Americans spent a mind-boggling $21 billion on herbals supplements and vitamins in 2015. This figure has only increased in recent years, as more consumers than ever are out to find powders and pills that help them achieve their unique health goals.
But in today’s digital world, where countless products are at our fingertips, generic vitamins are no longer enough—according to the many personalized supplement brands, at least.
Is the era of one-size-fits-all over when it comes to vitamins? Let’s explore the leading personalized vitamin startups to see whether their products deliver on the hype.
The major personalized vitamin brands
If you’re an Instagram addict or a follower of fitness trends, chances are you’ve seen personalized vitamins. After all, they’re everywhere. This new health trend comes hot on the heels of multivitamins, probiotics and herb supplements—all of which have likewise been enjoying their moments in the sun.
As the name suggests, personalized vitamins companies aim to give users specific vitamin packs or mixes according to their unique needs. The leading companies in the space are using various techniques to tailor vitamins according to what your body requires. Here are some of the leading brands of the moment.
Care/of offers essential nutrients delivered monthly to consumers’ doorsteps. Pair this with the brand’s extensive marketing strategy, and it’s no surprise that Care/of has quickly become the go-to company for personalized vitamins.
How do they provide that customized mix? You need to fill in a questionnaire when you sign up that records basic details like age, gender and location. From there, you’ll be lead to more health-related questions covering things like your dietary habits, amount of sleep and drinking routine.
After you identify specific health goals like digestion, energy and better skin, Care/of lists a number of vitamin recommendations based on your unique needs. Care/of mentions why they’re recommending you take particular supplements and provides studies that outline their functions and claims. Compared to vitamins sold on Amazon, Care/of is priced slightly higher; you’re paying more for the customization they offer.
If personalized vitamin packs feel like too much of a hassle, Care/of recently launched a Quick Sticks line that could be more up your alley. These are energy boosters that cost $5 a pack and come in four flavors: nutrients such as probiotics, caffeine and B12, among others.
GOOP is Gwyneth Paltrow’s wellness company—but we don’t need to tell you that, do we? GOOP claims to have sold more than $100,000 worth of products on its launch day alone. Obviously, a celebrity endorsement doesn’t hurt a brand, but the trending term “personalized” lures in customers just the same.
Goop’s customized supplements and vitamins cater to women’s needs and claim to fight everything from ageing to decreased immunity. They’re ingeniously designed to speak to common health issues: “My body isn’t responding to diet and exercise the way it used to,” and “I’m working really hard, at an intense pace, and don’t have time to slow down or get sick” are just two varieties of GOOP supplement mixes.
The company asserts that all their products are developed using carefully tested ingredients and sources. It remains to be seen if these products do help consumers in the long run.
Another company, Ritual, is directed only at women, declaring that their products have the nine important nutrients every female body requires.
Other companies like VitaMe, Vitamin Packs and Vous Vitamins offer personalized supplements more along the lines of Care/of products.
All customized vitamin companies work in a similar manner. With the help of the information you provide, they help streamline your vitamin requirements. After that, they send you personalized packages that motivate users to stay on track with daily vitamin doses. For instance, Care/of sends sachets with a user’s name printed on them. This “you can do it” attitude seems to be working out so far, given the sector’s spiking sales. But whether these customized mixes produce better results has yet to be seen.
Do we need personalized vitamins?
Men and women need different vitamins (and doses). The loss of iron during menstrual cycles, for instance, means women need more of this supplement than men do. The same goes for calcium, as the cell turnover rate for women is faster than in men. But is an online form a comprehensive diagnosis of your vitamin needs? While this might be a move in the right direction, it’s always better to consult a doctor before signing up for nutrients.
Personalized vitamins have caught on quick because they offer a trendy solution for millennials who are willing to try new things to reach peak health. But as with other dietary supplements, these products come without FDA testing. And consulting a nutritionist or getting actual genetic testing are still more tried-and-true ways to determine the exact nutrients your body needs to perform at its best.