“We felt like we needed to add a component to complement the food,” Filippone, founder and CEO of Elite Lifestyle Cuisine, told NutraIngredients-USA. “Even with prepared food items, their diets are still missing key components. Not everybody’s eating berries, not everybody’s eating beets, not everybody’s eating kale.”
So in 2016, Filippone worked with a lab and manufacturer in Pittsburgh to design plant-based nutritional supplements delivered in powder form. The resulting product line, launched in December 2016, is called Forever Juice.
There are four products in the line, all powder supplements, that sell for about $49 per 10.58oz tub, which is equivalent to 30 servings. The varieties include Forever Clean (for gastrointestinal tract health), Forever Fit (for energy, endurance, and cognitive function), Forever Function (antioxidants for overall organ health), and Forever Young (phytonutrients to support healthy aging).
For Filippone, it was important that his supplement products contained only plant-derived ingredients from US suppliers that use plants also grown in the US. Additionally, he wanted to bring to market a product that is different from what he was used to seeing back in his bodybuilding days.
“I found a lack of natural, performance enhancing items,” he said. “I think that today’s supplement companies, they mostly thrive on performance based products, they don’t thrive on health products.”
To not let the supplement line cannibalize sales from his prepared meal line, Filippone wanted the messaging to be clear, that these supplements are complementary and should not be meal replacements. “Consuming 20 calories from natural sources—that’s not a meal replacement, but a complement,” he said.
Bringing his experience into product development
Before the company brought the product to market, it conducted market research and found that more consumers preferred ‘whole food supplements’ than those that include performance-enhancing ingredients in their supplements.
Another reason why this new line focuses a lot on gastrointestinal health came from Filippone’s experience with bodybuilding, coaching, and consulting. “Everyone from stay-at-home moms to professional moms, I’ve coached everybody, and what I found consistently was that people had digestive issues, people had bowel movement trouble,” he added.
By blending fitness with holistic, plant-based health in the brand’s messaging, Elite Lifestyle Cuisine’s Forever Juice supplement line fits squarely into the overarching trend where sports and performance nutrition is blurring into other categories.
“We want to be a lifestyle, health and wellness product, we’re not trying to go into [the market] where everybody is close to using ‘gray area’ products,” Filippone said. “People are understanding that with good health and nutrition program in place, you could live to 150 years old these days.”