Superfood shots: Nigerian startup creates ginger-based drinks to boost health2 Nov 2022
Nigerian startup, Futurefood Tech makes ginger-based shots to boost health and wellbeing using all natural ingredients, herbs and spices such as black pepper, beetroot, and cayenne pepper that give a nutritional boost to the typically starch-heavy Nigerian diet.
Futurefood Tech uses locally sourced ingredients found across Nigeria to formulate its products. Health and wellness as a concept is still “growing like a baby in the country” but the healthy drinks brand hopes to “disrupt the beverage space, says Joy Adewuyi, founder of Futurefood Tech.
The range comprises of three ginger-based shots for specific health outcomes: wellness (ginger and lemon), immunity (ginger, turmeric, pineapple and black pepper), and energy (ginger and beetroot).
The idea for the brand’s health shots came from its first product, large food delivery boxes, which the company found was not as popular with customers.
“...we realised food boxes delivered to unwell customers were not receiving frequent return purchases and so we decided to come up with a product that would be a valuable addition [...] to help us retain customers, reduce the ambiguity of products, and improve the overall quality of our product offer,” says Joy Adewuyi.
To create the final formulations, the startup identified brands in the UK and US that were well established in processing natural ingredients. Production took place locally with the help of Nigerian food technologists and nutritionists.
Prized local ingredients
Ginger is a key ingredient in Futurefood Tech’s formulation since it is found abundantly in northern Nigeria and has beneficial properties,“..Kaduna State is where we have comparative advantage in the production of our ginger in Nigeria,” says Joy Adewuyi, founder of Futurefood Tech. The reason we infuse ginger as the base ingredient is that it contains a lot of antioxidants and people are beginning to understand, especially since Covid began, the [value] of such herbs, roots and spices to provide [healing] in the body.”
The health shots startup is based in Lagos which “is for business and not necessarily farming” and sources ingredients across the country.
“...we purchase some of our ingredients from Kaduna. The apples, pineapples, and beetroot that we use all come from Port Harcourt whilst ginger, turmeric, and other spices like cayenne and black pepper come from the north-west and north-central areas like Sokoto,” says Adewuyi.
Broad consumer base
Initially targeting seniors, the brand slowly widened its audience to consumers with busy lifestyles, “health enthusiasts” and even those experiencing specific “health challenges such as diabetes and other cardiovascular diseases”, says Adewuyi.
With investment the company hope to develop its line-up and create bigger bottles as well as canned drinks. However, for health-focused consumers, the current packaging format, which consists of a box of ten small shots, already appeals as part of a healthy diet on the go.
Futurefood Tech Immunity Shot © Futurefood Tech
“You can put it in your fridge at home or you can take it to work or early in the morning. It is for the typical Nigerian who consumes meals that are mainly starch-based and [who] is always on the move, eating lots of carbs and unhealthy food,” adds Adewuyi.
Futurefood Tech hopes to continue to expand its customer segments with the health shots as it believes many Nigerian consumers need education around maintaining healthy diets. “We realise that a lot of people actually need this solution and not people who are necessarily trying to be healthier, but people who need nutrition advocacy,” says Adewuyi.
Beetroot: Popular with male consumers for natural energy
The beverage company’s “energy” shot made with ginger beetroot is popular with male consumers looking for a boost of energy. Drinking fresh beetroot juice has been linked to reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases and used widely by athletes to replenish energy.
“We're currently trying to improve our ginger beetroot shots because we have a lot of male consumers interested in [it] and who use it to assist with stamina. We're also trying to improve it so it could be a specific product in our lineup for our male customer base,” says Adewuyi.
Taking on customer feedback is important to the startup, says Adewuyi. Going back to the lab to refine products and to “provide solutions for [the] local community” is all part of helping the average person make the choice between a healthy beverage and a not so healthy one, she says.
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