Eric Schnell “I AM” Back

Former Steaz President Eric Schnell is stepping back into the beverage arena with a line of functional single-dose 2.5 oz. liquid supplements called “I AM.”

Schnell said he and partner Andy Jacobson – a former division president with natural products giant Hain Celestial — will start selling the brand’s first four SKUs – “I AM Happy,” “I AM Energized,” “I AM Sleepy,” and “I AM Healthy,” on Monday, Jan. 3, followed by a mid-year launch of 32 oz. “family size” PET bottles.

The intent behind I AM is to capture a burgeoning liquid vitamin supplement category and provide it with its first cohesive brand, Schnell said.

“I don’t want people to think we’re just launching another shot company,” he said. “This is a lifestyle brand and we want to own liquid nutrition and liquid supplements. There’s no clear owner of a liquid nutrition brand with an emphasis on structure/function.”

The brand will skirt traditional beverage distribution routes, instead working with a supplement company for exclusive natural channel distribution, Schnell noted, adding that his company has sold out its first production run. The brand carries an initial MSRP of $3.99 per dose.

While Schnell’s previous beverage company, Steaz, was built on a “grow-it-to-sell-it” model that eventually became untenable as the economy collapsed, I AM is designed to be profitable from day one, he said.

In a call with BevNET, Schnell expressed his enthusiasm for the new brand by stating “Just six words: I AM glad to be back.”