Back in 2015, food tech entrepreneur Melissa Snover first partnered with a company called Katjes to launch The Magic Candy Factory 3D printer, which fabricates customized gummy candies in a variety of fun shapes, including customer faces. But, she thought ahead to the future, and pulled a complete 180 two years ago when she founded personalized nutrition company Rem3dy Health Group, which 3D prints custom nutritional supplements and medicine, rather than candy, under her brands Nourished and Scripted. Snover explained that, while the idea of 3D printing candy was both educational and engaging, she realized that it didn’t truly take advantage of the technology’s many benefits, such as the ability to fabricate custom goods and items.
Now, RiverPark Ventures-backed Rem3dy Health is growing again, with plans to expand production to the US and use its patented additive manufacturing (AM) technology to make protein bars. UK-based Nourished is getting a little extra help in this endeavor, with the announcement that it’s raised $11 million in a Series A financing round led by Cibus Fund and ADM Ventures. This latter firm is the corporate venture capital arm of ADM, which connects crops to markets on six continents in order to increase access to nutrition worldwide.
“I’m thrilled to announce that Get Nourish3d has officially closed it’s series A funding round! After a year like no other, I’m truly overwhelmed at the success that Nourished has seen,” Snover wrote in a recent LinkedIn post. “Our revenues have grown by over 600% in the past year, and with this latest investment we’ll be able to scale up production across markets in line with demand and invest in other areas of the business. Thank you to everyone in my team that has made this incredible achievement possible.”
Henkel X and Apater Capital also contributed to the funding round with follow-on investments, and the company’s total value now sits above $71.6 million. This definitely positions Rem3dy Health to scale up in the global nutrition market, first with its vitamin gummy products and now with its protein bars.
“ADM has been developing innovative precision nutrition solutions for years. As technology develops, and the ability to personalize nutrition evolves, we anticipate long- term consumer demand will continue to intensify,” Ian Pinner, ADM’s SVP and Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer, said. “Research we conducted late last year shows 31% of consumers are already purchasing more products tailored to their personal health. And, close to half of consumers report that every individual requires a custom nutrition and exercise plan, regardless of their own unique circumstances.”
As mentioned earlier, Snover was smart to think ahead to the future, and realize that, while custom 3D printed gummies are fun, it isn’t a sustainable business option in the long-term. In 2019, she realized that personalized nutrition products were booming, and decided to move in that direction, bringing her patented 3D printing method along with her.
“Whilst running my previous business Magic Candy Factory, I recognized the potential for the 3D printing technology I’d developed. I wanted it to make a real difference in people’s lives, but in order to do that, we had to go further than confectionery,” Snover explained.
Her goal for Rem3dy Health is “authentically personalized nutrition in a single daily format.” Visitors to the Nourished site first complete a questionnaire, and then receive a recommendation for the seven best active ingredients to help optimize their lifestyle goals. Then, those ingredients are 3D printed, on-demand, into a vegan hydrocolloid gel, though Snover is aware that some nutrients will interfere with the potency of others when put together.
“We remove this issue completely with our method. In the case of superfoods and active ingredients where this is not applicable, we use the minimal efficient dosage recommendation from the largest and most peer reviewed clinical trials,” Snover explained. “We don’t include any ingredients in our options list which don’t have at least one human trial that has been published in a medical journal and peer reviewed. This has less to do with the technology and more to do with my belief that you should treat your customers with respect as how you would want to be treated.”
The company will be using its latest funding to build a third production facility in its native UK and a factory in the US, where supplements will be produced for local consumers, in addition to supporting future product development. Snover and her team will work closely with new partner ADM to develop the concept for the company’s personalized protein bars, which should hit the market in Q4 2021. The two businesses will create supplements focused on gut health, due to ADM’s expertise related to postbiotics, functional bioactive compounds generated during fermentation.
“Unlike probiotics or prebiotics, postbiotics can be heat-treated. This allows us to combine the biotic with other ingredients, opening up an enormous opportunity to personalize a wide range of functional food and beverage products. Categories such as bars, snacks, sports drinks and other beverages, are the ones that we have solutions for already,” Pinner explained.
Snover estimates that these new products should generate more than $10 million in sales and bring its total customers up to 30,000 a month by the end of the year. Next year, she said the company will then work on creating new customized pet solutions.
But lest we forget where Rem3dy Health got its start, Snover also explained that the 3D printed vitamin gummies Nourished excels in can typically be delivered to customers within three days, which makes it a perfect direct-to-consumer business model.
“We also recognize the power of retail, especially experience-based activations. As such, we have recently partnered with Selfridges in the UK as part of their Project Earth initiative focused on bringing more sustainable products and brands to the market,” Snover said. “We have also launched our first ever live printing demonstrations in store. Customers can engage with a consultation, much like on the website, and are then recommended one of our 13 pre-blended Nourished Life Stacks, blends which are made with individuals’ specific needs, goals and life events in mind.”
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