Called Rritual, the new brand is billed as a line of ‘plant-based elixirs for modern wellness.’ The base formulations are built around three ingredients that CEO David Kerbel refers to as the brand’s ‘hero’ pillars. They are Chaga (Inonotus obliquus) in the immunity blend, Lion’s Mane (Hericium erinaceus) in the mental focus blend and Reishi (Ganoderma lingzhi) in the relaxation blend.
Fungi for the win in functional foods
Kerbel pointed out that the company uses the mycelium portion of the fungi for its products. The products are packaged as powders for the functional foods market, which Kerbel said has a lot of blue sky opportunity within it. The company cites a Grandview Research study that predicts the global functional foods market will reach $275 billion by 2025 and will grow at a 7.9% clip in the intervening years.
“Our products are designed as a natural organic plant based alternative to synthetics,” Kerbel told NutraIngredients-USA.
The products trade on the adaptogenic nature of the base ingredients by added further adaptogens to each blend. The immune product, for example, includes Astragalus, Eleuthero and Schisandra. The focus blend includes Rhodiola and Bacopa while the relaxation blend features Ashwaganda and Cinnamon.
All of the products also include an additional fungal ingredients blend that includes Shiitake and Cordyceps and also feature inulin as a prebiotic.
Kerbel said the company has assembled a team that understands what works in the functional beverage market. His own experience includes a stint as senior vice president of sales at Celsius Holdings, manufacturer of one of the fastest growing energy drink brands.
“At one time or another everyone in our team has been in the beverage business,” Kerbel said. “About a year ago now we got together to talk about how we could make a difference with a natural and organic products in the health and wellness space.”
Altering the daily ritual
Kerbel said the team was looking for a way to hook into the trend of consumers talking about what a ‘new normal’ will look like as the world emerges from the pandemic crisis. Kerbel said the discussion kept coming back to the idea that consumers are seeking a reset of their daily routines, a way to lead a better life after normal social and work routines resume.
That figured into the choice of the company’s name, which a cynical observer might say trades on the success of a fairly new and well known line of multivitamins. Kerbel said he believes his company has done enough to differentiate between the brands, and that the word expresses as would no other what the company is trying to achieve.
“There are more than two million Google searches a month now on search terms such as ‘how can I feel less tired’ and ‘how can I sleep better,’” Kerbel said.
“We kept coming back to the idea that what we really wanted to do was to help consumers alter their daily rituals,” Kerbel said.
Rapid distribution expansion
The company said it passed a milestone this week with its first delivery of products to Amazon fulfillment centers. Kerbel said getting products on the market in wide distribution in a rapid fashion is one of the core competencies of the team he helped put together.
“We’ve got a team with more than 100 years of experience in the CPG industry. We will be in more than 20,000 points of distribution by the end of this calendar year,” Kerbel said.
In addition to linking into trends concerning sleep, relation and mental fog, Kerbel said the company’s products are also positioned to capitalize on a growing emphasis on ‘clean’ ingredients.
“As the market matures more and more consumers are aware of natural and organic properties and are willing to pay for it,” he asserted.
“We will appeal to the label turner, the one who will real the ingredients list. We believe our ingredients base is clear. All the ingredients are there and they are pure and natural,” he added.