Founded about two years ago by Peter Nguyencong and others, Advanced.GG has its roots in the gaming space. The company’s flagship product is called Focus, but they also have a stimulant-free product called Chill, which is “almost as popular”. Speaking with NutraIngredients-USA, the company’s CMO Eric H. said another product is in the pipeline, with a couple more under discussion.
For the moment, the product is direct-to-consumer via the company’s website, but they will be “working with bodybuilding.com very soon”, and in-store in US retail soon, too.
The US esports/ gamer category is dominated by G-Fuel. “We’re quite a bit behind them, but we’re going in our own direction,” said Eric.
Advanced.GG is putting the ingredients front and center on its labels, and one ingredient in particular: Nutrition 21’s nooLVL.
The company’s Focus products are built around Nutrition 21’s nooLVL ingredient, which has been studied specifically in an esports setting (Tartar et al. Nutrients, 2019, 11(10), 2326).
“We met Nutrition 21 before the ingredient was launched,” said Eric. “We met them early on and learned that they had studied the ingredient in an RCT in e-sports athletes. It was perfectly in-line with our values as a company.”
But it’s not all about nooLVL. The Focus product also contains alpha-GPC, lutein (for eye health), choline, natural caffeine, astaxanthin, huperzine A, a bunch of essential vitamins, and other bioactives.
Speaking with NutraIngredient-USA, Joshua Schall of J. Schall Consulting explained that a key challenge for brands wanting to break into esports is the community itself, which is willing to support other eSport companies, versus coming from the outside.
“We 100% agree with that,” said Eric. “The gaming, esports, and online entertainment communities have our own way of speaking. We talk in our slang and use memes a lot. If you’re a non-endemic brand you’ll stand out like a sore thumb. We’re having great success and attribute most of that to our close connection to the community.”
Indeed, one of the keys to Advanced.gg’s early success has been to co-brand their flavors with these e-sports stars, with CracK3d Korean Apple, Mtashed Mango Splash, and Fruit’s Cherry Limeade. The products also feature a cartoon image of the star gamer.
“Doing that has allowed us to reach their audiences better,” said Eric.
One big question is whether gamers are ready for nutritional supplements? Are the products already part of the lifestyle? “There’s a lot of education that needs to be done but people respect what we’ve done with nooLVL,” said Eric. “They’re a smart crowd and we’re proof that they do care [about such products].”
Eric said that he sees more companies looking at the space, and they welcome the competition. “We’re not worried,” he said. “We do want the space to go in a more legitimate direction.”