Despite GNC, the vitamin-shop giant, announcing the closure of about 200 stores this year, vitamins and supplements are still a thriving market for at least one direct-to-consumer brand that’s releasing a new product today.
Care/of, which was founded in 2016, is a monthly subscription box of vitamins and supplements. The company is releasing its second major product line, flavored powder packets called Quick Sticks that are designed to target short-term needs like extra energy or immunity. As part of the release, Care/of is delivering Quick Sticks to people in Manhattan on May 23.
“The Quick Sticks are things where people sometimes just need a little bit of a boost,” said Craig Elbert, co-founder and CEO of Care/of and former vice president of marketing at Bonobos. “The idea is you’ve got your daily routine with vitamins but oftentimes, people need a little bit of boost. How do we make sure to offer that to them in a convenient manner?”
Care/of is selecting people who comment on the company’s Instagram post, sending them a direct message and locating them so it can send a “caped crusader” (an employee wearing a Care/of cape) to deliver the product. The Quick Sticks come in five categories: immunity, digestion, energy, sleep and soon, stress. Each pack retails for $5 and comes with five ready-to-eat sticks—no need to drop anything into a cup of water and dissolve.
Consumers not in Manhattan can get Quick Sticks by taking a short quiz on the company’s website, get suggestions for which vitamins and Quick Sticks they should take and order a personalized vitamin box. Elbert said the average order is $35 and that boxes range from $20 to $90.
As the direct-to-consumer trend continues to bulk up, vitamin companies like Care/of see an opportunity to market straight to millennials and Gen Zers. The vitamin and supplement industry is also a healthy $36 billion industry, and while there are clear cracks in the market—like odd regulations (supplements, for example, are regulated under food and not drugs, per the U.S. Food and Drug Administration)—it’s still thriving.