The Insider Picks team writes about stuff we think you’ll like. Business Insider has affiliate partnerships, so we get a share of the revenue from your purchase
- In just about every industry, traditional companies are being challenged by the nimble nature of startups, which have an easier time catering to the wants and needs of modern customers.
- The health and wellness industry is particularly ripe for change, with consumers always looking for the next diet trend, healthy eating craze, or lifestyle product to turn to.
- Below, you’ll find five startups that are challenging the status quo with simple, transparent products and services, and redefining the way we think about health and wellness in the process.
Health and wellness trends tend to come and go. Right now, celery juice is all the rage. A few months ago, it was activated charcoal water that everyone was drinking to “detox.” And, while the Atkins diet was critiqued in the ’90s for its low-carb limits, the Keto diet is becoming increasingly popular, albeit controversial, today. If anything, our willingness to try new foods, diets, and herbal remedies in the name of improving our health signals a desire for change.
But what is it that we’re looking for?
It’s a question that new companies are constantly asking, thinking about how they might solve common problems, ease frustrations, or make improvements to the status quo. And with consumers eager for change, the health and wellness industry has lots of room for improvement.
Whether it’s vitamins, food, or hygienic products, some of our favorite startups are the ones that are redefining the way we think about, and access, some of our most important and commonly-used products. From choosing higher-quality ingredients to making healthy eating more affordable and accessible, these brands are bettering the products we use to better ourselves — and isn’t that what we’re all searching for?
While health and wellness trends may come and go, we think these ones are in it for the long haul.
Keep reading to learn more about these five startups that are shaking up the health and wellness industry:
Shop essential vitamins at Ritual
The problem: There is an abundance of vitamins with nuanced labeling and confusing language that makes the shopping process intimidating, leading consumers to buy blindly.
Ritual’s solution: This female-centric vitamin brand is all about transparency — in everything from its brand values to its see-through vitamin capsules. When Katerina Schneider, Founder and CEO, was pregnant, she began purging her home of products with questionable ingredients. When it came to finding a prenatal vitamin, she came across a plethora of ingredients she was wary of. Her failed quest ultimately turned into an exciting opportunity — to create better women’s vitamins.
Since 2015, Ritual has been committed to providing women with essential vitamins that are traceable, transparent, and made with high-quality ingredients. These aren’t just meaningless labels, though — Schneider worked tirelessly with doctors, scientists, and nutritionists to settle on the right formula. If you’re still a skeptic, Ritual will help you actually understand what you’re putting in your body. The company offers an essential women’s vitamin and a prenatal option, each made with a minimal number of ingredients (9 and 12, respectively). On the website, you’ll find an in-depth background of each ingredient explaining the benefits and even where it’s made (down to the exact factory), plus you’ll find an interview with the producer.
If you’ve ever struggled to shop the vitamin aisle, let alone try to understand the ingredients list on a particular bottle, Ritual can help. The company takes out the guesswork by offering only two options — essential women’s and essential prenatal — and they use a subscription service model to make vitamins a mainstay in your daily routine. Pricing is $30 a month for their regular vitamins and $35 for the prenatal. Each month you’ll get a clear bottle filled with transparent capsules, in which you can actually see all of the ingredients in your vitamin — all wrapped up a bright, yellow box that’ll make you actually want to take your vitamins every day, two times to be exact.
Shop Essential Women’s Vitamins at Ritual
Learn more about Ritual here
Create a personalized vitamin routine at Care/of
The problem: The one-size-fits-all approach to taking vitamins doesn’t work for everyone.
Care/of’s solution: We all lead unique lives, and just as our approach to eating and exercising is tailored to our way of life, our vitamins should be too. The assumption that gender or age alone can determine exactly what kind of vitamins we need is inadequate, according to Care/of. A more holistic approach to vitamins, one that considers your needs and preferences, is necessary. That’s why Care/of is making vitamins personal.
It all starts with a quick, but in-depth questionnaire. You’ll find questions about more basic things like age and gender, but also more specific ones that address your physical activity, diet, and specific health-related improvements you’re looking to make. After you complete the questions, you’ll get your recommendations. While reading about vitamins isn’t something I would usually find interesting, the site is kind of mesmerizing — providing vital information in a way that is so aesthetically pleasing you won’t be able to look away. With each vitamin recommendation, you’ll get information on what it does, what ingredients it contains, how it’s been researched over the years (and how conclusive this research is), and how it can help a specific concern you addressed in the survey, among other facts.
You can purchase your recommended doses through a monthly subscription service, which will vary in price based on what you have in your box. For reference, I took the quiz and my box came out to be $57 a month. The good news is, if you find the price to be too steep, you can remove any vitamin from your box, for a set of vitamins that works for your body and budget.
Create a personalized vitamin routine at Care/of
Learn more about Care/of here
Thrive Market Instagram
Shop affordable organics at Thrive Market
The problem: Accessibility and affordability (or lack thereof) serve as major obstacles to healthy eating.
Thrive Market’s solution: For most people, shopping for groceries wholesale conjures up thoughts of buying rice and soda in bulk at Costco, while shopping for organic food brings to mind small grocery bags that come with long bills attached. There’s a reason people like to call Whole Foods “Whole Paycheck” instead. While that misnomer is funny, it speaks to the high cost of buying foods that align with our values. Yet, so many of us want to do this — whether that means shopping from fair-trade purveyors for ethical reasons or only buying foods that are paleo for health purposes.
Thrive Market wants to make grocery shopping simple and more affordable, with radically transparent labeling coupled with wholesale prices. It’s a membership service, and a year costs $59.95, which comes down to just $5 a month. From there, you can shop your favorite healthy brands at a fraction of the price. On average, you’ll save between 25-50%. If you grocery shop often, or for a big family, you’ll likely make up the yearly membership fee in savings from your first two orders.
Thrive is committed to doing better in more ways than one. Every product on the website is GMO-free, as Thrive believes that we should know everything we’re putting into our bodies, and deserve to know about chemicals in our food that we wouldn’t be comfortable ingesting. Additionally, Thrive is extending its mission to make healthy eating more affordable and accessible with its Thrive Gives memberships. When you buy a membership to Thrive Market, Thrive will donate a membership to a low-income family, along with educational content and grocery stipends.
Shop affordable organics at Thrive Market
Learn more about Thrive Market here
Order pre-portioned superfood smoothies, soups, and more at Daily Harvest
The problem: Taking the time and money to prep healthy, satisfying meals can be inconvenient and exhausting.
Daily Harvest’s solution: Making a smoothie should be easy enough, right? Just throw in some fruit, maybe a scoop of nut butter or a dash of almond milk and call it day. In reality, mindlessly tossing ingredients into a blender can make for a smoothie that’s a lot less healthy than you intended. And, for many of us, busy schedules make the prep time of chopping fruit, freezing it, and measuring out ingredients feel like a chore.
Daily Harvest makes the process more efficient, sending you cups full of prepped ingredients already perfectly portioned. For most, all you need to do is add is add some liquid and blend or heat up. Daily Harvest has a range of products including smoothies, soups, harvest bowls, and even plant-based cookies. The recipes are crafted by chefs and nutritionists, so they’re just as tasty as they are healthy, and they’re all made with organic ingredients.
Daily Harvest offers a few subscription options that you can cancel, skip, or change at any time. You can choose from a weekly or monthly plan, and then choose how many cups you’d like with each delivery. The least you can get is 9, the most you can get is 24. Prices range from $6.99 to $7.75 a cup based on how big your order is. Online, you can check out the ingredients, nutritional info, and how to prepare your cups, so you’re ready to go when they arrive at your doorstep.
Order pre-made superfood smoothies, soups, and more at Daily Harvest
Learn more about Daily Harvest here
Shop sexual health products at Lola
The problem: The sexual health and feminine hygiene space is a bit taboo, and thus, many women don’t know or think about what’s hiding in the products they put in, or near, their bodies.
Lola’s solution: Simple products, modern convenience, and total transparency are the basis of Lola’s mission. It all started in 2014, when co-founders Jordana Kier and Alexandra Friedman got to talking about tampons. When the women realized they had no idea what was actually in them, and once they figured it out, they knew there had to be a better option. The two sought to make a brand that looks nice, uses simple, better-for-you ingredients, and can be delivered right to your doorstep — meaning no more awkward stints at the drug store.
Lola offers a variety of sexual health products and sends them via a subscription service, though some products, like a first period kit, can be bought on a one time basis. The products are made without toxins, dyes, or synthetic fibers, and you can find the ingredients in each item clearly listed on the product page. The subscription can be completely customized. Just fill the box with the products you’d like to receive (including tampons, pads, condoms, wipes, and lubricant), choose whether you’d like them delivered every four or eight weeks, and feel free to adjust any of this information at any time.
When the time comes, your box comes delivered conveniently to your door. The packaging is simple and discreet. It’s not only a convenient way to make sure you’re always stocked with sexual health products, but a great way to know you’re using products that are actually good for your body.