Wonderbelly, which is a clean-cut, talc-free formula, will launch at Target’s 650+ doors.
This is the first major retail expansion of the brand that was founded by brothers Noah Kraft and Lucas Kraft. According to The International Market Analysis Research and Consulting Group (IMRCG), the global antacid market is currently dominated by heritage brands. It is expected that it will reach over $8 billion by 2027.
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The brand’s origin was born out of necessity. Lucas Kraft had dealt with an eating disorder growing up — while he recovered in his mid-20s, the Wonderbelly chief belly officer was left with lingering digestive issues for which he had to take an antacid daily.
The Kraft brothers created a healthier alternative to talc-based products in the midst COVID-19. These formulas do not contain talc, dyes or artificial sweeteners. They provide relief from heartburn, acid reflux, stomach upset, and sour stomach.
“I got sort of outraged because, of all things, medicine is something I’m supposed to trust. Inherently it’s supposed to benefit my health. I shouldn’t have to worry that it’s doing the exact opposite,” said Lucas Kraft. “It came down to, ‘Is this something that we could potentially create?’”
Three years later, this brand, formulated using the FDA-approved monograph Calcium Carbonate, is in mass production, which was, according the brothers, the ultimate goal.
“We have always looked at ourselves as a retail brand. Medicine takes a certain level of credibility, and we never thought that someone is going to go to a first party website,” Noah Kraft said, the brand’s chief executive officer. “A lot of what we need to do is be disruptive as a brand but also be trusted and so we’ve always looked at ourselves as a company that’s going to lie on shelf next to the leading brand.”
The brand will be available in-stores and online. Target with two of its signature flavors — Strawberry Milkshake and Watermelon Mint — and a brand new one, Fruity Cereal, all $11.99.
The Kraft brothers see flavors as a major differentiator.
“Historically, it hasn’t really been a very enjoyable experience. Flavors are usually like medicinal flavors,” Lucas Kraft told WWD. “You should really enjoy relief…so flavors are something that we’re really promoting.”
Along with candy-like flavors, Wonderbelly’s vibrant, sustainable packaging is another aspect the brand is harnessing to make the experience more enjoyable. Wonderbelly will appear on Target’s side caps and end caps with marketing materials highlighting the ingredient story. This is to best introduce the brand. Industry sources suggest that Target’s launch could bring in $3 million to $5million in retail sales. However, the brand didn’t share its projections.
In terms of core customers, the brand is looking at “a 24- to 39-year-old female-leaning, based in the city, looking for better for you products” market, according to Noah Kraft. Lucas Kraft agreed with this sentiment, as Millennials have more gut problems than any other generation according to data from 3Gem. But, they expect older generations to join the wagon eventually.
“People like trying things that are better for them and especially if they see their kids using it, we definitely believe that that will filter up,” said Noah Kraft.
They also noted that Target will be expanding further this year to help them dominate the digestive market.
“Our goal is to own the digestive OTC aisle. It’s not just heartburn meds and so for us, this is really the start of, hopefully, a much bigger push to modernize how people think about medicine,” said Noah Kraft. “We want to focus on the stomach. It’s a big enough market from a business perspective, but also from a brand perspective. It makes it so it’s very clear what we do. It’s called Wonderbelly for a reason.”