By Sarah Hunt

This week Hidden Documentary sat down with Melbourne entrepreneurs Chad Yesilova and Joel Fuller to chat about a drink they have created, ESC.

ESC is Australia’s first ‘anti-energy’ drink and is designed to relax the drinker rather than simulate them.

“We both came from the finance industry and during the global financial crisis everyone was experiencing higher levels of stress and anxiety,” Joel says.

“ We then saw an opportunity for the growth of a relaxant beverage alternative.”

Unlike guarana or caffeine-based drinks, ESC uses a valerian root extract, which is a known natural sedative.

” We’ve used all natural sugars, so there’s nothing artificial, ” Chad says.

The two men have been working on their idea for over a year since a fateful trip overseas.

“Chad saw the idea originally in the US in a drink called ‘liquid weed’,” Joel says.

“We couldn’t distribute that here so we sat down with scientists in Australia and decided to designed the drink from scratch.”

Since Red Bull first hit Australian shelves over a decade ago, the Australian Beverages Council estimates the energy drink sector has ballooned into a $300m industry annually.

Energy drink giants Coca-Cola, Schweppes and Frucor are all members of the Council, but CEO Geoff Parker says he is unaware of any ‘anti-energy’ drinks already on the Australian market.

“ Energy drinks currently occupy only 2.5 per cent of the non-alcoholic beverage market,” he adds.

Chad and Joel believe they are reversing the trend of consuming caffeinated drinks to keep up with the pace of modern life.

“ We are encouraging Australians to have fun, you know, take a chill pill,” Joel says.

More information about ESC can be found at www.escdrink.com.