As the energy drink market expanded years ago, sports nutrition and supplement company Xyience, Las Vegas, saw the emerging category as the next step for its products. That evolution led to the development of Xyience Xenergy drinks.
“Xenergy is ‘zen energy;’ that’s what it means,” says Michael Levy, chief financial officer and chief operations officer with Xyience. “It has a concept of healthy energy for people with an active lifestyle.”
Levy says that the company wanted to develop an energy drink that tasted great, but also had zero calories and no sugar. Its line of energy drinks also contains all-natural flavors and colors.
“We’re speaking to a different consumer,” says Xyience President John Lennon. “Basically, our key point of difference is no sugar, no calories, great flavor, and the energy hit is coming from a big hit of B vitamins. We have niacin, magnesium, potassium, all kinds of good things in the product as well, and that goes with the source of the supplements company.
“We’re pitching ourselves to a more adult consumer, a little older consumer, a little bit more active — someone who’s really beginning to think about what they’re taking into their bodies and what they’re consuming, so a more responsible, more educated consumer,” Lennon adds.
Xyience also partnered with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and sponsors some of the sport’s high-profile fighters, which has allowed Xyience Xenergy to reach a large audience and fan base.
“We know who the UFC aficionado is, and that’s two-thirds male, one-third female, typically between 21 and 34 years of age, college-educated, above average household income, and really that’s where we believe we appeal to,” Lennon says. “That’s why we like UFC so much, because that helps deliver that consumer. We think that’s the right consumer for our product and UFC delivers that for us.”
Xyience also maintains a strong relationship among its sponsored fighters. “[Being] branded with the UFC is huge … a lot of people associate the brand with UFC and as it grows, the brand grows as well,” says Mark Hominick, a Xyience-sponsored UFC fighter.
“Xyience is great,” says Dan Hardy, another Xyience-sponsored UFC fighter. “They push us very much and it’s like a family, so all the fighters work quite well with them. We all want to push the brand and, obviously, the product as well. I use the product in my training.”
In addition to product awareness, Xyience and its athletes also engage in promotional events where the fighters sign autographs for its fans at retailers as well as showcase the Xyience Xenergy products for potential consumers.
The products’ ingredient statements also have helped Xyience Xenergy reach another audience. “The female consumer we’re actually getting by default because they’re the ones actually looking at the ingredient collection of our product,” says Reuben Rios, vice president of sales for Xyience.
Females are a different audience than UFC fans, and the company wants to better understand who is drinking the products and why. Lennon adds that, anecdotally, the company believes female consumers are drawn to its no-sugar ingredient statement.
Xyience Xenergy drinks include a wide array of flavors, including its top sellers Mango Guava and Cherry Lime. The company’s newest flavor, Xyience Xtreme Frostberry Blast, is inspired by its natural formulation, Lennon explains.
“If you look at the product, it’s actually a Blueberry/Raspberry product, but to create a blueberry bluish-red color requires artificial coloring agents, which we would not put in our product,” he says. “So we presented it in a natural color, which is sort of this icy, frosty looking product, and therefore that was the reason for the name, because it reflected better for the product.”
Frostberry Blast features Xyience-sponsored UFC fighter Wanderlei Silva on the limited-edition can. The addition of the fighters to the cans is a new element for Xyience. Rios says the company noticed that within other categories, the collectible can added value to not only the Xyience brand, but also to people who watch the sport.
This year the company also released a Fruit Punch variety in a limited-edition can featuring Hardy. Xenergy Xtreme Fruit Punch is made with a blend of flavors from natural sources, including cherry, orange and tangerine. Xyience also has applied the collectible can package to existing flavor Xyience Premium Cran Razz featuring Jon Jones, current UFC light heavyweight title holder.
That same dedication Xyience applies to its packaging also is present in its flavor varieties.
“We’re continually looking at the popularity of flavors and they continually change; some will go out of style and come back into style later on,” Levy says. “So we may take out a flavor, but we’re always prepared to launch it back in the market if we feel that the consumers’ tastes want the flavor.”
Rios adds that the company monitors its flavor sales and if it notices a SKU slowing down, it will replace it for the retailers. “The greatest thing about it is when we’ve got a whole shelf. It’s absolutely awesome when our chains are realizing that every SKU is selling, and that’s exciting.” BI