After earning an MBA in marketing from Northwestern University, Kathy Lund worked for nearly 20 years for General Mills and Coca-Cola. For most of that time, she had never heard of the energy-enhancing ingredient D-Ribose. Now, she works as the vice president of marketing and sales for the company that owns every known application of D-Ribose in the US, Bioenergy Life Science. And as a working mother, skier and runner, she relies on D-Ribose every day to be at her best.
FI: As the marketing chief, what are you working on right now?
KL: We are working to expand D-Ribose applications beyond supplements and beverages into foods. Brand awareness is also one of my priorities. Owning all the patents for D-Ribose is a double-edged sword. If there were 15 suppliers, we would all be getting the message out. But because we are the category, it all comes down to us.
FI: What's your latest strategy?
KL: We are using the upcoming Vancouver Olympics as a platform by sponsoring two athletes, Katherine Reutter, a short-track speed skater, and Shannon Bharke, a mogul skier. We first sponsored an athlete in the Beijing summer Olympics, Melanie Roach, a weightlifter. She didn't medal but she set an all-American record. The Olympics really epitomizes the brand, which is pure, natural, not a steroid.
Basically, we put our athletes on D-Ribose, and once they begin to see results, they become natural advocates of the brand. D-Ribose stimulates the synthesis of ATP, the essential energy compound found in every cell in the body.
FI: Have you been to the Olympics?
KL: Living in Denver, I had the chance to go to the Salt Lake City Olympics. It should be on everybody's bucket list — it is such a positive, colourful, youthful experience! I definitely want to do it again. I also told Shannon my goal is to go skiing with her before her contract ends!
FI: You mentioned that Bioenergy wants to begin adding D-Ribose into foods. Have you come up with any recipes, and if so, which is your favourite?
KL: Actually, all the employees in the company are adding it to foods, but I can't tell you my favourite because that would give away our secrets! What I can say is that D-Ribose has half the sweetness of sucralose. This makes it great to work with because it rounds out a flavour profile and takes out any harsh notes other added vitamins or minerals can bring.
FI: If a person's daily exercise constitutes getting up off the couch to change the TV channel because the remote control is broken, how much D-Ribose would she need?
KL: She wouldn't need much! Our clinical research on baby boomers dealing with fatigue goes down to 1.5g per day; it worked well at that level. In the lab, we have seen ribose start to activate ATP at 250mg — but a person wouldn't feel a difference until they had over 1g. More definitive results were found at 3g. For me, if I've done a decent workout or a day of skiing, I take 5g.