This post was written in partnership with ICONIC Protein. As always, we only write about brands and experiences that we truly love—and we REALLY love ICONIC. Use promo code SWEAT20 for 20% off your online order.
Billy Bosch, the Thor-doppelganger and founder of ICONIC Protein, joined our video chat with a smoothie in hand. His description of the mixture was so enthralling, I forgot to record that piece of our interview for posterity. I realized that eight ingredients in, when he added that sometimes the smoothies just aren’t as good as other days. On those occasions, he adds monkfruit sweetener and things get exponentially better.
One lifehack into our call, it was apparent that Bosch wasn’t the sort of person to accept life at face value. And that attitude is what led him to found ICONIC Protein.
“I had this wakeup call in my late 20s,” he shared. “I loved junk food and there wasn’t a dollar menu that I didn’t know by heart. But I worked out, so I could do whatever I wanted, right?” Not so, he told me. At 28, he was suffering from chronic acid reflux that had progressed to the point that he could only sleep sitting up. His high cholesterol had earned him a prescription for statins.
Instead of taking the prescriptions given to him for both conditions, he looked for his own solutions. After visiting a dietitian, he was struck by one thing she said: “Food is the problem, but it can also be the solution.”
After conversations about what he should eat and shouldn’t eat, he asked if there was an easier way to get the protein and fiber she recommended to fill him up.
“I wouldn’t recommend any of the drinks out there, because they’re full of junk.” He recalled her saying that before he asked her to help him create a drink.
Two and a half years, a couple of co-packers, and countless obstacles later, ICONIC Protein was born. “To make this (gestures at smoothie) go in a bottle that’s shelf stable? It’s very, very hard,” Bosch shared.
For Bosch, ICONIC Protein isn’t about convincing people to change their entire diets overnight.
“If I can help people make easier incremental health decisions by buying something that’s easy and also tasty, then I think, we’ve got something.”
And that early product—and all products up until now—were dairy-based.
“It’s a complete protein that’s really easily accessible,” Aimee Plauche, Registered Dietitian, writer and contributor for ICONIC Protein told me of the choice, noting that ICONIC’s dairy-based beverages have both casein and whey. “Whey is the quick digestion; quick-absorption protein and casein keeps you fuller longer.”
Ten years into the ICONIC protein journey, the brand is still innovating from the same perspective: it shouldn’t be that hard to find high quality protein drinks. For the plant-based crowd, they just added a new line of plant-based coffee products to make it even easier to find that elusive protein drink—no matter what your lifestyle is.
What did we think?
“Great taste, clean ingredients, smooth and creamy texture. An excellent complement to post exercise breakfast to refuel and recover.”
“I thought it was great in that it filled me up (curbed my hunger) and offered caffeine.”
“I don’t normally enjoy the taste of protein drinks but liked the coffee forward flavor.”