He’s conquered dog food and sporting goods, and now he’s looking for a win in the beverage business as well.
John Gagliardi is no stranger to winning, however, as he’s a former professional lacrosse player and collegiate All-American in addition to an entrepreneurial success.
Gagliardi’s previous to ventures were as a co-founder of pet food company Blue Buffalo (started by Bill Bishop, one of SoBe’s founders), as well as the founder of Maverik, a lacrosse equipment and apparel company, which was sold to Bauer Hockey. Since then he has become something of a trade show fixture and quiet observer of the beverage business. Gagliardi said he took more than three years to develop a beverage concept that he thought could work, and the result hit New York-area stores in May: Titan Tea, an electrolyte- and ribose-enhanced, four-SKU tea line that is currently being distributed via Dora’s (and North Fork Water for those of you enjoying the Hamptons already).
The former Team USA lacrosse player is hoping that the added functional ingredients within the product will resonate with athletes who are interested in maintaining hydration or consistent energy levels throughout their workouts and beyond.
“We’re having a lot of fun with the brand,” Gagliardi said. “We’re passionate about it, we love it, and we just want to have fun with it.”
One of Gagliardi’s partners in the venture is fellow pro lacrosse player Kyle Sweeney, as well as a team of nine full-time employees. They have already begun a store- and event-focused sampling campaign, heavily weighted toward swimming, cycling, and running competitions. As of now, Titan is being sold in about 200 locations, including Equinox Gym, Westerly Market, and Gristede’s. And yes, it will also be sponsoring and sampling at lacrosse-related events over the summer, as well.
“We’re trying to talk to people who stay active, who eat and drink healthy,” Gagliardi said.
The brand, which is non-GMO and uses brewed, fair trade-certified tea as well as organic-certified tea and cane sugar, has 35 calories per serving and should retail for between $1.99 and $2.49 per 16 oz. square PET bottle. Titan debuted in four flavors: Lemon Black Tea, Raspberry Black Tea, Pomegranate Green Tea, and Peach Green Tea.