ORLANDO — Maximum Effort, a marketing firm owned by movie star Ryan Reynolds, has become a minority owner of keto snack startup HighKey. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Founded in 2018, HighKey offers a portfolio of low-carb cookies, cereal, baking mixes and more. The products are gluten-free and grain-free with no added sugar and 4 grams of net carbs or less per serving. The brand’s best-selling chocolate chip cookies are sweetened with a blend of erythritol, monk fruit extract and stevia extract.

HighKey and Los Angeles-based Maximum Effort have partnered on a marketing campaign encouraging consumers to “cancel sugar, not cookies.” The ads feature a sugar-addicted animated panda voiced by Mr. Reynolds.

“A core value at HighKey is to ‘Move Fast and Break Norms,’ and the first time we met with Ryan and George Dewey at Maximum Effort, there was an instant chemistry around the desire to disrupt,” said Joe Ens, co-chief executive officer of HighKey. “We have a shared passion for the mission of changing how America eats. We’re humbled that our partnership with Ryan and Maximum Effort goes beyond a traditional agency-client dynamic and that we’re all in it together.”

George Dewey, president of Maximum Effort, added, “We like relationships that have a deeper level of investment, structurally and emotionally. This has been true for Aviation Gin, Match and Mint Mobile as well as our work with Hugh Jackman. We genuinely love HighKey cookies and their mission and culturally they work like we work — all in.”



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