Entrepreneur

This Startup Delivers Frozen Keto-Friendly Meals For Health-Conscious & Busy M’sians

If you’ve been in the loop when it comes to trends, the ketogenic diet aka keto has been picking up rapidly in Malaysia.

Keto is a low-carb, high-fat diet—functionally, it is quite similar to other low-carb diets. By reducing carb intake and replacing it with fat, the body goes into a metabolic state called ketosis.

Dictionary Time: Ketosis is a metabolic process that occurs when the body burns fat for energy due to the lack of carbs to burn, essentially tricking the body to burn fat.

The diet also reportedly reduces blood sugar and insulin levels, while lowering diabetes risk amongst other health benefits.

But with our hectic lifestyle, getting keto-friendly food is difficult, and that’s what Chunky Monkeys is trying to tackle, by delivering frozen keto-friendly meal prep right to your doorstep.

Starting Out With Chunky Monkeys

Chunky Monkeys was founded by Iqa and Saiful back in January 2019.

As they’re practising keto, they found keto-friendly meals hard to come by, so they had to cook the dishes themselves.

While experimenting with food, Iqa thought to open up the meals to the market and orders started rolling in. Thus, Chunky Monkeys was born.

They even have desserts too, with some chunky keto-friendly chocolate bites / Image Credit: Chunky Monkeys

As for the inspiration behind the name, they said that ‘chunky’ came about because they’re chunky people and adding monkeys behind the name was “just something catchy when combined.”

Keto As A Way Of Life

Originally, I thought keto was just another diet fad, but the team disagreed with that statement.

“Keto is not a fad and more of a way of life. You can trace back the history of keto all the way back to 1923. It’s just that people are more aware of keto these past few years. The same goes for paleo, Atkins, vegetarianism and veganism,” they said.

They also encourage others to give keto a try and turn it into a lifestyle by engaging with their followers and even inviting them to community talks.

However, even if Malaysians don’t take to the keto diet fully, the duo believes that their meals could simply be considered as healthy alternatives tweaked for local tastebuds.

If you’ve come across KetoMall Asia and KetoBento before this, you might be wondering what makes Chunky Monkeys different.

For starters, it would be safe to say that the other two startups focus more on providing keto-friendly ingredients where Chunky Monkeys specialises in ready to eat meals.

Currently, Chunky Monkeys is actually collaborating with KetoMall Asia to bring the latter’s customers 5% off a Chunky Monkeys meal.

Working Out The Right Menu

Most people get bored of eating the same food over and over again.

So, to prevent that and to get their experimental desires in check, the team changes up the menu often—the ‘Something Special’ menu changes every week and the ‘Back To Basics’ menu changes every three months.

As for how they figure out what dish to add, the team said it’s down to trial and error. But, if a customer has a recommendation, they’ll try to accommodate it too.

Looking through their menu, we found that they do offer quite a variety of dishes from different cuisines such as Chicken Quesadillas (RM28.90), Meat Pie (RM28.90), and Tuscan Butter Salmon (RM39.90).

Nope, that isn’t rice in the image, take a closer look / Image Credit: Chunky Monkeys

Some recommended best-sellers by them are the NasiCauli Lemak (RM20.90) and the Quattro Formaggi Pizza (RM39.90).

Since they market their meals as being keto-friendly, they list out the ingredients and nutritional values of each recipe on their website for your assurance too.

How Does Chunky Monkeys Work?

Chunky Monkeys closes their orders on Thursdays and delivers them to you on Sundays or Mondays (you pick the time and date) via Lalamove.

You have the choice of ordering ala carte with a minimum order of RM83.60, or you could opt for a 7-meal (RM160) or 14-meal package (RM320) that both allow you to pick your dishes.

Delivery fees cost a minimum of RM15 and would increase depending on where you want it delivered, but orders above RM320 can get the fee waived.

Credit: christinamegam‘s Instagram

It’s recommended that you keep your orders in the freezer right after delivery and consume them within 2 weeks, unless stated otherwise on the label.

Looking Towards The Future

The team said 70% of their customers are local and the other 30% are expats, all scattered around Klang Valley.

On a monthly basis, they get a mix of new and returning customers, with some that have been with them since the start.

Some testimonials from satisfied customers on Instagram / Image Credit: Chunky Monkeys

While operations are going as well as can be, they currently lack the manpower to provide for more people as it isn’t easy to look for cooks or bakers that’ll adapt to keto cooking or baking methods.

Sourcing affordable raw ingredients that meet keto requirements hasn’t been an easy process either, especially with non-local ingredients.

Nonetheless, the duo is keeping a positive outlook and said they intend to do daily deliveries to provide fresh meals soon.

They’re also hoping to open a pop-up cafe when business picks up.

Conclusion

Personally, I wouldn’t mind giving Chunky Monkeys a try if I ever wanted to go for a healthy lifestyle, as their meat pie reminded me of the pies that I loved to eat during my time in the UK.

I do find their prices slightly on the higher side, but perhaps that’s the price to pay for better ingredients that will treat my body well.

Having the option of a weekly meal plan that saves on the hassle of sourcing for keto-friendly lunch sounds like a good idea too.

For anyone who’s interested in going keto for the first time, here’s some advice from the founders:

Remember that fat is fuel and replenish your electrolytes!

– Iqa & Saiful, Founders of Chunky Monkeys
  • Read what we’ve written about keto here.

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