In a bid to solidify its foothold in the growing market for healthier foods and nutritional supplements, global consumer goods conglomerate Unilever recently inked an agreement for the acquisition of US nutritional company Onnit.
According to Peter ter Kulve, president of Unilever’s home care and health and well-being segments, Onnit is an excellent addition to its growing portfolio of innovative health and wellness brands.
“As a leading holistic wellness and lifestyle producer, Onnit’s products are a good fit into our portfolio of innovative wellness and supplement brands,” ter Kulve says of the Austin, TX-based company.
From Nootropics and Sleep Aids to Healthy Snacks and Sporting Goods
Founded in 2010 by holistic health provider Aubrey Marcus, Onnit started out as a supplements maker focused on the production of nootropics (supplements that improve cognitive function, particularly memory, creativity, and motivation.)
At the time, its signature product was a nootropic called Alpha Brain which was developed to improve memory, focus, and the brain’s processing abilities.
Since then, it has expanded its product line into the packaged-foods sector. Onnit currently produces Fatbutter nut spreads and protein-enriched snacks for both athletes and those on low-carbohydrate diets.
Onnit also produces a range of supplements for various aspects of health, including creatine and glutamine for sports nutrition, sleep aids, and better skin. Sports equipment is another product line the company has offered for some time now.
While many Onnit products can be bought at stores like the Whole Foods Market, it has successfully transitioned to online retail through digital hubs like Amazon and several other distribution partners.
With regard to his company’s acquisition by Unilever, founder Marcus opines that it takes his company a step closer to its goal of empowering people through improved nutrition and healthful living.
“I am so proud of what we have accomplished,” Marcus says of how far Onnit has come. “[With this partnership with Unilever,] we are one step closer to inspiring more to take charge of their health and wellbeing.”
Despite its acquisition, Onnit will remain headquartered in Austin, TX and its current CEO Jason Havey will remain at the helm while Marcus will continue to be its brand ambassador.
A Fresh Addition to a Growing Segment
Onnit is in good company, as it joins Unilever’s still-growing roster of wellness products and supplements.
While Unilever is best known as the manufacturer of the indulgent Magnum line of ice creams and frozen novelties, it is also making a significant impact in the healthier living scene with its more recent acquisitions.
The conglomerate’s current lifestyle and wellbeing portfolio has certainly grown over the past few years. In April 2019, it purchased American company Olly Nutrition which produces an extensive nutritionals line that includes supplements and protein products. Last November it also acquired American children’s supplements maker SmartyPants Vitamins.
Unilever has also bought stakes in Italian personal care company Equilibra and liquid nutritionals company Liquid IV.
An Industry Primed for Growth
Unilever is not the only consumer goods company with an eye on growing its presence in the wellness industry.
Last April 26, rival Nestlé released a statement confirming that it is currently negotiating to acquire the American supplements manufacturer The Bountiful Company.