Brandon Brooks, a former director for Kroger grocers, decided to create Pickle Juice Sport, a drink based on the useful and unlikely effects of pickle juice on athletic cramps.
A study by Brigham Young University shows that pickle juice can relieve activity-related stress like exercise, alleviating painful cramps in as little as 85 seconds after use. Even though many researchers point out that a minute and a half is far too short a time for cramps to be eased, the study is legitimate, leading some to believe pickle juice could have neurological effects.
When Brooks started his company in 2000 to promote pickle juice, he did not initially know the healing qualities of the stuff. At the time, he simply saw how companies like POM Wonderful, LLC turned pomegranate juice into a veritable fortune, and set out to try his luck.
At first, the beverage-then called Golden Pickle Juice-was considered more of a novelty item and sold sparingly. Not soon after, Brooks got orders from athletic trainers, who had apparently discovered the juice’s healing characteristics. The former eventually found a way to profit off the revelation.
Marketing the juice in completely different way became Brooks’ route to success. He used Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten to advertise his product, now called Pickle Juice Sport, and almost instantly, his business turned around. Pickle Juice Sport is now found in 23 states, and is carried by HEB, Academy Sporting Goods, Super 1 Foods, and Brookshire’s, among others.
By 2010, sales increased 102 percent for the small company, and by 2011 sales jumped another 54 percent. Brooks’ company is finally profitable.
Now, Brooks is looking to expand his idea with Pickle Juice Sport Plus. Like popular sports drink maker Gatorade, the businessperson realized there is a market for sweeter athletic refreshments.
“Nothing on the package tastes good,” he told Advertising Age.
Pickle Juice Sport Plus is aiming to tone down the salty pickle flavoring in favor of antioxidants and raw pomegranate extract. The “sweeter version” of the drink is coming in 2012, the entrepreneur said.