Author’s Blurb: When I was on the paleo diet for a mere month, I remember wishing for a paleo diet-specific marketplace that would be able to filter what I could and could not eat as well as sell me the ingredients. This would have saved me so much time on researching ingredients. This startup is doing exactly that, but for those on keto.
When word got around that the ketogenic diet was the latest breakthrough way of slimming down by consuming foods high in fat, it sounded understandably questionable.
Instagram workout gurus were posting their keto meal preps, before and after body transformations, and their own tips of surviving a high-fat, low-carb diet.
But for Lynn Bakar, this was more than just another Internet-borne lifestyle trend.
Formed from her love of nutrition and healing through food, Lynn started KetoMall Asia—an online marketplace for keto ingredients that doubles as an advice hub for those following the diet.
A Marketplace To Encourage More Variety
When we covered Chunky Monkeys, we understood that their business model thrived upon delivering keto-friendly meals to individuals who don’t really have the time to cook from scratch.
KetoMall Asia, on the other hand, does things differently by selling raw ingredients from small businesses and independent contractors that are in the business of producing keto-friendly products.
Lynn kickstarted the platform out of a sheer need to build something where healthy options could be made conveniently available to everyone.
But the journey to get there was rocky. This was because of the glaring fact that keto ingredients range on the pricier side compared to non-keto ones.
“Keto products are slightly more premium than the others mainly due to its pricier ingredient,” Lynn said.
“For example, the substitute for sugar could either be an ingredient called Lakanto, erythritol or xylitol, which all would cost more than normal sugar.”
Regardless, she vowed that it was the intention of KetoMall Asia to list products that are fair in price, without compromising on their nutritional value and taste.
Once Lynn and her team got the hang of it, their success was evident.
Although she didn’t give us an exact figure, she estimated that KetoMall Asia’s forecast revenue itself for 2020 would hit the RM300K mark.
This is after only investing about RM100K in initial capital.
Empowering Keto ‘Home-Preneurs’
When asked about how KetoMall Asia chooses its vendors, Lynn explained that it is done in exhaustive detail.
First, the team contacts businesses that already boast a decent following on Instagram and Facebook.
Next comes quality control, where product samples are sent to them for testing, and feedback is exchanged back and forth until the taste and quality are perfected.
While this is done, the team makes sure that each vendor is clear on the guidelines and the overall direction of the platform so they can work in sync, even with the vendors’ own business goals.
According to Lynn, this is just one of the many things that set KetoMall Asia apart from other platforms across the country.
“We are different because we build keto ‘home-preneurs’. Besides focusing on a B2C model, we help our vendors grow and rise by lifting others.”
This, she believed could only be done by pooling their resources and adding value to the vendors’ business as a whole.
However, something to note about the marketplace is that not all of the vendors are Halal certified. Some are still in the process of getting certified, whilst others sell products that contain non-Halal ingredients in them.
From what we can see, most of their products have their own description at the bottom of its page, so you should be able to gauge what ingredients go into making them.
The Growing Keto Movement In Malaysia
“The keto diet is gaining popularity, but efforts to ensure that there is proper awareness of its overall benefits remains an uphill task.”
That was the answer Lynn gave us when we asked her to give us some insight into the keto scene in Malaysia.
“The keto diet is seen as a foreign concept, unsuitable for the lifestyle and dietary patterns of the Asian population,” she added.
Although there still might be some misconceptions of the diet, Lynn understands that the keto community in Malaysia is growing in significance thanks to the powers of social media.
Local and international Facebook groups are mushrooming every day. Hence, the outreach is made possible and better with the existence of such communities.Lynn Bakar, CEO and founder, KetoMall Asia.
To date, they’ve collaborated with partners like Thermomix Malaysia, Sky Clinic KL, Chunky Monkeys, and even keto restaurants across the country.
“We are already shipping to Singapore, Brunei, Jakarta and are planning to penetrate Thailand in the near future. Closer to home, we are planning to have a presence in every state nationwide with our distribution outlets,” Lynn concluded.
Bottom Line: I’ve realised that while it’s not impossible to find keto raw ingredients, the resources to do so are definitely lacking. It may only happen in the far future, but I hope there will be more sites similar to KetoMall Asia for those with different diet preferences.
- You can read more about other Malaysian startups here.
Featured Image Credit: KetoMall Asia