Often times, people who develop the habit of snacking feel guilty about it after consumption and they make promises to themselves that they would cut down, or eliminate the intake of junk food.
Shagun Malik, 40, knows this predicament all too well. When she was in her 20s, she had constant sugar cravings, which deemed her physically unfit.
When she hit her late 20s and gave birth to her son, Shagun came to a realisation of how early sugar habits develop.
Food and snacks as we know it, are packed with sugar and unhealthy ingredients, and they set us up for a higher chance of developing chronic illnesses.
“I felt frustrated and really wanted my family and I to have a balanced relationship with food including sugar,” expressed Shagun.
Since then, Shagun decided to challenge herself by focusing on healthy eating in a balanced way so that she could sustain it for life.
This quest for healthy eating led her to build her own superfood cookies startup called Yoga Superfuel. To her, going for healthy snacks does not need mean you are compromising on taste.
Giving up her corporate job for superfood cookies
In wanting to pursue her own startup journey, Shagun took a leap of faith and left her corporate job of 15 years at Ernst & Young and The Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited (HSBC).
The mother of one felt that “settling in a comfort zone is a very scary thought”, so she wanted to explore a completely new dimension and push herself to continually learn and grow.
Yoga Superfuel was founded with the sole purpose of empowering people in their health and wellness journey.
It launched in December 2018 with its very first product, Superfood Cookies. Later on in 2020, Shagun began working on healthy cookies for kids, inspired by her own struggles as a parent to get her kids to snack healthily.
This led to the launch of Yoga Superfuel Kids early this year, which aims to restore kids’ nutritional balance with yummy cookies.
When creating the cookies, the team focused on three specific nutritional needs for kids: protein, prebiotics, and immunity.
The team went through a year of Research & Development (R&D), and held hundreds of tasting sessions with kids to ensure the perfection of cookies.
Striking a balance between health and good taste was the hard part. She needed to create a snack that her picky son would love, and at the same time, something that “health-obsessed” parents like herself would approve.
Packed with superfoods, these Singapore-produced cookies are high on nutrition, low on sugar and free from gluten, refined sugar, dairy, butter and preservatives.
In contrast, most cookies in the market are packed with refined flour, refined sugar and hydrogenated oil (or butter). Yoga Superfuel ensures these ingredients are not included in their superfood cookies.
The team also ensures that the sugar level in their cookies is about 30 per cent lower than other cookies. Their cookies are sweetened with a combination of dry fruits and low glycemic index (GI) natural sweeteners such as coconut sugar and jaggery with zero chemicals or preservatives added.
Their cookies now have five superfood flavours — cocoa coconut, turmeric chai, fig amaranth, ginger granola, and almond buckwheat.
Their corporate customers include Google and LinkedIn
Thanks to the surge of corporate orders, Yoga Superfuel managed to quickly become profitable. It sold an average of 1,000 units a month within the first year of operation.
“One of the early successes we had was making it to the corporate pantries of Google and LinkedIn in the first year itself,” shared Shagun.
Many other corporate firms also started reaching out to Yoga Superfuel and extending their invitation for the team to be a part of various health talks, covering topics such as sugar cravings and intermittent fasting, which is a huge validation for the brand’s mission.
However, when Covid-19 hit Singapore in 2020, the brand had to pivot and scale up their online presence as corporate orders came to a standstill.
They have since expanded their online presence to include online marketplaces such as RedMart, Amazon and Shopee.
Moving forward, Yoga Superfuel intends to work on launching a savoury product line and expand to other international markets such as Australia, Hong Kong, Indonesia and the US.
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Featured Image Credit: Yoga Superfood