People all over the world take regular vitamins or supplements in the hopes of improving their health and wellbeing. But this healthy habit could be costing consumers big bucks.
Michal Golkiewicz says consumers waste millions of dollars every year on unnecessary or low-quality vitamin products. Now, he and co-founder Tomasz Styk have launched Sundose to make quality vitamins more personalised, cost-effective and convenient than ever.
Based in Europe, Sundose is disrupting the US$123 billion global vitamin and supplements industry by delivering personalisation vitamins, minerals and probiotics at scale. We spoke with Michal to find out more about how Sundose makes it happen.
Firstly, should everyone be taking vitamins and supplements? Why is it so confusing for consumers?
“Supplements are a concentrated form of food and they provide the ingredients that you might have missed in your daily food intake. If you have a perfect diet, you don’t need supplements at all! But the reality is that a lot of people have a poor diet, bad habits or lifestyle factors that can become more significant problems over time. It’s confusing for consumers because many supplements on the market rely on marketing hype; they’re leveraging a one-size-fits-all model; not necessarily reliable expert knowledge and personalisation.
“We started Sundose to solve a few key problems. The first is that customers often don’t know how to choose the right ingredients and as a result, they choose supplements impulsively - often based on ads or packaging. Secondly, many supplement ingredients are of poor quality and consumers simply don’t realise. Lastly, it’s difficult to build a habit. Supplements work if they are taken regularly, so even if a customer knows how to select the right supplements, they might not be consistent, especially if they have multiple jars to store.”
What is Sundose’s approach to these problems?
We’re tackling all three. We use formulas that have been developed by recognised doctors and nutrition experts and that are supported by the latest scientific research. Plus, we only use high-quality ingredients. We also bring a much deeper level of personalisation to the process by gathering data about each user so that we can select the best possible recommendation based on their current nutritional needs, lifestyle and goals.
“Then, we make it easy to stick to a vitamin regime because convenience is crucial to building and sustaining users' habits. We deliver a 30-day supply of daily sachets with each user’s personalised mix, straight to their door. With a subscription model, the formulas evolve to suit users’ changing needs and they can manage their recipe from their smartphone. Very quickly, we’ve been able to serve more than 4,500 customers and deliver more than 130,000 personalised sachets per month.”
How are you able to deliver a high level of personalisation, especially as you grow?
“We’ve developed an online health survey that helps us assess a user’s individual needs and preferences. But for users who want even more personalisation, we can also use additional insights from fitness wearables and blood tests. From there, we develop a personalised mix of vitamins, minerals, omega-3 acids, probiotics and antioxidants for each user, which is then verified by our nutrition experts before it goes into production.
“Because we’re basing the formulas on the latest information from each user and delivering on a monthly basis, the mix can evolve with each customer, based on the changes in their lifestyle and health and fitness goals. They’re getting just the nutrients they need daily, in just the right quantities.”
What’s next on the horizon for Sundose?
“We want Sundose to be a default supplement choice for customers, having them switch to Sundose and not having them worry about any other supplementation at all. Our customers are very important to us and so we are constantly striving for perfection and still improving our product. We are also hiring the best people so we can bring better results.”
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