rmdy Digs Into Digestive HealthBy Rima Reddy
rmdy is a direct-to-consumer startup focused on unlocking a higher quality of health with modern wellness solutions that work. Rmdy’s first product, Daily Digestive Essentials, is a tasty, chewable tablet that proactively prevents gas and bloating while also improving digestive function. I grabbed a bite with Co-Founders and Wharton MBA Candidates Kate Kim and Ryan Morgan to learn more about rmdy’s recent launch.
Food: it’s the simplest of all human needs.
So, digestion – that should be easy, right?
Apparently not. As the millennia have gone by, our eating patterns have changed, and mostly for the better. Globalization allows us to enjoy flavorful new tastes from all over the world. Technology lets us cook faster while more efficiently maintaining nutrients. Science enables us to genetically modify our produce to grow even in the least ideal of climates. But somewhere along the way, we seemed to forget about one of the most critical aspects of our journey with food – how we feel after we eat it.
Given that food is such an essential and vital element of our existence, it’s surprising that 1 in 3 adults experience bloating after a meal, and most simply choose to bear with the uncomfortable symptoms. With the current options on the market carrying stigma and social embarrassment, it’s easy to see why. When it comes to lugging a boldly labeled box of Gas-X around, suffering through a little bit of bloating definitely seems like the safer way to go.
Plus, the digestion industry is one that struggles with a clear lack of trust as consumers try to decipher which products work and which are just marketing. Shelves are lined with labels promising quick solutions, but ingredient lists are opaque, and legitimacy is the prevailing concern.
Enter rmdy – modern wellness that works. Founded by Wharton MBAs Kate Kim and Ryan Morgan, rmdy is a chewable, candy-like daily supplement that if taken right before a meal, prevents gas and bloating before it happens, while also improving health in the long-term.
Admittedly challenged with this issue myself, I sat down for a bite with Kate and Ryan to learn more.
Setting the Table
While gastrointestinal (GI) issues plague even the healthiest of people, the industry is clearly missing the mark with currently available products. Options on either end of the spectrum deliver shame and stigma. On one hand, Gas-X and Beano market in-your-face “gas relief,” making consumers even more uncomfortable than they would have been just dealing with the bloating itself. Similarly, diet pills focus solely on superficial appearance with catch phrases like “get skinny overnight” and “lose water weight fast.”
Rmdy, on the other hand, messages pure positivity with an underlying focus on self-care and wellness – and it all starts with the founders, who sincerely believe in demystifying and de-shaming gut health.
As a matter of fact, Kate and Ryan met on the first day of their business school careers, and immediately opened up to each other about their own personal struggles with their digestive health.
Committed to the idea of solving their own personal problems, the team got cooking.
Mixing the Right Ingredients
Driven by their mission, Kate and Ryan sought out scientific advisors to build their team’s expertise – professors, researchers, private practice physicians – anyone who would have a conversation with them for free.
“Dr. Kapel said, ‘I have zero tolerance for bullshit.’”
Kate and Ryan were refreshed to hear Dr. Robert Kapel wrap up an introductory phone call with this candid outlook on life. In comparison to an industry crowded with opaque products, poorly marketed promises, and a lack of legitimacy, Dr. Kapel, a clinical gastroenterologist for over 25 years and a faculty member at the Yale School of Medicine, and Dr. Neil Stollman, a leading researcher in the field of gastroenterology and endoscopy, were the right additions to the team, helping Kate and Ryan hone in on developing a simple, transparent product that worked.
The next several months were spent interviewing customers, and the team stuck to their gut that shame had no place in the digestive health industry. They conducted over 300 customer interviews with an open mind about how to solve a clearly uncomfortable problem.
“There was no such thing as TMI,”
Kate said of their early customer need-finding research. They wanted to know everything about what their customers were dealing with, and doing so has served rmdy well. Interviews confirmed their own personal beliefs – people were ashamed of their issues with gut health, and wanted a more proactive solution.
Dinner is Served
After spending time formulating the product with their scientific advisors on board, the rmdy team launched a successful beta test selling their product direct-to-consumer on their website, rmdyco.com.
The customer experience is markedly different than what exists today. With a sleek white box and pastel beige accents, rmdy is marketed as a “daily digestive,” which promotes consistent proactive use and helps take the shame out of purchase and consumption. The product even comes with a stylish travel container, giving customers the flexibility to take a rmdy pill on the go, and driving word of mouth growth through a sharing moment. Simple ingredients – digestive enzymes, prebiotics, and probiotics – prevent bloat before it happens, with packaging that is clear, transparent, and subtle.
The product is also different than what competitors offer. With a focus on addressing the root causes of digestive ailments rather than just masking the symptoms like Gas-X, rmdy helps their customers actually improve their long-term health.
A First Taste of Success
Early indicators show the strategy is working. Longitudinal focus groups show that consumer sentiment is “truly fanatic,” and with word of mouth driving the business, the company has spent $0 on paid advertising pushes throughout its beta. Major supporters include Jet.com founder and Walmart eCommerce CEO Marc Lore, who tried and loved rmdy, and Kate Clark, writer at TechCrunch, who named rmdy ‘Hims for gut health’. Investors, too, are excited about rmdy’s promise, with funding from Contrary Capital, Red & Blue Ventures, Brand Foundry and well-respected angel investors including Dr. Peter Fader, a distinguished expert and professor in the field of Marketing and Behavioral Science.
The Last Bite
With their pre-seed round finalized, rmdy recently had its official launch.
The team is focused on going to market with the trifecta of Cs: commerce, content, and community. The platform is all about being a place to go to learn about gut health. The focus is on listening to your body, not shaming it. There will be challenges along the way, but the team is dedicated to handling one thing at a time.