Brand owner Ingenuity Brands - which is now a certified B Corporation - has just closed a second financing round supported by the original group of investors that backed its launch, said co-founder and CEO Jonathan Wolfson, who founded microalgae-fueled business TerraVia (now owned by Corbion).
"The feedback from the market has been phenomenal, both for the brand and the product, and we think this company is going to be huge."
Currently, Brainiac Kids is in almost 1,000 stores, with the drinks proving the best sellers, said president and co-founder Mark Brooks, formerly SVP food and ingredients at TerraVia: "Going through next year we are looking at a multiple of that."
Brainiac products include a 'brainpack' featuring 120mg choline, 160mg ALA omega-3 from flaxseed, and 130mg DHA omega-3 from algae per 4oz serving.
Sugar is dialed down by using a small amount of monk fruit, while protein is dialed up with added milk protein concentrate, said Wolfson, whose wife gave birth to their third child after he left TerraVia last year, pushing infant nutrition to the top of mind for him on a personal level, which in turn stimulated his entrepreneurial juices.
“Some brands have added DHA to products here and there, but there’s not really a single brand focused on kids’ most important asset, their brain, which is going to have a bigger impact on their future and happiness than anything else," Wolfson told us earlier this year. "We’re really the first food-based brain nutrition brand.”
'Moms overwhelmingly think yogurt is a healthy product, although they are worried about sugar'
While the branding (Brainiac Kids) is a bit on the nose, that was deliberate, said Wolfson: “You’ve got to be simple and clear.”
Children in the US are only getting 20% of the adequate daily intake of the long chain omega-3 fatty acid DHA (based on WHO recommendations), and only two thirds of the daily adequate intake of choline (based on the National Institute of Medicine’s recommendations), claimed Wolfson.
“Yes you can get these from foods but it’s hard to get kids to eat salmon, nuts and broccoli. You want them to grow up to be their best selves and to give them the tools that they need, so out of that Brainiac was born.”
Yogurt is an ideal delivery mechanism for these nutrients because kids like it and it’s consumed regularly, said Brooks. “We spoke to over a thousand Moms and they overwhelmingly think yogurt is a healthy product, although they are worried about sugar.”
The company is currently working on a new product launch that will take the brand into new territory, with details to be disclosed later this year, he said.
"We're a brainfood for kids company and everything we do will be focused on getting the nutrition from the brainpack into foods that kids love, so we need to innovate across categories."
FOOD FOR KIDS
Read more HERE about Brainiac Kids, which will be speaking at FoodNavigator-USA's FOOD FOR KIDS summit in Chicago on November 18-20. Learn more HERE about the three-day summit, a must-attend event for anyone supplying foods to pregnant mothers, babies, toddlers, young children and teenagers.