About 50% of Americans or about 150 million people drink coffee daily, a staggering number. Most drink coffee for the energy and taste, but Laird Superfood, a public company (NYSE-LSF), has introduced a new blend, Boost Coffee, which includes Vitamin D as one of its ingredients.
Laird Superfood said drinking 12 ounces of Boost Coffee contains about 15% of one’s daily required intake of Vitamin D.
“People drink coffee every day. To be able to drink coffee and have some fortification with it like Vitamin D, we’re all in for that,” noted Laird Hamilton, Laird Superfood’s co-founder.
Asked which market it’s targeting with Boost, Hamilton responded, “Humans—that are drinking coffee on a regular basis. We’re providing some boost; that’s why we call it Boost.”
It’ll be sold online, where much of Laird Superfood’s products are offered, and at 7,500 grocery stores and supermarkets nationwide.
Many of Laird Superfood’s products are considered high-performance extras, but Boost will appeal to people’s everyday habit of drinking coffee, cited Gabby Reece, its Chief Brand Ambassador.
She described Boost as a medium organic Peruvian roast, with low acidity.
Most people, noted Hamilton, are deficient in Vitamin D, which is why so many people take it as supplements. “You’re not getting enough Vitamin D from the sun even for full-skin exposure,” he said.
People who get Vitamin D from the sun and wash their face with soap and water aren’t absorbing it into their system, he suggested. And these days, many people fear the sun and use sunscreen to ward it off.
Hamilton said that Boost fits into the Laird Superfood’s roster of products that started with innovative creamers. He describes this line as “functional coffee,” where the ingredients like Vitamin D have nutritious outcomes.
But some nutritionists aren’t convinced about the value of adding Vitamin D to one’s morning cup of java, including Marion Nestle, the author of Food Politics and professor of Nutrition, Food Studies and Public Health at New York University.
“At best, it contributes a small fraction of the daily value. Whether that makes any different to health is questionable,” Nestle stated.
Nor is she impressed with its ingredients, which consists of the following: olive leaf power, two types of mushroom extracts, and organic mushroom vitamin D extract.
She said, “I’m a coffee purist and don’t really get why anyone would want to contaminate perfectly good coffee with things like these that are of dubious health benefit. Mushroom extracts? I don’t think so.”
In Nestle’s view, the best way to obtain the full effects of Vitamin D is “to expose skin to the sun. Getting it through food and supplements is much less effective.”
But Hamilton responds that most inveterate coffee drinkers have two cups of coffee in the morning so that will raise the Vitamin D intake to 30%. “Is it better to take nothing versus 15% to 30%?” Hamilton wondered.
Brand manager Reece added that taking in two cups of coffee with some Vitamin D builds up over time. She also noted that it’s not making unsupported claims. “We’re not saying, ‘Drink this and all your vitamin D needs are covered.’”
According to its November 12, 2020 investor update, revenue at Laird’s Superfood has been increasing. Its total revenue in 2019 was $13.l million, up from $8.2 million in 2018 and was on target for $22.9 million for 2020.
In the third quarter 2020, it generated $7.6 million in gross revenue up from $3.5 million during the third quarter of 2010. Its third quarter sales stemmed from $5.2 million from coffee creamers, $2.2 million for coffee, tea and hot chocolate products, and $1 million for beverage enhancing supplements.
Reece said that one reason revenue has been spiking at Laird Superfood has been its ability to retain customers who buy several of its products online. Many people are repeat customers, and its goal is to keep customers for life.
Hamilton sees Boost and its future offshoots as being its next big category. “There are so many benefits from coffee than just caffeine,” he stated. Like absorbing more Vitamin D into your system.