“Sixty percent of people don’t remember to swallow their vitamins in part because they are not excited to do it. So, we wanted to make it fun – like when you were little and it was fun to take your Flintstones’ multivitamin,” Drink Nutrient CEO Dana Beck told FoodNavigator-USA.
Only instead of making a product ‘fun’ by using brightly colored dyes or adding sugar so it is “super sweet and tastes like candy,” Beck said, Drink Nutrient offers an option that is free from dyes, fillers, added sugars and excess sodium, but still tastes great and is something that adults will look forward to consuming every day.
In addition, she said, Drink Nutrient’s beverage blends are more bioavailable than pills and capsules, the benefits of which she argues are scientifically shown in some journal articles not to be fully absorbed.
“The bioavailability of our functional beverages are so much higher than pills and capsules because as soon as you smell the drink or taste the lemon-lime or grape flavor, your digestive enzymes are released and they basically prime the pump so you can absorb nutrients and vitamins so much better,” Beck claimed.
The new brand also created each of its beverages with specific usage occasions in mind, so that reaching for them would come as naturally to consumers as pouring their first cup of coffee in the morning or sipping a sports drink at the gym.
3 options with ‘different personalities’ for every consumer type
The company’s inaugural line-up includes three options that Beck says, “have very different personalities” but are designed for a large target audience ranging from busy families to weekend warriors and extreme athletes.
The first is Drink Nutrient’s Vitamin Booster+, which Beck says substitutes for a multivitamin with 100% of the recommended amounts of daily essential vitamins and 610 mg of uniquely balanced electrolytes.
“The Vitamin Booster+ is targeted to the busy family – kids, moms, dads, anybody who wants to take their multivitamin in the morning but they want to do it in a way that your body is engineered to absorb and in a way that is as simple as tearing open a stick and mixing it with water,” Beck said.
She argues the beverage not only is “more fun and pleasurable” than a standard multivitamin pill or tablet, but it also has “a great hydration ratio of potassium and sodium.”
She explains that unlike many other electrolyte blends, Vitamin Booster+ is predominantly potassium with lower sodium, which is a nutrient of concern that public health advocates would like Americans to consumer less.
For consumers looking for a little more pep in the morning or an afternoon pick-up, the brand also offers a Vitamin Coffee, which promises sustained energy without the jitters.
As a self-professed “coffee snob,” Beck says she loves the rich taste of the 100% Colombian Arabica coffee used in the beverage and that each serving offers 50% of the recommended daily essential vitamins, which means its okay to have a second cup.
She also noted that the instant coffee is spray dried, rather than freeze dried, which means it can dissolve easily in hot or cold water. Plus, the beans are roasted using a proprietary cold baking method that develops the full flavor without releasing acrylamide, which can be a concern for some consumers, Beck said.
The final beverage is Liquid Nutrient, which Beck calls the 'everything drink' because it has 13 essential vitamins, double the electrolytes of most sports drinks as well as three BCAAs to help repair muscles and tyrosine to support mental focus.
The beverage is designed to be enjoyed before, during and after exercise, and won’t undo the calorie burn because the grape flavor has only 6 g of sugar per serving and the lemon-lime has only 1 gram of sugar.
A clean & clear Nutrition Facts panel
In addition to offering a better-for-you blend of nutrients and ingredients, Beck says Drink Nutrient goes beyond the competition and the legal requirements to clearly label the quantity of each vitamin and mineral in its beverages.
“Consumers are demanding more transparency, and we are telling them exactly what they are getting and not hiding anything from them,” she said.
She added that the brand’s transparency – along with its strong science-backing – will help set the brand apart in a crowded category dominated by several iconic brands and a flood of smaller, lesser known competitors.
Instilling passion in consumers
In addition, Drink Nutrient is working with inspirational and yet approachable influencers to help spread the word about its beverages. For example, Beck explained, one influencer is a competitive rock climber who is also earning a degree in cyber security. Another is a slack-liner who travels the world and walks across “crazy canyons” not because it brings him fame and fortune, but because he is passionate.
That passion is something that Beck says she hopes Drink Nutrient and its marketing can instill in consumers.
“Everyone who is an influencer for us is living their passion … because we want to inspire our customers to be their own superhero in their lives, and we want to show them how they can streamline their life so they have more time to pursue their passion while also getting them the nutrients they need,” she said.
Beyond influencers, Beck said, the young brand has been an avid sponsor and supporter of local events, including triathlons, road races and the local minor league baseball team in its hometown of Reno, Nev.
So far, Beck said, the most receptive consumers have been marathoners and triathletes who, she said, “understand functional beverages,” and will be good ambassadors for the brand by spreading the word among like-minded people they know.
With that strategy in mind, Beck plans to target the “whole fitness sales channel” as it scales in the coming year, including spinning and yoga studios, boutique fitness centers and other places that attract “people who are aware of what they are putting in their bodies.”