Start Up Blog

A pharmaceutical mashup – Vitamints

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on January 7, 2011

Sometimes a startup just make sense. Logical in hindsight to the point where it feels like we should have done it.

Vitamints is one such startup. It is what it says – Vitamins which are also mints.

This Australian startup has taken some really clever insights to form the basis of the product format and it goes a little deeper than vitamins that taste nice. They found that houses were graveyards for half used vitamin bottles (I know mine is!!). The basic idea was to get vitamins out of the kitchen cupboard and into peoples pockets, like gum. So why not package it like gum? Why not make it taste nice? Why not distribute it in more convenient locations?

They did.

And aside from the fact that mints in convenience stores are almost the fastest growing impulse purchase, Vitamints taps beautifully into the mobile society we now live in. Your vitamins now live in your pocket people. Sounds a bit like a classic web mashup business, but in an old tired category. Once again industry incumbents need to take a lesson from an innovative new business – maybe that’s why I like it so much.

I can’t wait to read about them getting bought out by a multinational pharmaceutical company in 10 years time.


8 Responses

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  1. Paul Byrnes said, on January 7, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    Fantastic story love new category births

  2. Andre Sammartino said, on January 7, 2011 at 12:13 pm

    Would love to know how the back-end is working on this.

    There’s potentially a neat first-mover advantage coming from the TGA (Therapeutic Goods Association) approval of the product (well, actually the production process).

    I’m guessing the potential copycats in the mint market don’t have such approval so can’t jump ony bandwagon once these tins are in front of customers and winning shelf space…

    But if Vitamints has just outsourced the production mightn’t copycats be able to do the same?

    Impressed they scored the most obvious, self-expanatory brand too…

    • Steve Sammartino said, on January 7, 2011 at 4:05 pm

      Mate, you’ve really added some thoughts to this blog entry. As far as I understand they ‘own’ their production facility and ‘mint / gum producers’ can’t do this in a non TGA manufacturing plant. So first mover advantage could really weigh up in this case.

      Will be interesting to see how it evolves.

  3. Pieter said, on January 7, 2011 at 5:02 pm

    Interesting idea, likely to change behaviour. Problem is its encouraging the wrong behaviour. Popping vitamins like they’re mints will likely lead to poorer outcomes in the vast majority of people with no vitamin deficiencies. If they can pivot to improving compliance rates in medicines that people should be taking then they are providing real value that I’d back.

    • Steve Sammartino said, on January 9, 2011 at 12:48 pm

      Nice comment Dr Pieter – in truth I’ve probably simplified what they are actually doing from an ‘outsider’s perspective’.


  4. onealbumaday said, on January 9, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    I presume you mean Pharmaceutical (i.e. there’s a typo in your headline)?

  5. I.C. said, on January 17, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    Great article – I agree on all points except one – this is no new idea. The trademark and product “vitamints” has been in use and production – actively distributed and promoted in the United States for years now…

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