The Dearborn, MI-based startup launched Man Honey late last year as inaugural product to increase man stamina to a range of physical, emotional and psychological stressors. The blend of Tribulus terretris, maca root, saw palmetto and horny goat weed—specifically sourced from U.S. suppliers only—is delivered in single-use honey sachets as easy-grab format.
Oliver Nasralah, co-founder of Man Brands and founder of Hallarsan Group branding-architectural design firm, discusses what led him to branch out into health and wellness to address the broad and evolving needs of men on the move.
NIU: What opportunity or need did Man Honey identify in the market?
ON: The launch of Man Honey was motivated by the overwhelming presence of imported men's health supplements in the market, which often do not live up to their claims. Particularly concerning were products containing hidden ingredients found in prescription drugs and toxic manufacturing residues, leading to FDA advisories. This concerning trend highlighted a gap in the market for a trustworthy, science-backed and effective men's wellness supplement made in the USA.
Man Brands is dedicated to enhancing the everyday lives of men with premium products across various domains such as fitness, wellness, health, hobbies, personal care and innovative gadgets. Our immediate goal is to address a wide spectrum of men's needs with products focusing on general wellness, including daily vitamins, each distinct yet integral to men's lives.
NIU: What went into building the brand and launching Man Honey?
The journey from the initial idea to the official launch of Man Honey took approximately two years. This period involved meticulous planning, product development, market research and setting up the operational framework. We did not think it would take more than six months to launch, but there are many challenges that crossed our desks, and we had no choice but to work through them.
We started by identifying a gap in men’s health supplements and then focused on developing a unique formula with our team of nutrition and wellness experts that would stand out in the market and withstand rigorous testing to ensure safety and efficacy.
Building a strong, relatable brand identity was essential. We developed a brand aesthetic and voice that resonated with modern, health-conscious men. Our marketing strategy was designed to be as innovative as our product, leveraging digital platforms for maximum reach and impact.
Our launch strategy focused on creating a buzz and educating potential customers about the unique benefits of Man Honey. We leveraged social media and influencer partnerships, and targeted online advertising to reach our audience. The response at launch exceeded our expectations, validating our belief in the product and the brand.
NIU: Why focus on men’s need states? What are those need states?
ON: Focusing on men's need states is central to our mission at Man Honey because we recognize that men's health encompasses more than just the physical aspect. It's a holistic combination of physical, emotional and psychological well-being.
Men, like everyone, face a myriad of challenges in their daily lives, including work-related stress, relationship issues, financial pressures and health concerns. However, societal norms often encourage men to adopt a 'tough it out' attitude, sometimes leading to neglect of their health needs. We've observed a growing awareness among men about the importance of addressing these needs proactively.
We're responding to the evolving demand from men for health products that address men’s diverse needs from physical, emotional and sexual health to hormone balance and long-term wellness. We believe in empowering men with the tools to take charge of their health in a balanced and holistic manner. Our products are formulated with this philosophy in mind – to offer men a natural, effective way to support their overall health and well-being.
NIU: What sets Man Honey apart in the market?
ON: Man Honey represents a significant step away from traditional supplement forms. We wanted to introduce a product that would fit seamlessly into men's daily routines, avoiding the drawbacks of chalky powders and large pills. The convenience of Man Honey's single-use sachet format addresses these issues.
The product has been well received, particularly for its taste, ease of use and the benefits it offers in various aspects of life—from the gym to the boardroom. The chief complaint we hear from men is that dragging around a noisy pill bottle or a huge powder bucket doesn’t fit into their routine properly; so creating a product that tags along with you in a single-use sachet so you can use it as you need it, made the most sense for us.
The name Man Honey positions us well—the comments and reactions to the brand name on social media have been very entraining for us. The product has the right amount of shock value, solves major logistical use problems and aids men in various areas of their life.
NIU: What ingredients are in Man Honey and what benefits?
ON: Formulated by our expert team in nutrition and men's health, Man Honey combines horny goat weed, Tribulus terrestris, saw palmetto, maca root and raw honey—chosen for their synergistic effects on men's health. From supporting circulatory health and testosterone levels to boosting energy and mood balance, each component plays a vital role in supporting the modern man’s lifestyle.
We chose raw gently strained honey sourced from Georgia here in the U.S., not only as natural sweetener and for its antioxidant benefits but also because it metabolizes more slowly than refined sugar, helping avoid the insulin response that refined sugar causes. Man Honey’s slower rate of metabolization also helps ensure extended, enriched benefits.
NIU: Who is your target consumer, and how has Man Honey been received to date?
ON: Man Honey is designed for men between the ages of 18 and 55 who lead active and demanding lives. The product is particularly beneficial for those looking for an energy boost, mental clarity, muscle stamina and endurance, making it suitable for various scenarios, including at work, the gym or socially.
Since its launch, Man Honey has seen re-orders, growing website traffic and sales, indicating a positive reception. Users have reported benefits like energy boosts without the jitters of caffeine, increased motivation and focus and a reduction in brain fog.
We have had an unexpected response from mixed martial arts fighters who train hard day in and day out. Turns out, they generally use raw honey to give them an energy boost as a pre-workout or to replenish sugars at the end of demanding physical activity. What attracts them to Man Honey is the convenience of use, the benefits of the ingredients and the feeling of making the right choice for their dietary supplement, by ditching refined sugars and trusting a company developed 'by men for men' in the USA. The feedback from MMA fighters and other athletes highlights its efficacy and adaptability to intense physical regimes.
NIU: What is next for Man Brands?
ON: We are continuously innovating and expanding our range to meet the evolving needs of men in their quest for health and wellness. Building on the success of Man Honey, we are excited about our upcoming projects, including new formulations of Man Honey designed for specific functions (immune support, stress reduction and energy boosting) and seasonal variations (increased vitamin D in the winter and allergy support in the Spring).
We are also working to expand the supplement portfolio with products to support joint health and mobility (especially for active men), cognitive and mental focus, heart health and circulation, as well as develop lifestyle and wellness products including a men’s skincare line and fitness and recovery aids like natural muscle rubs.
Beyond that, we are in the early stages of developing a digital platform that integrates with Man Honey products, offering personalized health tips, tracking tools and community support, and we plan to develop educational programs on men's health, covering topics from nutritional guidance to mental health awareness.
These initiatives reflect our commitment to providing comprehensive health solutions that address both physical and mental well-being. Our focus remains on natural, scientifically backed products and services that cater to the diverse and dynamic needs of men today.
NIU: What advice would you offer other startups in this space?
ON: First, deeply research and understand your target market to develop products or services and a compelling brand story that truly resonate with your audience and truly embody the values and mission of your company. In the health and wellness industry, efficacy and safety of these products are paramount, so invest in quality ingredients and rigorous testing, and make sure you are authentic and transparent in the process.
In terms of bringing a product to market, leveraging media, content marketing and influencer partnerships can be particularly effective, and it’s important to remember to keep up with the latest trends and remain flexible in this constantly evolving sector. Establish channels for customer communication and take their feedback seriously. It is invaluable for improving your products and understanding the market.
Also essential are networking and collaboration, keeping overhead low while investing in growth-focused activities, preparing for setbacks and be able to pivot or adjust strategy as necessary, and prioritize legal and regulatory compliance.
The journey is as rewarding as it is challenging, and staying true to your vision while adapting to the market is key.