Insider Intelligence spoke with Lulu Ge, founder and CEO of Elix Healing, a femtech product that offers Chinese herbal supplements for people experiencing menstrual pain. After taking the online health assessment, a customer receives a personalized herbal product targeted to treat menstrual-health conditions.
Direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands like Elix are part of the women’s health market that will grow to more than $15.4 billion by 2023, per Piper Sandler research. In the coming years, ecommerce brands catering to women’s health needs will gain further momentum as consumer demands for personal health tools increase. Brands like Thinx and Lola have changed how marketers talk about menstrual hygiene, and there are more opportunities for brands to continue the conversation.
Insider Intelligence: What is the future for D2C brands within the health supplement space?
Lulu Ge: The pandemic has sparked interesting conversations around health and wellness for a lot of people. As a Chinese-American founder, I'm grateful that there's been more of a cultural awakening, and people are having conversations around decolonizing wellness products. Consumers are now interested in learning about the root of certain wellness traditions and figuring out ways to use natural health supplements effectively. There is a huge opportunity for health companies, as consumers are increasingly taking health into their own hands.
II: How have digital tools changed the way consumers access femtech products?
LG: Only 4% of healthcare research and development in the US goes to fund women's health products, but we represent half the population. There are not enough products that offer solutions to female consumers. Erectile dysfunction affects about 10% to 15% of men, but products targeting this condition have received 10 times more funding than all menstrual health products, which affects 90% of women and people with periods.
When you look at the disparities, not only is it a huge underserved need from a consumer’s perspective, but it presents an opportunity for us to bring new solutions that people are craving.
II: What was the impact of personalizing your product?
LG: We took the in-person diagnostic that you would get with an acupuncturist or herbalist and brought it online. We have an online health assessment that's 50 to 60 questions long. At the end, the individual receives a recommendation for an herbal formula. Our health assessment is our digital product with its own algorithm that has allowed us to tailor the product to each customer.
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