There are four lines under the Foundation Fitness brand: Protein Water, Protein Nutritional Shake (made of whey), Plant Protein Shake, and Coldbrew with Collagen. Each of these varieties have multiple flavors. The minimum amount of protein in the line is 20 g per serving (in the collagen coldbrew), with the highest at 30 g per serving (the nutritional shake).
Walmart is Foundation Fitness’ first customer, Matt Knox, vice president of Foundation Fitness maker Wellnova Consumer Healthcare, told NutraIngredients-USA. “There will be an additional four grocery retailers in the southeast and Midwest on-boarding in early November and additional three more between November and January.”
The company’s strategy to focus on mass grocery retailers as selling points hints at the increasing role this distribution channel plays in selling protein and other performance-positioned products, especially products that come in ready-to-drink (or RTD) formats.
“Walmart has access to a diverse group of consumers on a national and global scale,” Knox added. “Walmart is step one in our plans to expand the brand throughout retail nationally and globally shortly thereafter.”
Earlier this month, the company debuted its brands for the first time at the National Association of Convenience Stores (or NACS) show, as the company is also targeting convenience stores and gas station retailers as potential distribution channels.
Standing out in the crowd with cans
Protein drink shelves at mass grocery retailers across the country are slowly crowding with bottles and carton containers of RTD protein products, which is why Wellnova decided to package Foundation Fitness in cans.
Knox explained that carton and bottle drink packaging for the protein space are vestiges of the original protein products and original protein drink buyers—aging adults. “The target audience of the original RTD protein drink makers were only able to drink one to two ounces at a time, so they needed to be able to re-seal it,” he said.
“That’s why the category of RTD protein started the way it did. We went with the aluminum 12oz can because it’s on trend and it appeals to millennial consumers,” he added. “It moves away from a body building or Ensure image and gives us more white space to operate in.”
Served in slender 12 oz. cans, Foundation Fitness’ branding and package design took cues from the energy drink sector, injecting novelty in the maturing RTD protein space.
“We wanted to look at protein differently,” Knox said. “Brands in the category today are looking at protein as a source for dieting and bodybuilding. We’re looking at it as a source of fuel, more like energy,” he told us.
Sports nutrition under the microscope
Sports nutrition will take center stage at the upcoming NutraIngredients-USA Sports Nutrition Summit, January 23-24 in San Diego, with presentations covering a range of topics, from the size of the prize to product differentiation, the state of the science, the female athlete/consumer, sports nutrition and the US military, and much more.
For more information and to register, please click HERE.