Based in Vienna, Austria, Saturo Foods launched in 2017 after spending roughly two years in the product development phase. In Europe, the company offers a 550ml PET bottle and 330ml Tetra Pak of its meal replacement drink with 550 and 330 calories, respectively.
According to the company, Its RTD products provide “an optimum amount of carbohydrates, proteins, healthy fatty acids, ﬁber, vitamins and minerals.”
US launch strategy
For its US launch, Saturo is starting with the 330ml (11.2 ounce) version, which functions more as a snack or meal complement, in chocolate and vanilla before expanding its offerings.
The 11.2-ounce Tetra Pak contains one-sixth of your daily nutrition with 16 grams of protein (from soy protein isolate), 13 vitamins, monounsaturated fats (from high oleic sunflower oil), essential minerals, and isomaltulose for two to three hours of sustained energy, the company claims.
According to CEO Hannes Feistenauer, the company wants to make sure it nails the initial launch before introducing American consumers to more of its portfolio.
The company’s US launch is also rather quiet without massive marketing campaigns, but instead allowing the product’s taste and convenience to speak for itself to attract a loyal consumer following, Feistenauer said.
“There are two ways to approach it, there are companies that take a big budget and splurge on marketing. That’s not how we are set up,” Feistenauer told FoodNavigator-USA.
“We are leading in product development and R&D. we invest pretty much everything we have in R&D and very little in marketing. Our spirit is to test one thing and if it goes well, do the other things.”
The company also received an investment from Austrian strategic investor, Square One Foods, last month.
Commenting on the investment, a spokesperson from Square One Foods said: “We believe in both the direction of market and the strength of the team. Saturo has the potential to establish a new category of meal replacement drinks and will soon be an integral part of our beverage range, like Red Bull or Coca-Cola.”
The capital from Square Foods has gone towards its US launch, according to Feistenauer.
Soylent’s success proves there’s an appetite for RTD meal replacements
Feistenauer sees the 'complete nutrition' category as still in its early days in the US and while companies like Soylent helped put the idea of a meal replacement drink on the map, there is still plenty of room for new entrants.
“I think the number of competitors is going to increase,” Feistenauer said.
Saturo will be targeting a similar type of consumer as Soylent: the working professional who is health conscious and active but doesn’t always have time to break for a meal.
“We are also targeting more and more gamers and students,” he added.
While offering a limited selection of its products at first, Feistenauer said that the company will be quickly expanding its portfolio in the US market.
“We think that it’s going to be a huge success. What I expect in less than a year half of revenue will come from the US,” he said.