There’s been a boom of product development in the keto space, which caters to consumers adhering to a ketogenic diet.
In short, it’s a low-carb, high-fat eating pattern that prompts the human body to burn fat instead of carbohydrates for energy (known as a state of ketosis).
According to an index of products compiled by market research firm Innova Market Insights, product launches using keto claims went up dramatically from under 100 SKUs in 2015 to around 300 in 2016. By 2017, the company indexed around 520 new SKUs of such products—a 52% compound annual growth rate between 2013 to 2017.
Proponents of the ketogenic diet argue that, unlike other ‘fad diets’ that have buzzed among consumers, the keto diet is rooted in medical research and has an extensive body of research, though mostly used in the context of pedriatic epilepsy.
The Vitamin Shoppe is capitalizing on this trend by housing and highlighting all the keto products it carries in one section of its bricks-and-mortar stores nationwide, as well as a special digital storefront on its ecommerce platform.
"Similar to many health and wellness options, the Keto diet requires expert insight, knowledge and resources in order to be successful," Dave Mock, executive vice president and chief merchandising and marketing fficer at The Vitamin Shoppe, said in a press release issued yesterday.
"With KETO HQ, we aim to be a trusted advisor to our customers who have embraced the Keto lifestyle, which can be complex at times, by providing them with guidance from highly knowledgeable resources and the products to aid them on their journey."
Partnership with Dr. Axe
The retailer inked a deal with Dr. Josh Axe to serve as ambassador of Keto HQ. Dr. Axe is founder of Ancient Nutrition, a booming dietary supplement brand that secured $103 million in investments led by VMG Partners in March this year to grow its bone broth, collagen, and keto product empire.
Searches on Google for 'keto diet' rose exponentially in 2018. To note, a search on Google doesn't always mean Internet surfers are looking for a specific term for positive reasons, an uptick can be triggered by everything from a celebrity endorsement to a highly publicized null study.
"I am thrilled to partner with The Vitamin Shoppe on our co-mission to support the health of millions of people using the Keto diet," said Dr. Axe. "The Vitamin Shoppe is one of the first retailers to offer an entire section in its stores devoted to those who are looking to improve their health using Keto supplements and snacks."
In addition to Ancient Nutrition, Keto HQ will house supplements and snacks from a variety of other brands that meet the specific needs of the keto diet, including KetoLogic, Sparta Nutrition, Bulletproof, Ketologie, and more.
Products in this category tend to market high fat content (from sources like coconut MCT oil), very low to no carbohydrates, and even external ketone ingredients (like beta-hydroxybutryate).