“Welcome to the future…” reads an inviting piece of paper as I open up my box of Nourished vitamins, intrigued at what could easily be the health craze of the coming years. An entire month’s worth of sweet-like vitamins personalised for my individual needs, picked from seemingly infinite combinations of nutrients and 3D printed, then wrapped in biodegradable material that somehow isn’t plastic. I feel like I’m in Star Trek.
Nourished is a new nutrition company, founded by American entrepreneur, Melissa Snover, aiming to introduce the concept of more personalised medicines and supplements into people’s daily lives. Snover has a background in the confectionery industry, where her company, The Magic Candy Factory, used 3D printing technology to make customisable sweets. Identifying this as a more niche venture, Melissa asked herself, “how many sweets with their own face on do people really need?”, and set about establishing a more consumer-focused brand.
This push for more personalised medicine aims to give people more control over what they consume and how they want medicine to impact their lives. Nourished offers 28 different ingredients, making for over a million combinations that customers can choose from those more familiar – like health classics ginger and Vitamin C – to the fittingly futuristic-sounding Cordyceps (a fungus that boosts immunity and reduces inflammation).
All Nourished ingredients are vegan and allergen-free, owing to Melissa’s insistence that the vitamins were entirely inclusive and available to anyone. The vegan mission required much innovation, including sourcing nutrients usually found in sheep’s wool using algae. This algae is the only ingredient from Nourished’s selection not sourced in the UK; possibly due to Melissa wanting short supply lines to ensure ingredients were the best possible quality.
This holistic approach to ingredient quality control goes further than just a symbolic moral purity test, it has a real impact on the effectiveness of the vitamins themselves. Due to long delays between the production of most consumer vitamins and their consumption, many high-street products can have as low as 10% efficacy. Nourished achieves up to 99.5% efficacy with its vitamins, as use of 3D printing means it only takes 5 days from order to delivery.
Melissa noted from their extensive clinical trials of 10,000 people that many people take supplements not to aid deficiencies in their health but rather to boost their lifestyles in a form of ‘biohacking’. As people look to squeeze more and more out of their daily lives, these boosts to immunity, endurance or energy can be invaluable.
The trialling process was incredibly thorough and Melissa ran through every stage of it, delving into some aptly space-age sounding science about hyper-suspension of bonds and the importance of pH balancing for the gelification process. These trials were focused not only on the scientific feasibility of creating the vitamins but also the combination of both nutritional effects and taste, creating a wholly enjoyable experience rather than having to pinch your nose and swallow in the name of good health.
Students are one of the less health-minded and more reckless demographics in the country, and Melissa recognised the need for more to be done to promote healthy lifestyles across universities. Nourished will be offering a specially crafted ‘Fresher’s Blend’ in January that will help boost concentration, focus and all-important liver strength to wash away the more regrettable nights. The Fresher’s Blend will also come with an introductory 50% dicount for those curious about this new approach to nutrition.