Ripper roll-out: Sports nutrition brand targets Asia with NPD, charity, and demographic diversity
Founded by two-division world boxing champion Badou Jack, the brand is starting with a multi-year, multimillion dollar deal across the region with Hong Kong-based ERS Ventures, which specialises in marketing and distributing consumer products internationally.
The agreement will entail ERS Ventures' role as exclusive distributor in Asia for the brand and its two products, the pre-workout Oxy Ripper and post-workout Amino Ripper, which will be sold first in Hong Kong and China, followed by other Asian countries.
Acids and antioxidants
The products, which come in a soluble powder format, are touted as the first sports supplements to combine top-quality branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) with a powerful antioxidant called Lunasin.
Co-founder Amer Abdallah told NutraIngredients-Asia: "Right now, we have something nobody else has — a plant-based polypeptide called Lunasin, which is a 43-amino acid antioxidant that's been clinically proven to have naturally anti-inflammatory, heart and immune health benefits."
In addition, Lunasin is also said to be the first peptide discovered to positively affect gene expressions, with multiple large-scale scientific studies attesting to its positive effects.
Abdallah said: "It has health benefits not just for athletes, and we want to eventually bring Lunasin itself in a capsule format to China and the rest of the Asian market."
At the same time, Ripper Nutrition is planning to develop a capsule version of Oxy Ripper and Amino Ripper for added convenience. Both the powder and capsule formats will be available in Asian markets, starting with China and Hong Kong.
Commercial and social growth
While the brand has clearly outlined its plans for China and Hong Kong, it prefers to be discreet about which other countries in Asia it is targeting next.
Abdallah said, "ERS Ventures has a heavy responsibility on its shoulders, and we trust the team to make the right decision when it comes to where in Asia we should go next.
"I'm not at liberty to tell you which countries we are considering, but we'll look at the products' performance and the market conditions before expanding further."
Abdallah was keen, however, to talk about the types of products Ripper Nutrition would be developing in future for not only athletes, but people at all life stages.
"We absolutely want to expand our product range and make all of it available to the Asian market. We're starting with these two products, which will then grow into a Ripper Nutrition wellness line.
"This line will be a pharmaceutical-grade range that's going to include supplements for weight loss, fat loss, helping with sleep, and overall health and wellness.
"Eventually, we will also have formulations for children's health and development, as well as a line of products for the elderly."
In addition to developing a wider range of health and fitness supplements for multiple demographics, Badou Jack hopes his charity work and commercial ventures will influence each other positively.
Earlier this year, he began focusing helping children in refugee camps in Jordan — continuing from his first foray into charity work in his father's homeland of Gambia — with the long-term goal of doing the same in any country where children reside in such camps.
He started the Badou Jack foundation to facilitate this goal, and with the help of a major crowdfunding campaign, the foundation has begun providing protein-fortified meal replacement shakes to children in the Zataari camp, which opened in 2012 and houses approximately 83,000 Syrians fleeing the ongoing civil war back home.
The shakes are formulated and developed by Ripper Nutrition, and given via the foundation to refugee children to help them maintain their health even amid sub-par living conditions.
Eventually, however, these shakes are expected to benefit Ripper Nutrition's business.
Abdallah said, "Right now, we are not making them commercially available — Ripper Nutrition makes them exclusively for the Badou Jack Foundation. However, when we do roll out our children's nutrition line, we will add these shakes to the product range."