CHARLOTTE, NC. — The merging of Nutrisystem, Inc., which was acquired by private equity firm Kainos Capital in 2020, and Adaptive Health LLC has led to the creation of Wellful Inc., an omnichannel health and wellness company. The new company’s portfolio will include the Nutrisystem meal solution weight management program and Adaptive Health’s line of supplements that include such brands as Nugenix, Instaflex, Peptiva and Dr. Sinatra.
Each business will continue to operate under its respective brand identity, according to the company.
“We're building what we view as a new era health and wellness platform,” said Brandon Adcock, chief executive officer of Wellful and founder of Adaptive Health, in an interview with Food Business News. “We want to meet our customers where they are on their health journey. Our goal is to play in a number of places on the health and wellness spectrum by offering high quality products with clinical efficacy.”
Mr. Adcock would not disclose the new company’s sales but called Wellful a “major player” in the weight management and the vitamin mineral and supplement categories. The direct-to-consumer (DTC) market makes up a majority of Wellful’s sales, but retail is growing and a strategic priority for management, said Mr. Adcock.
“The interesting thing about this combination is the need states for many of our customers overlap,” he said. “The weight loss category over indexes in all of the categories we play in; many people who are trying to lose weight also use supplements to help with sleeping, joint health and digestion.”
Kainos Capital acquired Nutrisystem in October 2020 for $575 million. Mr. Adcock said Kainos and Adaptive Health began talking about a merger to build a bigger health and wellness platform in December 2020. After more than a year of due diligence, the merger was completed in April 2021.
“We created the Wellful platform last year to capitalize on growing consumer demand for science-backed, non-pharmaceutical health and wellness solutions,” said Andrew Rosen, managing partner of Kainos Capital, Wellful’s majority shareholder. “Since then, Wellful has made tremendous progress towards helping people live healthier lives, including launching over 30 new products, integrating onto a singular technology platform, and leveraging our combined product portfolio to better service the full spectrum of our customers’ wellness needs.”
While consumers will see two separate brand identities, transitioning both companies onto a single customer service platform has been a key initiative.
“With the site conversion we've become more customer-centric and focused on improving the food and the experience,” said Steve Mikulak, president of Nutrisystem. “We talk to our customers all the time. All those things have been happening over the past 12 to 18 months.”
Mr. Adcock added, “As we look at technology, services like fulfillment and retail support will have best in class teams that support the broader business. Technology and how do we best use data get from consumer interactions is vitally important.”
A new e-commerce platform recently was introduced and has been integrated with NutriSystem’s Numi app. The data generated by users entering what they are eating and how they are feeling will inform some of Wellful’s go-to-market strategy.
“One of the beauties of DTC is the customer is always giving you feedback,” Mr. Adcock said. “This allows for a better outcome and reduces friction. We look at their life activity and how they interact with Numi. It gives us a good profile of our customer.”
Mr. Mikulak added that is where a lot of NutriSystem’s product development is informed.
“We are looking at what they are eating, what they aren’t eating and what their overall experience has been,” he said.
Mr. Adcock described Wellful’s target customer as someone who wants to change an outcome in their life.
“I know that’s broad,” he said. “That group tends to skew to people in their mid-30s and older. But the specific thing is they want to make a change.”
Wellful’s current customer base is predominantly female, but Mr. Adcock sees a future where the company’s customer base is more evenly split.“We have something for everyone,” he said. “At some point everyone wants to make a health change and we want to be there when they do.”