Friday Dec 6, 2013 by Dennis Keohane - Staff Writer, VentureFizz
There is a very interesting, and very large, health/fitness company that is based in Downtown Crossing that you've probably never heard of. The folks at NutraClick, which is selling a line of in-house developed nutritional products, are combining their knowledge of online marketing and sales with a passion for creating the highest quality fitness/health supplements available.
Launched as Hungry Fish Media in 2009, NutraCllick felt there was a tremendous opportunity to market a single product directly to customers, something no one else in the sector had any experience doing. They started by introducing Force Factor, a nitrous oxide booster made from natural ingredients and free of banned substances, and blew up from there.
Very soon after launching, GNC approached NutraClick to bring Force Factor to its shelves, telling the company that it was the most searched for product in its stores. The product won a few industry awards including, the 'Rising Star Award' from GNC and the 'Best New Brand' from Bodybuilding.com.
One of the things that NutraClick founder Daniel Wallace told me played an important factor in the quick success of Force Factor was how fast the company was able to scale its online marketing. "In online sports nutrition," he said, "no one was really marketing to customers in the way that we were."
"GNC was really impressed," Wallace said. It seems that GNC had never seen a product, which had a huge online sales prescence, be so highly sought after by in-store consumes as well. "We started to understand," Wallace added, "that when we launched products online and informed customers of the benefits, we could drive customer demand in stores AND on the internet."
NutraClick has expanded into a platform that sells a variety of nutritional, health, and beauty products that they develop internally. Among them are Peak Life, a line of vitamins and supplements; Stages of Beauty, an age-specific skincare line; Femme Factor, a women's fitness line; and ProbioSlim for digestive health. Additionally, NutraClick has a social-selling beauty product company, Bona Clara.
Wallace tells me that the company has seen "significant revenue and headcount growth" since they initially launched. NutraClick's products are in over 40,000 retail stores; morevore, they recently moved to a Downtown Crossing space and have over two-hundred employees.
Among the 40,000 stores that NutraClick's products are available in are Walgreens, Rite-Aid, Walmart, and CVS.
What is Wallace most proud of? Being 'bootstrapped' to some degree.
"We are unique in that we haven't taken on any institutional funding to this point," Wallace said. "However, we wouldn't count out doing that at some point."
"The core way that we've been able to do that is that we reach consumers in a fundamentally different way than a lot of other natural product companies," Wallace explained. "Our core technology marketing platform allows us to educate customers online about our products in a way that is unusual for a natural product business."
As he told me, the direction that NutraClick took early on was really unique in health and wellness. He added, "We were an early advertiser on Facebook ads before it was a ubiquitous platform for marketing."
"Over time," Wallace said, "we built out new brands and products that helped solve different consumer problems and leverage the online expertise to build meaningful and lasting retail brands."
There is a huge international opportunity for health and wellness companies that NutraClick is looking to make a bigger impact with, which they believe will keep the companies growth trending upward.
"We are taking advantage of the fact that American products are seen as the highest quality and most efficacious supplement and nutrition products in the world," Wallace said. "There is a huge international potential for growth because of the desire for these types of products."
The company is also building a business based on some of the same guiding principles that played an important role for Wallace and his founding team as college athletes. Wallace himself rowed at Harvard, and for him, building a value-driven company culture is vital to NutraClick's success.
"One of our values to live a healthy lifestyle, so we do a lot to help employees feel that they can live a healthy life here." They even have some in-house personal trainers and nutritionists who employees can take advantage of at any time.
With two-hundred employees and contintued growth, NutraClick is not just a cool up-and-coming business story. They are a full-on Boston success that will be fascinating to watch for the next few years.