Chances are, if you pay even a little attention to the beauty or wellness realms, you’ve heard about — and maybe even tried — Golde, a superfood-fueled brand that makes ingestible latte powders, matcha and face masks. (If you’re a regular Fashionista reader, you’re definitely familiar: Golde was a fixture across many of our 2020 gift guides and we profiled its inspiring young co-founder back in 2019.) Its bright, inviting packaging has been all over Instagram for the past few years, and its retail footprint seems to be ever-expanding to an increasingly broad network of wellness shops, indie beauty sites, boutiques and even bigger names like Goop and Sephora. But on Tuesday, Golde makes its first major foray into the national mass market, entering Target.
The partnership, which will encompass both in-store and online sales, comes after Golde previously participated in the mass retailer’s 2020 Target Takeoff Beauty Accelerator. Golde will be available in 460 Target doors to start and is also introducing three new SKUs — the “Super Ades” — as part of its launch with the retailer.
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The benefit-driven powdered drink blends are designed to dissolve easily in cold water and each one addresses a different wellness goal: The blueberry-flavored Destress Ade variety supports relaxation with magnesium; watermelon-flavored Skin Hydration Ade benefits skin moisture and glow with antioxidants and hyaluronic acid; and pineapple-flavored Debloat Ade assists in digestion with ginger extract and probiotics. All of the formulas incorporate coconut water and are sweetened with monkfruit; they’re also vegan and free from added sugars. They’ll retail for $15 for a box of six pixi-stick like packets.
While the Super-Ades will be the brand’s only in-store offering at Target, Golde’s super-popular Superfood Latte Blends and Face Masks will be available online at Target.com.
Ahead of this momentous launch for the brand, Fashionista got in touch with Trinity Mouzon Wofford, co-founder and CEO of Golde, to learn more about the new products, how the Target partnership came about and her thoughts on navigating the recent explosion in demand for Black-owned brands as an entrepreneur of color. Read on for the highlights.
How did the partnership with Target come about?
It was really one of those moments where everything came into place. We had been in conversation with Target for awhile, and then we participated in the 2020 Target Takeoff Beauty Accelerator. We built incredible relationships there, and we’re so excited to see Golde landing on the shelf.
What about Target appeals to you and what makes it a good retail partner for Golde?
We have been approached by pretty much everyone. We love Target because they have been really innovative in leading the charge on supporting early-stage and Black-owned businesses. Participating in the accelerator really confirmed that for us — we were lucky to have time on-site in Minneapolis ahead of the Covid shutdowns, and the time we had with the Target leadership team was truly invaluable. They’re so supportive with feedback and finding opportunities to share our story. Target is also a real leader in the beauty/wellness category, and we knew that our new Super-Ade SKUs would be at home there.
Tell me about the choice to create a new product as part of the Target launch — how did you land on the Super-Ades, why did Target choose that for their in-store offering, and why do you think it’s the right way to introduce some Target shoppers who may not be familiar with Golde to the brand?
The Super-Ades were something Issey and I had had in our back pocket for awhile. We have a lot of product concepts like that in our ‘library’ that we’ll pull out and finalize when the opportunity presents itself. A lot of the inspiration came from daily interactions with our community and the needs of our core customer. We knew that we had our girl’s latte routine down, with everything from turmeric to cacao to matcha blends. Those products are more of a ritual — you’re taking a few minutes to prepare this superfood latte to power you through the day.
The next opportunity was in creating a product that epitomized easy and simple — something our customer could throw into a water bottle on-the-go, with a really clear benefit story. We chose to highlight superfood ingredients that were really user-friendly and familiar, like pineapple and blueberry, and pair them with proven actives for fast results, like magnesium for stress relief or hyaluronic acid for skin glow.
We knew the Super-Ades were the perfect fit for introducing Golde to retail shelves — they really capture our ethos of being naturally superfood-powered, and easily fit into anyone’s routine. They’re also crazy delicious, which always helps.
I know it’s so important to you to maintain your creative control over Golde as a brand, since so much of it is personal to you — how did you navigate that when working with a major retail partner to launch a product? How much freedom did you have with the formulation, the concept, the marketing? Do you feel you still see yourself and the Golde brand we all know and love in this launch?
The new products are 100% Golde. The product concepts, the designs, the flavors and formulations were all spearheaded by myself and my co-founder Issey. We have always done everything in-house, and I think that’s part of what makes Golde so special. I never felt like we had to sacrifice the brand to meet our opportunities for growth in retail.
What doors or opportunities do you hope launching with a mass retailer like Target will open up for the company?
I think this is really the next big step for Golde. We’ve been this cool little niche brand, but now we’re showing that we can hang on shelf with the big guys. It’s a massive proof point for the scalability of our mission, and we’re only just getting started.
You’ve always said your mission with Golde is to make wellness accessible. How does this Target launch play into that?
At Golde, we believe that wellness should be easy and fun for all. Launching on retail shelves brings that mission to life in an incredible way. A lot of our retail placements right now are focused in smaller shops in big cities — working with Target means that for the first time, customers outside of major wellness hubs like NYC will have the chance to discover our products in person.
What does selling at Target mean for the growth of Golde as a company?
We had been doubling our revenues every year since our launch in 2017, and then saw a massive increase in 2020. We haven’t raised millions from investors yet, so there’s always the fun challenge of meeting the demand as a small business. I’m excited to see how we continue to grow in 2021, and how the retail expansion will contribute to that.
Since this summer, retailers have seen a huge spike in demand for Black-owned brands from their customers, and subsequently Black founders and entrepreneurs such as yourself have found themselves inundated with requests for partnerships. You wrote a bit about the complexities of navigating that back in June — now that you’re several months out from then and are indeed expanding Golde’s retail footprint, do you have anything to add on the subject? Any reflections or reasons why Target made you and the brand feel welcome within this context?
With the latest wave of pressure for retailers to support Black-owned businesses, I think founders of color need to be really thoughtful about who they’re signing on with right now. There are going to be people out there who just need to check a box — maybe they have a mandate now that they need to get 10 more Black-owned businesses on the shelf by the end of the year, but what does that mean for you? The worst thing is that you get thrown in there with no support from the retailer, and they just keep you in the assortment to cover their diversity commitments.
We’ve been in conversation with Target for a long time, and they’ve been so supportive throughout. We’re really grateful to be partnering with a retailer that deeply believes in us and is granting us the opportunity to take our business to the next level. I’ve always regarded Target highly as a retailer that supports Black-owned brands, and it’s incredible now that we get to be a part of that story.
This interview has been edited for clarity.
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