A broader supplements market: Vital Proteins debuts gummies for beauty and women’s health
08 Apr 2021 --- Gummies are the “perfect vehicle” to reach a broader addressable market outside the core consumer one, while still appealing to it with an incremental offering. This is according to Tracey Halama, president of Vital Proteins, who speaks to NutritionInsight about the company’s latest gummy supplement launch and the power of celebrity endorsement.
The new range is addressing women’s health, collagen and beauty, which the company identified as trending.
“During the pandemic, we saw early trends indicate an interest in functional ingredients like vitamin C, elderberry, biotin and general focus on functional foods ingredients in the vitamin, mineral and supplements (VMS) category,” she notes.
Building on wellness trends
Adding to its extensive lineup of collagen products, Vital Proteins’ gummies come in three new offerings: Women’s Multi, Collagen and Beauty.
This is a category Vital Proteins is going to continue to grow, building out its Wellness Boost Gummy Collection with additional innovative products.
Women’s Multi Gummies is available in a raspberry flavor. It boosts daily energy, supports immune health, and supports metabolism with B vitamins, zinc and selenium, among others.
Collagen Gummies is available in grape flavor and these gummies are curated with 2.5 g of collagen peptides. This supplement features a clinically-tested dose of collagen that may reduce fine lines and wrinkles, support hair and nails, and increase skin elasticity.
Beauty Gummies is available in strawberry flavor and made with a unique blend of nutrients, including vitamin C, zinc, vitamin A, biotin and L-selenomethionine – the most bioavailable, absorbable form of selenium.
“Based on our research, there were many brands sold on Amazon, but few that were succeeding with clean ingredients and a great tasting product. Even fewer that were succeeding both online and in retailers,” Halama supports.
“Sensing there was an opportunity here, we reached out to our retail partners including Whole Foods, Target and Walmart, who shared their thoughts on the current landscape, ingredients and potential whitespace. We also were seeking a new innovation that could bring us outside our core market of millennial women.”
R&D challenges and market differentiation
The company’s R&D team successfully launched over 50 products in 2020, so Vital Proteins knew that it had “the right talent to problem-solve whatever challenge was presented to them,” says Halama.
“The biggest challenge was finding the right co-manufacturer in a growing space who would be able to support the scale and volume commitment day one for Vital.”
There are other collagen gummies on the market, but the vast majority have less than 1000 mg (or 1 g) of collagen per serving.
“We knew that there was whitespace for a higher efficacious dose, so we decided to launch a 2.5 g serving that is using clinically supported ingredients for hair, skin and nail support in our Collagen Gummies.”
As far as standing out, the company is confident that many potential customers may already have familiarity with collagen and specifically Vital Proteins collagen.
“We are known for our colorful, youthful icon packaging and the gummy line does not disappoint,” Halama highlights.
Trends in supplements
In the post-COVID-19 world, there is a focus on vitamin C and other immunity ingredients, which are up triple digits, according to Halama.
“People are staying at home and are more consistent in their wellness routines and are seeking simple ways to boost their immunity. In addition to vitamin C, many of our gummies include important minerals such as folate, zinc, magnesium and selenium – most of which Americans are deficient in.”
The company is also exploring line extensions for the original gummy line that will be more focused on functional benefits for a beauty or health condition. Should it proceed, it would bring new concepts to market before the end of 2021.
Age of the influencer
Late last year, Vital Proteins joined forces with actor Jennifer Aniston to “shake up the wellness industry.”
Aniston joined the Vital Proteins team as chief creative officer, putting her spin on new product innovations and overall brand strategy.
Stressing the importance of influence marketing in the F&B space, Innova Market Insights has pegged “Age of the Influencer” as one of its top ten trends for 2021.
Aniston has incorporated Vital Proteins into her daily routine since before 2016 and will look to her own experiences with collagen to help build greater awareness around its benefits and help consumers connect to the brand mission: finding wellness from within.
“We are very fortunate to have an authentic and long-standing relationship with Jennifer Aniston, who began using our Collagen Peptides back in 2015 when we were a very small start-up. She believed in the efficacy of our products and shared her collagen peptide secret with her friends and the press.”
“Jen continued her daily routine for many years until we approached her with something more strategic in 2020. So, for us, we built trust with Jen before formalizing an endorsement,” Halama explains.
As far as other brands go, there are many that have both succeeded and failed with celebrities tied to the brand, she adds.
“My advice for brands is to really understand the value proposition of the product to the consumer and the current competitive landscape. If the idea has a level of differentiation, then spend the money on R&D to develop on-trend, efficacious products.”
“Make the offering great before bridging to celebrity endorsement. The celebrity will be far more likely to tie his/her name to the project if they love and use the product already,” Halama concludes.
By Kristiana Lalou, with additional reporting from Katherine Durrell
This feature is provided by PersonalCareInsights’s sister website, NutritionInsight.
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