Ritual founder Katerina Schneider wants you to read the label. Her multivitamin line for men, women and teens/kids prides itself on having transparent source profiles and very limited ingredients. Rather than the long list of nutrients typically listed on multivitamins, Ritual only includes what you really need. Its signature clear capsules contain a blend of a dozen or fewer ingredients floating in Golden Algae Oil, a plant-based form of Omega-3 DHA derived from Canadian microalgae. (“We’ve probably saved billions of anchovies,” Schneider jokes.) You’ve bound to come across the brand’s bright, informative ads on Instagram, a marketing strategy that helped the company go from a women’s vitamin in 2016 to a whole range of products in 2021.
The last one is a $40 pea protein powder, released last week. This next stage of habituation is what Schneider and his team have envisioned since the conception of the brand. Like vitamins, the new Vanilla Vegan Protein Shakes are designed for different life stages (including 18+, pre and postnatal, and 50+) and made with limited ingredients with stories listed on the site. Ritual’s web, including organic yellow peas. from Turtle Lake, Wisconsin.
Schneider was honest: the decision to rely on pea protein over animal products was not for any specific nutritional benefit – they both work well – but rather because of its ability to restore to the environment. Ritual sources its peas from a Wisconsin farm that invests in regenerative farming practices. Schneider wants protein to be considered a product for everyone, not just athletes, noting that the need for protein and choline is increased in prenatal and postnatal women. Each serving contains 20 grams with no sugar, gluten or other artificial additives.
When she launched Ritual in 2016, Schneider was no stranger to the startup world. She was previously a venture capital partner with music executive Troy Carter’s AF Square, the angel fund behind Warby Parker, Lyft, Dropbox and Spotify. The idea germinated for her after descending into a research “rabbit hole” while searching for a prenatal vitamin with cleaner, traceable and vital ingredients. While Ritual originally launched with its Nine-ingredient essential for women 18+, he followed with prenatal vitamins in 2018; a 50+ option in 2019; and vitamins for children, teens, men and postnatal women in 2020.
The vitamin industry is murky. A 2018 study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that multivitamins showed no “significant effect” on overall health. The efficacy and regulation of supplements are constantly debated – and while Ritual boasts third-party testing, extensive research and an award-winning scientific leadership team, its first product, the Essential for Women 18+, has just receive his United States Pharmacopoeia Verification This year.
I switched to Ritual’s Women’s 18+ after accidentally dropping the generic brand multivitamin I’d been taking for the past four years in a glass of water, and three days later it still looked like a tiny pink brick . While water is obviously not an equal representation of your digestive tract, I couldn’t help but imagine a sea of solid pink pills floating around my stomach like accidentally swallowed chewing gum.
As far as I can tell, Ritual is awesome, despite the strong smell of the ocean, half masked by the little tab of peppermint oil in each bottle. I like that I can take them on an empty stomach, and the bottle looks better than the clunker I had in my cupboard before. I can’t echo the over-enthusiastic user reviews that cite glowing skin and other body changes, but I love having them as part of my routine and will probably take them indefinitely. And honestly, I think that’s what Ritual is betting on.
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