Wellness Central: Unilever’s Olly Acquisition Underscores Supplement Interest

Unilever is acquiring Olly Nutrition, which sells gummy supplements that aim to target sleep, beauty, stress and energy.
The business was cofounded by Eric Ryan, who also founded soaps business Method, in 2014. In addition to the gummy vitamins the brand is known for, Olly makes protein powders and snack bars. Olly sells its products at Target, Sephora, Walmart, Walgreens, CVS, Amazon and other retailers.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
"Olly is a strong, innovative brand in the fast-growing health and well-being space, and nicely complements our businesses in beauty and personal care and foods and refreshment," said Amanda Sourry, president of Unilever North America, in a statement.
Under Unilever, Ryan will stay on as chief growth officer for Olly. Gerry Chesser, Olly's chief operating officer, will become chief executive officer.
The Olly deal underscores strategic interest in the supplements space, which has increased as wellness trends take hold with consumers. Olly isn't Unilever's first supplement deal — in 2018, the company bought a majority stake in Equilibra, which makes personal care and nutritional supplements. Johnson & Johnson also recently bought Zarbee's, which makes natural medicines and supplements. Other companies, like Hum Nutrition and Bulletproof 360, have raised venture capital.
“Ten years ago you’d just have bottles that said vitamin C sitting on the shelf in the store, but now you have brands like Hum saying, ‘this is for sleep,'” Susan Roddy, managing director at Houlihan Lokey, told WWD in November.
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