Competing with established category leaders like 5 Hour Energy is a challenge. One way is with formulation or technology improvements. Another is to compete on price. LXR Biotech is doing both. LXR Biotech, based in Auburn Hills, MI, has had a product on the market in Walmart and other outlets for a about four years, and has found some success, said CEO Andrew Krause.
No magic bullet
“Our mission was to offer the consumer a better functional prouduct for their money at a better price. There is no reason an enegy shot should be $3 unless it is a magical technology,” Krause told NutraIngredients-USA.
The base product features green tea extract with added caffeine, hefty doses of vitamins B6 and B12 and niacain and vitamin C along with other ingredients. It’s not a magic formula, Krause said, and it’s no secret why energy shots work.
“It seems as if the pattern for 5 Hour Energy has been to mislead consumers that their product functions on some magical ratio of vitamins and minerals. The reality is that the functional portion of any energy shot is the caffeine. And the reality is that caffeine is actually very healthy for you,” Krause said.
“We offer a shot that is directly competitive with 5 hour and has 11% more caffeine. And we sell a six pack for $4.88,” he said.
That’s for the price-conscious consumer. For consumers seeking a functional advantage, LXR Biotech has launched its Eternal Energy TR (timed release), which features a “10 hour” claim prominently on the label. The functional blend in the product, dubbed “Nutratheine” includeds green tea extract, caffeine and other ingredients and is encapsulated in a proprietary, slow-dissolving beadlet technology that LXR licensed from ZUM XR, a Colorado company that launched an energy beverage last year based on timed release caffeine beadlets. The beadlets are visible, and require the user to swirl them into momentary susupension before consumption. That aspect of the technology is less of a hurdle in a shot format. Krause said when he came across the technology, he realized that it could be a game changer in the energy shot category, a category that had become somewhat complacent in his view.
Game changing technology
“It’s a multibillion dollar industry and it deserved better technology than it had. We are seven eight years into it and we don’t have any new technology?” Krause said.
“I’ve been working on time release caffeine for over three years with different delivery methods and different ways of chemically bonding the caffeine. We ran into detractions in each case that prevented it from being retail marketable.
“Then I saw the article about ZUM (in FoodNavigator-USA) and I immediately called them up. The beautiful part is that they had the scientific documentation. They had the dissolution studies. And there is a lot of information on caffeine and how it behaves in the blood stream. Extrapolating that, we had a product where we could truly claim that the energy lasts for 10 hours,” he said.
Krause said that the combination of l-theoniene, green tea extract and caffeine makes for a smoother energy delivery without jitters. The company is working on securing a natural caffeine source and when that happens, plans to make a natural claim on the label.
“I believe that our stuff is good enough that we don’t have to mislead our consumers. Our newer products are going to have natural caffeine to go with the green tea extract. We’ll call it natural when we get to that 100% level,” Krause said.