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Bear Squeeze Raises $715,000 in Pre-Seed Round.

2/23/18. Ketogenic meal shake startup Bear Squeeze has raised $715,000 in a pre-seed round led by AccelFoods, giving the brand a financial edge as it prepares to launch via ecommerce this spring.

The funds complement an additional $164,000 the company has raised thus far through its IndieGoGo crowdsourcing campaign, which currently has more than 1,100 backers and closes March 7.

Speaking to BevNET on Friday, Bear Squeeze founder and CEO Max Baumann said he first connected with AccelFoods at BevNET Live Winter 2017 during the semifinal round of the New Beverage Showdown 14, a contest that the brand would go on to win. AccelFoods managing partner Jordan Gaspar served as a judge during the semifinal round and praised Baumann’s direct-to-consumer (DTC) marketing plan.

“This round shows that everyone is willing to take a bet just based on trying the product,” Baumann told BevNET.

In addition to AccelFoods, the round also included investment from Ryan Lewendon, a partner at The Giannuzzi Group, Shopify senior account executive Tyler Nemiro, AdQuadrant CEO Warren Jolly, MVMT CEO Jake Kassan, and Andy Chase, managing member of The Chase Group at Morgan Stanley.

Bear Squeeze will officially launch in May via its own website with an online store managed by Shopify. According to Baumann, the direct-to-consumer approach has allowed the company to operate with a bare bones staff. With the funding, Bear Squeeze will hire a full time ecommerce manager.

“Everyone liked the high margin DTC allows for,” Baumann said. “The beauty of ecommerce is you can get way further than traditional food and beverage [approaches] on launch.”

At launch the line includes Vanilla Chai and Chocolate varieties of its bottled powder line, which can be mixed with water and drunk immediately. The company has also developed a Vanilla Chai “Travel Pack,” a product which Baumann said IndieGoGo campaign backers helped develop after he put the line’s calorie count to a vote (the backers opted for a 250 calorie option versus the 400 calories contained in the bottled line).

According to Baumann, Bear Squeeze has identified through market research a target demographic of men between 25 and 40, including athletes, entrepreneurs, engineers, gamers, and other consumers seeking on-the-go meal replacements and nutrition. The company plans to partner with social media influencers and utilize digital advertising, targeted media outreach, and e-mail lists to build and maintain its base.

“A lot of companies don’t talk to their consumer base,” Baumann said, adding that he hopes to keep lines of communication with their consumers open. “That’s the beauty of digital marketing.”

Full article on BevNet.

Bear Squeeze Breaks Crowdfunding Record.

(1/17/18) MARINA DEL REY, Calif. — BEAR BRANDS, LLC, producers of BearSqueeze, a meal shake that is Vegan, Paleo, and Keto diet friendly, has broken the previous record for the highest amount of money raised on the first day of an Indiegogo food campaign, garnering over $65,000 in funding from more than 250 backers through the crowdfunding platform.

Developed by a team of food scientists in addition to a chef from a Michelin Star restaurant, Bear Squeeze is among the first plant-based meal replacement drinks suitable for the Keto, Paleo, and Vegan diets. Last month, Bear Squeeze won the coveted “New Beverage Showdown” pitch competition held by BevNET, the largest beverage industry conference and media outlet in the US.

Bear Brands CEO, Max Baumann, commented, “We’re thrilled to see so many people excited about Bear Squeeze. I believe a lot of the success is due to the low net carb and plant based properties, which are extremely difficult to find in meal replacement shakes today. We can’t wait to see what the rest of the campaign will bring!”

The performance-driven meal shake promises to deliver not only on its nutrition profile but also on taste, initially offering Original (Vanilla Chai) and Chocolate flavors, each with only 5 net carbs. Once mixed with a base beverage of choice, each Bear Squeeze shake has a greater nutrient variety than a kale salad, more protein than 3 eggs, and more probiotics than 4 bottles of kombucha.

The Bear Squeeze Indiegogo campaign will continue through February 19th, after which the brand will move product sales to its own website (bearsqueeze.co). Commenting on the use of a crowdfunding platform to launch the brand, Baumann continues, “The best products are the ones that, rather than sticking to a rigid brand vision, truly listen to its consumers. Through platforms like Indiegogo, we can use consumer feedback as a guiding light through the product development process.”

Over the next month, Baumann plans to utilize his new community of campaign backers to crowdsource several brand decisions, such as charity partners, new flavor additions, and ingredient feedback.

About Bear Brands, LLC

Bear Brands, LLC is the manufacturer of Bear Squeeze, an award-winning meal shake that is vegan, paleo and ketofriendly with only 5 net carbs. Bear Squeeze has more nutrient variety than a kale salad, more protein than 3 eggs andmore probiotics than 4 kombuchas. Engineered by a team of 5 highly acclaimed food scientists and a chef from a Michelinstar restaurant, Bear Squeeze surpasses expectations on both taste and nutrition profile. To learn more, visitwww.bearsqueeze.co.

Contact: The Co-Op Agency
Sheldon Bachan | 310-734-7834

Press Release here.