Online Exclusives

Try Before You Buy

By Joanna Cosgrove, Online Editor | July 9, 2012

Bulu Box lets adventuresome consumers sample a variety of supplements and nutrition products via monthly subscription.

For some consumers, choosing the right dietary supplement can be expensive and confusing experience. To that end, Bulu Box, a new vitamin and supplement ecommerce company based in Lincoln, NB, created a monthly subscription program designed to introduce consumers to products they might not have otherwise known about via a small parcel – or Bulu Box - of product samples that is delivered right to their door.
The Bulu Box concept was conceived of by the company’s CEO, Paul Jarrett, a former starting defensive lineman in the Big 12 who used supplements to “give him an edge on the field.” When his career was through, he again turned to supplements to help shed more than 100 pounds from his 300+ pound football weight.
Prior to launching Bulu Box, Mr. Jarrett was the vice president of marketing at the retail supplement company, Complete Nutrition. But it wasn't until running a half-marathon with his wife Stephanie that the Bulu Box idea came to him. Like most runners, they filled their plastic running sacks with samples from the tents at the finish line and later delighted in sorting through samples – not unlike children at Halloween – with the hope of discovering something new. "Paul kept saying things like 'new Cliff Bar flavor, WooHoo!' From that moment, Bulu Box was born," remarked CMO Stephanie Jarrett.
“We’d all love to eat perfectly, get eight hours of sleep, and exercise daily but our modern society makes doing those things challenging. Vitamins and supplements can help close that gap,” Mr. Jarrett said. “We want to provide people the opportunity to discover the supplements that work best for them. I treated myself like a human guinea pig and spent thousands of dollars on vitamins and supplements before I understood what worked best for me."
Mr. Jarrett told Nutraceuticals World that Bulu Box costumers, or “Bulugans,” are everyday men and women who want healthier lives. “When it comes to nutrition and exercise, they aren't perfect. And they probably don't want to be,” he said. “They do their best to maintain a healthy diet and an active lifestyle without sacrificing all the joys (or temptations) presented by modern society. They rely on vitamins and supplements to give them an edge and Bulu Box helps them discover new products or the ones that are best for them.” 
With Bulu Box, customers can sample four to five larger sized nutritional supplement samples each month before purchasing them in full-size. Currently brands including Pure Matters, Cellucor, and Life Equals are partnered with Bulu Box. “Right now, all Bulu Boxes contain the same premium samples that fit the general preferences of our Bulugans - this allows individuals to sample products they might not otherwise consider,” he explained. “That said, we plan to offer more customized options in the future that are based on your preferences and goals.” 
As for how the company decides which product are Bulu Box-worthy, Mr. Jarrett said that not every product is a good fit for the Bulu Box concept. “We have a team that has an extensive background in product sampling and understands the art and science of it,” he said. “We have a very specific matrix of products that we want in every Bulu Box and spend quite a bit of time researching and working with brands to decide if their product is a good fit.”
As importantly, Mr. Jarrett said his company also puts a great deal of effort into discerning a product’s efficacy. “For us, it's less about the state of the company and more about the quality of their product and if it is a good fit for Bulu Box,” he said.
The company has also leveraged its unique platform to help it brand partners launch new products as well as promote top-sellers by assisting with product development, packaging, product naming and marketing.
For more information about Bulu Box concept, or to learn how your products can be considered for inclusion in a future Bulu Box, follow this link.

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