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Big Little Bar says you can have all your daily vitamins, as a treat

The brand is reimagining the multivitamin while keeping the ritual, says president Ashley Hocking.

Big Little Bar says you can have all your daily vitamins, as a treat

People tend to have strong emotions associated with the things they put into their bodies, so words and presentation matter.

Say, “It’s time to take your medicine,” and that may elicit groans. Taking pills is not something people tend to enjoy, and as a result may be easier to skip. On the other hand, it’s also good for them, and even critical to health in many cases.

Now, say, “It’s snack time,” and people tend to perk up. A treat is something they’re probably going to make time for, and look forward to every day. The flipside here is that the snack may not be the healthiest option – in fact, it probably isn’t most of the time.

So the question becomes, how do you take nutrients that are good for people and present it in a way that makes them perk up when it’s time to eat.

Big Little Bar is looking to provide the answer.

The brand created a bar that is designed to provide 100% of a person’s 13 daily essential vitamins and Omega-3s, while also tasting good. The team set out to provide a product for women that reimagined the multivitamin.

“Big Little Bar was born out of the idea that our foods should be doing more for us,” said Big Little Bar President Ashley Hocking said. “After uncovering the data around how many women are not getting all the essential nutrients through food alone – nutrients critical to protecting our mind and body as we age – we knew we wanted to create a solution that was able to give women these critical nutrients in an effective, enjoyable and convenient way.”

With the growth of wellness in recent years, there is more convergence of medicine and food. Data from The Hartman Group shows that nearly half of functional food and beverage consumers are using these products as a ‘treatment’ as opposed to a prevention. They’re seeking improved bone health, improved gut health and more. The idea of food as medicine is now tangible.

As they set out to bring that to life in product form, Hocking said the team observed how the multivitamin hasn’t changed much over 30 years. At the same time, gummy vitamins have been rising in popularity. While they can go down easier than a capsule and are almost candy-like, the brand’s team took notice of how many of these products have potentially harmful additives like gums, sugar alcohols and artificial dyes. Further, they often don’t deliver all of the daily nutrients in one product.

“We believe that we will continue to see innovative formats for supplements…as pill fatigue is real,” Hocking said. Especially for younger generations, supplements and pills are what their parents take to stay healthy, and it works for them and their lifestyle, so it’s no surprise that the younger generations also want something that fits their unique and busy lifestyle, as well.”

(Courtesy of Big Little Bar)

The Big Little Bar team believes they’ve improved on existing multivitamin options in three areas.

For one, they wanted it to taste better. As Hocking puts it, “Who says taking your vitamins can’t taste like a delicious snack?”

They also wanted it to have more and better nutrients. Omega-3s have great benefits for heart and brain health, as well as beauty. But too few people are getting enough of them, Hocking said. The vitamins in the bar would likely require many different capsules to deliver.

Finally, they put a priority on better absorption into the body. This was another big reason why they landed on food. The inclusion of chocolate chips and dried cranberry bits served to sweeten the deal, not only to give consumers seeking something to look forward to, but because they help the body better process these nutrients.

When it came to the format for the product, the bar stood out. It was “familiar and relatable,” Hocking said. Plus, they wanted it to fit with people’s busy schedules, and more than 80% of people consume a bar daily already.

The result is a bar that the team hopes can become the center of a daily wellness ritual. It’s designed to replace the dread of taking medicine that can be associated with multivitamins with the delight of a snack.

“With Big Little Bar we wanted to create a new product category to help differentiate us from the other supplement brands out there,” Hocking said. “...We are also positioning this as a product that fits your lifestyle, something you can take on the go and consume at your convenience.”

Currently, the bars are sold direct-to-consumer through the brand’s web store. The fact that it’s designed to be a daily product is underscored in how it’s sold. Consumers can purchase a subscription for $63, and will receive a new box of bars every 20 days.

The brand launched recently, and is seeing interest already from consumers, media and influencers. The team is preparing for growth to ramp up, and is focused on having the systems in place to do so.

“From an operational perspective, we’re focused on ensuring quality and consistency with the offering as we scale,” Hocking said. “We have our own manufacturing facility which makes the process easier.” On the plus side, they also have to encounter any supply chain issues.

As the product gets out more, the team is looking to continue to listen to customers. For instance, they’re eager to learn exactly how the bars fit into daily routines.

New categories are often formed in bringing together two diametric ideas that people previously hadn't thought to. This one has plenty: Big and little. Food and supplements. Healthy and tasty. Routine and delightful. In the end, the goal is to find the sweet spots between them.

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