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By Elaine Wong
NEW YORK -- The FRS Co. has kicked off a new campaign touting the endurance–boosting properties of its "healthy alternative" to traditional energy drinks, FRS. The $30 million-plus effort is also backed by endorsements from famous athletes, including Lance Armstrong.
FRS—which stands for Free Radical Scavenger—has been sold in retail channels for two years and comes in four forms: Beverage, chew, powder and concentrate. It derives its energy source from quercetin, an antioxidant found in foods. It differs from sugar or caffeine-laden products in that "the energy source is actually healthful," and boosts endurance, said CEO Maigread Eichten.
The campaign, dubbed "Be More," via Hybrid Design (an agency that has done work with Nike) promotes the brand’s scientific and professionally endorsed roots. (Armstrong, for example, is a longtime consumer.) "FRS healthy energy is a more consistent, sustained type of energy . . . You don’t get a spike and a valley afterwards," he says in one Web video on FRS’ site. "Five minutes later you feel strong, fifteen minutes later you feel strong, an hour later you still feel strong. I don’t need to go through my day constantly seeking another drink just to get me going again," Armstrong concludes.
The effort includes digital and point-of-sale components, as well as direct response television testing in June. It’ll feature real-life athletes that use the product. The target audience is "healthy, active" people who seek endurance benefits "grounded in real science," Eichten said. FRS’ creators are former Harvard University researchers who developed the health drink as a way to fight fatigue.
FRS’ sales were up 275 percent last year, per the company. The brand experienced "very strong" growth in its first quarter, and is expanding into Vitamin Shoppes and Safeway stores this month. Eichten said the product had its "best sales ever" in national chains this March.
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