Thanks to consumers’ willingness to pay for premium products that will benefit their health, the company believes there is a larger target market for its niche products outside body builders, athletes and fitness fanatics.
“Through COVID people invested in themselves and really actually understood about their health and how important it is. So certainly, this category will grow,” said Mr Cockerill, who spent almost four years running Subway in Australia.
The company is scaling up production at its new manufacturing facility in Logan in south-east Queensland to meet the demand for the protein bar.
“We’ve got a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility that we’re still gearing up around the volume because we’re not sacrificing quality for volume. It’s going to be a nice problem to have, but I’m a little bit anxious actually about the supply and demand around it,” he said.
Mr Cockerill said the company is looking to distribute its products more widely across grocery chains and pharmacies.
ATP Science’s nutritionists and health scientists have developed more than 40 gut-related wellness products, but Mr Cockerill acknowledged there was more work to be done to teach consumers about the benefits of collagen-fuelled food.
“We’re basically a company that’s invested more in scientists and nutrition than we have in sales and marketing,” he said.
Specialist health and supplements brands have become attractive acquisition targets for incumbent FMCG brands, looking to cash in on changing consumer habits. For example, Clif Bar & Company, a Californian snack business, was acquired by Mondelez in June for $US2.9 billion ($4.3 billion) to capitalise on the “healthy snacking” trend.
As sports nutrition foods creep into the mainstream, Mr Cockerill said the company was also in discussions with investors, who he declined to name, to fund ATP Science’s expansion on a national and international scale.
“Our biggest sales markets outside Australia are the US, UAE and Asia, and we are positioned to further expand into the Asian market,” he said.
“Our overseas interests account for approximately 10 per cent of the company’s gross sales and we expect this to grow exponentially during the next 12 months.”