Lucas Siegel, CEO of AlternaScript, which is based in Austin, TX, said the basic idea for the business was born in a project he worked on at the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado Boulder. The formulation ideas for the company’s first product, a nootropic branded as Optimind, came together at that time.
“We were working on a finance project and we came up with the idea to study a business case for a brain health supplement,” Siegel told NutraIngredients-USA. “We wanted to find out what really worked, what discoveries had been made to help fuel the human brain. I became really frustrated looking at all these supplements that had just traces of the active ingredients.”
The name of the business drives at the company’s transformative story, said COO Janet Kim. “It’s about writing a new script for your life,” she said.
Branded ingredient base
OptiMind, built in part around Synapsa, a Bacopa monnieri extract from branded ingredient supplier PLT. The supplement was launched exclusively online a couple of years ago and sales have ramped up strongly, according to Siegel and Kim. The original business school case focused on an online positioning, and Siegel said that was chosen for the actual business because cutting out the middleman allowed the company to devote that portion of the overall margin toward putting in truly efficacious dosages of high quality ingredients.
“We are 100% online because we found that so many stores are really not into effective products but were into selling commodity mixtures that they had huge margins on. We couldn’t compete with brands that were selling half the concentration of the active ingredient at 1/10 the price because they were selling a commoditized ingredient,”he said.
Siegel said the company decided early on to work with PLT because of the supplier’s strong suite of well-designed studies that backs up its products.
“We teamed up with PLT after to going to show after show and meeting with scientist after scientist and not being impressed,” he said.
So it’s no surprise that Alterna Script went back to the PLT well for the core ingredient of its latest launch, NatureThin. The brand uses Slimvance, PLT’s new weight loss ingredient that uses extracts of three botanicals, Moringa oleifera, Murraya koenigii, and Curcuma longa. Siegel said after an exhaustive search, PLT settled on these three botanicals as having the most weight manangement potential and then did further research through cellular assays to refine the best ratios of each botanical. Siegel said PLT conducted a 12-week randomized, placebo controlled study to back the ingredient’s benefits, with results that included a 12-lb greater weight loss in the treatment group. PLT announced the launch of the ingredient in September of last year , and Siegel said Alterna Script has signed a deal providing it exclusive rights to the ingredient for online sales.
“Weight loss in particular is riddled with bad products that take advantage of consumers, that over promise and under deliver. We spent more than a year and a half researching ingredients before we settled on Slimvance,” Siegel said.