by Matt Weik
Holidays bring many people together. It also opens up the opportunity for supplement brands to launch seasonal flavors. While some brands relaunch seasonal flavors annually, some keep them around year-round. Regardless, consumer’s eyes light up every time they see their favorite seasonal flavors on their supplement retailer’s shelves or online.
Brands See Big Booms in Sales
When the holidays come rolling around, brands leverage the occasion and season by showing their creative side and coming to market with some pretty unique flavors of protein powder and protein bars. For example, Nutrabio launched an Irish Whiskey Cream flavor of their Classic Whey as one of their seasonal flavors. This special edition was launched (as if you couldn’t tell) for St. Patrick’s Day. The packaging had a really cool looking jacked leprechaun flexing on the label.
The brand Grenade followed suit with their own seasonal flavors when they launched a Carb Killa Easter Egg which was a huge grenade-shaped low sugar chocolate egg. Being that they expected their chocolate egg to sell out quickly, they put a max of two per person that can be ordered. Unfortunately, if you were in the United States, you missed out as this innovative chocolate egg was only available through UK and European retailers.
The functional company, Macro Mike, decided to toss their hat in the seasonal flavors ring when they relaunched their Spooky Choc Mint flavored plant-based protein for a special release on a Friday the 13th. Clearly, as the name would state, Macro Mike originally launched this protein powder for Halloween.
Then come all of the fall flavors that will be resurfacing later this year like pumpkin spice everything and pumpkin pie flavored products. Not to mention Christmas cookie, peppermint, snickerdoodle, gingerbread, eggnog, and candy cane flavors to finish out the year strong.
Personally, I love it. Some people will think it’s gimmicky, but I think it adds a nice change of pace to the boring vanilla and chocolate flavors that everyone has. You can only drink so many of those staple flavors before you almost have to force-feed it to yourself. The products mentioned above provides a nice change of pace as well as some excitement. In fact, many people look forward to the holidays not only because they will get some much needed time off from work (can we all clap about that?), but because they will be able to pick up some really cool and unique supplements (or maybe that’s just me getting excited about these products?).
What Would I Like to See?
Ok, it’s time to get creative and start thinking outside the box. What can brands do to create even more excitement about seasonal flavors? I have an idea but it’s going to take some work and convincing. Brands should look at collaborating with other big brands outside of their industry to come to market with a new and unique product and flavor profile.
For instance, sure, a chocolate mint could work for many seasons and is currently on the market, but what about launching a Bailey’s Irish Cream flavored protein powder for next St. Patrick’s Day? Make sure the consistency is smooth but a little thicker than the watery protein shakes we are used to drinking. What about trying to convince Lucky Charms to collaborate on a protein powder? Or better yet, what about a McDonald’s Shamrock Shake protein powder?
Not that I think any of the brands mentioned above will approve the idea and execute on it, but it’s wishful thinking. Just think about the impact McDonald’s has with their Shamrock Shakes. People wait all year for St. Patrick’s Day to roll around just so they can get their fix of the calorie-packed Shamrock Shakes (I know my wife and kids love them). Peeps would also be a cool idea around Easter. Leverage those little blobs of marshmallow fluff and release a Peeps marshmallow flavored protein powder.
Most of the time when we think about seasonal flavors, they are in the form of protein powders and protein bars. I would even like to see some brands launch RTD versions of seasonal flavors. Now, I understand from a financial standpoint this may not make the most sense – especially from a production standpoint as well. However, it could play out to be very lucrative if the product tastes great and takes off. Maybe brands could even have the seasonal flavors pop up throughout the year as “special releases” just to keep consumers interested in the product as well as gain some more excitement for the seasonal re-launch the following year.
What about seasonal flavors for pre-workouts and amino acids? Personally, I can see many people buying a peppermint bark or even a baked apple pie flavored amino acid to sip on during their workout or throughout the day. Just food for thought (pun intended) to all of the brands out there reading this.