“Last year, [at Natural Products Expo West] everyone was like, ‘what is bone broth?’ … but now almost everyone here has heard of it,” and many are clamoring to stock it and buy it, Justin Mares, the co-founder of bone broth company Kettle & Fire, told potential investors at a demo day hosted by Chobani at Expo West in March.
This is a “huge category,” he added, noting that Presence Marketing is now projecting bone broth to reach $600 million in retail sales in the next six years. In addition, SPINS data shows it making up 77% of the growth in the larger broth category and capturing 27% share of the category.
“From the response we have seen in our product, we think the [category] is going this way” and will meet projections, he said.
For support, he noted that since Kettle & Fire launched in August 2015, it has achieved $4 million in total revenue and $9 million run rate, with an average of nearly 3,000 units selling each week with Thrive Market.
An initial retailer test of the company’s beef broth was “resounding success” with an average of $87 per store per week, shooting the brand to the number seven position in SPINS Natural.
Together, these results have helped the company grow 158% in just six months, Mares said, adding that he expects this level of growth to continue thanks in part to Whole Foods Market starting to stock the product in all its stores in May and a price reduction from $9.99 to $6.99 that will go into effect this year.
In addition, Mares said, the company just launched its second SKU – a chicken bone broth that is packed with 10 grams of protein. He also noted that chicken generally outperforms beef by 20-50%.
Mares attributes the growth in part to influencers using bone broth for hair, skin and nail health, liver detox and kidney function, gut health, bone strength and joint health and tendon and ligament flexibility.
In addition, he said, consumers are reaching for bone broth because it is “incredibly rich in amino acids, protein, collagen and nutrients.”
Different from the competition
Mares acknowledged that there are many entrants flooding the new category, but he thinks there is still plenty of room for everyone to grow, especially if they work together to raise consumer awareness.
In addition, he said, Fire & Kettle stands out from the competition because it is the first and only shelf stable, all 100% grass fed beef bone broth. Many other brands must be frozen or refrigerated, making them more difficult to ship and store and limiting their versatility of use.
Ultimately, he said, even with the competition, “this is a huge category and we are right at the forefront and have massive opportunity to be the best brand in this massive emerging category.”