Entrepreneur

This Team Thinks M’sians Would Buy RM18 Vegan Meals Over Meds To Manage Chronic Diseases

Author’s Blurb: I’m someone who’s pretty sceptical towards claims of being able to reverse a disease, especially chronic ones. Then again, I’ve never actually stuck to any regimens long enough to see its effects fully play out.

Savor Of Life aims to help patients struggling with chronic illnesses reduce the severity of symptoms or even reverse them, just by fixing their diet and lifestyle choices. 

Of course, there are other companies with the same goal in mind. One of them is Homey, which delivers personalised nutritional meals to patients.

However, Savor Of Life differentiates themselves by also offering individual coachings with certified health professionals, along with an app to educate and track your progress.

Its founder and CEO, Shaun, is a medical doctor and certified lifestyle medicine physician with the International Board of Lifestyle Medicine (IBLM).

He created this platform because he believes that many chronic epidemics are a result of the behavioural choices we make, which is a massively growing issue in the country.

Meals Over Medicine

A team of dietitians are the ones entrusted to curate meals for Savor Of Life’s users.

Customers are given the flexibility of having a more independent approach, meaning they can decide on the duration of the meal plans themselves, or be more reliant on Savor Of Life’s coaches by subscribing to the full range of services.

Depending on how closely you want to be monitored, you can sign up with a health coach who will walk you through your progress on top of the diet, and consult with you on any health-related questions.

The coaching service will also give you access to their app to track your progress.

Savor Of Life takes their orders from their site and WhatsApp, and their services are as follows:

  • All meals are priced at RM18, and subscribers get a 20% discount,
  • Coaching starts at RM300 per month.
A meal from their menu and screenshot of the app’s tracking features / Image Credit: Savor Of Life

But the service isn’t just for those with medical conditions, as these meals and coaching can be curated to fitness goals, too.

For example, if you were on a weight loss regime, we would adjust the caloric content. Alternatively, if you simply want a high-protein meal to complement your bodybuilding regime, the protein value is adjusted. Even for more serious diseases, where you think there might be 101 things to adjust, the reality is a lot simpler with some curation by our dietitians and doctors.

Shaun, CEO and co-founder of Savor Of Life

Whole-Foods, Plant-Based Diet

Despite the specific nutritional demands for each customer, Shaun told us that the team has no problem managing these requests.

As “personalisation” doesn’t refer to their customer’s individual preferences or tastes, the team doesn’t have to put in extra time to worry about such demands.

What is meant by personalisation here is the adjustment of caloric content or protein value by adding or removing ingredients in a recipe, as Shaun had described earlier.

All their meals follow the “whole-food plant-based” (WFPB) diet, AKA veganism.

But wouldn’t this mean potentially cutting out a significant portion of Malaysians who are meat-eaters?

That’s not the case, according to Shaun. He said that a majority of their users aren’t even vegetarian or vegans, but eventually learn that meat isn’t necessary for enjoyment or nutrition.

He also said making their meals according to the WFPB diet is intentional as it has had the best track record of reducing all-cause mortality globally.

Dictionary Time: All-cause mortality is the death rate from all causes of death for a population in a given time period.

Alaska Native Epidimiology Centre
The team preparing meals to be sent out / Image Credit: Savor Of Life

Shaun said that he’s seen a 70-85% effectiveness rate for Savor Of Life’s customers across the board, especially in the fitness realm.

“One individual lost 12kg, 15% of blood pressure and 10% body fat in 8 weeks, in return she gained concentration, self-confidence, a normal hormone-period cycle and her happiness,” he said.

Their empirical studies, however, are still being studied under a clinical research team.

Prevention’s Better Than Cure

With everyone scrambling over healthcare during the pandemic, we asked if Savor Of Life saw any beneficial effects of that.

Shaun replied that they saw a significant revenue increase of at least 10% during this time. 

Since they began in early 2019, they’ve gone from a small pilot group of 20 users to serving 200-300 users at a time, earning a 6-figure revenue in Q1 2020 alone.

Like most businesses, the team had to figure out a way to shift their interactions from large scale in-person events to the online scene. 

“People have been very interested in the educational and health videos we’re putting out. In the past 2 to 3 weeks alone, we’ve got about 200,000+ people in the Klang Valley watching the stuff we put out,” Shaun said.

Savor Of Life’s in-person events / Image Credit: Savor Of Life

The team plans to focus their short term efforts to community building and gathering like-minded individuals through therapeutic meals and community programmes both offline and online.

He also expressed an interest in partnering with more clinics, educational institutions, community organisations, corporate companies and startups that want to see a similar change in their communities and teams.

In the midterm, the team will direct their resources and integrate the lessons they’ve learnt about data into building a “One-Saves-Another” community experience with their existing coaching app.

Bottom Line: I personally see the value in having a professional you can consult with about any concerns throughout the rigorous process of recovery. Going through it myself, it’s definitely hard to stay motivated when you’re not getting immediate results.

  • You can find out more about Savor Of Life here.
  • You can read more on other Malaysian startups we’ve written about here.

Featured Image: Savor Of Life

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