Big-box retailers are tapping DTC startups to bulk up their wellness aisles.
The latest: Personalized nutrition startup Gainful announced a partnership with Target, its first entry into retail.
Gainful’s mix-and-match protein powder approach lets shoppers peruse varieties of protein bases, flavor mixes, goal-tailored supplementation (like recovery or muscle-building formulations), and pre-workout and hydration add-ins. Mixed and shaken by the consumer, its 11-product range accounts for over 70 potential protein blends.
Target shoppers will also gain online access to recipes, nutritional guidance, and Gainful’s team of registered dietitians upon purchase.
Also this week: Wonderbelly, a clean-ingredient antacid, made its Target debut. The company will introduce 650+ stores to its OTC heartburn remedy free of talc, dyes, gluten, dairy, common allergens, and artificial sweeteners or flavors. Analysts estimate the launch could generate $3–5M in retail sales.
Targeting wellness. In an attempt to reach younger, wellness-minded audiences, Target is allocating more physical and digital shelf space to a number of DTC brands, especially in the self-care and beauty space.
- In 2021, vitamin startup Care/of entered retail through an exclusive line of multivitamins for Target.
- In the same year, it added OTC natural remedy supplement maker Hilma.
- This month, Target inked deals with women’s shaving startup Athena Care and organic period care company August.
Big-box health. Target isn’t the only big-box retailer courting the wellness and beauty customer.
Separate from its in-store health clinics, Walmart enabled retail launches for products from telehealth companies Ro and hims & hers. And it just launched a platform called Clean Beauty at Walmart for shoppers to browse its offering of affordable yet sustainable products.
Over in grocery, Whole Foods opened its doors to DTC multivitamin startup Ritual last year, while Albertsons launched its own wellness super-app that connects consumers’ wearables data, in-store nutrition, and prescription and appointment management.
Punchline: In a highly competitive space, DTC wellness companies often seek out third-party retail to improve customer acquisition and profitability. On the other side, today’s retailers want to resonate with a health-conscious Gen Z. With the global wellness economy expected to top $7T by 2025, stores like Target and Walmart will happily play curator.