I absolutely love everything about Superfoodio. The concept, food and fun that comes together in my box subscriptions. Having a range of latest products with superfood ingredients at your doorstep every month makes it easier for those looking for a healthy life and general wellbeing.
That is exactly what Superfoodio does for you.
The idea came from Nirali and Jag Mankodi, both vegetarians passionate about healthy eating that found inspiration in South America to create a unique online business.
According to recent research from Mintel GNPD (Global New Products Database) between 2011 and 2015 there was a phenomenal 202% increase globally in the number of new food and drink products launched containing the terms “superfood”, “superfruit” or “supergrain”. The UK is responsible for 6% of these figures.
We are definitely spoilt for choice here. And there are no excuses to not trying some of those “super” products. We talked to Nirali about her amazing business to find out more about Superfoodio’s contribution to this important global market.
Midlands Traveller: To start with, I’d like to know a little bit about your career background.
Nirali Mankodi: We both worked in the corporate world. My background is Psychology and HR, and Jag’s is in IT and Business.
MT: Where and when did the inspiration to start it come from?
Nirali Mankodi: Superfoodio was inspired by our trip to South America in 2012. Whilst planning for this four-month backpacking trip, and with both of us being vegetarian and passionate about healthy eating, we were a bit nervous about whether we would find the right foods during our travels.
However, the beauty of travelling for a few months is that we were able to fully immerse ourselves in the local culture and this is how we unearthed an amazing array of delicious foods, grains and pulses that were new to us.
These superfoods were often ingredients used in local cuisine, snacks and drinks, and gave us a real energy boost as well as being abundant in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Perfect to keep us fueled by our adventures.
These discoveries enriched our travels and inspired us to make a life-changing decision – to create a unique online business, sharing our exceptional superfood finds to all through a the Superfoodio platform.
Midlands Trade: Why choose superfoods?
Nirali Mankodi: While there are certain components of foods and drinks that may be particularly good for you, we believe all foods are superfoods.
The best way to ensure that our body receives the nutrition it needs is to enjoy a balanced diet based on a variety of foods & drinks, including plenty of water, fruits, vegetables, legumes and pulses.
MT: What are the concept behind your products and service?
Nirali Mankodi: Our main aim with Superfoodio is to make discovering and eating healthy simple and fun.
We carefully select and fill our boxes with the latest and tastiest food products that are made with natural ingredients, free from refined sugars or any hidden nasties. All our products are 100% vegetarian friendly!
Every month, we deliver our boxes straight to your door and include a balance of:
Healthy Snacking – A surprise selection of the finest, superfood-infused snacks, drinks, condiments and breakfast options. & Gourmet Cooking – Discover a new superfood grain pulse or flour, expand your palate and cooking repertoire with a selection of mouth-watering recipes to inspire you.
MT: What are the big challenges of working in the subscriptions boxes market?
Nirali Mankodi: The subscription boxes market in the UK has definitely got its own unique challenges. The key challenges that we are tackling using fresh approaches each month include:
- Create great value for customers month after month. We do this by selecting and filling our boxes with the latest and tastiest food products that are made with natural ingredients, free from refined sugars or any hidden nasties.
- The subscription box model is still gaining momentum here in the UK. Being one of the first few box companies who is leading the way, we have advantages and challenges that all first-mover businesses face. We overcome these with a mix of creating awareness via education, marketing and providing products and services that add value to our customer’s life.
MT: Who is the Superfoodio’s box audience?
Nirali Mankodi: Our boxes cater for an ever-widening audience. On one end, we have the young (millennials) and the highly educated consumer who lead an active, healthy and balanced lifestyle.
Then we have the corporate lifestyle consumers who like to infuse their busy days with healthy goodies instead of binging on sugary treats available in and around their offices.
We also cater really well for the foodies that are passionate about discovering the latest products on the Health & Wellness scene in the UK.
And finally, being a vegetarian-friendly box service, we seem to be resonating well with people who are new or curious about a vegetarian lifestyle. The boxes also make great gifts for foodie friends and family members.
MT: How do you select the brands that you are working with?
Nirali Mankodi: Like the saying goes ‘Don’t judge a book by it cover’, we always look beyond the packaging when reviewing a brand.
The key areas that we review closely include: ingredients, nutritional information and the ethos of the brand itself. For us, it is always inspiring to hear the story and see the passion flowing from the founders/producers of the food brand that tells us that they practice what they preach, or in this case, sell.
We also look for innovative and unique products that excite and encourage people to eat better. Products that do this in a different way to anything else on the market, or brands that put a healthy twist on something that is already existing always catch our attention.
MT: What is unique about your products and service?
Nirali Mankodi: At the core, we have a strong ethos – “Born out of a passion for good, wholesome food, Superfoodio encourages a healthy lifestyle and sense of wellbeing.”
There is a range of box services out there that deliver only snacks, bars, meals for the week, calorie controlled meal plans etc. These are all fantastic services as long as they encourage people to lead healthier and balanced lives.
Our mission with the Superfoodio boxes is to introduce, educate and encourage our customers to discover to the latest and best food & drink products that are not readily available on the high street, and at the same time get people back into the kitchen to cook something fresh, tasty and healthy using our feature ingredient and the inspirational (yet simple) recipes that come with our box each month.
We strongly believe in giving our customers the best experience that they can possibly have in every facet of dealing with us.
MT: What are the pros and cons of having an online business?
Nirali Mankodi: Being an online business certainly has its fair share of pros and cons. The pros are that you can be online anywhere, anytime. Customers and potential customers can view and buy your products and services 24/7.
However, this can be seen as both a pro and a con. As a startup, having an online business means that you have to be available all of the time and sometimes it is difficult to switch off.
There are always improvements you can make to your online business, whether it’s on the website, email campaigns, engaging on social media etc. Working in the world of Health & Wellness, we have to remind ourselves to take a break and strike a balance.
MT: How is e-commerce important to the success of your business?
Nirali Mankodi: For a foodie start-up business, e-commerce plays a pivotal role in the success of our business. We see endless benefits and opportunities being online 24/7.
In terms of products and services, not only can we offer physical goods, but also offer digital products and services including recipes, online, social and video content. This not only helps diversify our offering but at the same time, it allows us to connect and engage with our customers and audience at a deeper level.
Being online and offering e-commerce functionality also means that we can fit seamlessly into our customer’s busy lives, offering the products, services and information they want, on their convenience.
MT: What is the advice for someone who wants to have a business like yours?
Nirali Mankodi: It sounds cliché, but it’s so true – you must be passionate about what you do. You have to live and breathe your business, and therefore it helps if you are passionate about it. Equally as important is to have a goal and objective in mind which helps you to focus, plan, grow and reflect.
MT: What are the new plans for Superfoodio this year?
Nirali Mankodi: We recently completed our first year and if that is any indicator of what’s to come in the year ahead, we are really excited about it!
In January 2016 we launched our own range of artisan snacks that have been received very well. This range will be expanding in the near future with a few more mouthwatering better-for-you snacks.
As for our subscription boxes, we can’t reveal too much at this stage just that there are some really exciting collaborations and partnerships coming up, so watch this space!
More about Superfoodio:
Photos | Courtesy of Superfoodio