ROWDY Review: Gut-Healthy Collagen Powder

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Written by Cambria Glosz
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Dr. Jennifer Hughes, MD
Medical Reviewer

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Our Rating: A-

ROWDY receives an overall A- rating from our team, with high points awarded for top-tier ingredients, unique product formulations, and philanthropic initiatives.

We determined this rating by evaluating the following factors:

  • Quality
    i
    QualityA
    Clean and minimal ingredients with no fillers plus a unique prebiotic formulation led to an overall A in quality.
A
  • Transparency
    i
    TransparencyB
    Product information and brand backstory details are ample, but some holes could use filling on the sourcing and manufacturing side.
B
  • Website Experience
    i
    Website ExperienceA-
    ROWDY has an informational, albeit low-tech, website and blog, with one minor issue when viewing on mobile.
A-
  • Customer Service
    i
    Customer ServiceA-
    A money-back guarantee and reasonably prompt email reply helped to balance out the high free shipping rate and sole line of communication.
A-
  • Value
    i
    ValueB
    While ROWDY is on the pricey side, the collagen contains high-quality ingredients without any fillers or natural flavors.
B
  • Brand Value
    i
    Brand ValueA-
    ROWDY scored great for philanthropic initiatives and innovative product formulation but could use more on the sustainability front.
A-
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Welcome to our ROWDY review!

As the first product on the market to combine collagen protein with prebiotic yacon root, ROWDY was born out of a need for a healthy, gut-friendly, protein-loaded bar that could withstand backpacking and other outdoor adventures that founder Kellie Lee and family liked to embark on.  

Although the bars are being discontinued (as of this printing), ROWDY is still in the prebiotic protein game, providing three tasty flavors of yacon root collagen powders. 

We awarded ROWDY with an overall A- grade, with higher points given for their top-tier ingredients—truly, they couldn’t get better—and great philanthropic initiatives and customer service despite their small team.

Vanilla Bean Collagen Protein Powder
Vanilla Bean Collagen Protein Powder
  • Description

    With the vanilla flavor coming from ground vanilla beans and the sweetener from organic yacon root powder and monk fruit, this prebiotic collagen powder is as real as it gets.

  • Ingredients

    Bovine Collagen, Organic Yacon Root Powder, Himalayan Pink Salt, Ground Vanilla Bean, Monk Fruit Extract.

ROWDY Pros and Cons

  • Pros
  • Minimal, high-quality ingredients
  • Innovative product formulation
  • Commendable philanthropic efforts
  • Cons
  • Could use some more transparency on collagen sourcing
  • Only one customer service channel (none immediate)
  • On the pricey side

Let’s Get ROWDY: The Adventurous Backstory of Prebiotic Collagen 

Back in 2013, Kellie Lee and her husband were—and still are—into backpacking, and on trips she would make the food while he was in charge of their gear.

Kellie was making homemade bars and granola but was looking for alternatives to the sugar-loaded dates that are often used in such recipes. 

That, combined with health issues like hypothyroidism and digestive problems, led her to discover yacon root—a Peruvian root vegetable that doesn’t impact blood sugar and benefits the gut.

kellie's story

ROWDY Founder Kellie Lee (Source: RowdyHealth.com)

She started combining yacon root with collagen, coming up with a new bar recipe that she—and everyone else—loved.

Fast forward a few years, and Kellie got her MBA and used her business learnings to launch ROWDY prebiotic collagen bars in 2018.

While the bars paved the way for ROWDY, the collagen protein powders—currently their only products—came along in late 2020. 

Now, ROWDY is still a woman-owned and family-operated business, with Kellie and her sisters leading the helm and focusing day in and day out on their mission—”offering gut-boosting superfood snacks and grass-fed protein powder, with premium ingredients for optimal gut health.” 

Our ROWDY Review

  • Quality (A)
  • Transparency (B)
  • Website Experience (A-)
  • Customer Service (A-)
  • Value (B)
  • Brand Value (A-)

These scores balanced out to an overall A- grade—let’s get into the details. 

Quality 

Summary:

Grade: A

Clean and minimal ingredients with no fillers plus a unique prebiotic formulation led to an overall A in quality.

 

In this section, we take a look at ingredient quality but also need to gauge sourcing and manufacturing quality, certifications, formulation, and more to get a complete picture.

A major—and essential—thing that ROWDY is doing right is ingredient quality. 

Although their product lineup is small, the three flavors of collagen powders all have excellent ingredients:

  • Grass-fed bovine collagen
  • Organic yacon root powder
  • Himalayan pink salt
  • Monk fruit extract
  • Flavorings, like ground vanilla bean, organic cinnamon, or cocoa powder 
the rowdy difference

We also liked the ingredient formulation, as yacon root is a unique sweetener that isn’t often seen—especially not in collagen powders.

As Kellie states, “I came across yacon root divinely. I was researching binding agents to get away from brown rice and dates, and I like honey, but I wanted something with less calories.”

And she found it with yacon root—a naturally sweet, low-glycemic Peruvian root vegetable that looks like a sweet potato.

But unlike sweet potato, yacon root has way less impact on blood sugar, as it contains indigestible fibers called fructooligosaccharides (FOS) or inulin, which are prebiotics that the body can’t digest. 

So not only does yacon root provide sweetness without sugar, but it also benefits the gut—win-win! 

The collagen powder also contains a tiny bit of monk fruit extract, but you won’t find stevia, sugar alcohols, or artificial sweeteners in any ROWDY products. 

ROWDY products are also Certified Gluten-Free, and while they used to have their non-GMO certification, the current budget of their small team didn’t allow them to renew it at the moment. 

Overall, these factors led to an A for quality.

Now, let’s take a look at the products ROWDY has to offer. 

ROWDY Product Catalog

In addition to the Vanilla Bean Collagen Protein Powder, ROWDY also carries Snickerdoodle and Chocolate flavors. 

Snickerdoodle Collagen Protein Powder
Snickerdoodle Collagen Protein Powder
  • Description

    A collagen powder that tastes like a cookie is a win in our book—and it’s packed with 20g of protein, 0g of added sugar, and prebiotics from yacon root.

  • Ingredients

    Bovine Collagen, Organic Yacon Root Powder, Himalayan Pink Salt, Organic Cinnamon, Ground Vanilla Bean, Monk Fruit Extract.

Chocolate Collagen Protein Powder
Chocolate Collagen Protein Powder
  • Description

    For chocolate lovers, this collagen powder is loaded with 20g of protein and real chocolate flavor from cocoa powder.

  • Ingredients

    Bovine Collagen, Organic Yacon Root Powder, Cocoa Powder (pressed with alkali) Himalayan Pink Salt, Monk Fruit Extract.

Their first product was the prebiotic collagen bars, which are currently discontinued—but they may have plans to bring it back in the future.  

Transparency

Summary:

Grade: B

Product information and brand backstory details are ample, but some holes could use filling on the sourcing and manufacturing side.

While the ingredient list on the back of a ROWDY package contains just a handful of recognizable, whole-food ingredients, we also like to know a little bit about where they come from.

ROWDY’s product pages contain the basic information and usual specs about each product—ingredient list, nutritional information, and some basic benefits. 

However, one thing we’re seeing right now in the collagen world is an issue of sourcing from the Amazon, where cattle farms contribute to deforestation. 

While ROWDY is not sourcing from areas contributing to deforestation, we only gleaned this information from our convo with Kellie—but we’re sure customers would like to know this, too. 

The site shows that the yacon root is sourced from Peru, and we learned from Kellie that most other ingredients come from somewhere in the U.S. and the products are manufactured in Southern California. 

ROWDY also does a great job of showing customers a peek behind the curtain, with ample information about Kellie and her founding story, plus blurbs about the other key players in ROWDY—namely, her sisters. 

Lastly, transparency also applies to the boring stuff, like how easy it is to find shipping and return policies—and the former was easily found in a typical footer link, while details about returns were a little harder to find in the FAQ section. 

Website Experience

Summary:

Grade: A-

ROWDY has an informational, albeit low-tech, website and blog, with one minor issue when viewing on mobile.

The ROWDY website is simple and straightforward, offering little in the way of high-tech features or designs. 

However, as long as the site is non-distracting and no issues arise (glitches, incessant pop-ups, difficult navigation, etc.) , we focus more on the education and information offered, as well as the smoothness of the e-commerce experience. 

As ROWDY currently only has three products, shopping around is so easy a caveman could do it—no issues there.

collagen powder flavors

We also enjoyed the ample educational resources, including a “Science” tab that leads you to pages about prebiotics and their star ingredient, yacon root

ROWDY also provides a blog with wellness tips, articles about prebiotics and gut health, recipes, and more. 

We only saw one minor issue when browsing on mobile: a “More Info” button hovered on top of the text, making some words unreadable. 

rowdy premium products mobile view

Other than that, ROWDY’s website provided what we needed to know in a simple, no-frills manner. 

Customer Service

Summary:

Grade: A-

A money-back guarantee and reasonably prompt email reply helped to balance out the high free shipping rate and sole line of communication.

ROWDY only has one customer service channel—an embedded contact form that goes to email.

While having a more immediate option (phone or live chat) is preferable, we understand that they are a small team and may not have the resources. 

On the plus side, the email reply was reasonable, taking approximately five hours. 

Plus, they have a generous money-back guarantee if you’re not satisfied with the product—what we consider the gold standard as far as return policies go. 

We don’t have much information about shipping costs, as it depends on location and order weight, but they do offer free shipping on orders over $75 (a bit steep).

All in all, the generous return policy helped to balance out the sole customer service channel, landing us on an A- grade.

Value

Summary:

Grade: B

While ROWDY is on the pricey side, the collagen contains high-quality ingredients without any fillers or natural flavors.

We never consider value simply on price tag alone—we consider the importance of quality as well. 

Fortunately, ROWDY has quality in spades, allowing them to justify some of the slightly higher price points here. 

For example, while many vanilla-flavored collagen or protein powders will use natural vanilla flavors, ROWDY uses ground vanilla bean.

Currently, ROWDY’s prebiotic collagen powders are $34.99 for an 11.85oz bag, which contains 14 servings with 20g of collagen each. 

Although no one is doing collagen quite like ROWDY, our closest comparison is Primal Kitchen Snickerdoodle Collagen Fuel, which provides a lower price per ounce but with less collagen per serving.

Let’s take a closer look at how some other collagen products compare. 

Collagen Product Collagen Per Serving Servings Per Container Price
ROWDY Vanilla Collagen Powder 20g 14  $34.99 for 11.85oz($2.95/oz)
Primal Kitchen Snickerdoodle Collagen Fuel 10g 24 $34.95 for 13.54oz($2.58/oz)
Vital Proteins Vanilla Collagen 20g 14 $29.99 for 11.5oz ($2.61/oz)
Ancient Nutrition Vanilla Collagen 18g 12 $24.95 for 8.51oz($2.93/oz)

Although it’s a little difficult to compare, given the varying amounts of servings and collagen in each, you can see that ROWDY is on the higher end of the price range.

Although it’s still relatively on par with these other premium brands, there’s no getting around the fact that it’s on the pricey side ($35 for just 14 servings). 

Brand Value

Summary:

Grade: A-

ROWDY scored great for philanthropic initiatives and innovative product formulation but could use more on the sustainability front.

Lastly, brand value scores are considered by a combination of product innovation, industry disruption, impact on public nutrition, and philanthropic or sustainability efforts. 

ROWDY has a few great things going for them here, including an innovative product formulation (combining yacon root with collagen) that is not seen elsewhere. 

Although collagen powders can now be found just about everywhere, ROWDY was certainly innovative back in 2018 when they launched their gut-supporting, prebiotic collagen bars. 

We also loved that, despite their small team, they have a commendable focus on philanthropic initiatives.

To name just a few of the dozen or so, ROWDY donates or partners with:

And, while ROWDY isn’t doing a ton on the sustainability front, they have removed the plastic scoops from their powders and have moved to recyclable packaging. 

Lastly, you could definitely say that their products have a beneficial impact on public nutrition, as prebiotics are widely under-consumed in the American diet (as is collagen), giving a (helpful) one-two punch to gut health. 

Our Experience With ROWDY

We tried ROWDY’s Chocolate collagen protein powder—but as we received sample pouches, we can’t comment on the packaging you would get upon ordering a full-size item from the site.

rowdy chocolate collagen powder pouches

We tried the chocolate collagen mixed with water and blended with almond milk—as with most protein powders, it tasted better when blended with almond milk versus mixed with water.

However, it still tasted fine with water—albeit a little on the bland side—but did not have any of the odd aftertastes that tend to accompany other protein or collagen powders when consumed on their own. 

Rowdy chocolate collagen blended with almond milk or mixed with water
ROWDY chocolate collagen blended with almond milk (left) or mixed with water (right).

Although a bit bland when combined with water, it did mix easily and quickly—no floating remnants or chalky residue. 

While we can’t comment on their other flavors, the Chocolate collagen was tasty and not overly chocolatey, and we would recommend it for a quick protein shake (blended is best!). 

ROWDY FAQs  

Is ROWDY Collagen Good?

Yes, our team and many reviewers have had a great experience with ROWDY collagen. 

Not only does it have high-quality, healthy ingredients, but it also blends well and tastes great.

What Is Prebiotic Collagen?

Prebiotic collagen combines prebiotic fibers (like yacon root, found in ROWDY) and collagen powder. 

As collagen is already beneficial for gut health, adding prebiotics like yacon root can support digestive health even more. 

What Is Yacon Root?

Yacon root is a Peruvian root vegetable that is naturally sweet, low-glycemic, and high in water.

It contains indigestible fibers called fructooligosaccharides (FOS) or inulin, which are prebiotics that the body can’t digest. 

Therefore, yacon root is a gut-friendly prebiotic vegetable that does not impact blood sugar.

Does Yacon Root Have Carbs?

Yes, yacon root has carbohydrates. 

However, it is also high in water and indigestible prebiotic fibers, making it low in net carbs. 

Yacon root has 7.1g of carbs per 100g, compared to potatoes, which provide 25g of carbohydrates per 100g.

Final Thoughts 

With attributes like high-quality ingredients, innovative product formulation, and charitable commitments, ROWDY earned an A- grade from our team. 

A few details, like the higher price point, only one customer service channel, and lack of collagen sourcing transparency, were the only less-than-perfect areas.

Overall, we enjoyed ROWDY’s collagen powder and hope that their prebiotic collagen bars will soon be back on the market. 

As Kellie concludes about ROWDY’s mission, “We are a company committed to empowering people to better digestive health so they can restore balance and get back to being themselves, so they can get back to being Rowdy.”



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