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Pod power? Israeli sports-tech startup Fitto wants to 'globally reinvent' supplement delivery

By Kacey Culliney

- Last updated on GMT

Pod power? Israeli sports-tech startup Fitto wants to 'globally reinvent' supplement delivery
Israel-headquartered Fitto has designed a 'smart' bottle and pod delivery system for supplements that is linked to a personalised nutrition app to tailor and track consumption.

Founded two years ago, the Israeli data intelligence firm will launch its first nutrition pods and custom bottle in around four months, in partnership with two of Israel's major supplements players.

The patented 'smart' bottle is designed to contain a tailored supplement pod – the contents of which are powdered and made by nutrition and supplements firms – that is released into the bottle and mixed by shaking. It has a scanning unit to track when a supplement has been inserted and what kind it is, a transmitter that links up to a personal device, and a display unit to give instructions to the consumer, like optimal times to take the supplement, based on analysis of the supplement versus nutrition needs and goals pre-built into the accompanying app.

Speaking to NutraIngredients, Yaniv Lavi, CEO and co-founder of Fitto, said the primary goal is to improve the overall user experience of taking supplements; making it simpler and more personalised. 

FITTObottle.jpeg

“The idea is to globally reinvent the product delivery method for supplements,”​ Lavi said. “The pods are consumed with a bottle, which is smart, to make the whole process of taking supplements very easy and simple for the end consumer.”

Pill fatigue is a very real issue, he said, and many customers also struggle with powders, gels and liquid mixes - “carrying them around, it's a hassle”. ​In addition, he said many lack knowledge on consumption management – when to integrate dietary supplements into their daily lives or fitness regimes and what dosage to take.

“I do Cross Fit and training and I've just seen a lot of people taking supplements scantily educated, myself included at times, so I realised there were a lot of gaps in the supplements space. We thought first, let's make it easy, then make it smart.”

Connected nutrition – user, industry, expert

Lavi said for consumers, the bottle-pod-app system makes using dietary supplements and tracking progress extremely easy, working towards pre-determined goals and understanding nutrition needs better.

For industry, he said it provides a chance to be part of that easier option with branded pods and, importantly, access a rich data set around when and why consumers are using their product. “We provide industry with a kind of Google Analytics about how people are using their product​.”

The increase in cost for supplements manufacturers is minimum and of course they will be able to charge a premium for the pods, he said, meaning the technology suits not only the big companies but the small players too.

“Every time you shrink a package and make it more personalised you can increase the price point. So, it's even an advantage for smaller players because we can offer them a better way to operate in the space of big companies.”

Beyond this, Lavi said the system also makes it possible for the likes of nutritionists, dieticians and trainers to get involved, he said, giving consumers the power to work with these experts via the app. “It's going to be a really cool peer to peer option for nutritionists to connect with their clients,” ​he said.

Overall, Fitto provides a “much more personalised”​ approach for consumers, Lavi said, and gives industry the opportunity to be part of “the new age of connected nutrition”.

“Connected nutrition is making everything speak to each other and everybody happy...Connected nutrition is the whole idea of Fitto – it's an infrastructure, not a gadget.”

More than personalised nutrition?

It's one step ahead of personalised nutrition, Lavi said, because it goes deeper; connecting data and insight with a product directly.

Whilst there are lots of very innovative fitness monitoring systems on the market like FitBits, apps tracking steps or weight loss, human DNA profiling, he said none of these are truly linked to consumption, yet.

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“What's the meaning of how many steps you took or how long you ran? How do you give those a meaning? Our idea and vision is to be the hub and centralise that data about a person and give it meaning... It's a call for action, that's exactly what we're doing. We're here to use that data and give that meaning and by doing that, we actually empower industry as well.”

Lavi said Fitto is open to working with tech companies that have monitoring apps or tracking devices to strengthen this concept further and is not fixed to sports nutrition entirely, with children's nutrition, pro sports, military projects and even work in hospitals all viable options.

“The beautiful part of how we designed this system is the pods can work with any powder form. The whole discharging system and pod structure is proprietary but the customisation or possibilities around it like bottle size, colours, amounts – it's endless to make it a better fit for children or pro athletes or hospital apps,” ​Lavi said.

“...Healthcare and medicine is more complex, more advanced – we would want to face and handle that later on in the pipeline.”

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