This Brand Went From Failure To Millions In Just One Year

The Collagen Co is celebrating its first birthday with some big wins under its belt. But it hasn’t always been smooth sailing for the brand.

Knowing how to stay agile and pivot when needed is a crucial aspect of building any successful business. That concept couldn’t be more true for the founders of The Collagen Co who turned a failing brand into a multi-million dollar success when times got tough during COVID-19.

Founded by brothers Izaak and Josh Woodley, and their childhood best friend Lachlan Arter, The Collagen Co offers premium collagen blends, scientifically backed to increase the body’s collagen production to fight the signs of ageing. It was born out of a failed venture and keen eye for the emerging trends in the wellness market. Their story is a great example of how facing challenges head on and not being afraid to change paths can really pay off in business.

Can you tell us about your previous product and at what time did you know you needed to pivot to a new idea?

Our previous venture, ProWater, was a protein water company primarily sold in gyms. Collagen was one of the main ingredients in our protein water and we saw first hand the transformative results it produced and noticed it to be the ingredient that generated the most excitement for our customers.

After four years building ProWater, when the pandemic hit in 2020 our main sales channel was completely shut down, leaving us with mass amounts of stock we couldn’t sell. Like so many other businesses, it was at this point we knew we needed to pivot our business strategy fast.

Armed with a wealth of knowledge about collagen and understanding the current market offerings, we saw a gap in the collagen space waiting to be filled. Turning these losses into lessons, we took the plunge – each accessed our superannuation and invested in a brand we all truly believed in. A year later, we’ve now turned The Collagen Co into a multi-million dollar business, which is something we couldn’t be more proud of.

What were you seeing in the market that inspired your turn toward collagen supplements?

Through our market research, we identified that most products currently on the market lacked sufficient amounts of quality collagen to achieve meaningful results. Our research found the minimum effective dose to be 10-15 grams of bioactive collagen peptides per day to achieve noticeable results fast – most products currently on the market contain about a third of this.

Our ProWater supplements contained 15 grams of the highest quality collagen per serving, and we continued to see customers remarking at the results they were experiencing –

glowing skin, hair and nail growth, overall energy boosts. We saw the opportunity to deliver this to market in a unique way, and this is where The Collagen Co was born.

Can you share how you got started on creating your collagen supplements?

Starting The Collagen Co., our products went through a rigorous development process to make sure that each ingredient had a specific targeted benefit so our customers receive maximum results in a short amount of time. We selected ingredients during our formulation and development process based on relevant scientific studies that justified their inclusion within our formulas.

We also conducted extensive research into the minimum effective dose of collagen and found that a minimum daily intake of 10-15 grams of the high quality hydrolyzed collagen is required to give visible results such as thicker hair, smoother skin, stronger nails, improved joint function and support for gut health. This has also been substantiated with feedback from thousands of our amazing customers experiencing the incredible benefits of our Premium Collagen Peptides in as little as 2 weeks.

An important component of our product development is also taste and palatability. We went through hundreds of samples and combinations to get what we think are the perfect blends.

What do you think has been the biggest challenge, and the biggest reward, in starting a collagen brand?

Having launched during a pandemic and peak lockdown in Victoria, one of the standouts for us was being able to help our customers achieve some great results with not only their personal beauty goals but also overall health. Having the ability to make even one person feel amazing within themselves in such a testing time and to see the reviews from thousands of extremely happy customers has made all our efforts so fulfilling.

We’ve also just secured a partnership with renowned wellness distributor, Frostbland, which has definitely been one of the highlights since the brand’s inception. This partnership will see us enter a new phase for The Collagen Co, helping us to expand into the retail space and reach more customers Australia-wide.

What excites you about collagen and the beauty supplement industry in general?

There is so much that can be done and we’re only just seeing the beginning of the world of collagen supplements, and ingestible beauty in general. We have some really exciting, innovative new products in the works and we can’t wait to bring these to market.

There is a lot of new research being done in the ingestible beauty space, so I think we are yet to see the best of it.

What do you predict will be the next big supplement trend? Any hints on new products you’re set to release?

From what we can already see, the popularity of beauty enhancing products and wellness supplements will continue to grow at a rapid pace, and we expect to see more diverse categories and channels for these products throughout the market. Consumers lead busy lives and are after products that fit seamlessly into their lifestyles, making ‘on-the-go’ products very attractive.

An important trend we expect to see is people wanting to know more about the products they’re putting on their skin and into their bodies – does it actually work, and why. The knowledge base of consumers is growing and so is their appetite for facts surrounding the efficacy of functional ingredients and their intended therapeutic benefits. We expect to see this evolve through more educational marketing and brands becoming more transparent.

Sustainability will continue to be a focal point for consumers who are increasingly willing to pay extra for sustainable products. The demand, and the urgency, is there. Brands will have to cater to this market through innovative packaging solutions and environmentally friendly formulations, and we’re excited to see this shift within the industry.

We have some really exciting products in the works for later this year and beyond, some of which will be world firsts in the collagen space. We can’t wait to bring these to market and keep expanding our offering.

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