Speaking via video with NutraIngredients-USA, Caroline Beckman, founder and CEO of Nouri, said that the company is at an interesting point in its lifecycle because it’s a start-up so it hasn’t had the massive investment into marketing yet, but it is seeing really great user adoption. “We’re really feeling that tailwind [due to overall increases in supplement sales],” she said.
“Any business right now – big or small – is changing. Everything’s gotta change. This happened to reach our business during year one, so we have those early, small business challenges, but at a macro-level we’re excited about the consumer awareness that’s happening.”
Nouri offers a range of products that are all capsules within capsules – a probiotic-containing inner capsule (sometimes with other ingredients) floating inside plant-based omega-rich oils (Ahiflower).
Commenting on the supply, Beckman said: “Probiotics are really stable, but as we look at R&D and different supply chains and start to explore things, it’s interesting to see some ingredients are completely cleared out… For us, we haven’t had any issues. All of our products are made in the US, and our country has done a phenomenal job on the manufacturing side to keep everything rolling.”
Value, value, value
Beckman also discussed the growing importance of value, and why, in the current economic climate, value-driven brands are going to win, which poses a particular challenge for a start-up.
Looking at the wider food industry, Beckman said that a recent report that BCG [Boston Consulting Group] showed that fresh and organic foods was the number one category for consumers, ahead of vitamins and supplements, preventative healthcare, and then savings. (Leisure, travel, apparel, etc are on the opposite end of the spending spectrum.)
“So, even if you are a small brand it is going to be harder enduring this particular season, it’s going to be harder to have a new user try your product, but at the same time, where we’re going right now is that all of those categories have become more relevant to people, and not less. So, there’s still great potential for brands,” she said.
“But here’s the caveat: Usually the smaller brands have the most expensive products. And to parallel that to spending towards preventative healthcare and fresh foods, the other trend is value, value, value. So, we have to be incredibly sensitive, depending on the economy, that value-driven brands are going to win.
“I don’t think it’s a bad time to have a new brand in fresh, organic foods or supplements, but you really have to be aware of your margins and it has to provide value to the consumers.”
Watch the video above for more from Caroline Beckman, CEO of Nouri.