Athletic Greens’ Kat Cole embraces blockchain as part of ‘ownership economy’

Founded in 2010, Athletic Greens built its business through traditional partners, creators, influencers and thought leaders. 

Now, the nutrition company is gearing up to take the “ownership economy” concept into the next generation — with blockchain, the technology fueling the surge in popularity of cryptocurrency and non-fungible tokens (NFTs), also known as Web 3. 

“It’s so easy for this topic around Web 3, NFTs, blockchain to feel daunting and overwhelming,” according to Kat Cole, president and COO of the direct-to consumer subscription company.

“There is a way to thoughtfully move a Web 2 company into Web 3 by stepping back and appreciating what it essentially is, in part, it’s the ownership economy,” Cole, an alum of Cinnabons and Hooters, told Yahoo Finance in a recent interview.

Cole previously served as President and COO at Focus Brands. She stepped into the role at Athletic Greens this week, and plans to play a role in the emergence of Web 3 at the company, something she argues is in keeping with its history.

“Giving people more of a piece of the value they create is a new thing for some companies,” but is “not a new thing” for the 11-year company, Cole said. 

In time, she hopes to present an opportunity for the everyday, average person to have a digital asset that commemorates loyalty to the brand, recognition and rewards the consumer. In the long run however, she’s optimistic it could help expand its customer base on a global scale.

“As a consumer brand, there is a meaningful amount of opportunity to, one, be a fan of other projects that are connected to health, wellness, and nutrition, and collaborate in a way that is a Web 3 structure,” the executive told Yahoo Finance.

Blockchain tech “gives us more traceability around the world over time and build our consumer communities in a Web 3 way,” Cole added. 

(Courtesy: Athletic Greens)

Other opportunities that Cole believes could come in time include tokenization and NFTs “that signify meaning and recognition amongst our consumer base.” 

However, the brand —largely known for its flagship product AG1, an all-in-one daily health drink — will take time to establish its strategy to enter this market, Cole said.

“We’re going to approach it thoughtfully as fans and customers first and then bring our community on the journey…listen to them and help them co-architect that as it relates to the consumer side of Web 3,” she added. 

Brooke DiPalma is a producer and reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter at @BrookeDiPalma or email her at bdipalma@yahoofinance.com.

Read the latest financial and business news from Yahoo Finance.

Follow Yahoo Finance on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Flipboard, LinkedIn, YouTube, and reddit.