Shaking up protein? Austrian startup develops eco-friendly, 'tiny' protein shake

By Kacey Culliney

- Last updated on GMT

Shaking up protein? Austrian startup develops eco-friendly, 'tiny' protein shake
Austrian startup Protygo has developed a ready-to-mix, single-use protein shake that it says addresses convenience and environmental concerns in the fitness industry.

The company wants to fundraise €5,000 on Kickstarter​ to fund its first batch of protein shakes that will come in eight flavours, including chocolate, iced coffee and watermelon. Each shake contains 30g of water-based whey protein, ten vitamins and 18 amino acids, including three BCAA's, and makes up a 330ml shake when mixed with water.

Protygo initially launched a Kickstarter project to raise €15,000 on May 8 but has since cancelled this to relaunch with the lower funding goal and a wider range of flavours.

Protein 'everywhere and any time'

Speaking to NutraIngredients, twenty-something co-founder Marco Perner, said regular protein shake mixes require time and preparation and ready-to-drink shakes are bulky to carry.

PROTYGO_4_OUTERPACKS

“That's why we looked for an easy solution for on-the-go... We wanted to make it easier for people to drink more protein, everywhere and any time they want,”​ Perner said.

Protygo is “tiny, handy and time-saving”,​ he said, because it's easy to carry and mix, and disposable after use. Packed in a carton about the size of your hand, each shake just needs to be unrolled and filled with water. The outer-pack carton is designed to fit almost everywhere, he said, including jacket pockets, sports bags and car doors and is much less bulky than traditional protein shakers.

Asked who the company considers its competition to be and whether it includes the likes of protein bars, he said: “From our research, we do not know a similar protein shake on the market. Protein bars are great for on-the-go but their problem is often the high price and improvable nutrition values.”

Compared to ready-to-drink protein shakes and cans, he said Protygo takes up to 40 times less space in the trash and needs “way less energy to recycle”.

'Almost everything in the fitness industry is made of plastic'

It's this environmental aspect, he said, that is one of the core concepts behind Protygo. Made from sustainable paper with a thin polyethylene terephthalate (PET) inner layer, Perner said the product is “kind of like the environment-friendly way of single-use”.

“You see, almost everything in the fitness industry is made of plastic. People tend to blank it out. The only sense in making a product for single-use, I personally see, is to make it environment-friendly.

“...The future always looks for new inventions that make something easier and better. I think reducing in size and plastic is a good beginning,”​ he said.

PROTYGO_6_SHAKE%2c PACK

With around 311 million tons of plastic produced every year and 70% reaching the ocean, Perner said the fitness industry “makes a significant impact”. Protygo, he said, uses around 40% less plastic than usual fitness supplements.

“If Protygo wasn't made from paper and only a 0.3mm PET layer inside, we wouldn't have developed it.”

Gyms and supplement stores

Once funded, Protygo will retail its shakes online via its website and Amazon, and hopefully get stocked in fitness and health clubs, Perner said.

“Within the first year, we want to successfully get Protygo into gyms and supplement stores. The long-term goal is to build an innovative fitness brand, that not only helps people reaching their goals but also is constantly working on new game-changing products.”

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