NACS 2017: Glanbia Targets C-Stores with New RTD Offerings

Glanbia Performance Nutrition (GPN), a subsidiary of Ireland-based ingredient supplier Glanbia, PLC, is seeking to energize its CPG business with several new lines of ready-to-drink performance beverages and protein snacks, set to launch under a variety of brand names in the coming months.

Speaking to BevNET at NACS 2017, Jean Terminiello, national director of sales for immediate consumption products at GPN, said the grab-and-go products are debuting under the Optimum Nutrition, BSN, Isopure, and A.B.B. brands, building off the various line’s existing whey protein powder products. Although the brands have wider recognition in the fitness channel, where they’re marketed to vitamin stores and gyms, the new products will focus largely on convenience, Terminiello said, seeking to offer consumers new and innovative alternatives in mainstream markets.

Isopure, a sports nutrition company which Glanbia acquired in 2014, has previously offered RTD beverages, but the new Cocotein line seeks to combine categories with a coconut water-protein hybrid. Sold in 16 oz. glass bottles, each containing 20 g of whey isolate protein, the three-SKU line includes Fruit Punch, Tropical Punch, and original coconut water flavors. The line is currently available online.

“Right now, if you look at the category there are a lot of me-too protein shakes out there and there’s opportunity to present something that is unique,,” Terminiello said. “We think what we have is a refreshing protein drink that’s married with the trends in water.”

Isopure is also launching a 12 oz. zero-carb variation of its core protein water line for c-stores, which Terminiello said is in the process of rolling out to stores and will sell for $2.99 per bottle. A 20 oz. variation is currently available in Vitamin Shoppe and various gyms.

Under the Optimum Nutrition brand, GPN is preparing to launch a ready-to-drink version of the Amino Energy line, which is also sold as a powder in vitamin and fitness shops. The RTD is now entering c-stores with at least five different SKUs, including Fruit Punch, Strawberry Cooler, Blueberry Lemonade, Watermelon Wave, and Orange Blast flavors. Packaged in 16 oz. bottles and marketed as a dietary supplement, the product offers lower amounts of caffeine at 100 mg per bottle. The line will have a SRP of $2.99 per bottle and a two-for-$5 promotion price.

Accompanying Amino Energy under the Optimum Nutrition brand is Cake Bites protein snacks, which offers a low sugar candy alternative with 20 g of protein per package. The line has already launched at 1,200 Speedway stores. A new flavor, Chocolate Frosted Donut, will launch in Q4.

Meanwhile, GPN has also launched EndoRush energy, which contains a higher dose of caffeine than Amino Energy, under the BSN brand. Under A.B.B., the company recently debuted a new Speed Shot containing 250 mg of caffeine.

“Our discussion with the retailers has been to call out that we have this new performance nutrition section,” Terminiello said. “We don’t want them to just stick them in the energy door, or the water door. We have a performance energy and protein set we’re suggesting and all the merchandising that goes with that.”

On top of traditional social media marketing, Glanbia also intends to engage in geotargeted marketing which will source information on gym membership and other locally-based consumer demographic info to reach shoppers directly and point them to the nearest stores where the products are sold. Terminiello also said that Glanbia is working with retailers to place its own coolers in stores.

“You need to call out the trend and have all the point of sale merchandise to back it up,” she said. “We want to rethink the traditional c-store doors to go after the consumers who recognize brands that are positioned around performance.”