Vitamaze – a success story: an interview with the founder


Andreas Dittmar founded Vitamaze GmbH in May 2015 with the support of a student consulting firm. Four years later, the company from Heidelberg is already supporting more than a million customers in seven countries. A success story like none other. In this interview, founder and CEO Andreas talks about his personal nutrition, his recipe for success and the health trends of the future.

You are what you eat. Mr. Dittmar, what does your daily nutrition look like?

I like to try to eat a balanced diet. I start my day with some proteins from shakes. In the evening I try to abstain from carbohydrates. My fruit and vegetables are preferably as fresh as possible. The difficult thing about this: every day is different in my life. The concentration of vital components in my food is also different each time I eat. Nutritional components are easily destroyed when products are stored for a long time or heated. I know about that. That is why it is not always easy to maintain a healthy diet.

What should a healthy diet look like?

In my opinion there are only individual answers to this question. The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Ernährung (DGE – German society for nutrition) recommends in general, that everybody should eat proteins, carbohydrates, as well as 375 grams of vegetables and fruit every day. The latter should be as fresh as possible. I don’t know if you can maintain this on a daily basis. I know I can’t. And even if you adhere to this recommendation, you are only getting the recommended amount of healthy nutrition.

What do you mean by “only“ the recommended amount? Is this not enough?

The recommended amount is an average for the whole population. Everybody is thrown into the same pot here: the young, the old, women, men, people who are in shape, and the sick. According to these values you are only healthy or sick on average. Your individual age, gender, weight, health and amount of sport are completely irrelevant for that value.

What would be a way to make this better?

That is a difficult question. There are many opinions and discussions about a correct nutrition, but there is just not enough research. Research likes to focus more on disease as opposed to an ideal state of health for a human being – in my opinion, this is beginning from the wrong end.

One thing is clear: “risk groups” have higher requirements. You can become part of a risk group more quickly than you might think: people older than 55, athletes, pregnant people, smokers, people who consume alcohol or are under a lot of stress, vegetarians and vegans. For a closer analysis, one would need to look at all 44 available blood values and not only at the 14 of the full blood count.

A good way to look at optimum values is by looking at competitive athletes. They often have values that are a multiple of the average. The ideal value is somewhere in the middle. In any case, it is an individual matter.

What do customers gain from your products?

We want to be an alternative for everyone that wants to take their health and performance into their own hands. We believe that regular bodily functions can be improved with a sustainably correct nutrition that contains vital components. In this way, you can stay healthy and perform adequately.

From this we have derived our product philosophy: we want to make sure that our products have the best possibility of working for our customer. More specific this means that we want to optimize bio-availability, for example by omitting additives like magnesium stearate. This additive makes production cheaper but damages bio-availability heavily. Take a look at the products you are buying next time and look for how many of them contain magnesium stearate and other unnecessary additives.

Mr. Dittmar, you have convinced a million customers in only 4 years with your philosophy. How were you able to do that?

This kind of growth is only possible as a team! Every one of my employees identifies with our products and philosophy. Everyone works in their specialization and can make sure to progress individually while keeping the whole in mind.

Innovations and new products are things that we work on as a team so that me and my experts can look at them from various perspectives. We all enjoy to learn about new developments courageously and openly. If they seem valuable, we keep optimizing them. And we abandon them if they do not work out. Mutual trust and great communication are important foundations for good results and a healthy, organic growth.

What does the future hold for you?

In the future, every one of us will be able to monitor their health more accurately and more easily – and I think every one will want to. Even today, many values can be monitored and documented easily by using smartwatches, for example our heart rate. The demand of such tools will only grow more and more. Ideally, doctors will be able to determine accurate readings by using less blood, in contrast to today, where intense blood drawings are necessary in order to gain important insights.

Additionally, I think that along with the individual optimization of technical possibilities, individual results can be changed as well. A human is more than the sum of its parts. It is important to look at him as a whole. Meaning, the condition of a human is a result of four areas:

  1. Nutrition
  2. Activity
  3. Mindfulness
  4. Sleep and rest

Technology will surely be able to quickly use these parts to form a whole picture. At the same time, it is important to make people realize this as well. All in all, this will make us able to care for ourselves better and lead healthier and more active lives. I’m looking forward to the future!

Thank you for this interesting conversation.

This interview was conducted by ​Petra van Laak​, entrepreneur, author and consultant

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