3 min read

Insider Briefing: Why Peloton Is Suing Flywheel

Insider Briefings are designed for entrepreneurs, executives, and investors interested in boutique fitness, natural foods, fitness tech, and emerging wellness trends.

Here’s what you need to know today.

Workout wars

Breaking a sweat is big business and Peloton is prepared to defend its dominant lead in the at-home fitness space (and $4.15B valuation) with a lawsuit filed against cycling rival Flywheel Sports.

In the suit, Peloton alleges that its brick-and-mortar competitor infringed on the company’s proprietary patents when Flywheel launched their at-home experience called FLY Anywhere. Flywheel disputes the claims, pointing out that Peloton uses a number of the features Flywheel pioneered—like a leaderboard and performance tracking—years before Peloton launched. Stay tuned to see how this one shakes out.  

The possible burger

In April, Impossible Foods—makers of a plant-based burger that looks, smells, and “bleeds” like real meat—debuted at 140 White Castle locations. Surprisingly, the Impossible Slider was so well received that White Castle has introduced the menu item at all 400 US locations. Currently, White Castle is Impossible’s biggest client, but they’re also available at some 3,000 restaurants.

With $450M in funding from A-list investors like Khosla Ventures, Google Ventures, and Bill Gates, the company is building momentum as they progress towards their stated mission of eliminating meat consumption by 2035.

If you can’t beat ’em

If the drinks section at your local grocery store wasn’t a dead giveaway, soda sales are slumping and beverage startups are giving Pepsi and Coca-Cola a run for their money. But there’s a catch: when you’re as big as these beverage behemoths, you operate under the mantra: “if you can’t beat ’em, buy ’em.”

Last year, Coca-Cola paid $200M for Topo Chico, a sparkling water bottled in northern Mexico with a massive cult following in Texas. More recently, Pepsi purchased SodaStream for an estimated $3.2B. And now, Coca-Cola is rumored to be in talks with Canadian marijuana producer Aurora Cannabis to develop a CBD-infused beverage. As we’ve pointed out, CBD is the new kale and Coca-Cola is looking to cash in on the green rush.

IRL

Following the broader trend of online brands like Warby Parker and Casper opening physical retail locations, Dirty Lemon recently set up shop in Tribeca.

The functional beverage brand that’s known for its Instagrammable “elixirs” unveiled their storefront concept called The Drug Store. While the space itself is small, the impact is massive for one notable reason: the store is totally unmanned — customers take what they want and don’t pay on site. Instead, Dirty Lemon askes that customers pay via text, using a phone number that’s on the bottle.

Now, you might be thinking that this is practically an invitation for people to steal, and maybe they will. But maybe Dirty Lemon doesn’t care. The storefront has already earned them a ton of media coverage and their CEO, Zak Normandin, said that they’d simply write down any losses as “sampling costs”. So, while it’s early yet, the move seems like a brilliant move in the reinvention of the retail shopping experience.

Want to get in touch? Email anthony@fitt.co with tips, questions, or to continue the conversation. 

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