“It provides the benefits of collagen by supporting collagen synthesis with a plant-based solution,”
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Ryan Therriault, VP of marketing and innovation at California-based Amazing Grass told us.
The protein powder, which contains powdered kale and wheatgrass from Amazing Grass’ family farm in Kansas as well as pea protein, rice protein, rose petal, acerola berry, and a blend of B vitamins, will debut next month at the Natural Products Expo East show in Baltimore.
A search on PubMed returns decades of studies, such as one from 1983 in the journal Biochemical Medicine, linking nutrients like riboflavin (vitamin B2), which can be found in leafy greens, to collagen synthesis. It’s a clever workaround for Amazing Grass to use the call-out ‘collagen’ on its product packaging while also delivering a 100% plant-based product.
“We were seeing such a huge trend in collagen products,” he said. “And a lot of the collagen benefits were being tied to beauty-from-within or anti-aging. So we wanted to solve that solution with our protein line under the new sub brand ‘Glow.’”
Building its protein portfolio
Founded 16 years ago, Amazing Grass’ original products were powders and effervescent products consisting of ‘green juices’ selected for their antioxidant and vitamin content. Its foray into plant protein started just a few years ago.
“We’ve been entering the plant protein space in the last three to four years, and we really heard consistently from retailers that there are not really a lot of brands that tailor to female consumers,” he said. “That was what our original intention was. At the same time we were seeing such a huge trend for collagen products.”
In terms of beauty-positioning, there was only one product in its portfolio that explicitly states ‘beauty’ in the product name and claim—Beauty Elixir, a powdered ‘Greens and Adaptogens’ blend of biotin, moringa, ashwagandha, biotin, and hibiscus flower.
“That was our first foray into the anti-aging, beauty-specific, hair-skin-nails proposition for consumers,” he added.
This surge of popularity for collagen is what motivated the creation of Amazing Protein Glow and expand its beauty offering. The US collagen supplements market was worth $53 million in 2017, according to data by market research firm SPINS.
In terms of popularity and consumer interest, Google Trends data reveals that internet searches for ‘collagen powder’ has increased gradually since December 2015. In Google’s scale of 1 to 100, the higher the number thus the more popular a search term is, collagen powder searches today score 99 compared to 6 just three years ago.
Nationwide Whole Foods launch, exploring beauty retailers
The products will hit Whole Foods Market shelves at the beginning of October, Therriault said. But the company is also exploring retail channels that it has not explored before—beauty retailers.
“We’re seeing a blurring of beauty cosmetic products in retail outlets as well as superfood nutrition,” he explained. “Some of these ingestible products are getting distribution through beauty channels.”
Amazing Grass is exploring the option to distribute its beauty-positioned products through these channels.
“It’s an interesting time and the collagen buzz is big right now, but equally big and growing is plants,” he added.
“We think this new product is ahead of its time in terms of the plant-based movement.”