SAN FRANCISCO, United States — Unilever is set to add Olly Nutrition, a disruptive wellness brand known for its gummy vitamins and supplements, to its rapidly expanding wellness portfolio.
The US company will sit alongside the likes of Pukka Herbs, Ren Skincare and Graze, which Unilever acquired earlier this year for a reported £150M, as the global conglomerate continues to double down on wellness.
Olly Nutrition will continue to be based in San Francisco and managed by Co-Founder Eric Ryan, who will assume the role of Chief Growth Officer, exploring further opportunities in the health and wellbeing area.
Speaking about the decision, Amanda Sourry, President of Unilever North America, said:
“Olly is a strong, innovative brand in the fast-growing health and wellbeing space, and nicely complements our businesses in Beauty & Personal Care and Foods & Refreshment.”
Adding, “Olly’s focus on making nutrition delightfully easy aligns closely with Unilever values and our continued commitment to improving people’s wellbeing.”
Since its launch, Olly has carved out a niche for itself thanks to its accessible design and mainstream retail partnerships with Target, Walmart and CVS. The B Corp’s mission of making nutrition easy has seen the company expand its initial gummy line to include bars and probiotic quick-melt sticks –– and the strategy seems to be working, with the brand exceeding $100 million in annual revenue, according to recent reports.
Speaking to CNBC last year, Ryan revealed that the brand’s willingness to embrace brick-and-mortar retailers rather than focusing on e-commerce has allowed it to reach profitability much faster. However, it’s Olly’s positioning as a lifestyle product that has really helped to propel it to the forefront of the supplement category.
“For years brands have focused on the ingredients of their products,” Ryan told CNBC. “With Olly we sell the benefit. So instead of selling biotin, we sell beauty. Instead of selling melatonin, we sell sleep. To me it was such an obvious thing to do that I can’t understand why no one had done it before.”
Its sleep gummies, currently its best-selling product, leverage consumer desire for a more holistic approach to wellness, whilst tapping into modern lifestyle concerns.
Despite its success, up until now, Olly has held back from international expansion, instead taking a more cautious approach to growth. However, with Unilever now backing its cause, the brand is in a stronger position than ever to expand into new markets.
“We are thrilled to work with Unilever to grow the OLLY brand and amplify our mission, culture and commitment to helping people feel happy inside out,” Ryan commented in a statement.
He remained tight-lipped on where that growth will be.