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What are the best D2C nutrition startups?
These D2C nutrition brands offer a wide range of products and services aimed at promoting better diet, digestion, metabolism, and overall health. Not just better nutrition for you, but for your entire family too — inclusive of pets. While that may be a broad definition, one common thread among these nutrition startups is they’ve all attracted a substantial amount of venture capital funding and traction. Don’t see your favorite on our list? Drop us a note to let us know who you think ought to be included.
|Best D2C Nutrition Brands||Overview||Offers direct-to-consumer:||Funding (VCs)||Related Reviews|
|GEM is a real food Vitamin designed to support your daily nutritional needs with ingredients you understand.||Vitamin||GEM vs Ritual|
|Misfits Market reduces food waste by partnering with local farmers and selling their excess produce to consumers in a healthy subscription box.||Natural Produce||$16.5m Series A (Greenoaks Capital)||Misfits Market vs Imperfect Foods vs Hungry Harvest|
|Nurish is a new D2C supplement brand from NatureMade that offers personalized vitamins for your specific nutrition needs and goals.||Vitamin||-||Nurish by NatureMade Review|
|Ritual sells personalized vitamin formulations for women.||Vitamin||$197m Series C (Greylock Partners, Georgian Partners, Golden Ventures)||Gem vs Ritual|
|Calibrate provides one-year program for weight loss including prescriptions to rx weight-loss medications online.||Weight Loss||Calibrate Review|
|Rootine is a brand for personalized nutrient Formula based on science and biology.||Vitamin||Rootine Review|
|Drizly is the fastest alcohol delivery app, bringing you booze in 60 minutes or less.||Alcohol Delivery||$69.6m (Acquired by Uber for $1.1b)||Drizly vs Saucey|
|Somm helps support sleep. It's that simple. Drink one can 30 minutes before bed. Best of all, you can sleep easy knowing it's gluten-, dairy-, and drug-free.||Sleep Drinks||Unknown||Coming soon|
|Graze offers delivers nutritious snack boxes.||Snacks||£2m (Acquired by Unilever)||Coming soon|
|Grove is a marketplace for healthier groceries and home essentials.||Household goods||$210m Series D (Lone Pine Capital, Mayfield Fund, NextView Ventures, MHS Capital)||Coming soon|
|Hint ships fruit infused bottled water directly to your door.||Infused Water||$6.8m (VerlinVest SA)||Coming soon|
|Home Chef is a leading fresh meal kit delivery subscription.||Meal-Prep||$57m (Acquired by Kroger)||Coming soon|
|HungryRoot delivers healthy meals ready to eat in <10 minutes.||Meal-Prep||$35.4m Series B (Brooklyn Bridge Ventures, Crosslink Capital, Great Oaks Venture Capital)||Coming soon|
|Noom is a leading weight-loss app for building healthier habits.||Diet||$114m Series E (Sequoia Capital, Samsung Ventures, TransLink Capital)||Noom vs Nutrisystem Weight Loss System Review|
|Thrive is a members-only market for sustainably-sourced organic goods.||Organic Food||$161.9m Series B (Invus, Greycroft)||Online Organic Markets Review|
|Freshly prepares chef-cooked, healthy meals and delivers them to your door.||Meal-Prep||$107m Series C (Insight Partners,Nestle)||Coming soon|
|HUM offers clinically-proven nutritional supplements tailored to your health and beauty goals.||Vitamin||$5M Series A (CircleUp, Imaginary Ventures, Strand Equity Partners)||Goli vs Olly vs HUM|
|Farm Fresh to You is a fresh produce subscription services that delivers farmer's market veggies and fruits on a regularly scheduled cadence.||Natural Produce||$176.1m Unknown||Farm Fresh to You vs Imperfect Produce|
|Imperfect Product offers weekly grocery delivery service.||Natural Produce||Misfits Market vs Imperfect Foods vs Hungry Harvest|
|Baze provides personal supplements based on at-home blood test.||Vitamin||Persona vs Care/of vs Baze|
|Olly creates nutritional supplements with essential vitamins and minerals in everything from capsules to gummy vitamins.||Vitamin||$11.5M||Goli vs Olly vs HUM|
|Care/of helps find the right vitamins, protein and collagen.||Vitamin||Persona vs Care/of vs Baze|
|Vessel is an at home evaluation that tests nutrient levels to help you understand and optimize your health.||At-home nutrient test||$14.5M||Vessel Health Review>|
|Goli Nutrition offers daily supplements for health in innovative ways.||Vitamin||Unknown||Goli vs Olly vs HUM|
|Good Eggs is an online grocery delivery service meeting top-notch food standards with local, organic, and pasture-raised food.||Grocery Delivery||$194.5M Series D||Good Eggs Review|
|Rasa is a coffee alternative designed to deliver sustainable energy and a functional daily dose of adaptogens in your morning brew||Adaptogenic coffee alternative||$3.25M unknown||Rasa Review|
Want to know the biggest trend in the diet and nutrition space? Direct-to-consumer. 2021 saw an onslaught of D2C nutrition startups launch new brands or experience breakout growth. Some now very familiar names include Noom and Ritual, both of whom raised boatloads of venture capital to bring nutritional services directly to consumers (albeit for weight-loss advice and vitamins, respectively). But those definitely aren’t the only two making waves. Thousands of new brands are disrupting nutrition from every angle imaginable. From personalized nutrient subscriptions to organic produce boxes to fresh dog food delivery and meal planning apps, it’s an exciting time to be a D2C nutrition startup.
What's driving the proliferation of nutrition startups?
Social media influence
The role of social media and the rise of influencers has helped mint many DTC nutrition startups. Rather than focus on moving inventory at grocery stores or increasing sales through a third-party site like Amazon, nutrition startups have figured out how to engage consumers directly through social media. Since influencers play such an outsized role in both beauty and personal nutrition, it’s a prerequisite for DTC nutrition startups to have a strong social media game. Social media has allowed DTC brands to emerge from nothing and amass loyal followings across the globe in months, rather than years.
A wave of personalization
The one-size-fits-all model has been officially dispelled from nutrition. Modern science has shown repeatedly that best practice for one human’s diet is unlikely to be applicable to another. Food charts seem old-fashioned now and all nutritional advice is heavily caveated and qualified based on personal needs. A number of direct to consumer companies focus on personalized nutrition explicitly — think of the example mentioned before, like Ritual and Noom — while others essentially tap into the demand for more convenience, which is a more personally-catered approach in general. A side effect of (or perhaps a direct response to?) the increased demand for personalized nutrition has been the growth of DTC nutrition startups.
If you want to learn more about these D2C startups, we’d love to hear from you! We cover the telemedicine startups closely with many in-depth reviews comparing one brand’s offering to another. For instance, I recommend our comparison of Hers vs Nurx vs The Pill Club to get a feel for online birth control providers, or check out our review of Hims, Roman and Keeps for mens hair loss. Subscribe to our newsletter to stay ahead of the telemedicine trend and learn more about popular direct-to-consumer brands.
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How direct-to-consumer nutrition startups are growing
Besides the high demand for convenience and lower prices, there are several key factors driving the rapid growth of direct to consumer telemedicine startups. Here are three:
The majority of D2C nutrition startups have merely repackaged common concepts into more convenient and accessible offerings. As an example, all healthy meal prep delivery companies simply make home cooking a couple steps simpler, while online organic markets like Thrive or Grove Collaborative simply remove a bit of guess work around shopping sustainably online. Neither offers a radically transformative service or product that’s changing what people eat.
Similarly, a lot of D2C nutrition startups have rejiggered existing supply chains to improve customer experience for existing goods. Imperfect Foods and Misfits Market, for instance, save food from the trash by delivering it directly to your door, while alcohol delivery firms Drizly and Saucey sell all the traditional hooch brands you’ve come to love, merely saving you a buzzed jaunt to the corner store.
Overall, D2C startups are growing a ton despite a lack of technological breakthroughs in nutrition. Many claim their products are well supported by science and academic research, but direct to consumerism in nutrition has been – in our humble opinion – mostly driven by innovations in the customer experience than anything else.
Heavy investment in marketing
What’s proved true for new direct to consumer brands in general is also true of D2C nutrition startups: heavy investment in paid media is an effective way to grow brand awareness and acquire new customers. These startups are deploying large ad budgets to stay ahead of the competition, and show a high willingness to pay to acquire new customers. Investor’s dollars are shelled out for social ads, search engine optimization and SEM, as well as robust affiliate programs, and offline channels such as radio and TV.
Attractive introductory offers
Whether it’s a first free month from Noom, free shipping for life, or a week of free meals from Blue Apron, D2C startups in the nutrition space are using eye-catching intro offers to entice consumers. The idea is that once you try their product or service, it’ll be too convenient to give up, kind of like Uber or Lyft. For many in the ecosystem, it’s unclear how sticky their offerings really are, and whether the economics of heavily subsidizing early adoption will pan out in the long-run. But for those in ultra-competitive niches like meal delivery or online vitamin subscriptions, offering health-conscious consumers something for free may be the only way to get noticed.
What markets are top nutrition brands disrupting?
While nutrition is a broad term and encompasses a lot of product categories from food to vitamins to weight-loss and more. Here are a few of the hottest markets that D2C nutrition startups are disrupting:
- Organic health foods
- At-home meal prep
- Weight loss coaching
- Specialty pet food
- Personalized supplement plans
- Alcohol delivery
- Gut health testing
….And that’s really just the tip of the iceberg. Like most industries, nutrition startups are going direct to consumer, and it’s an incredibly exciting time to be following the space. There’s so much changing that we couldn’t have possibly covered it all — what did we miss? Comment below or drop us a line via email. Let us know if you think we ought to add your favorite D2C nutrition startup to our list. And to discover more amazing startups changing the world as we know it, check out this.