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Ruby, Ruby, Ruby Do You Love Me?

CleanShot 2023-03-14 at 23.35.56@2x

Finally, reads the copy on the Ruby Hibiscus website: “A juice organic soda big on flavor and big on benefits.”

The site, which has a specific sense of humor – it’s named rubyfun after all – goes on to give you either the long or the short version of how it came to be. We went to the source, founder Noah Wunsch, who launched this new beverage in 2021 with no added sugar or artificial additives. Was he ready to guzzle the toughest questions ever asked about his popular beverages? Read on.

What is it about the hibiscus plant that encouraged its use in a soda?

So many things. Hibiscus is one of the most densely rich-in-antioxidant ingredients in the world. It has phytonutrients and electrolytes, all of these functional benefits with a big tart flavor without anything artificial or any sugar. It also happens to be acidic, which means we didn’t need to add preservatives. When it comes to an organic healthy flavorful beverage, hibiscus is this kind of miracle ingredient.

What was the flavor-tasting process like?

The flavor tasting part was a lot of fun. There are so many different strains of hibiscus and ways of preparing it – powderized, cut and sifted, whole flower heads. So, I brewed them all in varying batch sizes and times and tested them on friends and family – and myself – to see what the best flavor yield was. (For the record, flavors include Original, Berry Cherry, Blood Orange, Fuji Apple, and Concord Grape.)

Were there any “to wash it down” foods involved? 

I can’t say there was a specific food during the R+D, but I friggin’ drink Ruby with everything. It washes food down so nicely. I just had lunch and finished it off with a Blood Orange Ruby.

From what you’ve heard, do the flavors pair well with certain dishes or snacks?

All of them. ALL…OF…THEM. No, I’m kidding – sort of. They pair really well with savory or spicy. We don’t use much sugar in our products – or any at all. They’re tart. So pairing Ruby with something sweet will really make Ruby taste tart.

Tell us how the creation and sale of RUBY has been life changing.

It’s toughened me the f*** up. No other way of saying it. This is a very hard industry, and you have to roll with the punches and adapt. I think that Ruby has given me a much thicker skin and has made me a nimbler and more creative leader.

How did you decide on RUBY as the brand name?

It was right there in the product. Hibiscus has this beautiful red hue to it naturally. It looks like a ruby, so the name is both literal and figurative. It is Ruby sparkling water, but also Ruby is just friendly. It’s a great four-letter word. All of this strangely felt like kismet.

Hibiscus. That’s such a fun word to say, isn’t it? How often do you say it and think, “I really enjoy saying hibiscus?”

Man, that’s a great question and I think the only time I’ve been asked it. Funnily enough, I really struggled with the word hibiscus in the early days. I was pronouncing it huh-biskis instead of hi-biskis. Both are correct, by the way. But saying “huh-biskis” on calls with grocery buyers and potential investors, I honestly felt ridiculous. As soon as I switched it up to hi-biskis I was all good. It somehow made it feel like what it is, a very healthy and functional ingredient.

If possible, can you recall the most sincere, heartwarming compliment you’ve received from a consumer?

Oh man, I was demo-ing it down in Texas and a woman came up to the table to try Ruby. She asked if there was any sugar in the product. I told her there was not. What about artificial sweeteners like stevia? I told her there was none of that either. She took a sip of our Tart Hibiscus SKU and, I kid you not, she started crying. She told me that she was diabetic and had a few other underlying issues and was told that she wasn’t able to have any beverages that really had any flavor whatsoever. That she had been looking for something like this for so long. I don’t think I’ll ever forget that one. It was a perfect realization of our goals and who we are as a business.

Have you ever made ice cream floats with Ruby?

Yes, we have. We did a collaboration with Caffe Panna in NYC where we made some crazy ice cream floats with our Concord Grape. We also had an ice cream float go semi-viral on TikTok, which we were not mad at.”\

Here’s the last question, Noah, and it’s another tough one: Have you thought about using the song “Ruby” by the band Kaiser Chiefs in advertisements?

Oh of course. But honestly the one that’s more dear to me is Rancid’s “Ruby Soho.”


Mr. Joe Walker

Mr. Joe Walker is excited to be writing for Beyondish. An entertainment journalist and bio writer for more than 20 years, he is the co-founder, Managing Editor and a writer for He’s also obsessed with cookies, ice cream and cheesy pasta. Follow him on Twitter @mrjoewalker.


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