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Thursday, April 18, 2024

A team including four UF grads released a pocket-sized protein shake this week.

After three years of research, countless formula trials and a first sample that “tasted like paste,” Gator alumni-owned company Pocket Protein released two liquid protein-shot products on Monday. The whey-protein-isolate products can pack as much as 20 grams of protein in a two-ounce bottle.

Company CEO and Gator advertising alumnus Mike Kauffman said the idea for the product began five years ago. The self-described “gym rat” had seen four-ounce liquid protein shots at the gym.

“I made an immediate connection because I was always in a race home to get to my blender to make a protein shake,” he said. “I asked myself, ‘Why aren’t those in the same two-ounce bottles as 5-hour ENERGY?’”

Matt Weisman, a 20-year-old economics junior, said he thought Pocket Protein would be more convenient than his protein shaker. Conventional protein shakers require gathering ingredients, making the shake and keeping the shaker clean, he said.

“If you don’t clean it immediately, it smells like mildew,” he said.

The protein shots come in two flavors: blue-bottled, 20-gram “Berry Boom!!” and pink-bottled, 15-gram “Sneaky-Strawberry,” which were formulated for men and women, respectively, according to the website. There are also custom orange-and-blue bottles for Gators.

Justin Patrick, a 21-year-old journalism junior, said he thought the product’s small size made it more appealing than using a shaker.

“Protein shakes can be pretty unbearable some of the time because of the taste,” he said. “It makes it easier on whoever is drinking it to get it down.”

Kauffman said Pocket Protein wasn’t intended only for health enthusiasts. He said one of the benefits of protein is improved satiety, or the feeling of being full. This means someone can pair Pocket Protein with a bagel or french fries, Kauffman said, and it’ll feel like a meal.

He said he hoped the product would soon be available in vending machines, airplanes and movie theaters.

“We’re not looking for a fitness crowd. We’re just saying, ‘Get your protein,’” Kauffman said. “Seven billion people on seven different continents need our product several times a day.”

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