Initially set to be sold in over 700 GNC stores across the country, VITL aims to grow its presence in the rest of GNC’s 6,000+ stores nationwide, over the coming year. The two-year-old company argues that by developing online solutions powered by Artificial Intelligence, combined with innovative offerings in retail, it will be well-positioned to compete across the global health and nutrition industry.
Headquartered in London, VITL predominantly sells its products direct to consumers in Europe and the US through an online subscription model. The business also has an established retail footprint in the UK, through Whole Foods Market and Planet Organic, as well as Magasin du Nord in Denmark.
However, “despite significant growth in online sales and advances in technology, some 75% of all purchases in the US’ $100bn supplement market are still made offline,” explained Jonathan Relph, CEO and Founder of VITL, which makes the new deal even more significant.
Pleased to be one of the first UK brands that GNC has stocked in a nationwide rollout, Relph revealed that he’s also “equally excited about the opportunity to continue building a global platform to help people optimise their health.”
And, his ambitious plans to revolutionise healthy living and disrupt the supplement space haven’t gone unnoticed, with notable investors including consumer accelerator TrueStart and the Founders of Zoopla, LoveFilm and Bloom&Wild, backing the brand.
Unlike traditional vitamin and supplement producers, all VITL’s products are free from unnecessary bulking agents and fillers that Relph says are often used to reduce costs. This, the company argues, means each capsule is not only smaller and purer, but also highly absorbable.
However, making a great product is just one piece of the puzzle. In addition to its expert-led supplements, the startup’s decision to ditch old-fashioned brown bottles in favour of sleek (mailbox friendly) packaging, as well as its fresh approach to content marketing, has played a huge role in its ability to capture the attention of the market.
The company’s creation of a cutting-edge app to help its customers keep their nutritional needs in check has also helped to set the brand apart from its competitors.
Driven by the belief that health shouldn’t be a hassle, the free to use interface combines advice from world class experts with AI, to make personalised nutritional advice accessible to all.
“Without the help of a personal nutritionist, determining how best to address your specific nutritional needs can be difficult, confusing and costly. With VITL’s new service we hope to bring similar insight but without the cost,” explained Relph at the time of its launch.
As one of the US’ leading retailers of health and wellness products, GNC’s decision to stock VITL highlights the growing opportunities that are present for British startups to expand into international markets –– a feeling that is echoed by Alex Chesterman, an early investor in VITL and Founder of ZPG, which owns and operates some of Britain’s biggest digital platforms.
“VITL’s distribution through GNC is a huge opportunity and a rare one for a seed-funded business of their size,” explained. But, “as well as being great news for the team, this also sends a very positive international message about the state of the startup scene here in the UK.”
Jonathan Relph, CEO and Founder of VITL will be joining the Welltodo Summit on 13th July, to discuss ‘Innovation in Nutrition & Supplementation’. To hear his insights and be a part of the wellness industry’s most powerful conversation about the business of wellness, get your tickets here.