If you’re like me, when shopping for vitamins you might pick up whatever’s on sale. After all, vitamins are mostly one-size-fits-all, right?
British startup Nourished would very much disagree. The Birmingham, U.K.-based company is trying to shake up the supplement space by using 3D printing technology to create personalized vitamins made specifically for you.
First you answer a short questionnaire on the Nourished website describing your lifestyle, health issues and nutrition goals. Nourished’s algorithm then builds you a unique “stack” out of their 28 “nourishments.” (You can also build your own stack if you already know what ingredients you want.) The company then 3D prints bespoke, layered vitamins just for you out of vegan gel — which end up looking like rainbow gummy candy — and deliver to your door every month.
Why 3D print the vitamins? According to Nourished’s Head of Brand, Caitlin Stanley, manufacturing supplements via 3D printing opens up a whole new world of personalization possibilities. Typically, active ingredients that show up in vitamins — like ashwagandha and Vitamin A — interfere with each other when combined into the same capsule. However, by printing these ingredients on top of each other, Nourished can fuse them into the same bite-sized supplement.
Each Nourished box comes with 28 stacks meant to be taken once a day. The vitamins are individually packaged “to maintain efficacy,” according to Stanley, who added that the packaging is compostable.
If there’s one thing that might put people off of Nourished, it’s the price. The service costs £39.99 (~ $51.00) a month, which is significantly more than your average vitamin bottle off the pharmacy shelf. However, the cost is on par with other personalized D2C vitamin services, like Care/Of.
When I asked about competitors, Stanley was adamant that Nourished is the only company out there right now creating a truly personalized supplement. Care/Of basically just aggregates a variety of pills into a single pouch, while Nourished actually combines all of the ingredients into a bespoke bite-size supplement made specifically for the individual.
Nourished just launched a little over six weeks ago, so it’s in the very early stages. Right now it’s only shipping in the U.K. However, Stanley told me that the company plans to head to the U.S. in 2020. The company has raised a seed round for an undisclosed amount and currently has a team of twenty-five.
Personalization is a hot trend in the food space right now. Consumers want all aspects of their diet tailored to their exact preferences, from recipes to drive-thru orders to the foam topping your craft cocktail. But when it comes to health and nutrition, customization should be “first and foremost,” said Stanley. We’ll see if Nourished’s 3D printing strategy can help them be first and foremost in the personalized vitamin space, too.
If you’re interested in what’s coming next in personalized nutrition, you’ve got to be at Customize. The one-day event in New York City will explore the world of food personalization throughout the meal journey. Grab your Early Bird ticket before they’re all sold out!