All of us at SaltStick can look back on 2016 and smile with pride. This year was filled with big events for our company, and we’d like to take a second to share them with you.
As you read through the list, know that we couldn’t have done any of this without your support, the support of our athletes, partners, customers, retailers and the rest of the SaltStick community. We wish you a Happy New Year, and we hope that 2017 is the best year yet — for us and for you!
Here are seven reasons we enjoyed 2016:
No. 1: We turned 10 years old:
In June of this year, we celebrated our 10-year anniversary. More than a decade ago, SaltStick Caps were engineered based on careful study of scientific literature of electrolyte loss in sweat, sourcing highly bioavailable ingredients, and extensive field testing. The first retail sales took place in March, 2006. Since then, SaltStick Caps — and additional SaltStick products, including SaltStick Caps PLUS and SaltStick Fastchews — have become the accepted standard for electrolyte replacement capsules and are sold in more than 35 countries around the world.
Our CEO, Jonathan Toker, had this to say about the momentous occasion:
“To the SaltStick community: Ten years ago, I founded Toker Engineering as a platform to develop and launch the innovative SaltStick electrolytes and dispenser products. The very first retail delivery of SaltStick products took place on March 16th, 2006 to Nytro Multisport for the Ironman 70.3 California 2006 expo in Oceanside. Since that date ten years ago, we have supplied SaltStick to thousands of retailers, and well over a hundred thousand athletes in over 35 countries on six continents worldwide. Ten years continued growth in today’s business environment in a focused marketplace and with a unique brand is testament to the broad support of many athletes, retailers, distributors, family, friends, and professional athletes.
“I wish to sincerely thank those of whom have not only recognized functional products based on science, but also on the personalized product support, small company history and perhaps most importantly, success on the race course! Within the company, we are athletes as well, and understand your challenges and concerns on training and racing nutrition. From the first beginnings over 14 years ago, SaltStick products were developed to solve personal race nutrition and storage issues. Once again, thank you for your brand loyalty, and here is a cheer to another 10 years of success together. The best is yet to come.”
No. 2: We launched SaltStick Vitassium, specifically designed to help people suffering from symptoms of Dysautonomia:
For the past 10 years, the POTS community has found SaltStick Caps to be a good fit for individuals looking to consume extra sodium without stomach discomfort and without the taste of salt. This year, we created SaltStick Vitassium as the next step. It’s a similar formulation to the original SaltStick Caps product, but without the athlete-specific minerals of magnesium and calcium, so that it’s more appropriate for this purpose. As a concentrated source of sodium and potassium in a smaller vegetable-based capsule, this product satisfies the discerning needs of this population.
Said our CEO, Jonathan Toker, about the release of Vitassium:
“In the ten years since I started SaltStick, I have been proud to look back on the supportive athletic community, which has benefited greatly from SaltStick Caps and other products. During those ten years, I was also thrilled to find that SaltStick Caps could be used by people suffering from dysautonomia to help reduce their symptoms. In response, I decided to create a product specifically designed for this community. The support we’ve received from Dysautonomia International and patients has so far been fantastic, and I’m glad to know we will be able to support them and their research with SaltStick Vitassium, while also helping POTS patients manage their incredibly tough symptoms.”
No. 3: We released a new 60-count bottle container for SaltStick Fastchews:
The new SaltStick Fastchews bottles have an easy-to-use flip cap and provide two delicious flavors: lemon-lime and tart orange. Fastchews have been formulated to provide electrolytes to help minimize heat stress and muscle cramping due to perspiration, in a quantity and form which the body can absorb. This product is ideal for athletes, outdoor workers or for use in hot conditions.
No. 4: We supported top triathletes at the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii:
The Ironman World Championships are always filled with plenty of race-day drama, and in 2016, Switzerland and Germany got to watch with pride as their citizens reclaimed victories as Ironman triathlon’s top athletes. Swiss Daniela Ryf won the women’s race, and Germany’s Jan Frodeno took the top spot for the men.
We traveled to Kona as well to support athletes and retailers and to watch the race. Top pros, including 4th-place finisher Ben Hoffman and 6th-place finisher Timothy O’Donnell used SaltStick to help replace electrolytes throughout the long day on the Big Island.
Of course, there were more than just pros who used SaltStick, and we spotted dispensers attached to many bikes at athlete check-in. Why was SaltStick helpful to Kona athletes? Because each Saltstick Capsule contains a balanced supply of electrolytes lost through sweat in a form that the body can easily absorb.
No. 5: We attended the Fourth Annual Dysautonomia International conference in Washington, D.C.:
At the Fourth Dysautonomia International Annual conference, we we met patients, families, friends and medical professionals who work to alleviate symptoms and conduct research toward discovering causes of dysautonomia.
We were inspired by the patients and their families, who tirelessly told us about their experiences with the condition and how SaltStick has been able to help some of them through day-to-day life. We learned a lot from the physicians and other expert researchers in the field, who shared the latest developments in treatment to address Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) and other major symptoms of dysautonomia.
Also, at this year’s annual conference, we announced a new partnership with Dysautonomia International. We pledged to donate to Dysautonomia International 10 percent of all sales of our new product SaltStick Vitassium. Donations exclusively fund research, patient awareness, and patient and family support.
No. 6: We helped fuel both male and female winners of the 2016 Ultraman Championships to victory:
This November, a little more than 30 athletes and their crews traveled across the Big Island in Hawaii, by swim stroke, bike and foot, competing in the insanely-challenging Ultraman World Championships.
Both Iñaki De La Parra of Mexico and Kate Bevilaqua of Australia, the male and female course winners, used SaltStick during the three-day event, and we were thrilled to have played a small part in their success. In our blog post recap, we share a little information on this year’s event, and we tell the story of how SaltStick helped these endurance athletes perform so well in the heat of Hawaii.
No. 7: We brought two new sponsored tennis athletes on board:
This year, we are proud to have started working with Daniel Nguyen and Bjorn Fratangelo:
Daniel Nguyen is a professional tennis player who became the first Vietnamese American to play in the U.S. Open tennis tournament. “When the match gets grueling, I count on SaltStick to keep me hydrated,” he says. “I’ve been using this product for eight years, both in college and now on the professional tennis tour, and I absolutely love it. It’s the best!”
Bjorn Fratangelo is a professional tennis player known for his right-handed, two-handed backhand. He’s one of three Americans to win the junior French Open. “SaltStick keeps me hydrated and helps me go the extra distance in the summer heat,” he says. “Since I’ve started using the product I can really notice the positive impact it’s had on my game on court.”