2015-2020 – Every 5 years since 1980, a new edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans has been published. Its goal is to make recommendations about the components of a healthy and nutritionally adequate diet to help promote health and prevent chronic disease for current and future generations.
Several years ago, Jordan Rubin found himself nursing an injured knee.
At the time, the entrepreneur was considering his next move after leading the billion-dollar dietary supplement company Garden of Life, which he founded in 2000 while battling Crohn’s Disease. Rubin sold Garden of Life to Atrium Innovations in 2009 (it has since been acquired by Nestlé).
A diet book author and motivational speaker, he was accustomed to depending on whole foods and supplements to try to fix whatever troubled his body. But this time, he struggled: Rubin couldn’t find any portable bone broth, considered the liquid gold of collagen.
He could have done what most do, which is spend hours making the amino acids-rich bone broth at home. But it’s a lot of work: There’s the shopping, the chopping, then the hours slaving over a simmering cauldron of meat bones. It can take anywhere from 12 to 48 hours.
His knee prevented him from long periods of standing. So instead he relied on a powdered bone broth concentrate that he peppered into drinks and meals. He even began traveling with it.
“It hit me like an epiphany,” recalls Rubin, “I needed to create the very first bone broth protein company.”
In 2016, he cofounded Ancient Nutrition to exclusively focus on bone broth protein and collagen supplements. “Ancient Nutrition was started not just by what was lacking in the marketplace, but what was also lacking in my diet,” explains Rubin.
Bone broth was on the cusp of popular interest, with celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Kobe Bryant swearing by the broth’s restorative and healing properties. Broth bars started popping up in cities like New York and Portland, Oregon. A 2015 New York Times piece even gave the consumption a trendy new name: “broth-ing.”
Although Rubin previously succeeded in retail expansion, the idea of finding a mass audience for such a niche, obscure category eluded him. How could he make such a specific protein appeal to the average health enthusiast? He turned to someone who knew how to tap into the wellness community: Dr. Josh Axe.
Axe is more than just a physician, clinical nutritionist, and popular radio host–he is, ostensibly, the brand of supplement lovers. There’s lifestyle content, recipes, and of course, an entire shopping section. The digital content powerhouse receives over 17 million unique visitors per month and counts 2.7 million Facebook followers. And, like Rubin, Axe had long been a strong supporter of bone broth, which he often recommends for “cleanses” (i.e., intermittent fasting with bone broth) and calls it “the go-to superfood for bone health.”