Supporting fertility and pregnancy care for the “modern couple” has been a long-time mission of Beli and its Founder & CEO, Joni Hanson Davis. As a fertility and prenatal supplement brand, Beli offers products formulated to support expecting parents, from preconception to postpartum.
From the beginning, Beli has positioned itself as a source of “high-quality and science-backed” prenatal vitamins, earning the Clean Label Project Purity Award in the process. “We know that the science behind prenatal supplementation has not kept up with the times,” shares Davis, who notes that prenatal vitamins are not required to be proven safe and effective by the FDA before coming onto the market. “We’re here to clean up the supplement space and fill a clear gap in the industry in providing better and more modern nutritional support for both men and women.”
Paving the way
As of 2023, Beli celebrates five years in business, and four years since the launch of its Beli Vitality for Men. It’s one of the first prenatal vitamins made available for men and the only one to include the Ayurvedic compound, Shilajit, which has been shown to increase levels of testosterone and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). Their prenatal also includes vitamins and minerals like CoQ10, folate, Vitamin D, C, E, zinc, and selenium to help support conception and pregnancy from the male side of the equation.
Davis observed a “lack of innovation” in the prenatal care space and that attention was primarily centered on women. This became the “aha moment” in releasing a men’s prenatal to cater specifically to male fertility health and effectively “turn the industry on its head”, according to Davis. “When it comes to family planning, the reality is that it takes two.” She shares that while there are a lot of factors involved in a healthy conception and pregnancy, the first step is focusing on what couples can control, namely nutritional health and the role it plays in infertility, especially for men.
Approximately 40% of infertility cases for couples can be traced back to sperm health. One factor in optimizing fertility health for men is taking a prenatal before conception to help support overall sperm health and sperm counts. Davis notes that previously there have been no clear clinical guidelines for fertility treatment or set standards for a male prenatal supplement to offset these statistics. In fact, in 2020, Beli publicly issued a call for the Department of Human Health and Services to include guidelines for men’s prenatal health in their ninth edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-2025. “We saw this as a critical step, considering that the guidelines have been around for decades and in no way have addressed the fact that nutritional deficiencies lead to poor sperm health, and poor sperm health affects everything from placental health to the future health of a baby.”
After launching their men’s prenatal, Beli released a prenatal formula for women. In this case, Davis saw a need to innovate based on the fact that available supplements on the market “did not meet recommended nutritional guidelines” for nutrients like iodine, magnesium, and vitamin D, which are essential for a baby’s development. This is in addition to the nutrient choline, which Davis notes is often missing altogether from existing supplements on the market, despite playing a crucial role in the development of a fetus’s brain and spinal cord.
Pregnancy to product line
In developing a suite of products to optimize fertility and reproductive health for couples, Davis created the brand she wishes was available during her pregnancy. “My journey resulted in the 3 loves of my life, but it was mired with my own stories of miscarriage and breastfeeding issues. I never considered that the products I took might be doing more harm than good.”
Davis’ story reflects a greater opportunity to focus on fertility health and prenatal care for parents-to-be, considering that the pregnancy care space is estimated to be a $33 million market by 2029. With this growth, Davis is optimistic about men being included in pregnancy product development and the general conversation surrounding fertility, and she is “encouraged by stories of men taking ownership of their health” through using Beli’s products.
In catering to both sides of the baby-making equation, Beli’s products have not gone unnoticed. Their women’s prenatal vitamins are the top-ranking prenatal according to Forbes Health and their male prenatal vitamin is number one on Babylist. The company has also been included in the 2023 Grammy® Gift Bag.
From its launch to the present day, Beli has scaled through small investments from angel investors, and organic marketing. Davis shares that her vision was in taking a “grassroots approach” to create a community and recurring sales without paid media and advertising. Her growth plan has led her to scale the company to $1 million in under two years. Beli solidifies its commitment to catering to every step of the pregnancy journey for couples, with the continued expansion of its product line.
Supplements meet science
Collagen has become a staple in the beauty and wellness space, from skin creams to smoothies.Beli is now highlighting its benefits beyond the beauty counter for pregnant and breastfeeding women with the release of its Prenatal Collagen Protein Booster. Collagen has been shown to help support the immune system, regulate hormones, and ease morning sickness during pregnancy. This is in addition to collagen’s noted benefits in supporting skin elasticity, which translates to helping reduce the appearance of stretch marks.
The move to offer a “cleaner” and non-GMO collagen powder for expecting parents reflects Beli’s bigger vision in reimagining the pregnancy journey for couples today. “Modern science is changing the way we approach fertility and pregnancy, and Beli is proud to be on the precipice of empowering everyone on their unique path to parenthood by helping couples be the healthiest they can be to create, grow, and welcome a new little life.”
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