Interview: David Kerbel | CEO, Rritual

October 26, 2020

What is the mission of Rritual? Can you tell us a bit about what you are building as a health and wellness company?

Our mission is to make people’s lives better.

We are focused on promoting health and wellness, happiness and vitality though organic, all-natural mushroom adaptogenic products. We are dedicated to creating simple, pure, yet effective plant-based health products that are mindfully designed to also facilitate the practice of daily self-care, so that the health of the whole body, mind & spirit is supported.

Rritual is the greatest champion for mental fitness™.

Rritual is building the next big thing in the health and wellness category. Functional Foods are one of the fastest growing segments in the world and the feature benefits of Rritual of focus, relax and immunity, are exactly what people are looking for. Rritual is building the next big thing in the health and wellness category. Functional Foods are one of the fastest growing segments in the world and the feature benefits of Rritual of focus, relax and immunity, are exactly what people are looking for.

Can you tell us a bit about what you are building as a health and wellness company?

Rritual Mushroom and Adaptogen Enhanced Elixirs are made with only the purest, organic mushrooms and botanicals, and without any added sugars, sweeteners, or flavors, to allow you to  easily integrate and personalize each unique Rritual elixir into your daily diet and wellness routine. Our focus is to get Rritual to within an arm’s length of consumer desire.

Rritual is a health and wellness company that is built with a world class leadership team. Every team member has decades of experience in health and wellness. Most importantly, we know how to take our efficacious proprietary blends of Reishi, Lion’s Mane and Chaga and bring them to the market.

Our operations are run by our COO, Warren Spence that has been in the health & Wellness CPG business for 25 years, and helped launch Red Bull in Canada. Our Chief Commercialization Officer, Stacey has developed multiple brands over her 20 year experience in the health & wellness business. There is not a retail store in North America, when you walk down the health and wellness aisle, that you don’t see Stacey’s hand prints and products she has developed.

Our CMO Peter Palarchio is laser focused on educating our consumers on the benefits of Rritual and uses world class analytics to leverage a leading marketing program that meets consumer and retail partner needs.

Our sales leaders have developed and commercialized emerging brands. Scott Naccarato in Canada and Sarton Molnar-Fenton in the US, are well established and respected by the retailers.
Our advisory members have experience in R&D, plant medicine, holistic wellness and scaling businesses.

And I have been in the CPG industry for 34 years, with experience building brands. I assisted Celsius Beverages (CELH on Nasdaq)  with $34M in incremental sales in 2010. Our overall objective is to build a world class team.  We did.

Why did you choose to focus on functional mushrooms?

Right time, Right Place. We focused on functional mushrooms first due to the growing interest and demand from natural  health consumers. Consumers today are seeking alternative options to the products already on the market, especially those that taste good, can easily be integrated into their diet, and made without any added sugars or sweeteners.

What are some of the health benefits and cognitive benefits of functional mushrooms that many people may not be aware of?

There are so many. Some of the many benefits, they balance your adrenal system to regulate mental, physical and emotional stress. They keep the body’s nervous and cognitive systems strong and support a first-class internal ecosystem. Our initial products will have the following benefits:

Reishi is widely consumed as a nourishing food with adaptogenic properties known to help the body adapt to stress so you can stay centered and grounded.*

Chaga is adaptogen herb known to be a rich source of polysaccharides and other compounds which are known to support the body’s natural immune defenses by maintaining a healthy response to stress.*

Lion’s Mane Is a mushroom with a long white shag rug-like appearance that has been consumed as a delicacy and revered for centuries in Eastern cultures for the beneficial and enlightening effects it may have on cognitive health.* Today it has gained popularity as a nootropic, which means it helps to bring focus and mental clarity, even to a restless, or foggy mind, and does so without containing any stimulants.*

Mushrooms are one of the fastest growing trends in the world in terms of health and wellness. How does Rritual stand apart from other brands entering the space?

Simply the best product with the best ingredients and formulations. It took us over a year to source the best cleanest ingredients. We only include the ingredients that our bodies and mind need. No fillers. The product  was also developed without artificial sweeteners and with mild spices to deliver a well balanced and neutral tasting product that blends flawlessly into any beverage, without clumping or an overpowering taste. The premium product in look and design.

Rritual’s initial product line under its brand “Rritual” consists of three mushroom adaptogen formulations: chaga, reishi, and lion’s mane. The three mushroom adaptogen formulations will be offered in two packaging options: Container Mixes and Elixir Stix.

Rritual Mushroom and Adaptogen Enhanced Health Elixir Powder Key Benefits

• US-Grown & Certified Organic Mushrooms
• Pure and Wholesome Mycelium Powders Provide Health-Promoting Compounds.*
• Enhanced with Adaptogens to Cultivate Optimal Mental Fitness & Good Health.*  
• Immune-Synergy* Mushroom Blend to Support the Body’s Natural Defenses.*
• A “No-Bloat” Daily Prebiotic Blend to Maintain a Healthy Microbiome & Digestive Function.*
• Gentle on the Stomach and Easy-to-Digest.

Rritual Mushroom and Adaptogen Enhanced Elixir Health Powder Key Features

• Certified Organic & Non-GMO
• Clean & Pure Ingredients: Gluten-free, Soy-Free, & Dairy-Free
• No Added Refined Sugars or Sweeteners! No Stevia, No Erythritol, No Maltodextrin  
• No Added Preservatives, Fillers, or Anything Artificial
• Caffeine and Stimulant-Free
• 100% Plant-Based Vegan + Vegetarian
• Manufactured in the US

You have a lot of experience building brands and scaling them on a global level. What are some of the things you have learned from your past ventures and how has that helped guide your plans for Rritual ?

First things first. You have to build a great product, fill a great need, and deliver a fantastic consumer experience. Everyday. This is true of all successful brands and certainly applies to Rritual.

Our brand really meets a consumer need as The Champion Of Mental Fitness. Retailers have recognized that we are a special product and want us to lead this category growth.

If you seek first to understand both the consumer and customers need, you can succeed. We have. That is a lesson I learned 30+ years ago from my time at Procter & Gamble.It was true then, and applicable now.

As far as building globally, we have developed multiple supply chain sources. Rritual is a natural brand that can meet a global demand. Our initial focus is going to be in the United States and Canada, but we see Rritual as a global brand.

From a personal perspective, what have you found most compelling about the benefits of functional mushrooms and their potential to usher in a new era of health optimization?

What's old is new again. The benefits of mushrooms have been around for thousands of years. Rritual is making it easier to access these products and enhance the benefits. We will also make it available in your favorite local store, and easy to add to your daily routine. We all want better focus, better immunity and help reducing stress. Rritual delivers these benefits to consumers.

Can you share a bit about what the venture capital community can expect to see from Rritual as you grow and follow through on your vision as a company?

Innovation, growth, profitability. We promise to innovate, to learn and then strike quickly to meet consumer demand. We will grow our business through e-commerce and retailers that are dedicated to natural health and wellness. No just growth for the sake of growth, but strategically and critically relevant. Finally, be profitable. We will be great stewards of your investment and will carefully invest to maximize return.
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