Background: 2005 – 2007: Owen Ryan develops market entry strategy for the VOLT® beverage brand, formulates products, conducts extensive consumer research with young males, identifies Gatorade vulnerabilities, moves family to Charlotte NC to launch VOLT®. VOLT® developed to simultaneously compete against Gatorade ($6 billion+ in US sales, 85% market share) and Mountain Dew ($6 billion in sales). VOLT® operates on shoestring, gains traction vs. Gatorade. Ryan executes unique, low-cot ($8.43) cold call direct mail outreach to CEO’s of Sheetz, Publix, Walgreens resulting in significant retailer acceptance of the VOLT brand, and the need for outside capital to capitalize on these sales opportunities. (e.g. Publix invites VOLT into all 960 stores, seeing VOLT as “a viable competitor to Gatorade”.)
2007 – 2008 VOLT replaces Gatorade as Official Sports Drink of AAU Baseball in NC. (By end of first season, VOLT is outselling Gatorade in concession stands where VOLT and Gatorade are sold at $2 per bottle by 2 to 1 margin.) Gatorade moves to strangle VOLT® while it is still in the cradle. Sends cease and desist letters claiming VOLT represents “unfair competition to Gatorade”. Ryan rejects PepsiCo’s demands, moves forward. (As a two person company at the time, we took Gatorade’s claims of “unfair competition” as a compliment!.)
March 2013: VOLT’s creator Owen Ryan regains full ownership of the VOLT® brand, formulas, trademarks, etc. from original hedge fund investors, remembers positive Publix meetings in Lakeland, makes a call to reopen a conversation regarding VOLT as a Publix-exclusive brand vs. Gatorade.