Alfred Schofield and Cameron Fisher realized that they wanted to change things in the supplement industry during the second semester of their one-year graduate program at Babson. Today, they are the co-founders of VitalFit Nutrition, a Brighton-based startup that sells natural supplements for people with an active lifestyle.
“We want to be sure that people understand what they’re taking.”
It’s not a secret that Americans have a soft spot for pills. More than two-thirds of American adults take dietary supplements each year, according to the Council for Responsible Nutrition. The same study shows that this industry contributes $121.6 billion to the U.S. economy, which – although it seems remarkable – counts for only 0.68 percent of the GDP.
Jumping into the industry in May 2016, VitalFit Nutrition decided to target young professionals aged 25 to 35, according to CEO Alfred Schofield. In the vision of the company, its main customers are physically active and enjoy good food. They may train at a fitness studio, or not. Athletes, Schofield explained, are a secondary market.
“For [our customers], it’s not just about necessarily training for something or building their muscles,” Schofield said. “They really want to optimize their health and just live a great lifestyle.”
Mid-March this year the company launched Tart Cherry, a plant-sourced capsule that should help recovery either after a long, active work day or a session on the treadmill at the gym. According to Schofield, he saw a business opportunity after trying a tart cherry juice recommended by his parents. After a few hours, he said he felt a lot better, but added that the amount of sugar in the juice was not compatible with his diet. That’s why Tart Cherry is in capsules (60 capsules are sold for $45).
The company, which has been bootstrapping so far, it’s planning to penetrate the Boston market as a short term goal. Currently, it’s partnering with Cambridge Naturals, the natural health store founded in 1974, and with around 40 trainers in the city as beta testers.
“We want to be sure that people understand what they’re taking,” Schofield said.
Future plans include an expansion to New York City and introducing the VitalFit products nationally.