| Killeen McGowan |
MegaFood Throws down the Gummy Gauntlet: Supplements Leader to Chronicle Development of New Gummy Vitamins from Start to Shelf
Wow, that press release seems like an eternity ago… and yet here we are, 18 months later, with our first gummy collection in the books. Given that milestone, it seemed appropriate to take a look back at Project Gummy Bare All, from start to (almost!) shelf.
(And if you aren’t familiar with the project, this recap will catch you up to speed!)
Uncharted -and Potentially Sticky- Territory
Yes, it was the end of 2016 when we first shared the news: Gummies are in, so count us IN on offering them. With our “Fresh From Farm to Tablet” claim to fame, it seemed awfully out of our comfort zone to go gummy… and it was! MegaFood uses technologies like Refractance Window Dryers and our trusty Tablet Press, both which work slowly and gently to produce the vitamins you know and love. Making a gummy requires a completely different set-up. But! In the name of nutrition, and through the principle of our “north star guidance,” we couldn’t say no to this increasingly popular vitamin form. Considering that up to 40% of the US population has trouble swallowing pills, it’s no wonder gummies now occupy such a significant chunk of the supplement aisle!
It was rather easy for us at MegaFood to imagine what we’d want in a gummy; specifically, in our gummy. Yet this new and challenging endeavor wasn’t really about what we wanted. It was about what you wanted! So, we asked you, our consumer, to get involved in the product development process.
A Seat at the Table
One of the coolest parts of Project Gummy Bare All, for us, was involving our consumer while we brainstormed, created and refined our first gummy line. To do this, we held focus groups, polled social media fans, and formed a juried consumer panel. We even flew some of our panelists to NH to tour our production facility for an extra-close understanding of what makes MegaFood so special.
On the flip side- It was really fun for US to get to know our panelists, too. Diane, for example, represents the large portion of the supplement-taking population that suffers from pill fatigue. “I will look forward to eating them instead of dutifully taking them,” she says about our gummies. Diane hits the nail on the head for one of the biggest reasons we decided to venture into gummy territory: the need for variety.
We consulted our panelists (there were about 25 total) and our social media fans for initial input from the get go. While there was definitely a desire for a MegaFood gummy multivitamin, we saw a particular interest in “letter” gummy vitamins: namely B, C and D. We felt there was a gap in the market for these individual nutrients in gummy form, so we took the alphabet route. (But pssst… A gummy multi just might be next!)
The People’s Gummy
So what else did you tell us you wanted in a gummy? Lots of things! Most notably, you said you wanted tasty gummies, but they didn’t have to be crazy-sweet. LESS sugar was actually the preference. (Spoiler alert: We totally agreed, and kept it low, low, low!)
We then asked you, “What if we use the fresh, organic turmeric, ginger, oranges and berries that we already source from our trusted Farm Fresh Partners?” You replied, “HOORAY!” (We were hoping that’d be your reaction!)
At first, we had added some natural flavorings to the gummy formulations, thinking that would take the flavor to the “tasty” level you sought. But you were interested in what would happen if we dropped those additions. (You savvy natural consumers, you!) Well, we LOVED the results, and so did our external taste-testers. This was a delightful progression, staying oh-so-true to the MegaFood way.
Time Rolls On...
18 months is a long time. It’s no surprise there were points in the project where there wasn’t a ton to report. Adversely, there were times it all happened SO FAST. Regardless of the pace, we came to you live on Facebook each month, sharing general updates and the occasional big announcement, always enjoying the gummy journey no matter what the weather.
And the final result?
You guys nailed it!
Three Gummy Bare All Panelists attend Natural Products Expo West, March 2018, to try the gummies!
Our gummies are full of real, delicious, unique flavor and are 100% natural in color. That’s because they’re made with organic foods; you can actually SEE the flecks of real food! These guys are also non-GMO, and plant-based (a.k.a. no animal products). As for the sweetness factor: they contain 2 grams of sugar -or less!- per serving. Learn all about the four formulations, and how you can be entered to win them, at BetterGummies.com.
We are totally proud of them, and you should be, too. OH, and thanks for all your help with the jar shape and label design. Doesn’t the full package look lovely?!
(Note, this is a “test” label- the real deal label actually wraps around the cap to serve as the seal!)
Putting a Lid on It.
Project Gummy Bare All culminates with the gummies’ magical debut at Natural Products Expo West, where our Ginger B12 formulation is up for an award. (Eeek!) We’ve sent three of our consumer panelists to join us for the trade show event in Anaheim, CA, where we’ll be shooting a final Gummy Bare All video to highlight their experience, after-party included!
It’s been a heck of a ride, and we simply can’t wait to see where this gummy train takes us next! Thanks for following along, and be sure to share your thoughts on the final products- in stores this May.