Vital Proteins is looking to beef up their portfolio — and their reach — in major ways this year.
The Illinois-based brand introduced its new line of USDA organic powdered bone broth on Wednesday. The launch comes less than two weeks after the company announced its expansion into over 790 Vitamin Shoppes nationwide.
Collagen is the crux of Vital Proteins, which produces a spectrum of nutritional supplements and protein powders that feature the au courant structural proteins. Co-Founder Corey Friese told NOSH the company felt the transition from collagen-added supplements to powdered bone broth was a natural progression.
“Obviously there is a lot of awareness right now for bone broth and collagen as well so it’s something we wanted to offer our consumers,” Friese said. “I think some of the shortcomings of some of the packaged broths that you find in stores or on shelves, whether frozen or liquid form, is that they are fairly expensive on a per serving basis [and] the shelf life when you maybe take it out of the freezer and put it into your fridge isn’t very long… We think this is an ultra-convenient way to consume bone broth.”
Bone broth isn’t the only addition to Vital Protein’s lineup this year. Through Q2 and Q3, the brand is growing its collection of clean collagen nutrition products with a trio of spa-inspired Collagen Beauty Water powders, a pro-series performance line and a vegetarian-friendly product line.
The additions are part of the company’s efforts to deepen its focus on three demographics: health and wellness, fitness and beauty. Collagen is thought to aid wellness by supporting joint, bone and digestive health, and beauty by improving skin’s moisture and elasticity. Friese said that, much like these benefits, the company wants to focus on both the internal and external needs for consumers.
“We want to innovate; we want stuff that tastes good; we want clean labels; and we want products that are very effective. We think all three launches fit really well with this,” he said.
The Beauty Waters play to collagen’s rumored attributes as the “fountain of youth” in the beauty sector. The three flavors are currently available online and in some stores.
The pro-series performance line will kick off with a NSF sport certified version of Vital Proteins’ powder collagen peptides. The company said it’s also in the process of adding that certification to its collagen whey blends and newly developed pro-sports greens mix, all of which it manufactures in-house, so professional athletes are able to consume their products “without hesitation” regarding banned substances in sports supplements.
“[Professional athletes] need that extra certification in order to take any products because they can’t risk it. And pro-sports teams can’t purchase the products and provide them to the players without that certification,” Friese said. “We really want to cater to the professional community — as well as the amateur community — and give them clean, natural protein that they can use that’s approved by their respective entities like the MLB or NFL. Right now, most of the products that are certified for them contain a lot of artificial sweeteners or aren’t natural.”
Though collagen is based in bones, Vital Proteins is also seeking to cater to another community they have been unable to reach in the past: vegetarians. Friese said its upcoming capsule will use fruit and vegetable extracts to boost collagen production in the body without the use of animal products.
Still, Vital Proteins products aren’t necessarily available to the masses with their high-end price point. The powders, available in both beef and chicken, retail for $65 and $59, respectively, for each 28-serving canister. The brand’s other products also sport a more premium price tag.
“We feel that our prices are competitive in the market place. In order to maintain the quality and effectiveness of the products we offer we intend on maintaining our current pricing model,” Friese said.