The drink, which is described as ‘an energy drink with a nootropic profile’, is designed to not only give a quick energy boost but also ‘help the performance of cognitive abilities such as focus and memorization’.
While based in Japan, the drink has been developed in collaboration with a lab in Los Angeles and will debut with production and distribution in the US before expanding to Asia.
‘Consumers want a product with a quick but sustainable energy boost’
The idea for LGND goes back to CEO Sebastian Westman’s days as an engineering student, when he became tired of the negative effects of a high caffeine and sugar intake. The idea has been on his mind ever since, he said.
Westman says the aim of the functional beverage is to ‘help you identify your edge, and sharpen it to its greatest point’.
“LGND’s products will give you that much needed quick energy boost without the usual crash-and-burn sensation that you experience with many other energy and coffee drinks in existence today,” he said. “LGND effectively energizes you, supplying you with strong long-term effects.”
The active nootropic ingredients used in LGND are acetyl L-carnitine, Alpha GPC, N-acetyl L-tyrosine, citicoline, L-carnitine, Bacopa monnieri and turmeric root extract, as well as natural green tea extract and caffeine.
Nootropics are most commonly seen as supplements. But Westman believes the presence of functional beverages using nootropics will increase in the coming years.
“We like to see ourselves as pioneers on the energy drink market with a vison to change the norm for what an energy drink is and what to expect from it,” said Westman.
“We believe that the products that you see on the market today are either very unhealthy or do not deliver what the consumer is looking for. Consumers want a product that will give a quick but sustainable energy boost without the crash-and-burn effect. And on top of that it needs to be healthy.
Substances that are marketed as improving cognitive function: particularly executive function, memory, learning or intelligence.
The name is derived from the Greek word ‘noos’, meaning mind, and ‘trope’, turning.
Nootropic supplements are sometimes associated with high performing work environments such as Silicon Valley, dubbed as ‘smart drugs’.
“I firmly believe that nootropics will be the next norm for energy drinks. In the next few years we will see a steady rise on functional beverages utilizing nootropics for their cognitive benefits. Nootropics aren’t anything more special than caffeine, but have the potential to be just as common as caffeine and caffeinated beverages.
“Nootropic supplements have been popular in high performing work environments such as Silicon Valley for a few years. The reason they aren’t more widespread is because of two major factors; one is that the price for the supplements is fairly steep, and secondly is the lack of information spread.
“There are a few beverages on the market with active nootropic ingredients but the price per ‘pop’ is on the higher scale.”
Building the brand
LGND will debut in the US but Westman says distribution mechanisms will differ from traditional methods.
“We're going to focus a lot on eCommerce, sponsorship programs and subscriptions. This means offering a few months sponsorship to start-ups and driven individuals that we see are in line with our vision, and thereafter offer a subscription plan to a discounted price. We're also planning on an on-sales approach.
“We want to have a proper buzz and traction around our brand before approaching distributors.
Our vision is to move to global distribution within the next three years and we hope to be able to break into emerging markets such as China and India.”