Protein drinks have been a trending product for a while now. However, it’s really hard to develop highly functional protein beverage with great taste. Vieve – the United Kingdom based protein drink brand with impressive mixture. Today, I have the opportunity to talk to Rafael Rozenson, Founder at Vieve.
Vieve was born out of a state of frustration with the products which were out on the market at the time. I had been taking protein powders & other supplements for over 20 years and have always hated the taste, experience and work involved with them. I found protein drinks to be too full of sugars and artificial flavours. I am also lactose intolerant and I struggled to find a suitable product to increase my protein intake that wasn’t dairy based. In short, nothing on the market at the time really met my needs for an easy, tasty, healthy protein supplement.
A few years ago, I was working for a water company and trying to bulk up so I was taking lots of powders, raw cans of tuna, chicken breast, etc. It was gross! I remember looking at a bottle of water and thinking wouldn’t it be great if you could get your protein from something as refreshing as water without having to bother with mixing powders or consuming milky drinks. What if there was an easier and tastier way to get your 20g of protein?… So the idea for Vieve was born!
Vieve was the first high-protein drink in the world to use collagen as our primary protein source. Most ready-to-drink protein drinks use a combination of whey or other milk-based proteins. Using collagen allows us to create a completely dairy free product. This is really important as one in five adults in the UK identify themselves as being lactose intolerant. Also, collagen proteins are much easier to absorb as they are already broken down from amino acids into peptides.
Our drink doesn’t leave you bloated, which is sometimes a side effect of whey-based drinks. Collagen is also fairly taste neutral compared to other proteins, so it allows us to create a superior tasting product and not have to use loads of sugars to mask the taste. Our product also contains 20,000mg of collage which is 4-5x the amount found in most expensive beauty drinks at roughly 1/5th the price. So all of this makes us unique! We give people the benefit of a product that is both high in protein and collagen at the same time.
The other things that makes Vieve unique is our packaging and flavor profiles. We really aim to appeal to a mass market audience of consumers, so we tried to make our packing really disruptive and not look or feel like other protein drinks. Also for our flavor profiles, I took inspiration from the world of fine foods with flavor combinations you would not normally find in other protein drinks. For example, we add Rhubarb to our Strawberry flavor and Apple & mint to our Citrus flavor. We also launched the world’s first watermelon flavored protein drink, which has quickly risen up to become out top seller and a consumer favorite.
Well I obviously love them all but I would say that wouldn’t I! I spent over two years developing Vieve and trailing various different flavor combinations with a mission of creating the world’s best tasting protein drink. I really think these 3 flavours deliver on that mission with a slightly different taste profile for each profile. Our Strawberry flavor, as an example, is quite sweet while our Citrus flavor is a bit more neutral. Watermelon is somewhere in between. I’ve found through doing trade shows that there is a flavor for everybody, although to be honest at least at trade shows Citrus tends to be the favorite from a taste point of view.
20g protein is really the ideal amount you want post a work-out or to keep you fuller during the day to prevent cravings for snacking. Again, we worked over two years on the formulation so it was trialing a lot of different recipes before we nailed the correct one to really deliver on the taste profile so it was really the result of a lot of iterations in the recipe until we got it 100% perfect.
There were so many – where do I start?!?! There are several challenges which I’ve listed below:
Yes I did thankfully I had worked at Danone Waters and Monster Energy so had a bit of a background. I also worked in consumer goods for almost 15 years at a variety of big companies like P&G, Disney, Bacardi, GSK & Mars which was really useful as well. I did a variety of roles including sales, marketing, category, strategy and commercial so it gave me a good breadth of experience to take on the challenge of launching Vieve.
At the moment we available to buy in the UK across about 150 stores as well as through Amazon and Muscle Foods. We also sell through our website where we also operate a very sackful subscription program where consumers can get Vieve delivered every couple of weeks right to their door.
We have just launched in Ireland are about to launch in the Middle East as well. At the moment we are in discussions with about 12 other markets across Europe and the Middle East so watch this space as hopefully 2019 will see explode our global distribution to make it easier for consumers around the world to get the benefits of Vieve.
Our big ambition is to launch in the USA where the protein drinks category is worth about $1 Billion dollars or roughly 20x the size of the UK market. Hopefully by being featured on Drinkpreneur we can start to get some conversations going with some manufactures, retailers and investors in the US who might be interested in the product. We are only a year old, but I actually predict that our export business will eclipse our business in the UK in less than 12 months.
Don’t do it! Haha kidding… I think some of my top tips would be the following:
For more information visit Vieve website.