#127: Chris Ashenden, Founder & CEO at Athletic Greens

Today, I’m joined by Athletic Greens founder and CEO Chris Ashenden.

Athletic Greens brings comprehensive and convenient daily nutrition through its AG1 powder, packed with 75 vitamins, minerals, and wholefood-sourced nutrients in one serving.

In this episode, we discuss Chris’s journey from testing different formulations to bootstrapping a business to earning a billion-dollar valuation. We also learn about the evolution of the brand, why their subscription model works, and how they plan to accelerate growth.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • Chris’s keys to building trust with a skeptical audience
  • How to attract great team members to your organization
  • A better approach to developing and introducing new products

Links & Resources

Chris Ashenden’s Links

Episode Transcript

This is a machine-generated transcript. Please excuse any errors.

[00:00:00] Chris:
We have a business that solves a problem, and we are very good at solving that problem.

This is a problem that is valid; it is relevant for literally tens of millions of people around the world, and I really want to help them on that journey.

[00:00:23] Joe:
Welcome back to the Fitt Insider podcast. I’m your host Joe Vennare.

Today I’m joined by Athletic Greens CEO, Chris Ashenden. In this episode we discuss Chris’s journey from testing different formulations, to bootstrapping a business, to earning a billion dollar valuation.

We also talk about the evolution of the brand, why their subscription model works, and how they plan to accelerate growth.

Let’s get into it.

Hi, Chris, welcome to Fitt Insider. Thanks for joining us.

[00:00:45] Chris:
Thank you for having me, Joe. It’s great to be here.

[00:00:47] Joe:
You have a lot going on. Some big news here recently, from funding, to hiring, and all sorts of things happening at Athletic Greens.

I think a lot of folks have heard of the brand and have tried the product, but for anyone who’s not familiar, maybe just introduce yourself and tell us about the company.

[00:01:04] Chris:
My name’s Chris Ashenden, and I’m the Founder and CEO of Athletic Greens. Our product, called AG1, is a product that massively takes the friction out of how you can cover your nutritional bases every day. I founded this company back in 2009, with a proper launch in 2010.

I’ve had a lifetime journey as an entrepreneur. Most of the time has been extremely passionate around health and fitness. Despite thinking I knew a lot about health and nutrition, I found myself getting sick all the time.

By 2008 I got tired of getting sick all the time. I ended up at a clinic in Phoenix, where I spent $35,000 on every blood, stool, and saliva test you can possibly imagine, to find—to my shock—that I just wasn’t absorbing nutrients properly.

The solution from this clinic was a customized blood biochemistry hundred dollar per day supplement regime of about 50 pills a day. I got out of that experience two big things: one, most of what we think we know about nutrition is wrong, and two, there’s gotta be a better way.

My whole life has always been about, “Can there be a better way?” I love the words, “How could we?” “How could I?” “How can we?”

As entrepreneurs, we approach problems that we seek to solve both for ourselves and other people. In this instance it was my problem. I wanted to figure out a way that could get me a ton of nutrients that I could ingest very easily. Both quality, variety, and quantity.

I wanted to figure out a way I could get huge support for my gut health, and everything that subsequently modulates health. From your immune system that absorbs the nutrients, to how it supports literally nearly everything in your body. I wanted to give myself some healthy love every day to keep orderly systems.

I’m an essentialist. I like very, very simple things that drive a really high efficacy. So we literally went looking for, “How do we take the friction out of doing all of that? How do we solve for, ‘No one has the perfect diet?’”

You need to work on the nutrients you ingest. No one has perfect gut health. You need to work on your gut health. And no one has a perfect lifestyle. You need to work both on the nutrients and the gut health, and then give some daily support.

And I want it to be simple. I want it to be convenient. And so we figured out how to do that, make it taste delicious. My opinion, I will not compromise. And because it was going to be a ton of nutrients together. It would’ve been over 20 capsules, elected for a powder. It just basically forms a beverage.

It takes 90 seconds a day. I challenge anyone to find a healthier 90 second investment that they can make every day in their health. Now, when we kicked it off, I brought this to the US I was an athletic guy with a green-looking powder. And so my marketing genius was to say, I’m going to call it Athletic Greens.

Yeah. Straight to the moon. Right. I knew that I was customer number one. When we put this together, I was really thinking about how do I solve one problem. My customers are number two and three. In my mind, I was rethinking, how can I keep them as robust, as vibrant, as healthy with all cognition or faculties or contextual as long as possible.

Something that I am very passionate about. And the early purveyors, the early thought leaders who tried it. We’re very supportive. So I kind of knew I was onto something. So I was pretty bold in how we went. I did the big rookie mistake, in terms of how I named the product, because I didn’t really realize until we’d been gone for a while that, in the U S greens as the sort of segment and categories come to be known, generally very different price point.

They’re not particularly comprehensive. They’re really just powdered crosses and a few other pitches thrown in, and that we had ultimately put ourselves into a category that we didn’t really want it. And recently, we rebranded as to really speak as well to the female audience and just point out like we’re doing something very different.

We literally have pioneered a category called foundational nutrition. It’s a drink that we believe will set the stage for a whole lot of excitement as people really step up and take ownership for their own health. We can talk about that before. But that’s the long version, man. I’m very proud to be with you today.

And thank you for being an AG1 customer. I love meeting customers. That’s literally what lights me up.

[00:05:06] Joe:
Yeah, and absolutely, I appreciate you making time. And I think diving into all those different. Aspects that you talked about, don’t want to go too far back and kind of rehash some of the things that both I’ve heard you speak about before, and want to focus on kind of like forward-looking as well, but in terms of, you know, a lot of the information out there is like you started the company, you had all these kinds of problems yourself.

Also, you were, solving a problem for yourself. And then, you know, next thing you know, you’re bootstrapping sales in 10 years on you’re able to accelerate the business. In that period of getting started, you know, you get the product out there. How did you go from, Hey, I have this, I think it’s solves a problem and gone through 50 plus iterations of what the formulation actually is at this point.

You know, how are you getting those initial customers? How are you soliciting feedback from them? And, and how did that go into like, oh, at what point, you know, I have something here that we can ramp up and sustain with sales, such that bootstrapping, it was even a possibility.

[00:06:09] Chris:
Good question that I knew I had something within 10 days of putting the whole bundle together into one screen. And I knew I had something even before that when other people tried it and said, Hey man, this is really good stuff. The, the challenges I had as I thought about what we want to do is in the early days in particular, I inherently fundamentally engineered a product versus what the existing sort of willingness to, pay was as it related to, how do you cover your basis? what’s functional nutrition And what does this drink do? So I sort of had a number of advisors in the early days who actually said to me, Hey, look, you’ve put so much in here and like in the industry and the whole nutrition industry, like your model is off miles and miles long. normal margins, like, like we recommend you dumb this product way down.

Another guy who had a very successful business in the hundreds of millions of dollars said, you need to either dumb it down or crank it up. Cause I just said, no, I realized I want to be in the reorder business. I think a lot of entrepreneurs get caught when they focus too much on that first sale, instead of thinking, how do you get the second sale?

And I always encourage any founders. I speak. To really focus on being in the reorder business. It is the own new business you want to be on if you’re selling a product. And so we did that. We focused on being on the road of business. It was all about acquiring one great customer at a time. I really believe in the power of authenticity and a trusted recommendation.

So even before it was a thing, we went looking for people in the know who drove thought leadership around health, nutrition, fitness. So we’re a lot of early adopters who were, fitness, enthusiasts, nutritionists, naturopath, functional medicine docs, personal trainers, there’s people that really worked on body composition.

So are a lot of questions about fat loss in the early years, but it was that ability to get the authentic and trusted recommendation that really drove, the beginning of the groundswell. And obviously worked really hard to. 10 years of continual investment and continual improvement. And we’re really proud of our entire pro-Trump continuous improvement, in terms of how we iterate around that product for two, two iterations over those 10 years, 75 of the highest quality ingredients in the world.

And just continuing to try to look how can we better serve our customers? How can we better drive value back to our customers? When you do that for long enough, and we discuss a little bit on brand building at the beginning brands and the trust that you need to build with the product we take the trust and the quality.

So seriously, we have a no compromises approach to how we do that. And you don’t build it overnight. You build it over repeatedly over delivering on your promise on your brand promise and your quality. And we’ve done that, and I’m really proud of the work we’ve done that and very grateful as a result for the trust.

We fought hard to be of responsibility, to always out deliver on that brand promise and that brand trust. So over time, we’ve just stilled up a steady base of, of very loyal customers, a steady base of thought leaders. And now they’re called craters and the credit economy. And we love the fact that we’re empowering this credit card on me.

I think it’s so cool. And I think what’s really one of the big shifts that we’re really seeing. People don’t want to, look up to someone that I admire and watch them get paid to slug, something back on TV that they know they don’t take every day. They don’t tell their kids to take every day. They don’t wish their parents took every day and there’s no real part of their life.

It’s just them taking a chick to slug. Something that let’s face it. Most of the time it’s really unhealthy. And what I think people want is trust and authenticity. They want to know, Hey, you’re a thought leader. I admire how you think and approach. What do you do? What are the investments you make, Joe and your health every day.

One of the few things that you do that really make a difference in your life that I can try and adopt in my own approach to continuous improvement and make a difference in mine. But I think if you look at that, that piece around our customers and how broad the base are, they’re all people who are looking to approach life with an approach around.

Well proven, so trusted, authentic, recommendation. And then over-delivering has sort of been the real keys to our success. This is massive, massive movement on the way we call it, the health ownership movement we even set up. We’re literally a kid to empower this movement. That’s what gets me out of bed every morning.

What’s what makes me most delighted when I made a customer like you and hear about your story, your journey, where else you’ve taken ownership of your own health. They’re the spectacular life. What else you’re doing in your own life to take ownership of other areas to compound towards an even more spectacular life.

That’s the journey we want to really help people on it starts, I believe, with taking ownership of your own. At T is like this invest in your health. These are the simple things that truly make a difference. Invest in your key relationships is the people closest to you, your spouse, your kids, your parents, your closest friends, those that really light up your life and really what it’s all about, then invest your time with purpose and meaning and literally driving impact.

And I think a lot of your listeners here, particularly those who really come from themselves. way back when as nutritionist or trainers or anything else, a whole lot of it is the satisfaction you get from getting out of bed and helping other people.

[00:11:09] Joe:
I think when hearing you talk about that, there’s this, you mentioned that the, you know, kind of, essential list, the focusing on. The things that really move the needle, wanting to have that trust and authenticity. A lot of times when you have a, whether it’s a kind of a supplement brand or you have a kind of diet protocol or any type of health and wellness routine.

Kind of a front man out there, a guru of sorts that positions themselves, that they have all the secrets, they have the answers, you know, do things this way and you’ll achieve, you know, your wildest dreams. You come off as very much the opposite of that. very pragmatic, very disciplined, direct in terms of, you know, this is a piece of the overall health and wellness puzzle.

D was that an intentional decision? Was that just you being authentic to who you are? How did that factor into it?

[00:12:04] Chris:
So, this is a really good question, man. I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. What do people want? People want to feel amazing? Which means They want to know that they’re doing the things that ultimately move the needle. Right? They’re demanding a high bar.

And high trust buy from the brands I interface with than ever before. And this is a great thing. And I think if you look at that 10 years of continuous innovation and continue to work, we’re continually trying to move the bar up there. But in terms of how we communicate, it’s just, I want to be proud of everything I ever say.

And do, I literally will always tell people what I honestly think. And I think people really want the authenticity. And it’s just about building the type of world I want to live. being the top of value, I’ll give him the top of value that I would like to receive. And that there is this about creating a different, better way of doing it.

You probably have heard me say I don’t have a huge amount of time. for most of the folks out there, I think there’s unfortunately a lot of fast money to be made when people go about this, the wrong way. I we’ve always taken a diametrically opposed approach. I think most of the incumbents in the industry, I really about feed of chefs.

They’re not customer-centric solutions. They’re trying to win, with a retailer. And it’s, it’s a very different game. It’s not a customer-first, customer-centric solution to a problem. It’s all very confusing and chaotic. There’s so much craziness out there. And I think now online, you’re saying the same thing as literally tens of thousands of options.

Everyone’s promising this promo thing. That’s crap. That’s not how the world works. The world works by you making advancements. That truly make a difference. That means like for us to live the responsibility of a customer-centric approach, we literally did something that had never been done before. We put so much nutrition and value in to that beverage that scoop that the first people who saw what we were doing and how much it was costing us to do that said you’re crazy and we’ve proved them wrong.

And I’m very excited about that. I think that’s going to be a shift as well. towards more authenticity, more trust with the brands. And what we want to do is break that trust. In fact, when we work with our various thought leaders and creators, if they will typically love what we’re doing, they love AGY and they love the mission.

I love everything else. There’s always a beautiful match to be had. And it’s like, anytime we’ve ever come across someone, no matter how powerful, no matter how much they could have helped. if we haven’t felt that authenticity, that’s fine, man. We really appreciate the opportunity, but we’ll pause for now.

And I think just doing that for, for 10 years and, continuing to do it and we’ll do it forever. It’s just this just part of how I want to live my life, man. And you strike me as a straight shooter. I’m sure you’ll tell me we ever drop the ball. In fact, I ask you to ever tell me any way you see anything you think we can do better as an AGU one customer, and we’ll be all over it because ultimately it’s about us serving you.

Really compelling you on that life journey. Like I said, that’s what gives me goosebumps. That’s what lights me up. That’s the journey for me as an entrepreneurs. I want to be that value. I want to see this rise and rise, and I want to literally empower a sea change in how people are proactively taking ownership of their health.

So tens of millions of people, and it’s that opportunity. It’s that ability to do that. And the fact that we can move the needle for people with a really simple 90 seconds. Piece, it sits up a gateway for a cascading impact of other beautiful habits. People always end up making wiser, smarter decisions around how they move, how they sleep, pop a food, they buy how they eat at home.

And it’s a cascading thing that’s really powerful. And I think we’re in this instruction point of that movement. And this is the number one thing that I live for, man. It’s really cool.

[00:15:38] Joe:
It’s super powerful to hear you talk about it. And with that, as it sits in the. Nutritional supplement category and kind of addressing, you know, some of the brands that you spoke about who may be do that, you know, there is a stigma around, are they able to live up to the claims that they put out there?

How do they do that? Is there any type of efficacy. Testing. How do you ensure that they ingredients that are on the label are actually the ingredients that are in there? have you thought about, do you have any plans to, you know, do any studies down the path of proving the effectiveness or thinking about it in terms of this is how we continue to validate it?

Or is it more, you know, which so often is the case and kind of the wellness in nutritional spaces, like. I feel the difference, but I, it hasn’t quite been to the point where it’s been tested and studied, like a health care treatment or a science-backed kind of treatment.

[00:16:30] Chris:
Yeah. So it’s a good question. So we’re not a medical product. We’re not required by the FDA to go have a series of clinical studies to be able to put this out. We have a research and science back with some of the smartest

Research advisors like full-stop period in the world. And each of those ingredients gets massively fainted for quality and there’s science and a Panasonic, all of them, there’s growing science on the synergy of how they work together.

Something that we pioneered as a synergistic approach to how your body absorbs nutrients, that interfaces with the gut health. And then there’s this quality certifications that you can look at to say, What is in the, what is in the bottle, the pouch, the packet is on the label. Those are the things like the NSF certified for sport, which tells me that what is, what is a label isn’t there?

And nothing else is it’s also, I don’t want the therapeutic goods administration of Australia, which is considered by many to be the most stringent regulatory body. I mean, there’s a couple of things that we’ve done and kind of pioneered in terms of how they relate to foundation traditional product, that sort of really set the bar on.

Like we just want to below. It’s quite interesting. Cause I don’t think people realize that many supplements in the U S it’s just come out. The wild west, people are throwing all sorts of stuff in there unless gala business to the certain point. Then they shut the doors and disappear when they start getting, you know, through the agencies, knock on their door or a few more critiques.

And it’s kind of a shame because there are some great operators out there who are determined to add value to people’s lives. And those are the only people I want to interface with. And I’m pretty keen to really continuous at the power and how we moved this whole minimum acceptable standard around.

[00:18:05] Joe:
When you think about the kind of emerging trends in the space? personalization is a huge one and we’re starting to see companies that are doing blood testing, saliva testing, urine testing, as it relates to creating custom formulas. You’ve kind of said, this is the one formula we’re not going to do.

Maybe this customer approach or, you know, have shelves full of all these different products, such that we kind of force people to choose or buy all these things. How do you think about the opportunity there and whether or not you’ll pursue that or even launching additional products?

[00:18:36] Chris:
It’s a good question. If you are consider, how did I end up stepping on this? I spent so much money. Like it was so much money. On all these tests and the solution was a literally customized my biochemistry ratio. And it was just moving up the few pieces that were clinically the most down. And I think what people don’t realize is, and this is why we use the term foundational nutrition.

It is about ingesting to build a foundation, to make you more robust. And it’s our entire approach to how we split that. So this is something that you do foundationally each and every day to get. nutrient quality variety, that idea of nutrient density. This is principle of requisite variety ice to say nature, lands variety, but foundational functional medicine docs are now saying Rick, was it variety to ensure you’re feeding a diverse gut bio?

There’s all sorts of things about modulating. You’ve gotten, just ensuring your gut is ultimately working and just kind of tweaking it back into the green, each and every day. So we do that at a foundational level. I think if you talk to nutritionists, other people, when you say, should people focus on whole foods, Yeah.

Should people improve, they’ve got health, they’ll say. Yeah. And then, then they just sit there and sort of great big box nicely. ticked And then you sit there and say, well, all right, if you’re doing that and you have a clinical ailment that you have identified, that makes you want to really bring up the dose or something, or you’re working with a health professional for some specific need, or you just want to experiment, like go for it, but lay the base, like lay in that foundational base.

And that’s the problem that we’re trying to solve. I think most people don’t realize the difference between survival and sort of being in the norm. And you’re talking about being under a bell curve of blood tests that includes all humanity in north America, and think how many of those people are truly, truly healthy.

It’s why you keep seeing standard deviations and move down like for guys, particularly around testosterone and what the norm is like absolutely crazy. And it’s really terrifying. So you’re being compared to those folks as a normal, healthy human, I would say. fuck that you want to be robust as humanly possible.

You want to step forth and give yourself the best chance you can, that a healthy, spectacular life. And that starts with you taking ownership. Then you doing like to the point on simplicity, the basic things that actually work to move the needle and beyond laying down a foundation nutrition. It’s focusing on food quality.

It’s focusing on the macros that work white for you, trying to keep your blood sugar in a healthy range. I have no time for the folks at pro any format of sugar, hidden in any way into any product, and then try to claim that it’s great for you unless you are actively exercising. There’s a lot of those out there.

You want to make sure you’re getting in a way that doesn’t sort of sit up in an inflammatory. For you now, if you do those things and the core of that, again, for most people is pretty like the bulk of the bell-curve is the Martin Jarvis at the edges get tuned very heavily based on your lifestyle, your history, your activity level, how are you sleeping?

What else do you do? You have to go from the amount of own, your sleep on movement on your outdoor signage exposure. Make sure you’re getting some community happy times and voila. Watch what happens like holy shit. I feel amazing. I look amazing. It’s, it’s kind of not rocket science, but the discipline to take ownership of it.

This requires someone to step up and say, yep, I’m going to go do that. This is how I live my life. And it’s a lifestyle approach, man, that we want people

[00:21:48] Joe:
So to maybe push you on that a little bit, where we will, we see other products from Athletic Greens.

[00:21:54] Chris:
Probably one day. I mean, at this stage, if you consider the problem that we solve or what we do every time we get kind of incremental economy of scale and our purchasing. We take the chunk of that. And we look to drive value back to our customer. And I think that discipline and doing that is how drives us, us disrupting our own product continuously.

So I think we can continue to innovate and build and lead the curve around how we set up this foundation nutritional piece. And we’re essentially, so we’re not going to put something else and sell it to you separately. If we could’ve put it into. So at least for the near to amend the runway is really, really strong to do this.

Now we have relationships and we love the relationships we have with our amazing customers. And, you know, you guys, you guys tell us all the time, Hey, we have this other problem. We’d love you to help solve it. How would you help us solve this? And there are a few of those that kind of tickle the interest.

And we’ve been working on R and D for eight to 10 years on a bunch of things. And one of the things that’s fun it’s around allows us to do is to accelerate our ability to bring those to mind. Where do we do in a, what timing is still TBD, but yeah, there’s a lot of testing and research going on, man. Have some bite of stuff now that’s pretty cool.

And the optionality is there. Let’s just say that.

[00:23:03] Joe:
We’ll be watching, we’ll keep an eye out for it. And super, super curious to see how it evolves. The other thing, other than when you think about like the product line and. For the business model and how you’re approaching that with this essential ism and then the trust and relationship that goes into it is what you’ve kind of called this.

Not so much direct to consumer, but direct with consumer really reaching them where . They are. It looks like to the kind of online subscription model where it’s really about retention and repeat purchases. Obviously you have the kind of pool to go into retail or think about other distribution channels.

How are you approaching that? And what does it look like as you continue to ramp up the.

[00:23:41] Chris:
Well on the product is I don’t think about products. I literally don’t think of it. I think of it in problems or problems. Where does that pain point for our customer? How can we better sit with an act like that, assault that problem and all the things that our R and D start with? What problem are we trying to solve on, on every kind of internal document that we structure those and set them up in terms of our business.

And you have heard me talk about the data piece, obviously on some interviews. people throw out that word. And I think a lot of people really fail to grasp the real power of having a direct relationship is your ability to form a two way relationship with your customers and people side D to C I kind of cringe, w we’re on a journey with our customers.

It’s direct with our customers. I’m doing this for you and with you, my customer, as part of that, I get better and better at how I can serve you when you. How we can get better and we can work with you or the latest science to try new things and get better. By the same token, you get to work with us to help us be the future of a beautiful company.

We’re determined to make a business that operates, and basically a team of people that works as beautifully as AIG one does. And we’re pretty excited to see how we can continue to innovate on both fronts there. So yeah, retail is always there. we know we want to meet our customer. Really where they want it to be met, to the sense . . That we have a two something on the retail or will be about strategically made in our customers and actually just meeting them where they want us to meet them as opposed to any kind of blanket approach, which has never been that way.

It’s always strategic pistol.

[00:25:11] Joe:
Yeah. You mentioned the branding piece, like shifting away from the Athletic Greens, both of those things mean different things to different people. And then the, the ag one kind of evolution and I’ve read, you know, I think it was kind of. Huge growth in terms of appealing to women and expanding into that market.

How do you balance and kind of walk the line between, you know, you want to work with people. So like folks like Lewis, Hamilton’s an investor, Joe Rogan talks about it all the time. Tim Ferris promotes a product and that’s a very specific person. You don’t want to leave them behind as you evolve the brand, but you do want to attract like this wider audience, that to your point, when you think.

Who needs something like this foundationally in the domino effect that it could have in terms of other healthy behaviors, how do you continue to appeal to, I guess me who started using it, because in some ways it did say Athletic Greens And that really was what I was looking for, appealing to that remaining, keeping that relationship in place and then continuing to evolve the brand as well.

[00:26:14] Chris:
Yeah. So it’s a good question. So I think that the appeal that will stand as long as we deliver on our brand promise. And that’s one of the cool things about age one is that it’s very broad appeal and moving aggressively away from that Greenstone. It was really allowance to tell this story, like this product for most nine synergistic products in one, for most people almost instantly, you’re going to replace out of your cupboard, a multivitamin multimineral a pre probiotic, a symbiotic, which is an idea that we pioneered of combining nutrients and synergy with each other and support a gut health and absorption of nutrients and how those nutrients ultimately, impact your body and the same applies to sort of phytonutrients and a breadth of phytonutrients, a specialized herb.

So that’s everything from what some people would call. To some of the more particular hubs and Fatah nutrients, like, some of the adaptogens like ashwagandha and other things we’ve had ashwagandha and a pretty complete suite of adaptogens since 2010. That was way before it was cool. And I’m really, really proud of our team for trying to keep pushing this curve forward.

And I think that replacement the understand of the replacement value, it’s like, ah, I can take this. It’s literally 96. And I can replace all those other things. It’s like, wow, that’s amazing. That’s a different person from, I just want the best. And I’m here for my next goal. Middle, give me the best. And there are different kinds of value props in, in there, but at its core, the problem we’re solving is how do we make it easy to have the power of this foundational nutritional habit and do that in a customer centric way.

So I’m not particularly concerned that we’ll leave behind those people because in actual fact, every iteration is even better than the last that they, that they can.

[00:27:50] Joe:
When you think about, as we get towards end of the conversation, we want to kind of look ahead. You recently, in back-to-back years raised funding first from like a strategic round of kind of celebrities, athletes, folks who were proponents of the brand, as well as more recently, $115 million valuing the company at north of a billion dollars, which is incredible.

Congratulations on, you know, the continued success and milestones there. one thing that kind of strikes me as if you think of. You know, continuing to navigate the business, you, you’re certainly committed to this lifestyle. You talk about being really fired up and wanting to wake up every day to continue to serve this, this kind of customer and help people live a healthier lifestyle.

When you think about continuing to operate as an independent company, potentially going public, you know, or acquisitions that might come, it kind of strikes me as. The suitors in this case are typically like big food companies or CPG companies that don’t kind of have that same ethos. so how do you think about just potential exits or continuing to run the company or what you think is the, the kind of, you know, goal that you’re aspiring towards in terms of the north stars you think about continuing to grow.

[00:29:00] Chris:
Customers and movement and do it with amazing people. We have such a cool team of bold, courageous, innovative people, and they’re here to make a dent in the universe. I’m here to make a dent. in the universe And I think that attracts being mission-driven and living that mission really attracts. Amazingly quality, talented people.

So I think we’re just warming up. I think the valuations are a reflection of both our growth and the opportunity and how good we are at really focusing on driving . Innovation customer first solution to a pretty big problem. And right now, man, we’re going for we’re in build mode. I thank you for the nice words.

Like whenever I see any kind of PR nothing else like this. it just makes me just want to build, build, build. I’d say it’s an interesting kind of, I feel good. I feel grateful. I have such gratitude to everyone who stood by us and helped us along the way, especially our customers and our thought partners.

And fire in the belly is bigger than it has ever been. Man. It’s a, it’s a different feeling from what it was before. When so much of it is about like survival.

[00:30:06] Joe:
When you were starting out in solving this problem for yourself. Coming up with the various iterations is what the company has grown into. What you envisioned. Did you think it could get this big? Did you have aspirations that it would get this big or was it more so just one kind of brick at a time and it evolved.

How, how has that place.

[00:30:26] Chris:
What about? So I was very fortunate. I had to help with some phenomenally smart people who really helped me put this product together. And I think one of the arrows I made when I landed and started doing this was I’ve always had this vision to help empower the lives of millions of people. And now used to hammer customers with emails the whole time.

I mean, it was just, I just really want them to take ownership of the spectacular life journey. I think what I didn’t do well enough, particularly in the early. Was communicate that bigger, bolder vision, and I’m not shy about it anymore. You can probably tell and I’m super lit up by it. It’s literally the thing that makes me most excited every day.

And when you are boldly stepping into that, and I, I know we have a, a business who solves a problem and we are so good at solving the problem. This is a problem that is valid. It is relevant for literally tens of millions of people around the world. And I really want to help them on that journey, on that lifestyle approach to how to take ownership for their own health.

I like we, we have so much runway there that it’s really sort of literally just an inflection point in terms of where I think we could go. So I’m not in a hurry to do anything other than what we’re doing right now. I think, you know, is it a milestone? Yes, but what it really is, is a building block, that really helps us drive both more innovation and value back to our existing.

At the same time we can bring innovation and value, to new customers around the world. And that’s again, what the, what gets us all out of bed in the morning man. It’s a fun journey and I love that you’re on it, man. I think it’s great.

[00:31:59] Joe:
Absolutely.

One last question before we wrap up here. You’re in build mode with plenty of capital to deploy down that path. To the extent that you can talk about it, is there anything that you’re excited about? Anything we should be on the lookout for? Any key benchmarks that you look at and say, “This is what we hope to accomplish over the first half of this year, or even through 2020?”

[00:32:26] Chris:
Yes, we are still a private company to the extent that we share things only when we believe that they will further the mission. Otherwise we keep it to ourselves.

I can safely say that our growth rate has been outstanding and getting faster. What you’ll see is customer-first innovation really accelerate. A lot of the stuff we’ve been doing, we’ve always been doing, and can now come rocketing to the forefront.

I think you’ll see a pretty cool iteration 53 launch. I think you’ll see more touch points, more value in the ways we interact with our customers. Those are the things that get us most excited, and you’ll see more growth. We’re going to work really hard to continue to win, every single day, the trust and the recommendation of every existing customer we have.

I think that approach is what gets us there in terms of growing as a business.

[00:33:15] Joe:
Awesome. We’ll get you outta here on this.

For anybody who has not tried it and wants to give it a try, or learn more about Athletic Greens, where would you direct them?

[00:33:28] Chris:
AthleticGreens.com. Give it a shot. You’ll see some people who have some element of nutrient deficiency or torn up gut experience a relatively quick change in digestion and general sense of well-being.

For most, like any foundational habit, it’s going to layer in, and that effect is going to compound with time.

Come give it a shot. Layer in the foundation nutrition, and call us if you’re not utterly happy. We will give your money back.

I’d love to be on this journey with you as well.

[00:33:58] Joe:
Chris. Thanks so much for spending some time with us today and sharing the journey. We’ll definitely be following along as you continue to ramp up. So, I appreciate the time.

[00:34:06] Chris:
Thanks so much, Joe. I appreciate you having me, mate.

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