Area residents will be the first to taste the new herbal drink that plays off the name Viagra.
By DON SHILLING
VINDICATOR BUSINESS EDITOR
YOUNGSTOWN -- A boost for your sex life could be just a sip away.
ViaDrink, which sounds like the anti-impotence drug Viagra but has no connection, is an all-herbal drink that is being test-marketed here by a new Youngstown company, Inqbev, as a natural aphrodisiac.
Michael Carlozzi, president of the Crescent Street company, said the drink is designed as a "libido lifter" for men and women. He said he hopes it improves the lives of married couples.
"You're not going to go crazy. It just picks up your spirits," Carlozzi said.
He said all of ViaDrink's herbs are found in vitamin stores, and it has a little sugar thrown in for taste.
The nonalcoholic blue drink comes in a clear bottle.
The introduction of ViaDrink follows the huge success of another mood-enhancing drink, Niagara. This Swedish-made drink, which is marketed as containing "love herbs," has been selling rapidly since it was introduced in the United States in February, the Associated Press reported.
ViaDrink is the first drink to be introduced by Inqbev, a four-employee company that Carlozzi started after working for 11 years as a manufacturer's representative for eyeglass companies.
What's planned: The drink will be launched at a party open to the public from 2 to 6 p.m. Friday at Salty Grog's Pub & amp; Grill in Boardman. There will be contests, prizes and tasting.
Carlozzi hopes to place the drink in vitamin stores, coffee houses, hair salons and gyms in the Youngstown area. This is the first place in the country that will receive the drink, which is made by a small brewery in Minneapolis.
If the drink sells well, Inqbev will prepare a marketing plan and try to sell it to distributors in other areas, he said. Eventually, he hopes to place the drink with grocery stores and other larger retailers.
Carlozzi intends to conduct market testing for other drinks in Ohio, West Virginia and parts of Pennsylvania, Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee. After the testing, his company will prepare marketing plans for the drinks and act as a broker with beverage distributors.
He said he hopes to offer 30 to 50 alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks.
Carlozzi, a Campbell native who lives in Poland, said he had been looking for an opportunity to start his own business when a beverage distributor encouraged him to try testing and brokering new drinks.