CEDAR RAPIDS, IA – OCTOBER 26, 2016– Tom Lutz, inventor of Repour, introduced his innovative new product to attendees at Innovative EXPO, held on October 26th at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Downtown Cedar Rapids.
Tom Lutz and his wife, Michelle, both enjoy wine and were dismayed when a bottle of good wine would go bad after it had been opened and exposed to oxygen. “When wine is exposed to oxygen it deteriorates, altering the taste and aroma, and eventually producing the ‘vinegar’ taste we often associate with wine gone bad,” said Lutz. “After one particular night throwing a half of a bottle of wine down the drain, I thought there must be a better way of getting rid of nuisance oxygen in leftover wine.” After trying various gadgets on the market to preserve wine, Tom realized that none were easy, effective, and affordable. “I’m a chemist and I knew there must be a better way, so I started working on a solution,” said Lutz.
The Repour™ smart stopper is incredibly easy for consumers to use. You first remove a foil seal on the bottom of the stopper, then insert the stopper in the bottle, in place of the original cork. Inside the stopper is a novel FDA approved oxygen absorber, which gets immediately to work absorbing any oxygen in the bottle.
The Repour™ smart stopper continues to absorb oxygen from the air above the wine for as long as the bottle is in use, for however many times it is opened and closed, and for as many days as the bottle needs to be preserved. By continually “de-gassing” the air of oxygen, the smart stopper keeps wine so fresh consumers may even need to let the wine “open up” again when they’re ready to enjoy another glass of wine.
“With oxygen effectively removed from the bottle (and the wine), degradation is prevented and the original aroma and taste of the wine is preserved. “That means no wine down the drain,” explained Lutz.
Lutz spent early Spring of 2016 doing customer discovery and market validation. “We were very encouraged by the early positive feedback from both consumers and restaurant / bar owners. When we got that, we knew we had something the market would value,” said Lutz.
Lutz has patents pending on the design and initial testing has demonstrated that the product is preferable by consumers over existing wine preservation products on the market because it is both more effective and easier to use. The product will be offered to the market in a 1-pack, 4-pack, and 10-pack, with possibility for a 72-pack.
Tom and his wife, Michelle, launched the Repour™ smart stopper to local audiences Wednesday, October 26th at the Innovation EXPO. At the EXPO, they demonstrated the product, while also launching a Kickstarter Campaign to help support early production start-up costs.
Tom has received support from the local and state entrepreneurial and economic development communities. Repour™ has received support from the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA), as well as from the EDC, Inc., a non-profit business accelerator located in the Corridor to assist Iowa-based scalable businesses.
He has received support from other local entrepreneurs, including Jeff Quint, Owner of Cedar Ridge Winery and Distillery, who was one of the first winery owners and retail owners to review Lutz’ initial prototypes for market feedback. Quint believes there will be a strong market for the Repour™ smart stopper. “Here at Cedar Ridge we close on Sundays and reopen on Wednesdays. Now we have to pour hundreds of dollars of wine down the drain in between. With the Repour™ smart stopper, we can simply replace the cork with the smart stopper when we leave on Sunday. When we return on Wednesday, the wine is as fresh as it is when we first opened them.”
Lutz has also purchased original tooling for his product at Beratek Industries, a local plastic injection molding company, and he plans to have his plastic parts manufactured at Beratek. “It’s great to have such a strong entrepreneurial eco-system here in the Corridor,” said Lutz. “Everyone has been so helpful and that has been so instrumental in helping me get this far this fast.”
About Tom Lutz
Tom Lutz is the founder and inventor of Repour™. He has both a Ph.D. in chemistry and an MBA in business. He has prior experience bringing new products to market and his experience extends across a variety of industries (plastic material properties, biodiesel, laundry detergents, aquarium and dog products, to name a few). His passions are family, triathlon, and developing innovative products that people can benefit from.
The Repour Smart Stopper began as an idea in 2015 and is almost ready to go to market! Based on positive quantitative testing results, and positive market feedback on prototypes in the Spring of 2016, we are now preparing for production and plan to be available for shipment in 1st Quarter of 2017. Please check out our Kickstarter campaign, by simply searching “Repour” in Kickstarter. More information can be found at www.repour.com and on social media at facebook.com/repourwinesaver and on twitter @repourwinesaver.