How 3D printing is revolutionising health and nutrition innovation

By Nikki Hancocks

- Last updated on GMT

How 3D printing is revolutionising health and nutrition innovation

Related tags Startup company Innovation Technology SANSE Sports nutrition 3d printing

A successful serial entrepreneur who runs a 3D-printed personalised supplements firm will join NutraIngredients' Sports and Active Nutrition Summit in October to discuss the huge opportunity that this new tech brings to the health and nutrition industry.

As CEO and founder of the startup Nourished, launched in 2019, Melissa Snover uses 3D printing tech to create gummy supplements specifically made for customers based on their responses to an online questionnaire.

In a preview to the talk she will give at the summit, Snover describes how the use of technology removes huge barriers to innovation.

“92% of all new product launches fail, so the chances of getting a product to market that works is tiny and this huge risk is clearly a massive barrier to innovation.

“By using 3D technology we can respond to new trends, global economical change in real time with basically no risk.

“We can add new ingredients into our offering in 14 days and create a new product line in less than a month from concept.

"In comparison to the traditional way of manufacturing, this new method is a thousand times faster and the investment cost is negligible.”

Snover explains that in her first startup company ‘Goody Good Stuff’ she made all-natural vegetarian gummy sweets the 'old-fashioned way' - in a factory.

“I had to make a minimum order of 100,000 bags per flavour in order for the factory to agree to produce my product which is hugely risky and prohibitive for any small business.

“What's more, it would take two years to take the product from concept to market with huge amounts of money needing to be invested. It was always a huge risk because if the product failed you had new packaging that would die, production line space taken up, man hours put in, and cash wasted.”

When she sold that company in 2014 she went searching for a way to remove some of the barriers she’d faced.

She bought a 3D printer in 2015 and spent months learning everything there was to know about the technology, before launching her first 3D printing concept ‘Magic Candy Factory’ in 2016.

Within this business, she sold 3D candy printers to experiential parks and retail spaces all over the world including Warner Bro’s World, Dubai Mall, amusement parks and John Lewis stores. The printers allowed customers to create their own candy in their desired shape.

“That concept was hugely successful and a massive leap forward for the world of 3D printing of food products.

“I was super proud of what I achieved but it wasn’t having the impact on people’s lives that I knew the technology was capable of making.”  

Snover sold that business in 2018 and the following year she set up the personalised health tech company Remedy Health Group and the personalised supplement gummies brand Nourished.

Nourished has gone from strength to strength in this time, providing personalised gummy supplements to consumers on an international scale.

And proving the speed at which Nourished can innovate, the company recently added ADM’s HT-BPL1 probiotic to its offering. Snover says the integration of a new ingredients such as this takes around 20 days from ideation to commercial launch.

"We can receive samples from the supplier in three to four days, then we send the ingredients for lab testing in which the ingredient is tested for its efficacy outside and inside our gummies, and its 3D printability.

"We then send to a third party lab for validation, which takes a week. The following week the marketing team is provided with all the information they need to spread the word.

"Our cost risk is a couple hundred pounds as opposed to a couple million."

Sport and Active Nutrition Summit 2021

Snover will provide a full presentation on the opportunities in 3D printing as part of NutraIngredients’ virtual Sports and Active Nutrition Summit​, taking place from October 12-14 2021.

This year’s event will provide insights from the industry’s experts and athletes, with sessions on personalised nutrition, the gut microbiome, cognitive health, esports, innovation opportunities, CBD, and much more.

Register before September 14th​ to take advantage of our 25% early bird saving.

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