CPG meets women’s health: Insights from the Voice of Femtech, Brittany Barreto

CPG meets women’s health: Insights from the Voice of Femtech, Brittany Barreto

By PreScouter Editorial Team

This interview is an excerpt from our report titled “Menopause: The $600 billion opportunity in femtech“.

The femtech industry is witnessing a remarkable surge in growth and innovation, marking a new era in women’s health technology, notably for CPG companies. This is being driven by a heightened awareness of women-specific health needs.

Brittany Barreto
Brittany Barreto, PhD
Known as “The Voice of Femtech“ President, Founder of FemHealth Insights

Within the femtech sector, the menopause market is increasingly recognized as a crucial area, particularly for those in the consumer goods industry. The recent FDA approval of the first non-hormone drug for hot flashes marks a significant shift, highlighting the market’s potential. 

At the forefront of this transformative wave in femtech is Brittany Barreto, PhD, “The Voice of Femtech” and President and Founder of FemHealth Insights, who is pivotal in advocating and advancing women’s health through technological and consumer-focused solutions.

We asked Brittany a series of questions tapping into her expert insights about the menopause market.

These are the areas the interview touches on:

CPG companies in the menopause space:

Q: As a CPG company that sells fast-moving consumables, how do you plan to differentiate yourself in the menopause space, which is currently dominated by healthcare, biotech, and software companies?

A: The menopause space is currently dominated by healthcare, biotech, and software companies. However, there are a number of opportunities for CPG companies to differentiate themselves in this space.

One opportunity is to focus on branding and marketing that appeals to a younger demographic. Menopause is often seen as an issue that only affects older women, but the reality is that many women experience symptoms in their 40s and 50s. 

By targeting younger women, CPG companies can reach a larger audience and make menopause more relatable. Another opportunity is to focus on natural and holistic solutions. Many women are looking for alternatives to traditional hormone therapy, and CPG companies can fill this need with products that are made with natural ingredients.

Finally, CPG companies can also focus on education and awareness. Many women are not aware of the symptoms of menopause or the resources that are available to them. By providing education and awareness, CPG companies can help women better understand their options and make informed decisions about their health.

Unaddressed needs in menopause care:

Q: From a CPG perspective, what are some unaddressed needs in the menopause space that could be addressed with over-the-counter products?

A: Menopause is a complex condition with over 34 symptoms. The current approach to treating menopause is to develop single-use solutions for each symptom. This is not ideal, as it can be difficult and expensive to manage multiple symptoms with multiple products. I believe that in the future, there will be a consolidation of these single-use solutions into a more comprehensive menopause care solution. This would be similar to the way that Unilever offers a range of products for different hair and skin care needs.

The recent approval of the first non-hormonal drug for hot flashes is a sign that we are making progress in the development of better menopause treatments. However, there is still a long way to go. Menopause is a major public health issue that affects millions of women worldwide. There is a huge market potential for better menopause treatments, and I believe that this market will be fully realized in the next 10 to 15 years. 

Opportunities in over-the-counter products:

Q: From a CPG perspective, what are some white space opportunities in the menopause product space for over-the-counter products?

A: Some areas where I see companies emerging are hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and atrophy. These are mostly being addressed through hardware solutions, such as Embr Labs’ bracelets. There are also supplements, such as those offered by Wile. I think Wile has one of the best menopause branding strategies out there. They rarely use the word “menopause” in their marketing materials.

Instead, they focus on the idea of “40-plus hormone health.” This makes women feel more empowered and in control, rather than like they’re dealing with a medical condition. Other solutions include lotions, supplements, and devices like Aquafit’s gel-based applicator. Aquafit is an Israeli company that makes a product that women can use in the shower to relieve vaginal atrophy. This condition occurs when the vagina shrinks due to decreased estrogen levels. As a result, women may experience vaginal dryness, which can be very uncomfortable.

Patent filing and customer loyalty in femtech:

Q: How significant is patent filing as a way to differentiate oneself in the femtech industry, compared to branding and customer experience?

A: The biggest differentiator in femtech is clinically validated, scientifically proven products with high customer loyalty. Customer loyalty is the hardest thing to get in women’s health, but it’s the best thing to have. Women trust other women with their health more than doctors or the internet. This is why brands like Honey Pot and Bobby Razor have cult followings.

Honey Pot targets the black female consumer, while Bobby Razor makes razors that are as good as men’s but don’t cost more. Awkward Essentials is another company with a cult following. The rise of femtech is due in part to the rise of women in STEM. Women in science are 35% more likely to create female-specific medical treatments. If there were more women in STEM, there would be 6,500 more female inventions. It might be easier to file a female health patent because there are so few patents in this area.

This is a wide open space with a lot of potential. Less than 4% of pharma R&D budgets are dedicated to women’s health, and if you take out cancer, it’s only 1%. This means that big pharma companies are not developing new solutions for women.

They are waiting for startups to do the R&D, and then they will buy the startups once they have a successful product. This is cheaper and faster for big pharma companies than doing the R&D themselves. Customers are more likely to stick with a product that is clinically validated and that they trust. It is also becoming more important for femtech companies to have clinical validation. This is because insurance companies are starting to require clinical validation before they will cover a product.

Evaluation of potential product formats in femtech:

Q: If you were to develop, which of these categories would be the most successful product format in your opinion for femtech?

6- Dietary Supplements: Developing menopause-specific dietary supplements that address common symptoms such as hot flashes, mood swings, and sleep disturbances.

5- Clothing and Apparel: Developing clothing lines with fabrics and designs that prioritize comfort and temperature regulation to address hot flashes and night sweats commonly experienced during menopause.

4- Non-Woven Products: Menstrual products, incontinence products, breast pads, intimate care products, etc.

3- Functional Foods and Beverages: Introducing food and beverage products that contain ingredients beneficial for managing menopause symptoms, such as soy-based snacks, herbal teas, or fortified drinks.

2- Wearable Devices Designing wearable technology devices that monitor and track menopause-related physiological changes, providing insights and personalized recommendations for managing symptoms.

1- Beauty Care Products: Creating creams, lotions, or patches formulated with ingredients that provide relief from menopause-related skin changes, such as dryness and loss of elasticity.

Numbers indicate ratings on a scale of 1 to 10 (1 = low, 10 = high likelihood of success).

Challenges in femtech development:

Q: You don’t see any category scoring higher than a 6. Why is that?

A: I just feel a little strained because what happens in femtech is that we have a healthcare system that’s not built for us. And so there’s a lack of billing codes. There’s a lack of insurance rebates. Even gynecologists have less than four hours of menopause training in their medical school. And so when you’re creating a product, the fastest route to market is CPG versus going down the insurance route or medical route.

And so the reason I get conflicted, and I didn’t give any of them 9 or 10 is that women are being asked to buy too much already. This should be a healthcare issue that’s being managed by physicians versus your Target aisle. And so that’s where I get kind of conflicted. Could it be a CPG that’s covered by insurance or recommended by your physician?

I would rank that higher than something that’s on a Walmart shelf. Because, like I said, women are already expected to buy too many things, like taxes are still on menstrual pads. And it’s like, “Come on, give us a break. You’re going to tax this thing I have to deal with every month.”


The femtech industry, with leaders like Brittany Barreto, is transforming women’s health, particularly in menopause care. Barreto’s insights reveal a market ripe for innovation, emphasizing the need for comprehensive, clinically validated products that cater to women’s unique health needs, highlighting the golden opportunity for CPG companies in this space.

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