Phenomenal success for vegan protein water start-up

By Liza Laws

- Last updated on GMT

© Vieve
© Vieve

Related tags vegan Ingredients & nutrition Protein Nutrition Water functional beverage beverage

Vegan protein waters have been launched by Vieve, a 2018 start-up enjoying phenomenal success in spite of setbacks.

Now considered one of the UK’s leading protein water brands, Vieve is one of the first in the wold to bring vegan water to the market aimed at vegan and flexitarian consumers who want a quick and easy protein boost.

Launched four years ago, by Rafael Rozenson, Vieve has more than weathered the turbulence of the last two years, with sales up by 200% despite the effects of Brexit and COVID.

Speaking of how he came up with the idea, Rafael, said: "I have been taking protein supplements for more than 20 years and never liked the taste or the flavour.  I also struggled taking a lot of these products as I am lactose intolerant and most of these products are dairy based.​  

"I was working at Evian and one day I just looked at a bottle of water and thought wouldn’t it be great if you can get protein and it was refreshing, hydrating and tasted nice?  Hence the idea was born!"

With no added sugar, fat or excess calories, two flavours have been launched including wild cherry and peach and orange and each bottle contains 10g protein and only 50 calories.

This is particularly pertinent given that Rafael is a sole founder competing against much larger brands all with substantial backing.

He said: More than a few eyebrows were raised when we said we wanted to slip 20g of protein into a water drink but we knew about the bad taste. However, it’s such good stuff that we knew there just had to be a way to make it work.

“We trialled all kinds of flavour combos. Some we thought would be delicious didn’t turn out that way but a quality quartet emerged which we really, really like​.”

As the brand has grown, he says, Vieve has built a loyal consumer base and one of their number one requests has been for a vegan protein water.

He added: “Being able to offer this is a significant moment for the business, and one I am immensely proud of as it shows our commitment to bringing 1st​ to market innovation within the category.

“The market for protein products in the UK has grown massively in the last decade, from about £50 million to an over £1 billion industry today and we feel there is lots of upside for growth as we bring a whole new segment of consumer into the market who are put off by traditional powders, drinks and shakes​.”

These new drinks are the latest addition from Vieve who have a range of flavoured protein waters and protein powders available to purchase online and can be exported across 13 markets.

Rafael added: "Brexit has been hugely challenging to navigate as a small business and a solo entrepreneur - but we have a healthy export business shipping to Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia​.  

"During Covid our business did well as we initially launched online and always focused on digital channels. As consumer spending shifted to e-commerce we naturally benefited from this.  We also saw an increase in consumption generally as consumers became more concerned about their health and increased their protein intake​."

The business is also focused on becoming more sustainable and off-setting its carbon emissions, by planting a tree for every 5 packs purchased and has planted over 12,000 trees over the past 12 months.

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