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Naturade: Ramping Up Retail, Product Expansion

Irvine-based Naturade has certainly kept busy since the Business Journal last caught up with the plant-based protein company.

Since September, the firm has launched products, expanded into new retail locations across the Western U.S. and kicked off a marketing strategy to reach new consumers.

“We are going through a whole rebrand,” CEO Claude Tellis told the Business Journal.

Naturade, founded in 1926 and purchased by Tellis and Kareem Cook in 2012, has introduced a new recipe for its top-selling Plant-Based Weight Loss Shake in Costco locations, and is planning an expansion of the product after positive feedback.

“We’ll be coming out with the ready-to-drink liquid version either late this year or early Q1 next year,” Chief Marketing Officer Cook said.

The company also debuted its VeganSmart All-In-One Nutritional Shake in Target and recently expanded the product to 500 locations nationwide.

“We’re in the right retailers. Now we just want to offer more products,” Cook said. “We’re excited about our ready-to-drink product. We think that’s going to be the game changer for us.”

 

Solving Epidemic

The company’s products are branded as a full-meal replacement as part of the company’s goal to provide a simpler, more affordable solution to the nationwide diabetes epidemic, which disproportionately affects the Black community.

“It’s really a $2 per serving product designed to give you all of the nutrition you get in a clean meal, with 20 grams of protein, 6 grams of fiber and 22 vitamins and minerals,” Cook said.

The company’s offerings—protein shakes, supplements and related products—are geared to serving populations that historically other health-food companies haven’t reached out to.

“There’s a paradox in our market. It’s a $60 billion-dollar market growing at 9%. However, there are 100 million Americans who are pre-diabetic and another 30 million who are type-2 diabetic, and a lot of those people are people of color,” Tellis said. “That’s the opportunity gap that we are trying to crush.”

Naturade, which also has a new protein powder in the works, expects to double its 2021 sales this year.

“We’ve experienced tremendous growth, and we just had two other major retailers meet with us last week. So, we are feeling pretty good for the future,” Tellis said.

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