“Multifunctional Winners: How Kitu Life Super Coffee is Taking Over by Delivering Clean Energy + Nutrition”
As consumers increasingly look for health, wellness, and functional benefits from the things they drink, it should come as no surprise that we at Beverage Marketing Association are seeing a considerable uptick in the demand for multifunctional beverages. For those who made it to eBev last fall, we heard a good deal about “why” and where this is going.
That said, we’re so excited to be joined today by Jim DeCicco, CEO of Kitu Life Inc. – makers of Super Coffee (and Super Creamer), which packs not only a powerful energy punch, but also provides an impressive 10 grams of protein while adding just 80 calories and 1 gram of carbs to your diet.
Jim, thanks so much for joining us today!
Thanks for having me, Seth. Pumped to be with you today. Let’s do this!
We fundamentally believe if you change your energy you can change your world; literally from what we put in our products (organic coffee, protein, healthy fats, without any sugar) and metaphorically by putting good vibes into the world. It is our “work hard and be nice to people” culture that differentiates us as much as our products do.
You’ve done an incredible job rapidly developing and progressing the Super Coffee and Super Creamer Brands. That couldn’t have happened without an early core of passionate fans/supporters/advocates. Tell us who your superfans are and how you empower them?
A lot of people want a healthier bottled coffee which provides great taste and clean energy, but they just don’t realize it. Many folks buy what’s available because it’s the only option, normally it’s loaded with sugar and calories. When people find Super Coffee they’re excited to find “what they’ve always wanted.” Customer retention and same store velocities have been strong so far.
Speaking of empowering your most impassioned consumers (and amplifying their voices)…A quick look at your Instagram account shows that not only do you have a very respectable following, but you also get a lot of love (likes) and great engagement (often a hundred or more comments on a post). Why do you think your consumers so highly engaged, and where/how might you leverage that elsewhere as you further your marketing initiatives? I can see great value for both your sales and marketing teams.
Our key to social media has been authenticity. A lot of brands hire agencies to curate a very staged and predictable Instagram page. For us we keep it real posting displays we build in stores, shaky iPhone videos with our mom, and more! Our audience can connect with that real, authentic, homemade content.
While we can’t read our consumers’ minds, understanding their needs and deriving accurate, actionable insights is critical to our success. As the CEO of one of the fastest growing multifunctional beverage brands, what trends, indicators, and/or intuitions are guiding your process and progress?
Accurate data is tough to collect, especially at our stage so we rely a lot on consumer feedback and intuition. On a macro level, America’s food paradigm is shifting from a tolerance for carbs and sugars to an acceptance of healthy fats and proteins; however, consumers still enjoy sweet, just not the negative effects that come with excess sugars. For us it’s important we taste good without the negative effects, and added benefits of protein and healthy fats.
Finally, we generally like to finish by looking ahead. What’s next for Kitu Life? Are you focused on footprint/distribution, are you evaluating additional extensions, are you ready to make a large consumer marketing push? We’re very excited by your progress thus far, and would love to see that momentum continue!
Since day one our go-to-market strategy has been very geographically focused, “inch-wide, mile deep.” We started in one Whole Foods store in Washington DC in 2016 and we didn’t leave that store until we were the best-selling bottled coffee. From there we slowly expanded throughout the mid-atlantic and northeast. Pouring samples, building displays, and building relationships with customers and buyers alike. Later this year we’re going to replicate that same approach in Southern California and 2020 we’re looking ahead to plant based varieties, k-cups (potentially), and perhaps even some sugar free, keto breakfast bars. 😉
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