Avitae CEO interview

Avitae launches low-calorie energy drink to expand c-store footprint

AvitaeXR features patented bead-based technology that controls the release rate of caffeine. Pic: Avitae

Caffeinated water brand Avitae plans to drive sales in convenience stores by launching XR energy drink later this month. 

Avitae currently sells 15 SKUs, which include its core still water line with unflavored and fruit-flavored options at three different caffeine levels, 40 mg, 90 mg, and 125 mg, as well as a carbonated beverage line in various flavors with 90 mg of caffeine.

The company uses caffeine extracted from pre-roasted green coffee beans.

“We want to be an upscale lifestyle brand and we want to play in the better-for-you space,” Avitae president and CEO, Norm Synder, told BeverageDaily.

“We’re not trying to be a replacement for coffee,” he said. “What we’re saying to a lot of coffee consumers is, instead of having that second, third, or fourth cup, why don’t you have an Avitae?”

The company’s products are available in major grocery retailers across the US including Albertson’s, Kroger, Whole Foods, HEB, and Safeway and retail for $1.49 to $1.79 per bottle.

Avitae recently branched out into ACME Markets in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

Overcoming energy crash

Avitae is also present in the drug and convenience channel including at CVS, where it was launched under a national better-for-you program. Snyder hopes to capture more convenience store shoppers looking for a healthier energy drink option.

“We’ve had some challenges in the convenience channel because the energy drink door is probably the furthest from the water and we’re totally missing that consumer,” Snyder said.

According to market research conducted by Avitae, most consumers turned to some form of caffeine for a pick me up but many complained about the experience of an energy crash later in the day.

To solve this dilemma, the company will introduce a low-calorie energy drink called AvitaeXR next month, which uses patented gel-coated caffeine beans that offer an extended-release energy boost to consumers.

“It’s the same type of technology used in the pharmaceutical business for extended-release medicine,” Snyder said.

Snyder mentioned the first version of Avitae will have 15 grams of sugar per serving and contain 70 calories, but the company is working on a zero-calorie energy drink for the future.

“We decided if we’re going to go after that core consumer you have to have some taste,” he added.

Further distribution goals

Snyder added that the company has doubled its sales every year since rebranding in 2013.  It is currently sold in 44 states, but aims to be nationwide. The company also hopes to make it onto shelves in Publix in the southeastern US.

In stores, Avitae bottled water products are in the ambient and refrigerated beverage section.

“We try to get in as much cooler space as we can because you get that spontaneous purchase and instant consumption,” Snyder said. 

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Comments (1)

yanick - 12 Jul 2017 | 02:56

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12-Jul-2017 at 02:56 GMT

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