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ROAR KIDS debuts featuring Marvel heroes, as brand seeks to engage with younger consumers

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Mary Ellen Shoup

By Mary Ellen Shoup+

Last updated on 12-Jul-2017 at 11:26 GMT2017-07-12T11:26:46Z

Following the launch of ROAR KIDS, the company plans to roll out new flavors to each of its existing beverage lines. Pic: ROAR Beverages
Following the launch of ROAR KIDS, the company plans to roll out new flavors to each of its existing beverage lines. Pic: ROAR Beverages

The launch of ROAR KIDS, a new line of water-based beverages from ROAR Beverages, is targeting a younger, “crucial” demographic by featuring Marvel characters on its packaging while still meeting consumer taste expectations, according to founder and CEO, Roly Nesi.

The low-calorie kids drinks will depict Marvel characters on each of its flavors including: Spider-Man for fruit punch, Captain America for grape, and Iron Man on apple.

“Our goal from the beginning was not to convert lifelong Gatorade drinkers but to get involved with our customer at the youngest age possible and really raise a younger generation of ROAR drinkers,” Nesi told BeverageDaily.

The first product line launched by ROAR Beverages was a sport drink using coconut water as its base with bold packaging marketed towards teens. The company later launched an organic line of beverages for the millennial-aged consumer.

Unlike its past two lines, ROAR KIDS uses regular water instead of coconut water.

“For the kids products, we didn’t use coconut water because you don’t want to have any allergens in a product that you’re selling primarily to 3-to-11-year-olds,” Nesi said. 

“It’s just an unnecessary risk to take.”

Creating lifelong ROAR drinkers

“With the kids' product we have a way to really go after consumers at a crucial stage – three to eleven years old – a lot of kids are forming branding loyalty before the age of 9-years-old.”

Achieving brand loyalty with the parents of young kids will also be key to the success of its new beverage line, Nesi added.

At 20 calories and two grams of sugar per 12-fluid ounce bottle, each flavor contains between 7% to 10% of added juice, for an SRP of $1.49 per bottle.

“We were able to give the mouthfeel and the sweetness that people wanted without having to load it with added sugar,” he said.

“The three products are all kind of in the same vein of what people would expect from a juice product.”

World of healthy kids hydration

ROAR experienced commercial sales success with its first line of healthy sports drinks for teens growing triple digits every year since its launch, but Nesi sees the company filling an even bigger white space in the below-eleven age category.

The kids drinks aisle is dominated by more “little kids” beverages for children between the ages of three and five.

“We have a 12 ounce bottle that’s not a toddler-style product, it’s something that lets a kid have a little bit of ‘swag’ and I think that’s very important,” Nesi said.

There are 16 million millennial moms in the US and 42% have children under the age of 12, according to the Pew Research Center. Among those mothers, between the ages of 20 and 35, many are more likely to purchase better-for-you products, especially for their kids.

"People are very picky about what they put in their body, but they’re exponentially more picky of what they’re giving their child"

“Millennial parents have zero regard for a lot of these household type brands and public enemy No. 1 is sugar,” he said.

“I think people are very picky about what they put in their body, but I think they’re exponentially more picky of what they’re giving their child.”

A business built on re-orders

ROAR grew by roughly 385% in 2016 and the trend of triple digits sales growth will be the norm for at least the next five years, according to Nesi. 

“This year we’re hoping to push that north of 600%,” he said. “It’s a very realistic goal when you see how our distribution is only scratching the surface of this country.”

An underlying factor to the company’s rapid and sustainable growth has been its deliberate focus on steady expansion, Nesi added.

“We built this business on reorders, not taking a shot across all 50 states really quickly,” he said. “I would say 85% of our business to this day is stores that are reordering and growth within existing accounts.”

The company has expanded its distribution of its original product line to the UK, Philippines, Ireland, Australia (where it launch in Costco at the end of the summer), Costa Rica, and Brazil.

“I think when we started this we may have been a little ahead of our time, but now it’s all clicking.”

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