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Lessons Learnt From Disrupting Within the ‘Grab and Go’ Meal Market

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by Startacus Admin

grab and go nutribuddy

Nutribuddy founder Ella McKendrick shares the knowledge she has gained since starting her natural nutritional business within the ‘Grab and Go’ Meal Market.

nutribuddy picWe live in a fast-paced world nowadays. We’re stressed out and under pressure to get from A to B, whether that’s for work or running the kids to school or local events.

This daily pressure has led to the creation of the ‘Grab and Go’ Meal Market. Simply put this is food, usually shakes, that can come ready-mixed or in powder form and provide the nutrition we need to keep going during the day.
The big problem is that many of the products are low quality and contain a huge amount of additives that make them poor substitutes if you want to live a healthy lifestyle.

This is certainly what Nutribuddy founder Ella McKendrick from Manchester found when she was dependent on these kinds of products during her days at university.

rush and go“There were products out there that claimed to solve the problem - meal replacement shakes. However, when I looked at the ingredients list I was horrified by the extensive list of chemicals which I didn’t understand. They were riddled with artificial sweeteners, thickeners, bulking agents, anti-caking agents and so on.”

It’s one of the key reasons why she set up Nutribuddy in the first place – to provide a healthy alternative meal replacement shake that is really beneficial to people on the move and those who have little time to cook something for breakfast or lunch before they need to get going.

Her approach of using natural products and focusing on sustainability has begun to change the way we think about meal replacement shakes. Since its launch in 2016, Nutribuddy has gone from strength to strength and along the way Ella has learned three important lessons in how to disrupt this fast-developing marketplace.

Why Shake Companies Do What They Do

Most meal replacement shakes on the market profess to be healthy but they are often far from it. Many contain artificial preservatives, bulkers, emulsifiers and sweeteners. The reason companies do this comes down to cost and ease of production. It simply makes the whole process rush and go market simpler and cheaper.

Natural products usually vary in texture which makes them less smooth when you try to mix them together. Using natural ingredients can also affect things like thickness and even taste. By putting all kinds of additives into the mix, companies homogenize their product. That means they have greater continuity and bigger profits.
Unfortunately, at the same time, they’re impacting peoples health (not to mention their taste buds).

Ella and her team at Nutribuddy have gone in the opposite direction:

“Unlike other shake companies, we are determined to only use natural, healthy ingredients so we steer clear of artificial preservatives, bulkers, emulsifiers, sweeteners etc which you will find in all competitor products. We believe that the inconveniences that come with natural powders are so much more worth it because we are ultimately providing a healthier, natural product.”

Why Shake Companies Don’t Use Recyclable Jars

nutribuddy imageThere’s almost wall to wall coverage in the media nowadays about how the planet is at crisis point. We need more viable recycling options to stop having such a catastrophic impact on the environment. It’s something that many people want to buy into.

So, why are shake companies still producing products in plastic bottles and unrecyclable packets? The simple answer is that they can get more of their product on supermarket shelves. That, of course, means greater profits.
Nutribuddy does it differently. They are the first shake company to sell products with recyclable/reusable glass jars and the company have a strong focus on environmental impact. One of the key challenges the company faced was producing packaging to ensure that their products arrived safely:

“We've actually overcome the latter issue by constantly improving our packaging to ensure breakages are at an absolute minimum and after much trialling and testing, we finally have 100% of jars arriving safely. But that took a lot of time and effort! Even so, we are happy to be doing our bit to help minimise the use of single-use materials.”

What Nutribuddy have proved is that it’s possible to be both profitable and sustainable in today’s modern commercial environment. Customers are looking out for companies that deliver on their individual green agendas and, while it took work to get right, the payoff is proving a strong USP for the team at Nutribuddy.

Why Shake Companies Don’t Use Whole Food Ingredients

We’re all more conscious about what we put in our bodies. We know that things like whole food ingredients are nutritious and really healthy. Many shake meal replacement companies add a huge host of artificial vitamins and nutrients to optimise their products. Again, it comes down to cost savings, according to Ella:

“It takes a lot longer to develop a formula only using whole foods and the ingredients are a lot more expensive. Once again, we believe it's worth the extra time and money to make a product which we are proud of and that we think will be more beneficial to the consumer.”

Whether it’s using whole food ingredients and nothing else, developing sustainable packaging or eschewing additives and emulsifiers, Ella and the team at Nutribuddy have proved that with a little ingenuity and a lot of work, it is possible to develop and grow a company that offers both customers and the planet a healthier future. And make it a success.

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Published on: 16th February 2020

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