BevNET.com President John Craven stopped by the Redondo Beach, CA headquarters of Function Drinks to speak with Dayton Miller and Josh Simon, two of the three co-founders of the brand.
Founded in 2004, the brand has had its share of ups and downs. Miller and Simon, along with the third co-founder, Dr. Alex Hughes, who was connected to the meeting via Skype from New Zealand, feel that their brand is now on the right track. The trio expressed a sense of happiness to be beyond the “gold rush” created when Coke acquired vitaminwater for $4.1 billion, which also coincides with the company’s reported peak valuation of $100 million and a failed effort to use DSD to take their brand to the mainstream.
Now, they’ve gone back to the roots of the brand: the science and medicine that inspired Hughes when he was in medical school. As a result, Function is embracing “being a supplement company,” which means a combination of condensing its portfolio to the functional platforms that sell best and focusing on the right retail and distribution partners. Miller sums it up as saying that Function is “focused on authenticity” – a change from its initial approach.
The company also plans to back up what’s inside the bottle at a time when the FDA is cracking down on structured functional claims. Function is undergoing a variety of studies on the ingredients that are used on the product. “We want to be able to demonstrate both in a third party way and through our clinical studies that our products, from a functional standpoint, really deliver to consumers what they say they will”, Miller said. According to Simon, data is expected by mid to late Summer 2010.
Also discussed in the video is an update on the brand’s performance in 2010, thoughts on FDA regulations, and the changing tune of investors now that the recession and vitaminwater gold rush are likely behind us.