GüdPod launched at The Arnold Fitness Expo earlier this year and machines and pods will start shipping in September. The machine can blend any type of supplement, from any brand, with its pods. Unlike a Nespresso or Keurig, the Güdpod machine doesn’t hold any fluid – that goes in your cup and the machine blends the pods’ contents right in.
While the company will initially offers its own brand of pods, the plan is to also partner with a number of other different brands. “The platform allows for other brands to offer their products,” Tasso Koken, CEO of Güdpod, told NutraIngredients-USA. “It’s an open platform.”
“The dietary supplements and sports nutrition markets are incredibly fragmented: There are a lot of products and people are very loyal to their products,” added the company’s founder and executive chairman, Gian Carlo Ochoa. “What’s exciting about this platform is that people don’t have to adjust their products. If you love Garden of Life, for example, we believe we will one day offer Garden of Life products in our pods. Likewise, if you’re already into Glanbia, we believe we’ll offer their products in our pods, too.”
‘Convenient, quick and easy’
Ochoa, whose background includes being a Wall Street analyst and a PhD in cell biology from Yale, credits his wife for the inspiration for the platform. “My wife isn’t into supplements. She told me that she’d take them if they came as a beverage, so the idea was born to create pods with ingredients to make liquid supplements in order to make them attractive to people with an aversion to pills, and serve them like a Nespresso or Keurig.”
The result is a delivery system that is convenient, quick and easy, and has distinct advantages over blenders (the mess, the clean-up) or shaker cups (uneven distribution), said Koken, whose background includes stints at GNC and Best Buy.
The machine retails for $199 while the pods retail starting at $19.99 for four or $65.99 for 90. Four pods are initially available: Whey protein, casein protein, and a pre- and post-workout formulations. Additional pods will launch in January 2017.
The first phase of the company’s plan focuses on protein, with products for sports nutrition, weight management, meal replacement, and seniors.
“Beverages are a better delivery system than pills or capsules,” noted Ochoa. “Digestion starts in the mouth, there is communication with the stomach to start producing digestive enzymes. You circumvent that with pills or capsules and you don’t get full absorption. We’re starting the process of absorption in the mouth.”
Phase two will see the company move towards including vitamins and minerals and other nutraceuticals.
While individuals are one target, the company also sees great potential in gyms. “We’re running some tests in small but prominent gyms in the New York City area in the fall,” said Ochoa. “Many already offer smoothies and shakes, but those that don’t say it is because of the mess and the time needed to clean the equipment. So, they love the GüdPod because there’s no cleaning. They’re very excited about the launch.”
Koken explained that GüdPod is capable of holding 99% of the sport nutrition products out there. “The pod provides plenty of space, and we can deliver up to 35 grams depending on the ingredients. We can also make a stack,” he said.
The pod is flexible in terms of size, but the current size was based on research and input from big players in this space.
The company is in discussions with The Vitamin Shoppe and Ultimate Nutrition, said Koken. “The discussions with those folks are about taking what they have in their assortments and putting that into GüdPods,” he said.
The company is also looking internationally, and has agreed a partnership with MyProtein.com in the UK.