In the CPG industry, having a popup or experiential marketing campaign is a common trick to build connections to consumers. Building a “human upgrade center” to complement your CPG line is a little less ordinary. But when dealing with the mind of “biohacking pioneer” Dave Asprey, the CEO of Bulletproof 360, the unconventional is to be expected.
After launching both a line of food and beverage products, including most recently a line of ready to drink Bulletproof coffee and a conference series, Asprey has turned his attention to completing the biohacking loop with the launch of Bulletproof Labs, “the first-ever facility of its kind using state-of-the-art biohacking equipment that will supercharge your body and upgrade your brain.” The first lab is located next to a Bulletproof coffee shop and will also sell food and beverage products, including cold brew, FATwater and collagen protein bars, all from the Bulletproof line.
The lab includes services such as the “cheat machine,” which claims to give users the equivalent of a week’s worth of weightlifting in under 15 minutes, as well as the “virtual float tank” that puts user’s brains into a meditative theta-wave state.
Funding for the labs came, in part, from a $19 million round of investment lead by CAVU Venture Partners and Trinity Ventures.
Asprey told NOSH that the labs help tell the complete story of Bulletproof beyond its food and beverage lines.
“Bulletproof is more than high performance food and beverage products, it is a lifestyle,” he said.. “There are hundreds of things you can do to perform better that have nothing to do with food and beverage, and part of the Bulletproof mission is to teach people how to do it. Labs is there to make it real so people can feel what is possible when they take control of their own biology, the same way they do when they drink Bulletproof Coffee.”
The labs, Aspray added, are part of Bulletproof brand’s “innovative moves” to help consumers improve their performance and recover fast, noting the brand’s recent launch of ready-to-drink (RTD) Bulletproof cold brew coffee is another example in a different channel.
Both the labs and the cold brew are also part of the brand’s focus on helping consumers embrace the Bulletproof lifestyle in a more convenient fashion. Don’t want to brew your own coffee with butter and MCT oil in it? Just buy it as an RTD. Don’t want to work out for hours? Just hop on the cheat machine.
While biohacking may seem like it’s reserved for a fringe group of consumers, the trend has been growing in popularity. Research firm Mintel declared “time is of the essence” as one of their 2017 global food and beverage trends writing that “the time investments required for products and meals will become as influential as nutrition or ingredient claims.” The report added “In 2017, the time spent on – or saved by – a food or drink product will become a clear selling point, inspiring more products to directly communicate how long they will take to receive, prepare or consume. The report did note that the segment of consumers strictly following biohacking principles is still small. However, the data does indicate that the concepts behind Bulletproof could resonate with a wider base of consumers.
Sticking with a plan such as biohacking can be difficult, but Asprey believes the results, be it from lab usage or product consumption, speak for themselves.
“In business school, professors teach that you make more money when you spend a dollar telling people that your stuff works then you do spending a dollar to make stuff that actually works. Those days are over,” Asprey said. “Bulletproof became an industry leader in coffee, nutrition, supplements, and information because people can feel it when they have more energy. Bulletproof coffee is one technology you can use to perform better. Bulletproof Labs helps people to explore their full potential and experience technology to improve their mental and physical performance and aid in recovery as well.”