“Consumers as a whole don’t want synthetic nutrients. They don’t want nutrients made in a lab and most do not want to take a multivitamin. But many do so for peace of mind to know that they have consumed their nutrients for the day, because they know that otherwise they will not meet 100% of the daily value of nutrients through their diet,” said Enspice CEO Kyle Murphy.
To give them that peace of mind that they are getting the nutrition they need but in a format they want, Murphy, along with his father and sister, with whom he co-founded Enspice, created six season and spice blends that provide 50% of the daily value of 21 plant-based vitamins and minerals in just a one-teaspoon serving.
By using vitamins and nutrients from broccoli, spinach, squash and other plant-based sources, Murphy said Enspice was not only able to meet consumer demand for a natural option, but also offer nutrients that are more bio-available than their synthetic counterparts.
“There are a number of studies out there comparing the bioavailability of nutrients from a natural source versus a synthetic source and they find the natural form is more bioavailable,” Murphy said, noting this is why many multivitamin manufacturers urge consumers to take their supplements with food.
“Our product allows them to add the nutrients directly to their meals,” and not worry about taking an additional multivitamin supplement, Murphy said.
‘We average a savings of at least $4 to $5’
Using Enspice’s fortified blends also could save consumers money by sparing them the expense of purchasing separate multivitamins and non-fortified spices, Murphy said.
He explained that while the blends are priced at the premium end of the spice category at $11.48 per 3.5 ounces, they are less expensive per nutritional value than purchasing a multivitamin and unenhanced season or spice separately.
“We average a savings of at least $4 to $5 and that is compared to the leading children’s multivitamin, which does not contain all plant-based ingredients. So, not only is it a cost savings from a multivitamin plus seasoning perspective, it is the cheapest way to get plant-based nutrients on the market currently,” Murphy said.
‘An incredible flavor profile’
Fortifying foods and beverages with vitamins and nutrients can compromise the organoleptic experience, but Murphy says that Enspice’s blends have “an incredible flavor profile our consumers love, and some even think they taste better than spices or blends they’ve had in the past.”
He explained that the company “ironed out” any off-notes from the vitamins and nutrients through a year of product testing and by backing off the fortification slightly.
“We started with a formulation that had a higher nutritional content per teaspoon that we currently have, which is 50% of FDA daily value, but the formulation that we have gone to market with is the most nutritional content that we can get in a teaspoon that the consumer does not taste the nutrients,” he explained.
The company selected its assortment of spices and blends for the versatile use and appeal with the goal of reaching the most consumers possible.
As a result, the company landed on black pepper and seasoned salt as “pantry staples” that most people add to each meal, and then selected the rest of the line-up based on dietary preferences.
For example, Murphy said, the company’s Cape Cod blend complements pescatarian diets, chipotle BBQ will appeal to meat lovers, the taco seasoning appeals to families who enjoy Taco Tuesday with or without animal products and the cinnamon can be added to sweet or savory dishes.
Go-to-market strategy targets online parent groups
To drive awareness and sales of the blends, which launched direct-to-consumer during the pandemic, Enspice worked with parent groups online, mom bloggers and influencers.
“Our main market is Millennial mothers and we are meeting them where hey are. So, we are working with mommy bloggers and had a kickoff campaign with an online mothers’ organization with over 2 million mothers. We also had mothers and influencers try our products and share their reviews with fellow moms and parents,” Murphy said.
From there, he added, the company built a paid advertising campaign primarily targeting parents through Instagram and Facebook.
Feeding the world
While the spice blends help fill nutrient gaps for those in the developed world where they are currently available, they were originally formulated to help meet the nutritional needs of severely malnourished children in developing countries – a group that the Enspice Children’s Foundation aims to help.
However, Murphy said, the company quickly realized the blends were not the most cost effective way to supplement severely malnourished children. So, now the blends are used to raise funds that can more effectively feed children in developing country. For every blend or spice sold, the company promises to donate a nutritious meal to a child in need across the globe.