Shark Tank appearance, pandemic-fueled demand breathe new life into Boost Oxygen

Sadye Matula

A businessperson when stated an impulse order model is a respectable industry, but a brand that requirements to be utilized consistently is a great current market. These were the phrases of Rohan Oza, 1 of several traders who a few years ago backed out of a achievable deal with Milford-based […]

A businessperson when stated an impulse order model is a respectable industry, but a brand that requirements to be utilized consistently is a great current market.

These were the phrases of Rohan Oza, 1 of several traders who a few years ago backed out of a achievable deal with Milford-based Increase Oxygen on the ABC strike fact method “Shark Tank.”

Though the show’s buyers generally satisfaction by themselves in their business enterprise foresight, none could have predicted the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020 and subsequent boom in small business for Improve, which tends to make 95% pure moveable oxygen cans for respiratory guidance, mentioned business founder and CEO Robert Neuner.

“It assisted a good deal of men and women and a entire lot of eyes have been on us,” Neuner said, noting that his firm earned $17 million in income in 2021 — up from $12 million in 2020.

Strengthen has expert 50% development in business enterprise each and every year considering that the episode aired, he added.

The company’s supplemental oxygen arrives in a recyclable aluminum bottle which is been marketed to athletes, all those in significant altitudes, and people in spots with weak air high-quality.

Boost doesn’t advertise its products for healthcare use. Continue to, Neuner famous that the accessibility and utility of their canned oxygen turned a sizzling commodity between people seeking for a all-natural respiratory assistance products for the duration of the pandemic.

Neuner stated Boost’s aim is $25 million in income this yr as it can make its way into several pharmacies and massive box shops nationwide, and opens a 2nd production facility to develop generation.

“What we are hoping to do is become to start with to the current market and also the most dependable [brand],” Neuner explained. “We want to be what Xerox was for copiers, or Kleenex is for tissues.”

How it started off

Although the company has savored achievements in current yrs, Raise Oxygen has been all over because 2007, when Neuner launched in Bridgeport.

“I experienced just marketed another enterprise,” explained Neuner, who was a beer importer before commencing Strengthen.

As he appeared for a new undertaking, Neuner explained a close buddy, whose relatives was in the aerosol marketplace, prompt obtaining into canned oxygen.

Neuner explained he self-financed the begin of his organization, which secured an early account with the now-defunct Sporting activities Authority chain. The supplemental oxygen line turned preferred with athletes and skiers, he mentioned.

That has been the situation for Jeri Brungardt, co-chief of Women of all ages Hiking Kansas. She explained Boost’s products and solutions have develop into have to-haves for her 100-as well as member team based in Wichita, which analyzed the oxygen cans at initially and then acquired them.

Selling prices selection from $7.99 to $14.99 relying on the dimension of the canister.

“I feel a good deal of the females are hiking a lot more for the reason that it has enabled them to do a lot more,” Brungardt mentioned.

Swimming with sharks

Enhance accounts for additional than 90% of the sector share for non-prescription canned oxygen, in accordance to Neuner.

That was a important selling stage in 2019 when Neuner and Enhance Main Working Officer Mike Grice secured a $1 million investment from serial entrepreneur Kevin O’Leary on “Shark Tank” — the first and only time the firm has elevated exterior funding, Neuner stated.

“Our mission at Enhance Oxygen is to make compressed oxygen as readily available as bottled water,” Grice stated during the episode.

Not prolonged following appearing on the method, Boost introduced that its items would be out there at 2,200 CVS Pharmacy destinations nationwide. Strengthen has also tripled its workforce from 15 to 45 people today in the previous yr.

The episode they were being featured on has since gone into syndication, which Neuner stated has ongoing to be a boon for Boost’s manufacturer recognition.

“It’s the present that retains on supplying,” Neuner explained.

The broader world wide customer oxygen tools market is projected to mature into an $11.8 billion industry by 2026, in accordance to ResearchAndMarkets.com, which recognized Enhance Oxygen as a player in the sector.

Pandemic-fueled progress

Although Boost’s “Shark Tank” physical appearance served enhance the brand’s recognition nationwide, Neuner admitted that the coronavirus outbreak in March 2020 contributed the most to the company’s surge in company.

Supplemental oxygen gained a ton of attention, specially in the commencing of the pandemic, he mentioned, irrespective of not becoming marketed for clinical use.

“We bought a good deal of men and women searching at us, and luckily we ended up ready,” Neuner explained. “People have been acquiring a challenging time locating oxygen without a prescription, and which is kind of the place we fell into,” he reported. “We have been growing even ahead of COVID, but then when it hit, persons would Google shortness of breath, and ‘Boost Oxygen’ would occur up.”

Boost also introduced an on-line discovering heart to show persons the gains of supplemental oxygen throughout diverse respiratory emergencies.

Neuner reported he expects Boost’s progress to keep on and the enterprise has prepared accordingly by using regulate of its products production right after many years of outsourcing.

Boost released its to start with producing operation past year, opening a 10,000-sq.-foot facility in Milford. The organization will open up a next 38,000-square-foot house this 12 months, which Neuner reported will quadruple generation output.

“We’ve been doing up to 10,000 cans a working day, and this is likely to give us the likely for 50,000 cans [a day],” Neuner explained.

Enhance has also sought to give back to the group as it expands.

The corporation a short while ago announced a partnership with Kennedy Work Providers operate by the Kennedy Heart, a Bridgeport-primarily based company that employs grown ups with specific wants.

Kennedy Centre members will assemble display holders that will go into 200 Walmart stores as the enterprise expands. Neuner mentioned it’s a lead to he had a particular connection to.

“My late brother-in-legislation experienced distinctive needs and labored in a healthcare facility as a chef and valued his time as a member of the workforce, and to go see that is pleasant,” he mentioned. “[The Kennedy Center] definitely allows us out, and we certainly assistance them as well, and it will make me come to feel fantastic to be ready to assist them also.”

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