NurturMe products can currently be purchased in retailers including Sam’s Club, Stop&Shop, BuyBuy Baby, Amazon.com, Nurturme.com and will soon be available in Costco.
Last week, Grays Peak Capital announced that it had purchased the NuturMe brand for an undisclosed sum, complementing the global investment firm's existing Healthy Mama product range, which includes maternal consumer products focused on fertility, prenatal, and breastfeeding needs.
Grays Peak Capital founder, Scott Stevens, told FoodNavigator-USA: "It was very clear that the brand was strong and they’ve hit all of the things that are top of the mind for parents today."
Prior to the acquisition by Grays Peak Capital, NuturMe received a $3.7m investment from Advantage Capital Agribusiness in 2016, which helped the brand hone its market differentiation by adopting a "tummy friendly" positioning. NuturMe products are free-from all common allergens associated with stomach sensitivities (i.e. gluten, dairy, soy, and egg).
'There are a lot of people trying to figure out ways to get this directly to them'
Under the new ownership, NuturMe will be taking its e-commerce strategy to the "next level" and expanding sales through its online channel, which currently makes up a small part of its revenue, Stevens said.
Stevens noted how the retail playbook has changed significantly since NuturMe was founded seven years ago and how parents are turning to online channels more than ever to purchase items for their family.
"Seven or eight years ago, you really had to start with [brick and mortar] retail -- get your brokers, get your distributors. Today, a lot of the consumers are empowered to use different social media channels and different influencers; that’s really how brands are at least incubated," said Stevens.
"We specialize in the digital and visual marketing piece, and that’s the part where we think there’s a big opportunity to expand the brand directly to the consumer. There are a lot of people trying to figure out ways to get this directly to them."
According to a 2018 global e-commerce study by Miami-based market researcher Pitney Bowes, parents are more active online shoppers than their non-parent counterparts. Almost half (46%) of respondents with children in the household shop online weekly, double the share of those with no children in the household (23%).
Grays Peak Capital's will be improving NuturMe's online direct-to-consumer business beginning with driving online traffic to its own website and its retail partners.
"Our retail partners are really asking us to help them online," said Stevens. "You have to embrace the customer, and figure out how you’re going to interact with them."
Stevens and Grays Peak Capital will advise NuturMe and its online retail partners on a number of e-commerce areas such as key word search optimization, efficient shipping, and eye-catching visual marketing.
The investment firm will also be supporting NuturMe's Amazon business, Stevens added.
"It’s a pretty complex thing to start on and a lot of people think it’s easy, but it’s a far more complicated matrix than that. You have to create your own storefront, you have decide whether you want Amazon to fulfill or if you’re going to fulfill [orders]. And that’s obviously a big decision because it can be very costly," said Stevens.
According to Stevens, NuturMe has reached a large enough scale where it can fulfill its own orders directly from its warehouses to keep company costs down.
"We can’t necessarily ship faster than Amazon, but we can do some other things like [product] bundling that others cannot," he said.
Product expansion and global distribution
Grays Peak Capital intends on launching NuturMe in international markets with an expanded 'free-from' product range addressing the global $63bn baby food market, which is expected to reach $76bn by 2023, according to Statista.
“Health conscious parents have been asking NurturMe to expand our range of organic, 'free from' products. Our plan is to introduce innovative, new organic items to build upon our hypoallergenic and 'free from' positioning, to satisfy the needs of health conscious parents who want to feed their babies the same healthy way that they eat," commented NuturMe CEO Dianne Jacobs, who took over last year after previously holding positions such as SVP of Nestle's Infant Nutrition Division and SVP of corporate strategy for Nutrisystem.
"We are also evaluating acquisitions which will enable us to best serve the needs of the untapped market of food for babies and children with special dietary needs."
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