Ritual adds plant-based protein shakes to the nutritional supplement line


Ritual offers shakes and vitamins.

About 10 miles up the street from Beyond Meat Inc., another local company is looking for pea protein to grow their bottom line.

Instead of burgers, Natals Inc. from Culver City, which operates as Ritual, markets a plant-based protein shake

The Essential Protein line from Ritual, launched in May, consists of three sugar-free vanilla
flavored products, each aimed at a different target group: young adults, people over 50 and pregnant or postpartum women.

The powders can be consumed with “water or a kind of nut milk (that’s how it is) really easy and convenient”, says the founder and managing director Katerina Schneider, who launched Ritual in 2016 as a subscription-based direct consumer food supplement manufacturer.

“I think we have the potential to become a multibillion dollar company in the next five years – probably even sooner – and our protein category will grow as fast as our multivitamin category,” she said. “In fact, we see that it is our biggest launch yet.”

Ritual, which employs 100 people, declined to release annual sales but said it would be profitable in the second half of 2020.

“We want the company and the brand to be a household name, and we always think about the fastest way to do that, be it going public or selling … but right now we’re super focused and focused simply on growth, ”said Schneider. “We doubled our sales last year and continue to scale very quickly.”

Schneider founded Ritual after working at Atom Factory Inc., an entertainment company based in Culver City whose founder Troy Carter has investments in approximately 80 companies including Uber Technologies Inc., Spotify, Dropbox Inc., Warby Parker Inc., and Lyft Inc. .

“I always knew I wanted to start a company, but wasn’t sure what it would be,” says Schneider. The idea for Ritual came up when she was pregnant with her first child and had difficulty finding a prenatal vitamin brand “that was both scientifically proven and a traceable supply chain.”
Schneider used most of Ritual’s $ 1.3 million seed capital to research and develop vitamins, which are made from “forms of ingredients that all of our bodies can use,” and which are formulated to work Fill gaps in your diet and no artificial flavors or synthetic fillers.

Traceable ingredients
The ingredients in Ritual’s products are also traceable – for example, the vitamin D comes from Great Britain, the omega-3 from Saskatoon in Canada and the folate used in its prenatal vitamins comes from Italy.

The company said it has so far raised “north of $ 50 million” from a pool of investors that include Forerunner Ventures, Norwest Venture Partners, Founders Fund and Upfront Ventures.

Ritual’s first product, a nine-ingredient multivitamin for women aged 18 and over, was launched in October 2016, followed by a prenatal vitamin two years later. A similar dietary supplement for women over 50 was launched in 2019, and a daily multivitamin for men was launched last year.

Ritual said its target customer is a family’s “chief health officer” – a millennial parent or parent-to-be who “makes the majority of household purchasing decisions.”

The company focuses on this person because, according to Schneider, “he or she not only cares about their health, but their family’s health comes first, and that was very important to us.”

“We know this customer because we as a company are that customer, and we know how to market this customer, speak to this customer better than anyone,” she added.

The company’s move towards prenatal vitamins was also rewarded.

“Two years after we launched the multivitamin, we launched a prenatal vitamin and now (it) one of the leading prenatal vitamins in the US, which is super exciting,” said Schneider. “For many people it is an entry point into the brand and into our world, and it is the best entry point because, as you can imagine, you really have to trust the brand very much at this time (crucial time).”

Schneider brought Nima Alamdari on board as Chief Scientific Officer in 2018. Prior to joining Ritual, Alamdari was the director of research and development at Beachbody Co. Group, a Santa Monica-based subscription health and wellness company.

“He thought Ritual had this really great opportunity to create a traceable supply chain when it comes to (the protein) category, just like we did with the multivitamin category, and I said, ‘Yeah, it is interesting. ‘”She said. “It took us a while to align. He made it clear how important this product would be and how exciting it would be, especially for pregnancy. “

Products for the life phase
Ritual’s take on vegetable protein involves sourcing peas from a regenerative farm in Wisconsin and combining them with methionine, a sulfur-containing amino acid, and choline, a nutrient found in foods like eggs, beef liver, salmon, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts.

“We designed this product for different phases of life … because the needs for those phases of life are different, and that was really groundbreaking for this category where there was always one size fits all,” said Schneider.

“There will be a lot of launches in the next 12 months,” said Schneider. “I think the protein category itself is very, very massive, and the supplement industry is tens of billions of dollars (worth) tens of billions of dollars in the US alone. There’s a lot of potential, but I think the umbrella vision type is really the best.” daily health in general. ”

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