Richard Laver’s first beverage brand is named after his daughter Kate. He named the second one, Lucky F*ck, after himself.
A former professional tennis player, Laver became an entrepreneur out of necessity. Kate was born with cerebral palsy and couldn’t eat solid foods nor was able to tolerate tube-feeding formulas. Frustrated with the lack of better-for-you options for his daughter, he created a protein shake made with plant-based ingredients and free from common allergens. The beverage helped Kate thrive, and Laver, sensing it could benefit others, commercialized the product, launching Kate Farms in 2012. The brand has since become the most recommended plant-based formula in U.S. hospitals.
Two months after Kate Farms closed on a $75 million dollar Series C funding round in September 2022, Laver stepped away from the company and set his sights on another beverage category he viewed as ripe for disruption: energy drinks. The goal was to create what he describes as an “anti-brand” akin to Liquid Death. The result is Lucky F*ck, a name inspired by Laver’s survival of a 1985 plane crash. Designed to appeal to Gen Z and Gen Alpha consumers, the brand launched in August and promotes five “super” ingredients, including maca and ginseng, five calories per 19.2 oz. can and no aftertaste.
In this episode, Laver chronicles his path from a 12-year-old child who made it out of the crash that killed 136 people, including his father, to being homeless at age 27, as well as the birth of his daughter and the eventual development of Kate Farms. He also discussed how a pivot in Kate Farms’ positioning and sales strategy changed its trajectory and outlined the retail and communication strategies for Lucky F*ck.
In this Episode
|0:43: Interview: Richard Laver, Founder, Kate Farms & Lucky F*ck – Laver spoke with Taste Radio editor Ray Latif while on vacation with his family in Spain, where he was also producing social media content for Lucky F*ck. He discussed the harrowing prognostication and effects of surviving a plane crash, his refusal to accept a ‘failure to thrive’ diagnosis for his daughter and how the healthcare industry became the primary distribution channel for Kate Farms. Later, he explained how Lucky F*ck’s positioning separates it from legacy and better-for-you energy brands, weaving his personal story into that of the brand’s and how the company is attempting to elicit engagement with consumers.|