As retailers rush to sell the proposition of “ingestible beauty,” media company Mindbodygreen is joining the fray.
Last week, the wellness publisher began quietly selling its NR+ supplements (composed of Nicotinamide Riboside, a form of vitamin B), in partnership with nutritional manufacturer Thorne. Sold via its e-commerce site, the supplements are designed to promote youthful skin, wrinkle reduction and cellular rejuvenation, and mark Mindbodygreen’s first foray into consumer products. Over the course of the next two months, Mindbodygreen will release five additional beauty and wellness products including those for gut health and skin fullness, said co-founder and co-CEO Jason Wachob.
Though advertising will remain a large piece of the pie for Mindbodygreen (expected to account for 60% of revenue in 2020), co-founder and co-CEO Colleen Wachob estimates products will be 25% of revenue next year. (Currently, its consumer-facing, educational wellness classes represent 13%.) Creating consumer revenue opportunities has been top of mind for the media company, like many publishers from Allure to GQ. Mindbodygreen would not share top-line revenue figures but said its EBITDA will double in 2019.
To start, Mindbodygreen is only selling its NR+ supplements to approximately 3,000 readers, before opening them up to its larger 23 million-member audience across its site, podcast, social networks and email newsletter base. In 2019, Mindbodygreen averaged 4.6 million unique monthly visitors on its site, according to the Comscore, a 2% year-over-year increase. Many of the 3,000 first-time customers were attendees of the company’s invitation-only Revitalize wellness event, designed for the most engaged Mindbodygreen readers. The slower rollout before a larger January launch is to provide ample education and storytelling opportunities for each product. Colleen Wachob estimated about 20 articles will be dedicated to each launch beginning in January.
“We are using all this time to refine our product description pages and our messaging,” she said. “January is the Black Friday of the well-being and wellness worlds.”
That Mindbodygreen is focused on beauty-related supplements is no surprise. Retailers are increasingly going after the $3.89 billion global beauty supplements segment. Walmart is building out its own assortment using Bobbi Brown’s Evolution 18 as a category builder. Sephora, for its part, has leaned on Hum Nutrition for approximately six years; it recently added Sakara Life to its merchandising assortment.
However, at Glossy’s Beauty and Wellness Summit, Sephora’s Cindy Deily said that when a new category is emerging in beauty, more choice isn’t necessarily a good thing for customers. This is especially true in supplements, which have earned a bad rap for their efficacy claims. However, this is why Mindbodygreen is first selling its products exclusively on its own site rather than through retailers. Colleen Wachob said the company’s robust content plan for each launch is a way to cut through what supplements do and do not work and why. That each of its ingestibles products has a skin-care benefit was also strategic: Mindbodygreen’s largely female audience is 5.4 times more likely than average customers to have spent $500 or more on skin care in the last six months. Eighty-two percent of its readers already take supplements regularly, according to internal data.
“When we think about the value add, we weren’t going to launch a yoga mat,” said Jason Wachob. “There was no innovation to be had in that product category and plenty of amazing players already in that space.”
Beyond consumer products and its reoccurring digital advertising business, Mindbodygreen is also moving into the world of consumer wellness events. Like In Goop Health and PopSugar Playground before it, Mindbodygreen will launch a wellness experience in the third quarter of 2020 in New York.
“The event market is saturated, but what we bring is our unique perspective,” said Colleen Wachob. “We talk about trends and ideas before they hit the zeitgeist, and we do that with an educational lens. There is a lot of fluff out there, and what we are doing with our products and events is offer more science and more data. That is still so needed in the well-being space.”