New protein brand bets on plastic neutral policy

By Hank Schultz

- Last updated on GMT

Getty Images
Getty Images
A new protein brand has launched in the US, which is basing its value proposition on plastic neutral packaging and grass fed and organic claims on its ingredients.

Called Natreve​, the Canadian brand is launching in the US with a line of grass fed whey and vegan protein products. The brand is owned by a newly incorporated entity called Arborypharm Foods Ltd. which on its trademark application lists its address as a new coworking space in Vancouver. The products carry a premium price point, which is becoming more unusual in the protein market as more and more commodity players seek to compete.

A recent study done by Lumina Intelligence, the data arm of NutraIngredients-USA’s parent company William Reed Business Media, found that many protein powder products cluster around the 80 cent to $1.20 per serving price points.

Company: Ingredients justify price

Natreve’s products come in at around twice that much. But the company said that’s justified by its policy of choosing the best ingredients.

“We are not a commodity product, and our focus is not on single commodity usage from low grade components. In our whey series, we strictly use 100% grass-fed New Zealand isolate, the most expensive protein globally—no mixes or proprietary blends—and grass-fed collagen, organic whole food greens and probiotics. Meanwhile, our vegan series is a carefully blended ancient sprouted grain products with organic greens and probiotics,” ​the company said in a statement given to NutraIngredients-USA.

The company has taken steps to secure third party verification of its claims.  The company displays an Informed Sport​ logo on its website, which is one of the certifications offered by UK-based certifier Informed Choice.  The batch-based certification scheme is meant to guarantee the products are free from banned substances that appear on world anti doping lists.  The company makes non GMO and organic claims as well, but displays no certification seals for these.

In addition to the ingredient-based claims, Natreve’s makers are also seeking to tie into another key trend, that being the concern about the presence of plastic residue in the oceans and in the environment generally. 

Pictures of rafts of discarded containers washed up on ocean beaches or of marine mammals and birds that have died after gorging on attractive bits of plastic are alarming enough. But the dial on the alarm meter was spun hard recently with the publication of a study that found microscopic bits of plastic in the headwaters of rivers​ in the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. 

Plastic neutral positioning

For big tubs of protein powder, there are at the moment few alternatives to plastic packaging. Natreve is pushing a ‘plastic neutral’ positioning by partnering with a Canadian non profit called Plastic Bank​. That organization’s mission to encourage the recycling of ocean-borne plastics by disadvantaged communities.  The collected material can be exchanged for digital currency which can support development initiatives, according to founder David Katz.

According to Natreve, its use of plastic for its products will be offset by  plastic collected through Katz’s initiative.

Plastic Neutrality is a responsibility to not only use packaging that is recycled and sustainable in carbon footprint, but also a recognition of how we impact global production and consumption. We offset 100% of our usage,” ​the company said.

“Through our partnership with Plastic Bank, we support the efforts of these areas to collect plastic pollution and turn it into currency which can then be used to support future generations with improved healthcare, food, shelter, and education,” ​the company added.

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