Melissa Snover is the Founder & CEO of Nourished, the world’s first truly customised nutrition product. The business has developed a revolutionary method to combine seven different active ingredients into one daily personalised stack, using their innovative 3D printing technology and patented vegan encapsulation formula. Melissa is an award-winning entrepreneur and visionary in the world of food technology and 3D printing. She is passionate about developing innovations which offer solutions to her customers, challenge her competitors, and disrupt current market offerings.

Melissa Snover

Melissa Snover

Please tell us about your lightbulb moment for developing personalised vitamins.

I began my entrepreneurial journey at the age of 23 but the idea for Nourished actually came to me later, in 2018, when I was travelling overseas for a speaking engagement. I already had a keen interest in nutrition and supplements, so used to carry a container of specially selected vitamins with me when travelling. I accidentally spilled the bag of vitamins all over the floor at airport security, and it was when I was scrambling on my knees in my suit to pick them up that I realised there must be a simpler way of taking vitamins! I already had a 3D printing food business at the time and was inspired to develop this technology to create truly bespoke blends of vitamins which were unique to each individual user.

Why are traditional supplements not sufficient when they usually contain a wealth of different vitamins and minerals?

Traditional vitamins are mass manufactured and often sit in long supply chains, meaning they can have extremely low efficacy and absorption rates by the time they reach the end consumer. However, each Nourished stack is 3D printed fresh to order so the efficacy is at least 99%. Our delicious gummy stacks are far more convenient and enjoyable for the consumer than popping various different pills each day, and are far easier to digest. In addition, traditional supplements are often packed in plastic packaging, whereas at Nourished we only use recyclable and home compostable materials in our offering.

As a registered nutritionist, what is the most common vitamin deficiency you see in patients?

When conducting our initial market research, we found that most people in the UK were not actually deficient in micronutrients due to our ample food supply and a growing consumer preference for healthy foods. Therefore, at Nourished we wanted to support our customers to fast-track their goals and enhance their lifestyle by offering a varied range of high-impact and premium superfoods which would be hard to obtain from a normal, balanced diet.

However, some vitamins such as Vitamin D are recommended by the NHS to be supplemented over the winter months due to the lack of sunshine we receive. We recently increased the dosage of our Vegan Vitamin D3 by five times after studies suggested 27% of the population are deficient in it and recent scientific research highlighted how the higher dose can naturally increase T cell count in just 4 weeks.

We also recommend people use supplements to prepare for a significant change in diet – such as incorporating more plant-based foods or going vegetarian or vegan. Meat can be a good source of protein, iron, and B vitamins, so it’s critical that those cutting out meat supplement with Vitamin B12 to avoid anaemia and fatigue.

Given your background as a nutritionist, did it frustrate you that there wasn't a tailored supplement on the market already before Nourished?

Absolutely! Supplements tend to take a “one size fits all” approach, but all our bodies are different and have different requirements. Similarly, we can often be led to believe we should be taking certain vitamins – there seems to be a new ‘superfood’ hailed every single week, making it hard for people to know whether it’s just a passing trend or if it’s genuinely going to help their wellbeing.

Diet and nutrition should be tailored to be in your best interest and align with your lifestyle – people need varying levels of certain vitamins and ingredients if they’re on the go all day, have underlying health conditions, exercise regularly, are going through the menopause etc… which is why we offer so many different ingredient combinations. There’s no single magic pill that can solve everything for everyone!

While it is good to supplement your diet with the aid of vitamins and minerals are there specific times in life when it is essential to take them or lifestyles that would benefit from them?

Vegans and vegetarians can certainly benefit from additional supplementation to ensure they’re getting the right levels of iron and B Vitamins. Probiotics are also recommended for those suffering with digestive issues or who have recently taken a course of antibiotics, to ease common side effects like an upset stomach.

I’m particularly passionate about natural ingredients to support women’s health – for women experiencing symptoms of PCOS and the Menopause. Soy Isoflavones and Inositol layers were added to Nourished’s ingredients range in December and can be added to daily life stacks, aiding in weight management, and helping to regulate ovarian function.

Why are edible snacks more appealing than taking traditional tablets?

Our Nourished stacks are more enjoyable to consume as they feel more like a healthy treat, rather than having to quickly choke back a pill. When customers take the Nourished quiz online, they can choose their own flavour coating, making it perfect for those that like a sweet boost throughout the day. All of our ingredients are 100% plant-based and our formulations are free from all major allergens, as well as being sugar-free!

Why do we need more women in STEM fields?

While there is a significant way to go, women are starting to pave their way in STEM and pursue careers that many people once thought wouldn’t be possible.

Female role models are integral to the technology industry as they encourage even more women to be ambitious and strive for their goals. Once you see one person who has made it, you soon realise that you too could walk in their shoes. We need more women in STEM to open up other’s career prospects, create more representation and inspire future generations.

I’m a huge advocate for women’s equal access to finance and strongly believe in supporting young people from all backgrounds to begin to study in STEM fields; so encouraging women’s access to funding is a huge passion.

Please tell us about the process of getting your idea to market and what has the response been like since?

We launched Nourished in 2020, just before the Covid-19 pandemic, so it was a challenging time of uncertainty where we had to learn to quickly adapt our business and product to meet the ever-changing landscape around us. However, Nourished was still able to thrive due to the rising demand for health and wellness products. The company soon grew from four to forty-four employees, with a subscriber growth of 300% in just nine months. We’ve gone from strength to strength and been able to launch a host of new, exciting ranges.

Hearing our customer’s feedback is the biggest reward for me. It’s amazing to hear how much Nourished has helped people feel like the best version of themselves.

Why was it important to you to make these vitamins vegan friendly? Are many of the existing brands not plant-based?

I am incredibly passionate about sustainability and animal welfare and have been a vegetarian for over 20 years now. I launched my first vegan food product in 2010, long before vegan products were mainstream and a trend; so I’m delighted to see that they have become more in demand as more people incorporate plant-based elements into their diet.

What is next for you and the brand?

This is set to be an incredibly busy year for Nourished. In 2022 we have already added a new, super-strength Vitamin D ingredient (offering five times our original Vitamin D dose) and a PCOS Relief Stack to support women with symptoms of PCOS, including acne, weight gain, hair growth and mood fluctuations. We’re excited to be working on some new and innovative launches and collaborations with industry-leading corporations to expand our offering and support as many people as possible on their health journeys. Watch this space!

MORE: Founders of the UK's first plant based waffles discuss the future of modern bakery

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