La. entrepreneur hopes ‘Iconic’ builds new genre _lowres

Photo provided by Be Well Nutrition Inc.Billy Bosch, a Baton Rouge native, markets the "snack drink" he co-created, Iconic healthy lifestyle beverage.

A new protein drink now on the shelves in New Orleans could help establish an entirely new genre of beverage.

The Louisiana-born co-founder of the Iconic healthy “lifestyle beverage” promotes his product as a “snack drink.”

“It’s a whole new realm of drink, and one that we think is on the rise,” said Billy Bosch, a 31-year-old LSU alumnus.

Iconic is a protein drink that contains fiber to help curb hunger pangs, along with vitamin B12 for energy and choline and amino acids that help increase focus, Bosch said.

Bosch is marketing the beverage differently than other similar drinks. It isn’t for body builders, dieters or the elderly who may need a meal replacement drink. Instead he markets it as a healthy on-the-go snack.

“What we want to do with this company and product line is reposition the protein drink for a healthy snacking occasion versus saying you have to be in one of these categories,” Bosch said.

A business major at LSU, Bosch and co-founder Matt Mouras worked as on-campus representatives for an energy drink. They learned a lot about the market, Bosch said, and after graduation, started working in the corporate world.

While working in sales and marketing for a Houston-based oil company, Bosch spent a lot of time driving Interstate 10 and looking for a healthy snack to eat on the road. He often settled for a bottle of water and a granola bar. Nutritionists advised him to blend a bunch ingredients for his own healthy smoothie.

“I thought it just wasn’t practical,” he said. “Who has time for that?”

In 2011, he and Mouras brainstormed ideas for a new beverage, then asked nutritionist Molly Kimball for help. They designed a drink that comes in vanilla and chocolate flavors.

Iconic, named for the icons on the bottle that represent the positive attributes of the drink — “satisfies hunger,” “healthy energy” and “focus” — launched last year in New Orleans. Accepted into the Idea Village business incubator, they received help getting the brand running. Recently, Iconic was accepted into the AccelFoods program, based in New York, which provides funding and mentoring to help brands expand.