Gummy startup builds bold portfolio to hit the mark for the masses
The nutritional gummy brand launched in 2020, is on a mission to make affordable, understandable, and practical vitamins that are available to everyone.
The company was founded by husband-and-wife duo Fabian and Louise Whittingham, addressing gaps in the market due to frustratingly limited options for their son.
Speaking to NutraIngredients, Fabian explains: “The decision to start Nutrigums was partly due to personally experiencing a lack of choice when searching for gummies that our 21-year-old son Jack could use, as he has learning disabilities and autism and won’t swallow tablets and capsules.”
The couple realised they “could come up with an exciting brand that would eventually provide more choice for consumers such as our Jack, who are limited in what type of format they can use, as well as nutrition consumers in general.”
Once the concept was there, they knew they wanted a brand that conveyed fun and cheer, explaining that it was important to create a brand that aligned with their ethos.
He states: “We didn’t want to look pharmaceutical or like another traditional supplement brand, and really wanted to have a fun, playful and colourful theme to show we are just normal people that are simply trying to make a change to consumers’ health in a positive way.”
Explaining their brand ethos, Fabian states: “Our motto is ‘vitamins shouldn’t be hard to swallow’ which we feel is fitting for today’s consumers who are looking for convenient ways in which to take supplements.”
He continues: “It is evident to see a clear change in consumer habits when it comes to taking daily nutritional supplements, with convenience as a very strong driver in product development.”
He also notes that consumers are looking for quality, trending natural and plant-based ingredients, ease-of-use, and a wide variety of products with different functions, and that Nutrigums aims to fill those requirements by using pectin fruit base (rather than bovine gelatine) as a gelling agent, and only including natural colours and flavourings.
They now have a catalogue of 15 products, but Fabian recognises that a couple of their more popular products follow wider trends within the industry such as gut and mental health.
One best seller is the ‘Apple Cider’ gummy, formulated with an well-rounded vitamin complex designed to target overall health with benefits to the immune system, metabolism, energy, tiredness, and fatigue.
Another is the ‘Women’s Vitality’ product, designed to support hair and skin appearance during all seasons.
And they are soon to be launching two new products: ‘Happy Skin Gummies’ made using VeCollal, the ‘vegan collagen’ alternative; and ‘Microbiome Multi-Strain Gummies’, a multi-strain probiotic formula.
Nutrigums use registered nutritional therapists to assist with the product formulations to make sure they are compliant and effective.
Fabian explains that it was his background in new product development (NPD), the wellness sector and contract supply chains that facilitated the launch of Nutrigums.
Before Nutrigums launched, he co-founded NPD wellness business Health Spark, which he says gave him “strong procurement knowledge” and the confidence that after “keeping an eye on the gummy craze for some time,” it was a viable business option.
And it has been, with the business seeing substantial growth in the UK. Nutrigums is now stocked by major UK retailers Superdrug, Morrisons, and Aldi, and the team is working on plans to expand trade through international distribution. Amazon has also proven to be a successful channel, providing a significant year-on-year revenue growth.
It hasn’t all been plane sailing, and Fabian recognises that they have encountered some issues that come with scaling up fast, such as securing funding and limited stock availability to meet growing demand.
He also notes that inflation has impacted their brand, like others, and that “the industry has gone through a period of price volatility over the past few years with excessive freight charges and raw material price increases.”
The business combats this by buying product less frequently and in large volumes, receiving discounts, and helping them navigate cost increases.
Fabian credits much of the business' success to his history and experience in the industry. He says: “As we have very long-standing relationships with key suppliers, we can usually access the right pricing for our products to show best value versus other brands whilst not compromising on quality in any way.”