Editor's Spotlight: Startup Focus
Serious superfood: Plant-based supplement startup says transparency is 'a basic consumer right'
Launched onto market around nine months ago, the pressed capsule supplements are grouped into functional collections: MORE detox (spirulina and chlorella); MORE metabolism (guarana and maca); MORE glow (baobab and ginseng); and MORE multinutrient that contains a blend of all six. Each collection can be ordered online as a three-week supply, some as a 12-week supply.
Speaking to NutraIngredients, Alessandra Sollberger, founder and CEO of Evermore, said the company is driven by three key principles: transparency, quality and sustainability – all of which are becoming increasingly important to consumers.
“All these go together. For us, it's almost like an overarching principle,” Sollberger said.
“One of the reasons I started this company is I was so surprised there is still so much lack of transparency and quality in dietary supplements. ...Transparency just has to become a basic consumer right; it's no longer an option.”
'Consumers do look for better alternatives'
Sollberger said so many supplements on the market contain fillers that don't need to be disclosed up to a certain level just to bulk out the product to a certain size or volume. This, she said, inevitably distills a lack of confidence and trust amongst consumers. “There's so much of that and I find it so surprising because this is something you put into your body. ...It should just be what it is.”
Evermore supplements are organic, fair trade and free from GMOs and toxic chemicals, she said, all sourced responsibly from around the globe.
Whilst she said the industry as a whole is starting to change which is encouraging, particularly the US, there is “still a way to go”.
“It's about having straightforward communication,” she said. “Consumers do look for better alternatives, it's not like there are incredible offerings on the market in terms of fulfilling these premises, so there is a willingness to look.”
Consumers are no longer okay taking things without questions, she said, and eventually the technology and science will catch up as enablers of this. Similarly, consumers are increasingly looking for experiences with product purchases, Sollberger said, which is what prompted the development of packages or collections of supplements.
“What I think it comes down to is people want to feel a certain way. So, we go about the functions and the way we like to think about the ingredients and the superfoods we work with by asking 'what are you after?' ...We think about lifestyle; we're a lifestyle brand. We think about finding the right way to fit into how your lifestyle should, or how you'd like, it to be.”
Protein powders up next...
Sollberger said Evermore is currently working on a vegan protein powder that should launch at the end of this year or early next, marking the company's first forage away from capsules.
Asked if the move has anything to do with 'pill fatigue', she said: “At the end of the day, I'm not too fussed about the format – pills or powders or whatever it is – as long as the product itself and what it delivers resonates with the customers. Thinking there's pill fatigue is a very trend-driven idea and I don't want to go there and be trend-driven in a superficial way, I want to consider – 'does this fulfil the main function that consumers want?'”
Protein in powder form will also connect on a mainstream consumer level as it's familiar, she said.
In the coming year, the company will also expand into the US as a secondary market behind the UK rather than Europe.
“It's simpler [than Europe] because it's a much bigger market, it's very educated, there's a lot of demand and rather than having to tackle geography by geography; by languages; by requirements; by preferences, you just go after one with the US. And, our type of brand resonates with consumers there,” Sollberger said.