Campaign kickstarts Rawvelo organic and vegan sports nutrition quest

By Will Chu

- Last updated on GMT

Campaign kickstarts Rawvelo organic and vegan sports nutrition quest

Related tags: Sports nutrition, Nutrition

UK start-up Rawvelo‘s claim to be the first to offer a complete range of organic, vegan nutrition for athletes underpins its Kickstarter campaign designed to fund production of its organic energy bars.

Developed with clean and health-conscious endurance athletes in mind, the organic bars are the start of a product range that in time will expand to include organic isotonic drink mix and energy gels.

The company’s approach sources and uses 100% organic, sustainable ingredients to produce vegan-friendly goods that applies across the product range.

It’s an approach that is seldom seen within the sports nutrition space, according to Jason Evans, Rawvelo’s co-founder, who along with Duncan McRobert spotted an opening for a new approach to optimum fuelling for endurance-based activities.

“I don’t think the organic, sustainable aspect of our product is a particularly big area of interest in the sports nutrition market at this time,”​ he said.

“Brands are playing around with it. There are organic products on the market but we will be the only complete organic brand on the market.

“Our ethos is all about nutritionally beneficial food. We feel that the highest level of nutrition tends to come from organic products."

Organic sports nutrition

According to Euromonitor analyst Kseniia Galenytska, the rise in organic products, or products suitable for vegans and vegetarians in sports nutrition is a growth area.

Mintel agree. ​Data collected between November 2013 and October 2016, found 8% of sports nutrition new product launches carried a vegetarian claim, and 5% had a vegan claim.

“Surprisingly, the growth of such products is rather driven by social media influences than by the rise of vegan diets,”​ she noted.

The community factor, whether online or as part of a gathering, is one aspect that Rawvelo are keen to embrace. Its product offerings, said Evans is only a small part of a health and well-being lifestyle that the brand represents, of which Kickstarter​ is an ideal promotional platform.

“The Kickstarter campaign was a good way to engage people with what we were doing,”​ he said.

“We’ve been able to start conversations with our backers, getting feedback on our products and gradually building a community around our brand.

“We’re also looking at a much bigger picture in terms of tailoring the brands to become a part of someone’s life so it turns into something more than a sports nutrition product.

“So on a simple level, we’d be looking to provide recipe cards or books to help them put these nutritional concepts into everyday practice when they’re not exercising.”

With a background in competitive cycling, Rawvelo’s co-founders draw upon their personal experiences of testing numerous products to aid in achieving maximal sporting performance, often resorting to taking matters into their own hands.

“We saw that there was something missing after having experimented ourselves on products and realised that we just did not feel good after using these products,” ​Evans explained.

“So, we were making our own products, and basically doing it for ourselves. We saw that other people were also interested in this either by already doing it or were thinking about it.

The vegan choice

Evans added that both of them are not vegan, but the reasons the products were vegan was that they both felt that with these kinds of products, it was the healthiest way to make them.

“Its almost a consequence in trying to make the healthiest product, that it turns out vegan.”

In addition, while there is a cycling focus to the products Evans explained that essentially, it is a branded sports nutrition product with a focus on endurance sports to include trekking, rock-climbing, mountaineering all the way to Olympic athletes competing in track and field and cycling.

The company added that they were currently testing the product with high-level professional and Olympic level athletes.

“We feel the product is best focused to cycling at the moment, with a view to opening it up to other sports or activities at a later stage. We’re keen on looking at the idea of nutrition in a different way across all sports.”

Looking towards the future, the momentum of the Kickstarter campaign means plans to go into full production this December with a view to launching a full product range in spring 2018 remains on track.

“The bars will be available in December through our website but they will also be available through specialist retailers,”​ said Evans.

We not working with a distributor at the moment and were not distributing through the bigger retailers and supermarkets or health food shops.”

“In the future we also want to be producing products that have a high protein content to them, where the protein will be from vegetable sources. We won’t be using whey protein because from the research we’ve done, we don’t believe that whey protein is the best form with which to provide optimum nutrition.”  

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