Episode Topic: In this episode of NutraPreneur, we’re diving into the world of child health and kids’ nutrition with Caitlyn Vanderhaeghe, the driving force behind KidStar Nutrients. Join us as we explore Caitlyn’s journey in creating high-quality kids’ nutrition products and her commitment to upholding the KidStar promise of uncompromised quality.
Lessons You’ll Learn: In this captivating dialogue with Caitlyn Vanderhaeghe, witness the wellness-infused upbringing that fueled her mission to enhance kids’ nutrition. Plunge into KidStar Nutrients’ origins, a realm where a child-centric ethos shapes the course. Grasp the significance of safety and excellence in nutraceuticals as KidStar sets itself apart with unwavering integrity. Peer into Caitlyn’s crystal ball, revealing KidStar Nutrients’ exciting future, a symphony of expansion, and an unyielding dedication to family nutrition.
About Our Guest: Caitlyn Vanderhaeghe, the founder of KidStar Nutrients, is a thought leader in the nutraceutical industry. With a background in operations and a deep passion for child healthcare, Caitlyn has crafted KidStar Nutrients into a brand known for its commitment to quality and care. Her journey from a health-conscious childhood to creating nutritional solutions for her own family has resulted in a range of products that prioritize kids’ nutrition, health, and wellness.
Topics Covered: In this episode of NutraPreneur, we’re delving into the world of children’s health with KidStar Nutrients. Explore Caitlyn’s personal connection to the brand and how her background in health and wellness guided her mission to deliver safe, effective, and great-tasting kids’ nutritional products. Gain insights into the ever-evolving landscape of the nutraceutical industry. Uncover Caitlyn’s vision for the future of KidStar Nutrients and its expansion into new markets.
Join us as we explore the story of KidStar Nutrients, a brand driven by a passion for children’s health and a commitment to making a difference in the world of nutraceuticals.
Our Guest:Caitlyn Vanderhaeghe: Building a Healthier Future for Kids with KidStar Nutrients
Caitlyn Vanderhaeghe, the visionary President and CEO of KidStar Nutrients. Caitlyn’s journey from childhood entrepreneurship selling flowers to her current role is a testament to her unwavering drive.
A licensed teacher, published children’s author, mommy blogger, and more. Caitlyn’s passion for health led her to co-found KidStar Nutrients. Frustrated by the lack of clean and effective supplements for her daughter’s health needs, Caitlyn fearlessly launched a company of her own.
According to her, seeing her products side by side with industry giants is her greatest achievement. With her maternal instinct and over a decade of experience in supply chain management, ingredient sourcing, and natural health product development, Caitlyn is reshaping the supplement landscape.
Caitlyn’s mission is fueled by her daughters, who champion KidStar Nutrients. Her advice to aspiring entrepreneurs is to take the blind step of faith forward. Her effect on educating parents about kids’ nutrition is clear and undeniable as she continues her efforts. Her legacy shines as she pioneers cleaner supplements and battles nutrient deficiencies, driving the industry toward a healthier future.
Caitlyn Vanderhaeghe: Make sure you know your products and you know your costing and you know that the road ahead will have a lot of additional fees. So certain chains and things like that to get listed is very expensive. So just to be aware of the funding you’re going to need down the road. So again, looking at how you’re going to receive the payments payment processing through your website, through different channels, making sure it’s all set up at the same time. So you’re not stuck later on with this great quality product and no one to sell it to.
Bethany Jolley: Welcome to NutraPreneur the Nutra Industry podcast. I’m your host, food scientist, and nutraceuticals consultant Bethany Jolley. Each episode we’ll be exploring what it takes to thrive in the nutraceutical industry, from conversations with successful nutraceutical entrepreneurs to venture capitalists to tech executives whose innovations are reshaping the nutraceutical industry. We explore the innovations and trends that are shaping the next generation of nutraceutical businesses.
Welcome to NutraPreneur, your gateway to the frontiers of the nutraceutical industry. I am very excited to be introducing Caitlyn Vanderhaeghe. She is the driving force behind KidStar Nutrients, and this is a company that’s known for its unwavering commitment to child health. So welcome, Caitlyn. I’m so excited to have you.
Caitlyn Vanderhaeghe: Thank you very much, Bethany. It’s great to be here.
Bethany Jolley: Caitlyn, why don’t you walk us through the genesis of KidStar Nutrients and really, what was the catalyst behind its inception?
Caitlyn Vanderhaeghe: I had the luxury of growing up in the health and wellness industry and actually, my mom is a health expert, here in Canada and nationally and, it’s Lorna Vanderhaeghe. And so I grew up with her surrounded by us questioning, telling us, read the labels, what else can you do? Is that the only option? And then after high school, I actually went and started working for her company, Lorna Vanderhaeghe Health Solutions, and during that time did supply chain. So I was in charge of raw materials to finished products on the shelf. So I got to see everything. And I loved it. I loved the ingredients and I loved being able to read the CVS and go, okay, yes, we’re going to use this one. It has this benefit. It doesn’t contain X, Y, Z, and it’s a great quality. And then I had my daughters during that same time and I would go to the health food store and look for things for them, and I would get frustrated and I’d read the labels and I’d go why did they include that? And it just became to the point where I knew I couldn’t buy those things for my kids. And I knew that they were picky eaters and we were having a hard time and that they needed those really good quality nutrients.
Caitlyn Vanderhaeghe: And so when the company sold and my second daughter was diagnosed with iron deficiency, I decided that I was going to make these products myself. I was like, I know we can do better. And so Kidstar Nutrients was born because other parents out there as well needed something better for their families.
Bethany Jolley: I love it. Just taking control of it. There are so many brands out there that are vying for attention. So how does KidStar ensure that it’s standing out while remaining true to its promise?
Caitlyn Vanderhaeghe: You know, a lot of it is just that connection. This company was made because of our own children. And so we really pushed that like these are things we should look for in our own families. And we know that we’re making products that we’re proud to give our own kids and our own families. And so it’s safe for your family as well, because we want to make sure that the quality is top notch. And also we really push education. We want to make sure you know why you’re taking the product and which products are best for your family.
Bethany Jolley: Absolutely. Quality and safety are so important. In today’s digital age, it seems like every business, including nutraceuticals, really grapples with seamless transactions. So how has KidStar adapted its payment processing to ensure a frictionless customer experience?
Caitlyn Vanderhaeghe: So with our website, we’ve ensured that there isn’t that many clicks involved from your purchase to the shopping cart to, of course, getting it at home. So for our customers, we want we do want to make sure that you don’t get lost in the transaction and then of course go somewhere else. A lot of nutraceutical brands during Covid had to swap and do online sales and they weren’t really ready for it. So it’s been good for us launching during that time to make sure that it was seamless. That from start of the purchase on your website to the end at home, that it all worked together.
Bethany Jolley: Yeah, I know. Everything is online.
Caitlyn Vanderhaeghe: Also, it is so important to make it simple and easy for the consumers to get their products. And so with KidStar, something that I really love about the brand is the unique child-centric approach. So can you share with us some of your strategies to engage children but also earn that parental trust that is so important? We really focus, of course, on education from preconception before we even get pregnant and the importance of nutrients for the mom. And of course, as soon as they’re born, we want to focus again. And we don’t stop growing from the time we are born till our mid-20s ish, depending on the person. And that entire time is when we really need the nutrients. So that’s why we focus on kids because we want to make sure they have a great foundation before they go into their 20s and their 30s. We don’t want to find out in our 30s that we could have solved this problem in our early years. And of course, with kids it’s taste. Yes, for kids it’s got to look fun. It has to taste good. And that’s actually the biggest thing. I came from doing women’s supplements in my mom’s company, and it was really easy to put something in a capsule. It was like, it’s okay, that person’s just going to swallow it. They won’t ever really taste it. And then moving to the kids’ category has to taste good. But of course, we don’t use sugar, artificial colors, or flavors and we don’t use harmful preservatives. So we really had to work with our manufacturers to get the formulas down with using great quality ingredients that the kids would really like.
Bethany Jolley: Yes, absolutely. I know it can be so challenging to try to mask those vitamin flavors and tastes. And I know with my kids, they definitely want something that tastes good. So I know that it took a lot of trial and error, I’m sure, for that but that’s great.
Caitlyn Vanderhaeghe: Yeah, my kids were the testers at the beginning. Yeah. And of course, they were like, which sample is this, number one or number five? And I’d be like five. And they’re like, okay, I’ll try it.
Bethany Jolley: I’d really love to take a peek into Kid Star’s roadmap. So what’s in store for the future at Kid Star?
Caitlyn Vanderhaeghe: So right now we are across Canada and our future is moving into the US and getting into some e-commerce and making sure that the customers we do have in the US are able to purchase our products. We have a lot of traffic on our website from the US, but currently, we are working through the regulations to get our products into the hands of our American customers. And of course looking globally, where else we can fit our product line into those countries where of course other parents are looking for great quality products. So we are looking outside of Canada, but we’re also focusing on Canada as well, making sure the pediatricians know about our products, that there’s different options out there, and that there are great tasting products that don’t have harmful ingredients.
Bethany Jolley: Yeah, absolutely. And it’s so interesting to see the various regulations from country to country, how there are so many variations that you really wouldn’t even expect.
Caitlyn Vanderhaeghe: Everything down to labeling the way you write it on the label, the images, the what you can say. Canada is very strict and they have a great system. But of course, when you move out of that, you have to relearn everything. So we’re almost finished and we’re excited to launch in other areas.
Bethany Jolley: Yes, it’s very exciting. So let’s change gears a bit and let’s talk about technology. So how has KidStar incorporated tech solutions to streamline its business processes and especially in those areas that are less discussed like nutraceutical payment processing and mechanisms?
Caitlyn Vanderhaeghe: It’s been very interesting over the time, like when I started working in the industry, it was very much everything was just check. You maybe had a wire transfer, but that was even a little bit outside the box. So going from the paper payment systems and moving into now we’re doing wire transfers and e-transfers and everything is just seamless. It’s just I can pay you in five seconds. It’s a very different payment world. But even from raw material all the way to finished goods and on the shelf, it has dramatically changed. And now we’re able to look into things like the way you can connect apps to your website to connect to your payment processing, which connects to your CRM and everything now can just talk to each other to get to the end result, which does save a significant amount of time.
Bethany Jolley: This episode is brought to you by Nutrapayments.com. If your business needs credit card processing that fully integrates with most major Nutra software platforms, offers the lowest industry prices, and has built-in features like recurring billing, $0 trials, and chargeback prevention. Then visit us at Nutrapayments.com for a free online quote.
Bethany Jolley: Do you have any memorable challenges or triumphs in the realm of Neutra credit card processing or payment systems that have really influenced your journey with KidStar?
Caitlyn Vanderhaeghe: Just being able to know that the payment processing we use right now, they actually the more obviously you grow, they also can assist you with loans like short-term loans because they know how much you’re funding is happening and how much is coming in and going out. So just having that safety net, knowing that those funds are there if you need them is extremely helpful. And it also shows you how much your company really is worth because it’s almost immediate how much is going out and how much is coming in. And they right away will tell you how much you can be funded for. So the landscape is completely changed and for us being able to have multiple areas of revenue from websites, from wholesale consumers, stores, everything, it really helps out in the final.
Bethany Jolley: It’s great that it’s also instantaneous like that. That’s definitely a big change. It is. I know innovation is huge with the nutraceutical industry. Everybody wants to have the next cutting-edge product. So how are you innovating with the regulations that are in place? How are you ensuring that KidStar stays ahead while upholding its promise?
Caitlyn Vanderhaeghe: So we make sure that with each product and with each ingredient, we look into the ingredient completely all the way down to the beginning of how it was made. And also we do hit go to all the trade shows around the world to make sure that the ingredients we’re using are the best in that area. There’s been a lot of innovation in ingredients, which has been amazing. Through encapsulation, they’re able to mask certain flavors and can be protected better. And it goes to a certain part in your body where it actually is absorbed properly. So we do make sure that every time we do a new product or a new ingredient, we review each one. And even when we do another run, we’ll look at that product and go, Is there anything we can do to make that better? Let’s look at the research. Is this still the best ingredient? What else has happened? And then, of course, in Canada, we have to follow our regulations. So we also make sure that we’re staying on top of what ingredients are allowed. How much are you allowed to have X, Y, Z and to stay within that framework? And if we need to ask and include a new ingredient, we go right ahead and we will actually go to Health Canada and say this is a brand new ingredient. We want to use it in our product. What can we do? So we do try to push as well to have ingredients added on our side so that we can have the best quality ingredients in our products.
Bethany Jolley: I love that. Being proactive, continuous improvement, all great things. So I’ve been on your website, I’ve seen the amazing products that you have to offer and I’d really love to go through a product journey. So are you able to share with us the story behind one of KidStar’s flagship products?
Caitlyn Vanderhaeghe: Of course. So our Iron Chewable Biofit Unflavored is the product I actually made for my daughter when I knew I had this problem. We tried about ten different products on the shelf that were recommended through the pediatrician or the pharmacist and even the health food stores. She would not take any of them more than once, and I didn’t even like the ingredients in them, but I was just trying to solve the problem. So we just kept trying and I reached out to a raw material supplier that I knew had a great quality iron ingredient. And we started from there and I said, what does it taste like when there’s nothing in it? And is it safe for this? Is it safe for that? Will this work in this formula? And after all those yes-es occurred and we researched the ingredient itself, then we went to the manufacturer and we said, this is the ingredient we want to use, this is our end goal. We do not want to include artificial colors or flavors. We don’t want floating agents. We don’t want all these excipients that really aren’t needed in this specific product.
And then from there, they let us know, okay, so if you’re not going to use these, then we have this option. And it was a lot of trial and error at the very beginning. And then you moved to taste. And at the taste phase is where you have all your samples. And of course, at that point, I said, we don’t even need a flavor. This product tastes good without a flavor. It’s sweetened with a little bit of Xylitol. And I was like, If we don’t need a flavor, don’t include it. I always say less is more. We do not need to add all these extra things to make it flashy for kids. If it tastes good, it tastes good. And so at that point, we were very happy with the formula and everything worked for manufacturing and then we launched the product. That product itself is my number one favorite because it was the first that we created and of course, it was from my own daughter. So still to this day, love that product, especially when you have a personal connection to it.
Bethany Jolley: And for listeners, if you want to learn more about the products, you can go to their website. It is kidstarnutrients.com/products. We’ll take you to see more information about these products, including the one that Caitlyn just shared with us. So I know we’ve been talking a lot about the KidStar promise.
So upholding the KidStar promise. So how do you navigate the industry’s challenges to really deliver uncompromised quality products?
Caitlyn Vanderhaeghe: The biggest part of that is a lot of people use other ingredients because it’s faster and of course, it’s cheaper. And we are well aware that our ingredients do cost more, but we are not going to put a cheaper ingredient on the market just because we will make more money. We want to ensure that the ingredients in our products are very good quality and that the final product has all the testing and it is surpassing what it needs to surpass to be on that shelf and be safe for your family because that’s really what matters most. Of course, our long-term goals are to be household names in North America, and at that point, we’re really excited to have the economies of scale to drop our prices a little bit. And of course, being able to be more competitive on that front. But the biggest thing for us is the quality of the ingredients in the products. And there’s this industry just continues to grow. And so for those out there that are new and upcoming brands eager to venture into the nutraceutical industry, what insights can you provide regarding the nuances of business operations, including those aspects like payment processing? I always want to say, if you want to start a business, just do it, because that really is the most important part.
If you have a passion, if you’re solving a problem, get out there and do it. But in this industry in particular, make sure you know your products and you know your costing and you know that the road ahead will have a lot of additional fees. So certain chains and things like that to get listed is very expensive. So just to be aware of the funding you’re going to need down the road. So again, looking at how you’re going to receive the payments payment processing through your website, through different channels, making sure it’s all set up at the same time so you’re not stuck later on with this great quality product and no one to sell it to.
Bethany Jolley: That’s very good advice. So thinking about the future. So what is your vision for KidStar in the coming years and do you have any teasers for what’s on the horizon?
Caitlyn Vanderhaeghe: We definitely have some new products coming out in the very short future, which we are very excited about. We would love to see the KidStar brand grow with your kids, so making sure our teenagers have what’s needed and making sure our young adults have the nutrients they need. We have a few other products in our line already that are targeted towards adults, so we really want to make sure that this brand grows with the families that we support.
I think there’s definitely a demand out there for that because even I have my kids that their ages range from 2 to 12 and you see the kids’ products, you see the adults’ products. But then for the 12-year-old who’s almost 13, it’s like, what do I buy for him? It’s very true because you don’t they’re not yet adults, but they are still very kid-like. They’re not yet teenagers, but they’re in that area.
Bethany Jolley: Yes. So that’s a great vision for the company. Thank you so much. It’s been really great to learn about KidStar Nutrients and all that. You have to offer a little bit of background about your business, your advice. It’s been so great. So thank you so much for joining us today. I appreciate it.
And for the listeners out there, once again, if you want to learn more about KidStar Nutrients, you can visit their website at Kidstarnutrients.com and continue the conversation online. So we will continue with these NutraPreneur podcast episodes for any new and upcoming brands that are out there that are looking for resources as they venture into the nutraceutical industry. So continue tuning in as I meet with industry experts and we look forward to seeing you again soon.
Thanks for tuning in to this episode of NutraPreneur. If you enjoy the show, please subscribe and better yet, leave us a review as it really helps us grow the show.