Plant-based protein brand uses Crohn’s tie in to boost clean image

By Hank Schultz

- Last updated on GMT

OWYN photo
OWYN photo
Plant-based protein brand OWYN has committed to donating sales proceeds of a new product launch to benefit Crohn’s disease sufferers.

The brand announced today that 100% of the sales of its meal replacement shakes during the month of August will be donated to the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation.   The meal replacement shakes are a new product added to OWYN’s line of protein shakes, powders and bars.

OWYN stands for Only What You Need.  The brand, which was acquired pre revenue by Halen Brands​, aimed at a ‘softer,’ more inviting packaging design that could appeal to all consumers. Existing protein products tend to be very male centric in their marketing and packaging, said chief marketing officer Mark Olivieri.

“You have brands in the specialty channel, even trickling into mainstream, that are predominantly very masculine, very bold, very explosive like Muscle Milk or Core Power,” ​Olivieri said. 

“From our position, those brands are super polarizing, very masculine, and do not do a good job marketing to all users within the category, all users who are interested in protein. From our research we know it’s not just males who want protein, it’s also female-driven.”​ 

Partnership will boost brand’s ‘clean’ image

The brand is playing up its plant-based, clean-label image in its partnership with the Crohn’s group.  Crohn’s and colitis are inflammatory conditions, and the brand claims that its products that are free from artificial ingredients could benefit these consumers.

"The Foundation's mission is to find cures for Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, and to improve the quality of life for the more than 3 million Americans living with these debilitating digestive diseases,"​ said Laura Wingate, senior vice president, education, support, & advocacy of the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation. "One way we do this is by partnering with companies like OWYN to raise awareness of Crohn's & colitis, and we are appreciative of their support of our mission.”

Olivieri said the company’s ‘clean’ positioning is paying off in the marketplace.

”There is a new consumer in nutrition looking for cleaner, transparent alternatives. OWYN's mission is to deliver truth and transparency in everything that we do. This is why we are winning share from legacy brands in the ready-to-drink nutrition market. We are excited to continue this mission with the introduction of our meal replacement line,”​ he said.

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