Add Some NaughtyBits to Your Life, or Sexy Seaweed Innovations

August 29, 2011

10:15 am

From DNA-based water testers to Poopeas and even jetpacks, Tech Cocktail loves innovation and entrepreneurs, whether they are focused on apps, gadgets, gear and even food or supplements – which is what we are looking at today.

At last year’s Boston Tech Cocktail event, I was happy to meet Catharine Arnston, an energetic and persuasive entrepreneur who called herself the Naughty Nutritionist. I was immediately intrigued as to why she was at our geek-soire. A year later, her product, NaughtyBits is ready, and she’s preparing to demo at this year’s Tech Cocktail event at the NERD Center. If you’re coming to the event, get ready to taste some very green samples.

NaughtyBits are small algae tabs (chlorella and spirulina) that are 60% protein and serve up over 40 nutrients and vitamins in just one calorie. But if you look at the storytelling, branding, personality and packaging around NaughtyBits, you can see that Arnston is selling more than just seaweed. With her sassy voice and product packaging, she’s positioning NaughtyBits to take energy drinks and bars head on.

By making the ultra-nutritious energy-tabs-of-the-sea appear sexy and powerful, Arnston could strike a cord with a number of markets – from startup developers who need extra doses of energy, to college kids looking for hangover cures and aging adults who want that extra dose of vitality for fighting wrinkles or helping with weight loss. Ultimately, the NaughtyBits product is designed to tap into both the $33 billion weight loss market and the wellness sector, which she said is currently worth over $100 billion globally.

To give you a sense of their playful yet informative voice, here are some of their own words about the tabs:

We hope our name Naughty Bits™  makes you smile, but we assure you there is real substance behind us and behind the benefits of algae including the fact that it was the first plant life on earth over  2 billion years ago. There are also 100,000 scientific studies validating the health benefits of spirulina and chlorella and heck the tens of millions of  slim, healthy Japanese who have taken algae ever day for over 50 years has to be a tip off that there is something really cool here. But if you still aren’t convinced – consider that NASA, the United Nations and Olympic trainers worldwide all endorse algae tabs as the healthiest food on earth!

While parts of the site and some of the product packaging are still under construction, you can purchase the tabs now via the Naughty Nutritionist platform (a Drupal-based site that is as informative as it is playful, that will be expanded in the future to provide more content).  A package of 1K tabs is $110 – $115. Currently they come in bags – in the future you’ll be able to get them in some sleek and attractive single serving tins, which Arnston looks to take nationwide later this year.

Though we don’t have many details, apparently a television segment has just been filmed about NaughtyBits that will air on national and public television this fall. They were selected after a nationwide search as one of only three top companies in the USA with the most innovative solutions for America’s health and nutrition crisis.

In case you’re interested, I suggest you just click here and not do a search, which may lead you to some other very naughty sites by accident. Trust me.

Arnston, the founder and CEO, has founded four other Internet companies. Her latest company, StealthHealth, founded in 2009, provided one-on-one health coaching to individuals and nutrition workshops for companies. It morphed into her Naughty Nutritionist platform which launched in May of 2010. Come say hello to Arnston and her team on September 1st at the NERD center in Cambridge.

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Jen Consalvo is the Cofounder and COO of Tech.Co. She previously worked in product development for almost 13 years at AOL for audiences of millions. Follow her on Twitter at: @noreaster.

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