Stefan de Vries is as excited as the kids themselves as he talks about his totally new Maraca, a take home non-fizzy soft drink that doubles as a musical instrument. In 1989 de Vries and Stephen Pohan formed a party band called White Man Can’t Reggae, which revolutionised the music industry with the use of technology and marketing. 

After providing entertainment to over 4000 parties and witnessing many weird and wonderful things, the Maraca as a perfect party drink and accessory was conceived.

“About four years ago, I came up with the Maraca bottle idea while performing on stage with our band. In my left hand was a ‘coldie’ and in my right was a maraca. Being the class clown that I am, I found myself shaking the coldie and trying to drink from the maraca,” he recalls.

“The idea hit me the same time the spray of beer hit me,” he concedes.

“Since then my business partner and I thought it was such a great idea that we decided to go for it. We set up a research and development office and factory, purchased some moulding machines, designed the bottle, the filling and the assembly line all in three years.”

The Maraca bottle has a tamper proof base that contains plastic pellets that simulate the maraca sound. The fruit drinks inside the bottle are non-carbonated and come in four flavours to match each bottle colour.

De Vries says: “We are producing to order. We have a few independent route distributors across the country selling truckloads. There are many enquiries daily and new markets are trying to get hold of stock.

“We have found the market for the Maraca to be very general, however the market that is really drawn to it is the kids.”

White Man Can’t Reggae still performs every now and again. “In the 90s we were really doing well, at grass roots level. We had a cult following that pushed us into the top ten entertainers in Australia.”

The pair is now working on licensing the Maraca bottle. “We have Austrade doing some work for us in various countries around the world.” 

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