Called Zaca Recovery Chewable, the product features two branded ingredients, both from Kyowa Hakko: Setria Glutathione and Sustamine L-Alanyl-L-Glutamine, both of which have extensive clinical backing for their effects, which was what made them attractive in the first place, said company co-founder Mark Aleks.
Aleks founded Zaca with his brother James in 2008 shortly after they moved from Massachusetts to Colorado. They were wowed by the work hard/play hard lifestyle of the young professional set, and saw an opportunity in helping those type of potential customers cope with their lifestyle choices. The pair were primed to look for market niches as they had a family background in food and beverage distribution and had working in selling skin and beauty care products to salons and spas, Mark Aleks said.
“It’s really more of a lifestyle product,” Mark Aleks told NutraIngredients-USA. “We were inspired by the lifestyle to move out here. You work hard in your professional life, but you play just as hard in your social life.
“Coming from the skin care and beauty industry, we knew what kind of look we wanted the product to have. We wanted it to be easy and fun to use, but we wanted it to also have a certain class and chic,” he said.
Aleks said it was important to have a natural positioning, and to include the highest quality ingredients possible. The first ingredient on the label is an extract of the Japanese Raisin Tree (Hovenia dulcis) which has a traditional usage as a hangover treatment. Setria is included for antioxidant protection, detoxification and immune fortification and Sustamine for hydration and muscle recovery.
Solid business relationship
Aleks said the fact that Kyowa has so much clinical data backing the ingredients made it worthwhile to spring for their premium price tags.
“They have superior quality ingredients and they were also fermentation-based. We wanted to get away from the artificial ingredients that you can find in other supplements,” Aleks said.
“We’re really big on doing business with people we respect and get along with. Kyowa Hakko has been so supportive and really easy to work with and they have such high standards for their products and they have the science to back them up,” he said.
Aleks said the ingredient choice was key to where they hope to eventually distribute the product. Their first product, a recover patch, was sold at venues such as liquor stores. The pair, who self-funded the company with capital accrued doing other jobs, have higher goals for their chew.
“The recovery category is definitely growing. We believe we are the first in the industry to create a product of this nature in a chewable format. We already have a base of stores that we work with and the health food channel will be a big focus. We will be growing regionally and then we plan to go into national distribution,” he said.