As a star in the center of the solar system, the sun is the most powerful source of energy for life on Earth, the scientific community will note. But when it comes to the energy that consumers need for their day-to-day lives, people are looking for a more tangible solution. Through the energy drinks market, consumers are finding that next natural solution.
“The energy drink market in the U.S. is booming and continues to evolve with new flavors, innovative recipe creations, the usage of new ingredients and more,” says Jeff Church, CEO and co-founder of Rowdy Energy.
Yet, Church notes that the energy drinks category has been challenged because of associations with negative health risks. Given this cognitive dissonance, beverage-makers have taken steps to craft energy drinks that provide a cognitive boost while remaining health conscious.
“Today, consumers are becoming more aware of what they are ingesting into their bodies, they want to understand the ingredients and are in turn, seeking healthier options and better-for-you alternatives,” Church says.
He adds that Rowdy is balancing these functional and health attributes to reach today’s consumers. “Rowdy is redefining the category by creating smarter, cleaner energy drinks that taste great and deliver superior functional performance backed by clinical studies to empower consumers to show up every day and thrive,” Church explains.
The idea to develop this healthier energy solution emerged in 2019 when Kyle Busch, two-time NASCAR Cup Champion and Rowdy Energy co-founder, approached Church, who previously served as the CEO and founder of Suja Juice, about the concept.
“Overall, in kick-starting Rowdy and bringing it to market, we wanted to create a functional, better-for-you product that was able to reach as many people as possible and we’ve done just that,” Church says.
This functional, better-for-you energy beverage emerged from the duo recognizing the opportunity for natural alternatives within the energy space.
“Consumers should know that they can receive the caffeine lift they need and want without compromising their health and without the dreaded jitters and ultimate crash and burn feeling,” Church says. “When we created Rowdy, and as we continue to evolve the flavor profile and products, the team focuses specifically on the taste of the beverages and of course the ingredients (everything is naturally derived from fruits and vegetables). Rowdy is all-natural and blends four natural sweeteners with no artificial ingredients or chemical preservatives.”
For its energy source, Rowdy Energy utilizes natural caffeine from green tea in combination with L-theanine, a nootropic.
In line with its natural alternative positioning, Rowdy Energy also is tapping into consumers’ health and wellness needs in terms of sweetener content and other vanguard health trends.
“Regarding the zero sugar/KETO flavors ― given the massive popularity surrounding the KETO-diet and overall movement to engage in a healthier lifestyle, we knew we wanted to appeal to these specific consumers,” the CEO says. “We quickly found out that there was no energy drink on the market with the KETO diet stamp of approval, and therefore, took that as our sign and opportunity to expand into the space. It’s important for our products to reach the greatest number of consumers as possible and we want there to be something for everyone's taste buds and liking. We’re looking forward to continuing our growth and introducing new flavors and product lines.”
Noting earlier how important flavor profile was when developing its lineup of natural alternative energy drinks, Church details the attention to detail the formulators applied when crafting the line.
“We are creating products and new flavors that are on the forefront of innovation that deliver enhanced, multi-functional benefits to further support consumer’s performance and overall wellness,” he explains. “All our products have been carefully formulated in a lab and have a deep-rooted science behind how they were and are developed to be functional and clean, not to mention before a flavor is finalized it goes through many iterations and taste tests to ensure we have the absolute best final product.”
The most recent iterations to the brand are Blue Raspberry, Grape and Lemon-Lime.
“Lemon-Lime is a traditional crisp and refreshing play on a classic flavor,” Church explains. “Blue Raspberry features a cool combo that is both bright and bubbly, deliciously sweet with a subtle twist of tart for a refreshingly fun blend and don’t be fooled by the simplicity of Grape ― it is deliciously bold and bursting with flavor.
“We wanted to bring forward two more zero sugar varietals and one low sugar, therefore whatever your preference is, there is a product for you,” he continues. “Like all of our flavors, all three are filled with electrolytes and 160 mg of naturally occurring caffeine derived from green tea, paired with the nootropic L-theanine.”
The addition of these three varieties has served as a complement to the brand’s existing seven flavors.
“The three new flavors complement the original lineup of products nicely adding to the collection two zero sugar/keto flavors and one low sugar flavor,” Church says. “The beverage is currently available in 10 flavors: Reduced sugar Grape, Cherry Limeade, Orange Citrus; and zero sugar Strawberry Lemonade, Peach Mango, Sour Green Apple, Cotton Candy, Chiseled Ice, Blue Raspberry and Lemon-Lime.”
Yet, flavor expansions are not the only way that Rowdy Energy is spreading its wings. Earlier this year, the company completed a fundraising round to further build and grow the brand.
“We raised over $13 million in an Angel investment round this year and we’re using the proceeds to help build buzz with the brand, consumer trial at the shelf to support our valued retailers and ensure mutual success,” Church says. “We gained support from 40 investors including the private equity fund, CircleUp, Marcus Lemonis, The Kraft Group, Scott Borchetta, and Fanatics Executive Chairman Michael Rubin amongst other notable entrepreneurs and financiers.”
Even prior to this investment round, the Rowdy Energy team has been working tirelessly to ensure consumers can find the natural alternative energy brand when they need it.
“Rowdy Energy is currently sold nationwide at top retailers such as Walmart, 7-Eleven, Kroger, Casey’s General Store, Food Lion, Publix, Quiktrip and more,” Church says. “Additionally, we are widely available on Amazon and Shopify (direct from our website). The response to Rowdy from small-format retailers and consumers has been great. Within the first year of Rowdy’s official launch on Super Bowl LV, the brand achieved placement in 22,000 [stores] nationwide.”
As the next year quickly approaches, Church notes that the company continues to have the necessary conversations to get Rowdy Energy into more retail stores across the United States.
“We will be available nationally at 7-Eleven and Speedway locations beginning in December with a number of new retail partners launching in Q1 of 2022,” he says. “Our team is growing internally, and our distribution is exceeding expectations. There is a lot of fun innovative items and partnerships coming down the pipeline and we’re excited for our Rowdy fans to see what’s next including a metabolism, calorie-burning line slated to be released in 2022.”