Startup Believes Traceability Will Help Disrupt The Multivitamin Industry
Ritual is a daily supplement for women that traces every ingredient back to its source
Consumers have become more interested and discerning of the products that they put in and on their bodies. One industry that has eluded the scrutiny that countless other products have faced in recent years is the supplement industry, up until now. Direct-to-consumer health brand Ritual has set out to reinvent the space with a product with traceable ingredients that your body truly needs.
PSFK caught up with Ritual Founder and CEO Kat Schneider to talk about the inspiration behind the recently-launched brand, which started when Schneider became pregnant. “I cared what I was putting in and on my body more than ever before,” Schneider explained. “I looked at the vitamins I was taking every single day and realized that they contained some of the same questionable ingredients that I was avoiding elsewhere.” This prompted Schneider to call up her friends to ask what vitamins they were taking and the ingredients in the vitamins. Schneider discovered that while people knew all of the ingredients in most of the products they were ingesting most people had no clue what was in their vitamins. Seeing a gap in the market and fueled by her curiosity Schneider decided, four months into her pregnancy, to leave her job and start a company that reinvented the vitamin industry from the ground up.
The first hire that Ritual made was scientist Dr. Luke Bucci. Schneider remarked saying that “science is integral to the brand…we made a decision to not work with scientists who don’t have a long-term interest in the company, this was really important to us from the start.” By working with Bucci, Ritual has been able to build direct relationships with all of its manufacturers and suppliers, all of which are traceable on their website. Schneider remarked saying that “we believe that traceability is the next version/evolution of transparency—customers are able to see exactly where Ritual sources its ingredients.”
When Schneider first had the idea for Ritual her goal was to create a higher quality prenatal vitamin for women. After discovering that vitamins are an $80 billion industry and about half of American takes a multi-vitamin everyday, according to Gallup, Schneider decided creating a multivitamin specifically for women would have a greater impact. She explained the driving question for the brand was “how do we take the multivitamin, which is one of the most popular and common vitamins and make it better?”
“Essential for Women” is the the answer to that question. Schneider and her team researched what women really need and were not getting from their diet alone. Schneider commented saying “it turns out, what we need is not the 20-30 typical ingredients found in multivitamins on the market. There are nine essential nutrients that we are lacking, and the form we take those nutrients in really matters.” The Ritual team worked diligently figuring out a way to encapsulate an ingredient like Omega 3 in oil form along with other ingredients in dry form, while preserving the integrity of the nutrients. The result after many months of R&D is a highly functional vitamin with a beautiful form.
The use of a subscription-model for the company was carefully considered. “Design is core to our brand. As millennials we are sick of the paradox of choice and wanted to simplify the experience for consumers including the pill, the packaging, and the process of restocking” Schneider said. The more compliant and regular that you take the vitamin, the better it works. Having it arrive every month on your doorstep not only takes the stress out of restocking, it helps you stay regular with your intake.
When asked if Ritual has any plans to extend their product line Schneider responded saying “we are already building a community and really want to listen to our consumers and go for there.” Schneider reported that everything is going incredibly well so far for the brand since its launch. “Women have been writing in and telling us how much an impact its had on their energy and mood, and men are writing in requesting for there own multivitamin.”
Essential for Women is available for $30/ month with free shipping and the ability to cancel at anytime.