Supergut rolls out nationwide in GNC stores as part of GLP-1 nutritional support section

By Ryan Daily

- Last updated on GMT

Image Credit: Supergut
Image Credit: Supergut

Related tags SuperGut Gut health digestive health

Supergut is expanding nationwide as part of GNC’s new section dedicated to GLP-1 nutritional support, as the brand has quadrupled its sales in the last two quarters due to consumer interest in gut health and products to alleviate symptoms from drugs like Ozempic and Wegovy.

Launched in 2022, Supergut provides a range of prebiotic shakes, bars, and mixes, designed to support gut health, which will now be available at over 2,300 GNC stores and online as part of the retailer’s new GLP-1 Support Program. Supergut will also be rolling out to Central Market, Bristol Farms, Erewhon, Fresh Thyme Markets, and Gelsons later this year. 

GNC’s GLP-1 support section also includes various GNC-branded products to support muscle mass, reduce food intake, and support bone health and products to combat fatigue like Alani Nu energy drinks. 

"The rapid adoption of GLP-1 agonists is no surprise given the impressive weight loss results they demonstrate. Not only can they decrease the user's [body mass index], but they also carry metabolic and cardiovascular benefits as well. As access to these innovative medications increases, so will the prevalence of their potential adverse events ... When combined with GNC's support program, we can expect the successful outcomes of GLP-1 therapy to grow as quickly as the program will," said John Olsen, president of Revive Pharmacy Solutions (a GNC Health partner), in a press release​. 

Partnering with GNC was like ‘singing from the same sheet of music’

While Supergut’s “profile was growing” as a GLP-1 compliment​ and gut-health brand, GNC was doing research on expanding into the GLP-1 nutritional support space, brand Founder and CEO Marc Washington told FoodNavigator-USA. 

GLP-1 drugs like Ozempic and Wegovy entered the public health discussion last year, as a possible solution to the obesity crisis in the US​. Proponents of GLP-1 agonists highlight the drugs’ effectiveness in curbing appetite and promoting weight loss, while opponents argue the drugs come with serious side effects and cost too much to make a dent in the obesity crisis.

“GNC has been taking a very progressive and proactive look at this space, and in particular, around GLP-1 relevant nutrition support needs, and so we are at the forefront of this in terms of communicating, educating, sharing more about how our product fits into this scenario and staying in touch with physicians and nutritionists, etc. to be really at the forefront. On the side, GNC was doing a lot of the same thing, having a lot of those same conversations, and so when we connected, we were singing from the same sheet of music.” 

Consumers on GLP-1 drugs often experience gastrointestinal (GI) issues, and high-fiber foods like Supergut — which uses oat beta-glucan, resistant potato starch, soluble vegetable fiber and unripe green bananas as its fiber sources — can help alleviate some of the drug’s symptoms, he claimed.  

"People who are using these drugs — they are very effective in appetite control — but they cause really significant side effects, and they are gastrointestinal in nature. So that creates additional needs in particular for those who are using them to how do you offset those, and so that they can actually stick with the drugs. There are actually stats where a lot of people come off the drugs not because they were not working [but] because the GI side effects were so pervasive. It was like they could not live their lives right and so having nutritional support around digestive needs is a really big thing," explained Washington.

GLP-1 support section: ‘A big shoe to drop from a validation standpoint’

The new section also serves as a “reintroduction of GNC to the masses,” which will bring in new consumers who might be on GLP-1 drugs or those seeking out gut-health products, Washington said. However, many retailers are still figuring out how to play in the GLP-1 and overall gut-health space, Washington noted.

“This is a big shoe to drop from a validation standpoint. This is not nutritional fads of years past that have come and gone," Washington said.

He continued, "This is a fundamental change in health and in people's health journey. And I see that and believe it wholeheartedly, and GNC is seeing it as well. I think a lot of other major retailers believe in it, but figuring out how to play in this era is still something that most are still figuring out.”

Going lean to meet the GNC moment

Given the rising consumer demand for gut-health and GLP-1 support products, Supergut is “now a break-even business,” Washington said. Similar to other food and beverage startups, Supergut made a series of cuts and decisions over the last year to streamline its business and increase profitability, he added.  

“We are in a much better self-sufficient position from a financial and a capital efficiency standpoint, and I think that really positions us well to continue to scale right and to do so efficiently and to own this moment and to really position ourselves as this leading gut-healthy GLP-1 superfood brand," he explained.

Supergut is now gearing up for fundraising mode to further grow the brand in retail while staying true to the brand’s mission of making gut health accessible to everyone, Washington said. 

“At the end of the day, the aspiration is for this to be a big-tent brand that really serves the masses — everybody with anybody. We want to be there for their health journey. So, that means it is not just our site. This is not just a bicoastal brand. This is truly across the country for now and eventually, internationally as well. And that distribution and access not only helps us create a very successful, very large business, but getting back to the original intent and the aspiration of why I created this in the first place," he said. 

He added, “[Supergut is] an homage to my sister and her legacy [and] to help others and to have impact on health writ large, giving people better options — natural options — to stay in better control of their health, and that can help bend the health curve.” 

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