Hindustan Unilever (HUL) announced its foray into the ‘Health & Wellbeing’ category through strategic investments in Zywie Ventures (OZiva) and Nutritionalab (Wellbeing Nutrition).
‘Health & Wellbeing’ is a fast-evolving category in India with a total potential market size of Rs 30,000 crore.
Launched in 2016, OZiva is a plant-based, and clean-label consumer wellness brand focused on the need spaces such as Lifestyle Protein, Hair & Beauty Supplements and Women’s health. It is a digital-first brand with an omnichannel approach, available on its website (D2C), digital marketplaces, and offline stores where its presence is growing. The company has an in-house R&D team comprising PhDs, Phyto-chemists and Biotechnologists.
HUL will acquire a 51% equity stake through a combination of primary infusion and secondary buyouts. The balance of 49% will be acquired at the end of 36 months based on pre-agreed valuation criteria. The current OZiva team led by Aarti Gill and Mihir Gadani will continue to operate all functions of the business. HUL will have representation on the Board and will provide the necessary capabilities and support to scale up.
Founded in 2019, Wellbeing Nutrition has pioneered disruptive formats in science-backed, benefit-led clean products in Health & Wellbeing. Its product range includes Melts (Oral Thin Strips), Slow (Slow-Release capsules) and Marine Collagen powder focused on need spaces such as Beauty, Everyday Health, Gut Health and Sleep. They have a presence in D2C, digital marketplaces and are expanding in offline retail channels.
HUL will acquire a 19.8% equity stake in the company through a combination of primary infusion and secondary buyouts. The current Wellbeing Nutrition team led by Avnish Chhabria will continue to operate all functions of the business. HUL will be represented on the Board.
Both these transactions are expected to be completed in the next 1-3 months, subject to customary closing conditions.
Sanjiv Mehta, CEO and Managing Director, HUL, said, “We are delighted to welcome OZiva and Wellbeing Nutrition to the HUL family and our portfolio of purpose-led brands. These strategic investments give us an entry into the fast-growing Health & Wellbeing category. They align strongly with our mission to improve the health and well-being of consumers and empower people to take charge of their health through solutions that they can trust. I strongly believe that HUL is well-positioned to support further scale-up of these businesses through our R&D, Market Development, Distribution capabilities and Unilever’s global Health & Wellbeing expertise.”
Ritesh Tiwari, CFO, HUL, said, “HUL has a successful track record of building categories through market development. We are excited to work with the founders of OZiva and Wellbeing Nutrition to grow the businesses further by leveraging our complementary expertise and capabilities.”
Aarti Gill and Mihir Gadani, Founders of OZiva, said, “We are glad to partner with HUL to achieve our vision of empowering people to live better and healthier with OZiva. Over the last few years, we have created an innovative portfolio that has helped millions of consumers live better life. As the next step in this journey, with OZiva's focus on innovation in the space of health & wellbeing and HUL's strong capabilities in category development and distribution, we believe we can together create a stronger purpose led brand that brings us closer to our vision and touch more lives around the world.”
Avnish Chhabria, Founder and CEO, Wellbeing Nutrition, said, “We are very excited to welcome onboard Hindustan Unilever as a strategic investor. Wellbeing Nutrition has been on a mission to make clean nutrition accessible to consumers all over the world on the back of innovative products, such as Melts (Oral Thin Strips) and Slow (2-in-1 capsule technology) formulated using high-quality and globally-sourced natural ingredients. We believe this partnership will help scale Wellbeing Nutrition by leveraging HUL’s reach and capabilities and become a lifestyle wellness brand of choice.”