A list compiled by market research firm CB Insights of the 15 most well-funded venture capital-backed food and beverage startups reveals the increasing value placed on brands that are offering healthier choices and disrupting established categories like meat and dairy and innovating with plant-based offerings.
BodyArmor will debut its first TV spot Wednesday night with a 30-second commercial designed by retired L.A. Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant. The commercial, which will air on TNT during the NBA playoffs, kicks off a multimillion dollar ad campaign that is set to be the sports drink brand’s largest to date.
Mike Repole, the co-founder of BodyArmor, is unsatisfied. Why? Because BodyArmor, despite its impressive growth in recent years, is not the world’s top-selling sports drink brand. Repole, who also co-founded vitaminwater and is a horse-racing magnate and billionaire, clearly does not lack ambition.
In an interview with BevNET, Jerry Reda, the COO of Big Geyser, said his belief in the management and marketing team at Minnesota-based food conglomerate Hormel Foods, which acquired Muscle Milk parent company CytoSport Holdings in 2014 for approximately $450 million, was a key component of the deal.
The brand extensions, which include a new two-SKU line of low-calorie drinks dubbed BodyArmor “Lyte” and a line of electrolyte-infused bottled waters, were introduced as retail sales of BodyArmor continue to surge.
Riding the wave of demand for organic products, PepsiCo-owned Gatorade has launched a new line of organic sports drinks. Gatorade’s new G Organic series comes to market approximately nine months after PepsiCo first announced that it was developing an organic sub-line for the brand.
Dr Pepper Snapple Group (DPSG) has increased its ownership position in BodyArmor, having invested an additional $6 million in the premium sports drink brand. The deal, finalized in March, comes approximately seven months after DPSG acquired an 11.7 percent stake in BodyArmor for $20 million. DPSG now owns 15.5 percent of the brand.
Starring brand ambassadors Andrew Luck, James Harden, Rob Gronkowski, Mike Trout, Richard Sherman, Buster Posey and Skylar Diggins, the spot takes some lighthearted shots at the old guard of sports drinks.
At the Vallarta Supermarket on Whittier Blvd. in East Los Angeles, Coca-Cola, Sprite and Fanta Mexicana sell for 4 cents a bottle. But those aren’t the only beverages that the retailer offers with a price point below the market standard.
Yes, the rollout of Body Armor has featured some missteps; yes, people have noticed. But founder Lance Collins, as grizzled a beverage veteran as any, is determined to achieve success with his multi-function, “superdrink” brand. But the current ultra-competitive pricing environment for beverages, in which new products face off against highly promoted brands made by bigger companies, has made that road tougher than ever, Collins said.