Three months after receiving funding from a major venture capital firm, Vitamin Packs is rebranding as Persona Nutrition and celebrating the rebranding by donating 100 percent of Aug. 8 net revenue to Vitamin Angels, a nonprofit that distributes supplements to nutritionally challenged populations.
Founder Jason Brown says the name change was a natural evolution of the company’s personalized nutrition focus. Persona uses an online questionnaire and algorithm to create packets of dietary supplements matched to the consumer's sex, age, diet, health issues, exercise habits and prescription medications. “We’ve zeroed in on the customer's sentiments and zeroed in on the attributes of the company,” Brown said.
Brown said Persona was only just launching at the end of 2017 with a small number of customers, but expects 3,000 percent growth this year. Some 400,000 people have taken the online questionnaire at personanutrition.com. The company was designed to cater packets to the customer but it is the customers who have driven Persona to adapt the offerings further, based on feedback that included a preference for small pills over larger pills and liquid gel caps over tablets. Timed release formulations have also proven popular. “All of those changes have happened based on feedback,” Brown says. “We work for our customers.”
The company received funding from L Catterton in May.
This is not the first time Brown has launched a vitamin packet company. He started a similar offering in 1998 that was eventually sold to drugstore.com in 2003. Brown says the new processes and technology allow better-customized regimens, but the consumer understanding of concepts around personalized nutrition is just as important. “Back then, people were flirting with nutrition and thinking it was cool and interesting,” Brown said. “Now they’re not just testing it, they’re buying into it. They’re signing on and believing in it.” People are looking for “a program, not a quick fix,” he added.
That shift in consumer interest made the name change to Persona Nutrition an obvious step, Brown said, charging that consumers are not interested in “faux personalization.” "Vitamin Packs” did not communicate the depth of the algorithm. “Every single person would like to get a different recommendation,” Brown said.
The day of donations to Vitamin Angels was another obvious move, Brown said. “I’ve supported them since they started.”