The rise in authentic flavor collaborations has been tremendous over the past few years, with many different sports nutrition brands getting in on the fun and putting together an option of a product themed around a familiar food, snack, or treat. That is what we classify as an authentic flavor collaboration, not to be confused with your more general collaboration of a brand partnering with, say, an athlete or ambassador.
We’ve always wondered what the first authentic flavor collaboration was, whether or not there was something back in the day before Stack3d began that we completely missed. It turns out there was a collaboration that did take place that we’re extremely surprised we didn’t hear about. We have to rewind almost one and a half decades to somewhere around the year of 2009 and turn to the legacy brand Muscletech.
Around that time, Muscletech had a sequel to its original Nitro-Tech protein powder on the market by the name of Nitro-Tech Hardcore Pro Series. It was available in a few flavors, and two of those were indeed authentic flavor collaborations. As you can see in the images in this post, Muscletech partnered with the legendary sandwich cookie Oreo and the iconic chocolate manufacturer Hershey’s for flavors of Nitro-Tech.
Muscletech has been able to confirm that it did, in fact, officially work with Oreo and Hershey’s on the flavors, and on their labels were the names of the famous treats alongside the registered trademark symbol. The products didn’t have full-blown alternative labels themed around Oreo and Hershey’s chocolate, but keep in mind this is way back in 2008 to 2009, which was a very different time in the sports nutrition space.
Reading what we can on the labels of Muscletech’s original authentic flavor collaborations, there was a Cookies and Cream Nitro-Tech with real bits of Oreo cookies, and a Chocolate Milkshake Nitro-Tech made with Hershey’s delicious chocolate. Neither product is obviously on the market anymore, but it’s an interesting piece of history worth sharing with how popular collaborations are these days and a nice look back to 15 years ago.