"Home test kits and personalized data are driving growth at retail,” said Elise Contarsy, CEO at Ombre. “Ombre can fuel that trend in retailers' assortments.”
Ombre’s Gut Health home test gives consumers “a quantified view of their unique microbiome” and is supported by a self-care program of targeted lifestyle, diet and probiotics recommendations.
From DTC to omni-channel
The San Francisco-based company (formerly Thryve, founded in 2016) relaunched in 2021 with a reimagined brand identity, a new CEO and a direct-to-consumer (DTC) model. It builds on past experience and used $3 million in seed funding to evolve its products, supply chain and services.
Pending trademark and restructuring, the business operated through parent company Quantbiome, which has “sequenced and analyzed 75,000 microbiome tests, resulting in 31,000+ probiotic supplement subscriptions to date,” Contarsy said, adding that consumers are primarily women between the ages of 25 and 55.
In its first year of operation, Ombre projects $4 million in DTC sales with even demand for tests and supplements. The expansion to an omni-channel strategy comes at a time when both personalized nutrition and probiotics market are poised for promising growth. In February, Ombre announced an additional $4 million in new funding, bringing the total raised to $13.3 million.
“The probiotics industry is rapidly growing as the knowledge of the microbiome is expanding,” Contarsy added. “Many people have heard about the benefits of probiotics and prebiotics but aren't sure which product is right for them.”
According to MarketsandMarkets data, the probiotics market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 8.3% to reach $91.1 billion (2022-2026) and the human microbiome market at a CAGR of 31.1% to reach over $1.3 billion (2023-2029). Other company’s making strides in the personalized gut microbiome space include DayTwo, Viome Life Sciences, Vivante Health and BIOHM.
Quantifying and targeting the microbiome
Using the data from the Gut Wellness Test, the lab at Ombre provides a microbiome report, complete with Gut Score, bacteria descriptions and comparisons to other Ombre test takers, among other data points. Microbial DNA is evaluated against results compiled by the American Gut Project, now incorporated into a wider citizen science microbiome project at the UC San Diego School of Medicine.
Ombre then uses the individual bioinformatics to make its recommendations, which include a subscription upsell for its proprietary probiotics produced by GMP-compliant manufacturers using certified laboratories.
“Our probiotics are formulated to stand apart from other probiotics," said Kimberly Griffith, MS CNS, Head of Science at Ombre. "We only source quality strains backed by science to help support specific wellness goals."
Top selling blends include Healthy Gut (L. acidophilus, E. faecium, L. paracasei, L. helveticus, L. rhamnosus, L. plantarum, B. lactis and S. boulardii) and Metabolic Booster (E. faecium, L. acidophilus, L. rhamnosus, B. longum, S. boulardii, B. lactis, L. helveticus and L. reuteri).