“We raised $2.5m, led by GTM investments, with participation from several other VCs and family offices that really will help expedite and expand our growth throughout 2024. It was remarkable, but at the same time, it was backed in that there's a real opportunity. There's a product that we were going to market with that really was very unique, and we can defend against it with our technology.”
Putting the foot on the gas to grow the brand, focusing on packaging innovation
Whipnotic is a low-calorie and low-sugar whipped cream product that is keto-friendly, gluten-free, and artificial flavor-free. It is available in Strawberry Swill, Vanilla Salt Caramel, Peach Mango, and Brownie Batter. Currently, the products are available in retailers primarily on the East Coast, including Central Market and Busch's Fresh Food Market, and through Whipnotic's brand website.
The company will focus on growing brand awareness and fueling retail expansion with the seed funding, growing from the 400 stores that it is in today to a projected thousands of stores in 2024, brand co-founder and president Tracy Luckow shared.
“2024 is about putting our foot on the gas and getting it as into as many retail stores as possible and also expanding our online presence, so that way we have a national opportunity for people to test the brand,” Gitomer said.
Not only is the company focusing on bringing to market innovative flavors, but Whipnotic is also leveraging its patented nozzle technology to shake up “the sleepy category” of whipped creams, Gitomer said. Each Whipnotic product features its patented technology that releases fruit juice and flavor essences into the whipped cream to create the swirl effect when consumers press a button on the side of the can’s nozzle, Luckow explained.
“We were really inspired by the creativity of coffee baristas throughout the country who were swirling the sauces and syrups of all flavors and colors into lattes and cappuccinos, creating a really stunning and highly sensorial experience. So, we really decided that's what we wanted to recreate for groceries so that anyone could do that themselves at home.”
While the company is “hyper-focused” on growing the brand, Gitomer didn't dismiss a “B2B play ... from a technology standpoint" in the future, where other companies can license the technology for use in other product categories.
Expanding the flavor portfolio to go after different seasons, regions
As Whipnotic expands, other better-for-you whipped creams also have entered the market, and consumers are turning to whipped cream as a standalone dessert, Luckow said. The global demand for whipping cream is expected to grow to a $14.6bn market by 2033, growing by a 6% CAGR between 2023 and 20233, led by better-for-you product innovation, according to Fact.MR research.
“What we're really proud of is that we've taken inspiration from things like ice cream, where chocolate and vanilla and strawberry are top flavors, and we brought it to whipped cream, which is 15 calories a serving and less than one gram of sugar per serving, with flavors like strawberry swirl, vanilla salted caramel, [and] brownie batter,” she added. “We see [people with diabetes] who have not been able to have dessert all of a sudden able to get that enjoyment of a dairy treat.”
Recently, Whipnotic released its Peach Mango and Brownie Batter flavors to tap into more seasonal occasions after realizing that its original Vanilla Salted Caramel did particularly well in the winter season. "In summer months, strawberry swirl is the hero," Luckow said. Peach Mango was also a flavor that was popular in the Southeast where Whipnotic has a strong footprint, she added.
"We're seeing a runaway hit with Brownie and real interest from exactly the regions of the country we anticipated for Peach Mango. We were struggling to keep them stocked at the moment," Luckow said. "The raise is going towards expanding our store footprint from the 400 stores we have today to 1,000s in 2024, and we'll also be expanding our distribution of Peach Mango and Brownie Batter in that time period as well."