The supplement world is mired in gimmicks, misleading promises and aggressive gender-targeted marketing.
It needs to change. And OWYN thinks it is that change.
The 100 percent plant-based protein shake, which stands for "Only What You Need," is attempting to lead industry transformation with a different approach.
"Our mission is to deliver truth and transparency across everything that we do," explained Mark Olivieri, chief marketing officer and GM of eCommerce. "And we take this a step further by testing our product to be free from the top eight food allergies. Rather than committing tens of millions of dollars behind athletes, we put our money where our mouth is -- literally."
OWYN recently launched its headline-grabbing (and controversial) "Meal Replacement" shake. Containing 300 calories, 23 vitamins, 20G protein AND 5G of organic cane sugar per serving, one could have OWYN for breakfast, lunch and dinner, seven days a week, claims Olivieri.
This specific variety is designed to meet the FDA requirements for what defines a meal replacement shake.
Olivieri’s in-house team designed the branding and ads around this shake, which is being pushed with a promise to donate 100 percent of the proceeds to the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation throughout August.
The brand has seen early success servicing a new wave of consumer in the nutritional beverage sector who "does not want the filthy labels of the legacy competitors."
He said: "These legacy competitors also have a gender-focused positioning – Muscle Milk is heavily masculine and all about the muscle, which is a cool trend two decades ago. Core Power has an aggressive branding and it plays in a similar halo positioning as Muscle Milk.
"Lifestyle driven consumers are not looking to bulk up or spend hours in a gym. The modern nutrition consumer’s prerogative is to live an active lifestyle centered around wellness. OWYN is best positioned and has proven that we are capturing this white space through our gender neutral branding. This is why OWYN is winning share from the legacy competitors."
Olivieri stressed OWYN is here to bring clarity to a category that only offers confusion and misinformation in regards to claims, nutritional integrity and the quality of ingredients.
"This is why we are on a war to fight the misinformation with cold hard facts to establish trust with the consumer," he continued. "This is why we publicize our allergen testing protocol and results on LIVEOWYN.com. It is not okay in my opinion when a plant-based brand tests positive for lactose, a soy free brand tests positive for soy, or a grass-fed dairy brand testing positive for rBGH.
"We are here to challenge the industry and set a new standard. We invite the industry to replicate our quality process, which is also why we publicize the methodology online!"
Speaking of OWYN’s marketing strategy going forward, he said: "Our goal is to acquire as much data as possible because there are two things you can do with data: you can pull the data and you can act on the data.
"If we can better understand when and how someone is consuming OWYN, we can better design a unique customer experience for each user. Our intention is to personalize the demand moment through customer experience, digital journeys, and retail promotional strategy."
The CMO added that consumers have every right to be skeptical in regards to plant-based nutrition offerings, "because prior to OWYN, they all tasted like grassy chalk."
He believes OWYN has set a new standard with taste and the industry is at the beginning of a plant-based revolution.
Olivieri said: "If we can be the leader of plant-based innovation that doesn’t compromise taste, driving other brands in adjacent categories to improve their consumer experience, then we have a major win.
"Plant-based diets are better for the body and better for our environment. This is a mission that we all need to get behind."