Meal replacement startup CTRL announced a nationwide retail deal with The Vitamin Shoppe, establishing a presence in over 750 stores. Born out of the gaming industry, CTRL will now be accessible to the mainstream market.
Since launching in 2019, the company has found a loyal following. Now the company says it is now well positioned for sustained growth.
“Now that we’re expanding into national retail, our loyal customers are excited to be along for the ride,” said Skyler Johnson, co-founder of CTRL. “We are not only providing them with a nutritional meal, but CTRL’s shakes are also incredibly convenient for anyone who has extremely busy schedules. Part of our mission is to make this lifestyle more mainstream, and Vitamin Shoppe will help us bring our brand to new heights.”
Johnson told us that missing meals and not getting key nutrients is an ongoing problem for everyone — gamers or no.
“CTRL contains a prebiotic, carbs, protein, healthy fats, fiber, bcaa, MCT oil for appetite suppressant and more, which makes for a healthy meal replacement that will leave you feeling full for hours,” he said.
CTRL, which stands for “Catered to real life,” contains 23 vitamins and minerals, 23g of protein, 5g of fiber, 31g of carbs, and 2g of added sugar.
Connecting with the culture
As a former professional esports athlete, Johnson credits much of his success to the ability to connect with gamers.
“Before CTRL, nobody was connecting gamer culture, performance, and easily accessible nutrition. We’ve championed this cause, and the gaming community has returned our support with tremendous loyalty,” Johnson.
Johnson told NutraIngredients-USA that he co-founded CTRL with esports industry veterans Sundance DiGiovanni and Glenn Delgado, adding, “Our deep rooted experience in the space and the relationships we’ve built with some of the biggest names in gaming, like FaZe Clan, Seth ‘Scump’ Abner, and Doug ‘Censor’ Martin, have played a major role in gaining consumer trust since we launched.”
Breaking the stigma
Johnson said it’s also important to note that there’s a bigger movement happening beyond just his company and that gamers are striving to live healthier lifestyles in general.
“We have a number of pro players, streamers, and celebrities that are working with CTRL because they see the real value we're bringing to the gaming community. We’re staying authentic to our own experiences and the need for better nutrition, and our community recognizes that. The Vitamin Shoppe coming in to support CTRL has certainly created additional equity for our message,” Johnson told us.
To drive that message, CTRL and The Vitamin Shoppe will also collaborate on a campaign to bring awareness to the brand and highlight the importance of nutrition in esports.
Once an activity reserved for game rooms and basements, The Vitamin Shoppe deal highlights just how big this digital ecosystem has become.
As Valuates Reports puts it, “While esports may have once stood for a subset of sporting culture, it has become a complete industry in its own right with the current developments.”
According to Mordor Intelligence, the global gaming market was valued at $162 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach $295 billion by 2026.