bottles of CaffJuice have already been sold at convenience stores in Wrotham, Gravesend and West Malling, but Mr Turner is now setting his sights on bigger supermarkets, both here and overseas.
"I was struggling to get up for my 9am lectures at university, and having to drink loads of coffee every morning," he said.
"But that left me dehydrated and I was anxious about talking to colleagues because I thought I would have 'coffee breath'.
"I thought 'surely there must be something else I can drink in the morning to get a healthy boost'?
"I looked online and the juice wasn't being done anywhere, not even in the US.
"It actually featured as an idea in one of my university modules, so I thought 'why not actually try and pursue it'?"
Mr Turner, who lives in Knatts Valley, near Sevenoaks, had initially tried producing a caffeinated chewing gum, but admitted prototypes all came out tasting "disgusting".
He claims the product may even be healthier than regular fruit juice, which does not contain Vitamin B6 found in CaffJuice.
The 23-year-old has a small group of people who have helped with graphic design and some of the manufacturing, but getting to this point has been almost entirely down to his own self-determination.
"I had no money but I started working on it and the last few months, it's been all guns blazing trying to develop the concept," he said.
"I also work as a waiter and all the money I make from that I'm pumping into the business.
"I'm working from as soon as I wake up until around 1am every day, it's my entire life at the moment, and I'm spending the bare minimum to survive.
"The long-term vision is to scale it as much as I can but I want to help others as well, which I know sounds cliched, but that's a big part of what motivates me."