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Angry Angel provides a healthier alternative to traditional energy drinks

Five beverage cans lined up in a row showing the different colors (aqua, blue, red, orange and green), labels and flavors for Angry Angel energy drinks.

Answering the Demand for a Healthy Alternative

Justin Lloyd graduated from NC State with a degree in biological engineering and is now the founder and CEO of Angry Angel. Angry Angel is the only Non-GMO Project Verified high-performance energy beverage on the market was born and raised in North Carolina.

After graduating from NC State in 2015, Justin remained in Raleigh, NC, to balance his racing career he began at the age of five and began work as a gene therapy engineer at Pfizer. The racing community is a target market for energy drinks, and Justin consumed traditional energy drinks until he realized the health risks associated with the often sugary, caffeinated beverages. He noticed the lack of a clean drink alternative and started developing Angry Angel, a retort to the current energy drinks, such as popular brands like Celsius and C4. Many of the current options are advertised as clean or natural but may have adverse effects when consumed frequently or in high doses.

Angry Angel drinks have no artificial sweeteners such as sucralose and aspartame, but rather use organic monk fruit, which is actually sweeter than sugar. The product uses yerba mate as its source of natural caffeine which causes less jitteriness after consumption than other types of caffeine. Other purposeful ingredients include CoQ10, antioxidants and B-vitamins.

First launched in 2016 at Whole Foods Market in Cary, NC, customer-driven demand has placed Angry Angel on over 1500 grocery store across the United States. Angry Angel can be found at Whole Foods Market, Publix, Harris Teeter, Lowe’s Foods, Central Market and on Amazon.

A Career of Success in Engineering and Entrepreneurship

Since launching Angry Angel, Justin has used the skills he learned at NC State to improve and explore iterations of his product. Justin said he had a “great foundation” for his current success in the biological engineering program, specifically the bioprocessing engineering concentration. The BE joint program is shared by the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the College of Engineering and Justin found himself surrounded by professors who were “open and willing to different ideas.”

A particularly vivid memory of meeting with professors Michael Boyette and Praveen Kolar, and seeing their patents on office walls, reminded Justin that even though he had no concept of Angry Angel at the time, when he was ready to strike out in to entrepreneurship, he already knew he had the fundamentals to be successful.

Justin enjoyed studying food, beverage and pharmaceutical processing in huge bioreactors and remembers particularly interesting projects taking place in BTEC, NC State’s cutting-edge interdisciplinary instructional center for professionals in the biomanufacturing industry.

Justin later worked on a gene therapy project at Pfizer where he used his knowledge of large scale manufacturing to upscale processes from the lab bench to market. Using the design process in his career would later translate to using the design process for his business.

Justin Lloyd
Founder and CEO, Angry Angel

Justin launched Angry Angel in 2016 and his engineering background helped him connect and communicate with industry professionals in beverage biomanufacturing. By 2018, after landing on shelves across the entire Southeast region, Justin knew it was time to focus “110%” on Angry Angel.

Justin, now with offices in CPG-friendly Austin, TX, and Charlotte, NC, is growing Angry Angel’s reach and is launching four flavors in every Harris Teeter store this month. Angry Angel is poised to be available nationwide with new retail partnerships beginning in 2025. Justin is currently raising capital to fuel the expansion of Angry Angel and the mission to make healthy, functional beverages accessible to everyone.

Justin’s advice to aspiring entrepreneurs in the beverage industry is to “Keep it simple. Don’t overthink it. Apply what works.” He also said that “NC State has a great community” in its alumni network and professional organizations like the Wolfpack Investor Network (WIN) that entrepreneurs should lean into.

For more information about Angry Angel please visit Use code WOLFPACK for 20% off of your first order.

This post was originally published in Entrepreneurship News.