Doctor V Disrupts the Global Energy Drink Category

Sep 22, 2021

An Australian entrepreneur is disrupting the global energy drink category with a healthy alternative made with unique herbs used in Russia to boost energy, stamina and immunity.

Sydney businesswoman and entrepreneur Kimberley Holden developed Doctor V after identifying a gap in the market for a natural energy drink without the potentially negative side effects of traditional products on the market.

With Co-founder Joseph McGlennon, Ms Holden launched Doctor V in Australia in September with four functional energy drinks and, in less than a year, has national ranging in independent grocery, petrol and convenience, select gyms and fitness clubs, and major global partnerships in China and the Middle East.

“We’re living in a time when there are so many demands on our energy, but there wasn’t a product on the market that would lift energy without some really negative side effects for your health,” Ms Holdens says.

Kimberly Holden, Co-Founder, Doctor V

“The pressure to perform and be at our best has never been higher, and we’re all starting to realise that to do that we have to stay strong and healthy – both mentally and physically. Traditional energy drinks can give you the jitters from too much caffeine, a crash from too much sugar, or worse,” Ms Holden says. “We’ve worked with specialist doctors and naturopaths to create a product that not only boosts energy, but takes a broader view of improving people’s health, rather than detracting from it.”

What exactly is Doctor V?

All four drinks contain ingredients that strengthen immunity and are designed to tick different health, productivity and wellness goals. The range includes Brain Storm for faster and clearer thinking; Siberian Rush for pre-workout; Bender Mender for faster recovery; and Karma Karma for a gentle energy lift and mood support. All drinks are free from artificial colours, flavours, perseverative and synthetic herbs.

“We’ve been really heartened by the positive response to Doctor V both in Australia and overseas. Consumers are ready for healthier alternatives and we’re seeing that in every other category. We knew Doctor V would change the way people viewed energy drinks, but we didn’t quite anticipate how important immunity would become to our story. Immunity is the number one priority for consumers in food and drink now and will remain top of mind into the future,” Ms Holden says.

The strategy of Doctor V

The company recently signed two significant distribution agreements to enter the Chinese market just one year after launching in Australia.

Ms Holden said Doctor V had a two-pronged approach, appointing FMCG specialist Mixed for offline sales and distribution in retail stores and niche channels, such as gyms, and Convergence to focus specifically on the growing ecommerce opportunity.

Mixed is one of the pioneer trading companies in China’s FMCG industry (since 2002) giving Doctor V access to more than 20,000 cooperative distributors and a growing 400-strong sales team. The company distributes almost 40 of China’s top 100 packaged food manufacturers, including the largest national dairy company Mengniu, and other large food and beverage companies JinMaiLang and YangShengTang.

Convergence is one of the fastest growing eCommerce companies with one-stop business management including logistics and warehousing, ecommerce sales and distribution, digital and social media marketing and customer service.  Founded in 2012, its distribution network covers more than 6,000 e-shops on major platforms such as Alibaba, Taobao, JD, Little Red Book and WeChat.

“These are significant agreements for Doctor V with two of China’s most experienced and respected FMCG distribution companies. To make these partnerships so early in our journey gives us great confidence in our growth strategy and our future relationship with China as a trading partner,” Ms Holden said.


It took 18 months to develop Doctor V with Ms Holden’s long-time friend, Dr Vagif Soultanov, a Russian-based scientist and naturopath who has access to herbs, berries and other ingredients not found anywhere else in the world.

“We spent a lot of time researching and travelling, including to Siberia, to meet everyone from herbalists and berry pickers to food chemists. It’s taken time to really understand the ingredients and their potential to boost energy while helping people thrive with the demands of modern life. We make a point of not using cheap chemicals like many energy drink brands – all of our products contain natural herbs rather than synthetics, and half the sugar and caffeine you would find in similar drinks on the market. And we never use additives like artificial colours or sweeteners or preservatives,” Ms Holden says.

The idea for Doctor V came to Ms Holden after she recovered from a brain tumour 10 years ago.  “It made me think about my health more deeply than any other time in my life. I naturally spent a lot of time learning about brain health and knew I wanted to do something that would make a difference to people’s lives,” Ms Holden says.

Doctor V contains ingredients known for improving mental performance and cognition and helping people’s bodies naturally adapt to stress, which helps to increase energy, stamina and resilience.

Lisa Crawford-Jones is an award winning journalist, business consultant and content manager to Naturally Good.

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