Two best friends who took a risk and invested their entire savings to develop a supplement brand are now poised to generate millions of dollars in sales following a mega supermarket deal.
Charlie Wood, 31, and Dan Concannon, 34, launched Vitadrop in 2019 after noticing a lack of “proactive” Australian hydration solutions on the market.
Unlike Hydralyte or Berocca which are often taken during illness or hangovers, Vitadrop is intended to be taken daily as a preventative measure.
Over the past three years, the Melbourne friends have put in late nights, early mornings and $140,000 out of their own pockets to get the brand up and running.
But it paid off, as the pair struck a huge deal with Woolworths and Coles – launching in more than 1,800 stores.
Over the next 12 months, the supermarket giants predict the brand will gross a whopping $6.3 million, which both men say is a dream come true.
Charlie Wood (right) and Dan Concannon (left) launched hydration company Vitadrop in 2019
Unlike Hydralyte or Berocca which are often taken as needed during illness or hangover, Vitadrop is intended to be taken daily as a preventative measure.
Charlie said Vitadrop is not a “magic potion” that “instantly erases your hangover.” But it is certainly an “ally” that can be used to facilitate hydration and nutrient replenishment.
At its core, the “fun and unique” brand offers hydration solutions aimed at Gen Z, with each box filled with 10 sachets of powder that dissolve in water.
They also sell carbonated cans of their drink.
However, Charlie said Vitadrop is not a “magic potion” that “instantly erases your hangover.”
They said it was definitely an “ally” that could be used to aid in hydration and nutrient replenishment.
Dan added: “It’s about minimizing the damage. We wanted to come up with something that would make the next day a little more manageable.
“We figured if anyone was going to try to start from scratch, it might as well be us,” Charlie told FEMAIL.
According to a study by sparkling water company Sodastream, 80% of Australians suffer from typical symptoms of dehydration without realizing it. This alarming data has struck a chord with young co-founders who have the driving ambition to lower this statistic.
Beforehand ChArlie has worked in marketing and has a background in biomedical sciences, while Dan is a former athlete and young father who suffers from ulcerative colitis – an inflammatory bowel disease and autoimmune disease.
Dan knows all too well the importance of maintaining his health after being diagnosed with this disease in September 2009.
At the time, he was playing rugby competitively and lost 15-20kg in a few weeks, then was admitted to hospital out of the blue.
“After a month of tests, they finally came back with the diagnosis. Since then, there have been ups and downs,” he said.
“I was fit and healthy, it was like someone flipped a switch and it went off.”
Now he maintains his health through a balanced diet as well as supplements and medications. Unfortunately, there is no known cause or cure.
Dan (right) knows all too well the importance of staying healthy after being diagnosed with ulcerative colitis – an autoimmune disease – in September 2009 while playing competitive rugby. “It was like someone flipped a switch and it went off,” he said.
According to a study by sparkling water company Sodastream, 80% of Australians suffer from typical symptoms of dehydration without realizing it.
These alarming data have struck a chord with young co-founders whose driving ambition is to lower this statistic.
“We strongly believe in health prevention and promoting healthy habits, rather than only taking supplements when you are sick,” Charlie said.
“Water is free and omnipresent, but few people drink it. We turned to each other and thought, someone has to do something, so it might as well be us.
“We strongly believe in preventative health and promoting healthy habits, rather than only taking supplements when you are sick,” Charlie said.
Before closing the deal with the supermarket, 2.97 tonnes of Vitadrop powder had been sold” class=”img-no-border img-share” style=”max-width:100%” />
Since Vitadrop comes in powder form (not a tablet), the body is able to absorb the supplements more quickly because they do not need to be broken down. Before closing the deal with the supermarket, 2.97 tonnes of Vitadrop powder had been sold
It is also worth highlighting the price.
Customers can purchase a box of 18 sachets for $18 or a jar containing 30 servings for $28.
This may seem quite high compared to other brands on the market, but the difference comes down to a few key factors: the ingredients used and the benefits of the product.
The ingredients are formulated in Australia rather than overseas, and are said to be high quality and contain nothing of concern.
Since Vitadrop comes in powder form (not a tablet), the body is able to absorb the supplements more quickly because they do not need to be broken down.
Before striking the deal with the supermarket, 2.97 tonnes of Vitadrop powder had been sold.
Symptoms of dehydration:
Early symptoms of dehydration include thirst, darker urine, and decreased urine production. In fact, urine color is one of the best indicators of a person’s hydration level: light urine means you’re well hydrated, and darker urine means you’re dehydrated.
However, it is important to note that, particularly in older adults, dehydration can occur without thirst. This is why it is important to drink more water when sick or in hot weather.
As the disease progresses to moderate dehydration, symptoms include: dry mouth, lethargy, muscle weakness, headache, dizziness.
Source: Medical news today
To capture the attention of major supermarkets, Charlie and Dan took matters into their own hands 18 months ago and reached out to team members on LinkedIn.
From there, they managed to move up the ladder and speak to a Woolworths buyer who “believed in the brand”.
This ultimately led to closing the deal with Woolworths supermarket. They used the same process with Coles.
They have now been able to quit their day jobs to focus solely on growing the brand.
Although Dan and Charlie admit there was a sense of “naivety” in what they agreed to pursue, they have no regrets about diving headfirst into the business.
“If you have an idea, own it and be true to yourself, tell your network about it and celebrate your wins, no matter how big or small,” Dan said.
Charlie agreed and encouraged others to “go for it” when it came to business.
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