LOS ANGELES, Dec. 19, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- After two years of fast growth driven primarily via direct online sales, Après is announcing a brand refresh to reach an expanding customer base and support growth across new channels, including traditional brick-and-mortar retail.
The brand refresh and formula update succeeds the brand's largest financing round to-date, led by institutional partners including returning Seed Series lead Rocana Ventures, as well as Stray Dog Capital, Semillero Ventures, and Black Jays Investments. Collectively, the investors bring extensive knowledge and experience in both the better-for-you CPG industry and the world of digitally-native consumer brands. In addition to the brand refresh, Après is utilizing the funding to create more flexibility in the company's roadmap across both traditional and nontraditional beverage channels and build its community through authentic in-person experiences.
"The lines around mealtimes are becoming blurry, and Après' unique approach to solving the need for on-the-go, nutritious plant-based replenishment has shown tremendous traction," said Gurdeep Prewal, Managing Partner at Rocana Ventures. "Après has the potential to excel as an omnichannel brand, and we're excited to further support the brand as it moves quickly to build out its capabilities. We believe that the brand refresh and vibrant new packaging will allow the brand to stand-out and perform across all channels."
Though launched as a digital-first brand, Après initiated several retail pilots in Southern California earlier this year to see how its product line would perform in the offline world of grocery. Following the brand's success on-shelf paired with months of customer and buyer feedback, Après began work on a formulation update to refine the product line's sensory characteristics and a brand refresh to optimize its packaging.
"Our go-to-market strategy was to utilize the Direct-to-Consumer channel to build a community, rapidly test and learn, and ultimately bring a new consumer into the protein drink category," said co-founder & CEO Sonny McCracken. "We've found that customers love our product, as evidenced by online repeat rates as high as 40%, and that there was noticeable traction offline in our retail pilot. Now two years after launching, we're accelerating our strategy to reach our goals beyond digital and get our product to customers where they shop."
Après is reimagining protein to make the category more approachable for a broader audience looking for a clean ingredient, nutritionally balanced product that provides more than just protein supplementation. Key learnings were incorporated in the updated packaging to clearly identify the function of the product with a clean, modern approach to the design. The formulation still delivers replenishment with plant protein, MCTs and electrolytes and upholds the brand's standard of utilizing quality ingredients. The evolved formulation has less sugar and improved taste to offer an even more compelling proposition to consumers.
"Our packaging communicated a feeling, but didn't articulate the value proposition of our product without additional support from our website or digital ads," said McCracken. "We started this company to make protein more approachable and inclusive, and we feel that this updated packaging really helps us achieve this goal while continuing to broaden our reach."
With a new look in hand along with investment, the brand plans to leverage its digital DNA to continue growing its community with a focus on operating its existing sales channels and then thoughtfully expanding further into retail with strategic partners. Additionally, Après will continue to build its corporate team as well as develop new products as part of the company's roadmap to reimagine the protein category.
Après is available in four flavors: Mint Chocolate, Sea Salt Chocolate, Vanilla Bean and Cold Brew Coffee in 11oz Tetra Pak™ cartons that are shelf-stable and offer an easy, on-the-go solution. Twelve-packs are available online starting at $44.43 ($3.70 per bottle) along with variety packs and subscription packages.
Après is a digital-first beverage company based in Los Angeles offering plant-based protein beverages developed specifically for whole-body replenishment. For more information, please visit www.drinkapres.com or follow @drinkapres.