“We didn’t want to add more noise to the shelf—there’s already a lot of companies with a lot of marketing,” co-founder Bryan Vantell told NutraIngredients-USA. “We wanted to create a simple brand where consumers can easily understand what we’re trying to solve.”
According to Vantell, a big concern when it comes to fertility is that there are ingredients for health maintenance and preventive care, backed with research, which escape many consumers' notice. “Our brand is about making people aware that those ingredients are out there,” he added.
This is all communicated through package design. Take for example Alcyon Health’s OvaVitae supplement, which is due to launch in a few weeks. The product name is embossed white on a white background, only faintly visible. But the product’s structure/function claim, ‘Egg Quality and Ovarian Support,’ is featured prominently in pink letters.
Bringing in healthcare and marketing backgrounds
Vantell has been in the healthcare sector for 18 years, most recently as director of operations and program management for Cardinal Health’s consumer products division, where he helped the company launch its first consumer product.
His business partner, Abbas Jamali, brings in branding and marketing experience. Their motivation to start the company was to “have an impact,” Vantell said.
“Being one person in a big company doesn’t have the same intimacy to provide a positive impact to a customer, so that’s why we decided to launch our own CPG company,” he added.
Iron and men’s sexual health: Initial line-up of products
Alcyon Health was founded in 2015, with product development starting in 2016. Just six months ago, the company made its first shipment of products to Dubai for the Eastern European and Middle East market, where there is demand for US-made health care products.
“We’ve been spending a lot of our time doing exports and international marketing,” Vantell said. Its foray to the US market, in which Alcyon Health is headquarted, only started this month through Amazon.com.
The first products to sell in the US are FerraVitae, an iron complex to help pregnant women prevent iron deficiency during pregnancy (a common nutrient deficiency for the population), as well as ErosVigor, a yohimbine HCI supplement with L-Arginine and L-Carnitine for sexual performance.
“As we did research in what is out there, fertility came first to mind,” Vantell explained. With lower birth rates in Western countries, as well as personal stories from friends and families, it was a category that Vantell and Jamali wanted to address
“We’re starting with this product line not to treat infertility. We want our audience to take them as prevention and maintenance to treat their reproductive health like their overall health, including people who aren’t necessarily ready to have a family.”
Aiming for national expansion
Though still in an online-exclusive, embryonic stage, Vantell said that his goal is to have Alcyon Health products sold coast-to-coast.
“Just this past week we had sales teams at the ECRM trade show, working with the bigger retail chains, trying to get our products distributed there as well,” he said.
“With that gap of awareness and accessibility for [reproductive health] products, we want to be mass, we want to have national distribution,” Vantell added.