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SMC students launch soda in LaFortune

Caitlin Housley | Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Thanks to several entrepreneurial Saint Mary’s students, the Notre Dame campus community can now quench its thirst in a manner befitting its affinity for the color green.

Twist O’Luck, a soda concocted by senior Jeannie Michael and juniors Hannah Hupp, Lindsey Downs, Hanna Vicary and Loren Sampson as part of a class assignment, went on sale at the Huddle and Sbarro in the LaFortune Student Center April 12.

The group put a lot of effort into launching the creation and got Northwood Soda in Williamsburg, Mich., to bottle the citrus-flavored beverage, Hupp said. Glass bottles of the drink feature black labels with “Twist O’ Luck” written in green lettering.

“Twist O’ Luck began as a class product for the Business New Venture course,” she said. “We came up with the idea over the summer and spent much of the first semester creating the formula, designing the labels and writing our business plan.”

Michael said marketing to the South Bend community is critical to the beverage’s success. The inventors of the drink attended the South Bend Women’s Expo to promote sales and consistently update the Twist O’ Luck Facebook page with contests.

The green drink has already gained popularity at Saint Mary’s. Since the soda’s introduction Jan. 26, Hupp said the campus has sold around four cases per week. She said Notre Dame initially bought four cases of the soda and sold out within 24 hours.

“Since we designed the soda to be a novelty for the local community, Notre Dame was an obvious location that we hoped to be able to sell Twist O’ Luck,” Hupp said.

Hupp said she anticipates the product will be popular at Notre Dame.

“We hope to bring everyone a little ‘twist o’ luck,'” she said.

Michael said the group is excited for the long-term future of the product at the University.

“We are excited for all of the opportunities for students and the community that having Twist O’ Luck at Notre Dame will bring,” she said. “Market research has shown that kids love Twist O’ Luck. We know that future Domers would enjoy and have fun drinking a Twist O’ Luck at tailgates as they cheer on the Fighting Irish.”

Notre Dame sophomore Trenton Jackson said Twist O’ Luck is “absolutely delicious.”

“I tried it, then proceeded to buy fifteen of them,” he said. “I believe that supporting local business is very important.”

Junior Alex West said his group of friends was surprised Twist O’ Luck was invented by students.

“We were sitting around drinking [the soda] and wondering how this could have possibly been made by a student,” he said. “It was like if winning could be turned into a beverage…I would definitely buy it again and again.”