Lactation products are not a new introduction, and they come in many forms — lactation cookies, cupcakes, and even tea.
Such lactation-labelled foods are specially developed to include healthy ingredients that nourish new mums and help them boost their breastmilk supply.
Beyond these existing slew of lactation products, two Singaporean guys — Lee Chee Leong, 38; and David Ho, 35 — aim to disrupt the landscape with their very own lactation nut butter, which is touted to be the first of its kind in Singapore.
They are also the founders of 2NutGuys, a home-based business that was launched in August 2021.
What sparked the nutty idea?
As a father of one, Chee Leong personally witnessed how challenging breastfeeding was for his wife. This made him better understand the problems some mothers — especially those without a decent milk supply — face.
We understood and acknowledged the challenge, and we knew there was a market to address. Nursing mums are faced with limited options. The products in the market are packed with calories and are one-dimensional. We then saw a potential to create something nutritious, yet both delicious and versatile whilst helping mothers increase their breast milk production.– Lee Chee Leong, co-founder of 2NutGuys
They chose to co-create their product with other nursing mothers. All of them were consuming lactation cookies as part of their lactation diet and many experienced weight gain, no thanks to the high fat and sugar content of the lactation cookies.
On top of that, they were also bored and have had enough of the cookies, and wanted something different.
Hence, they knew they had to innovate a product that was versatile, nutritious, yet still delicious.
Prioritising R&D to produce quality products
Chee Leong has always been in the sales and business development line. He is currently the regional head in a fintech company, while David runs an employee medical benefits design and brokerage business.
Due to the nature of their jobs, they are big believers of trying and testing. This mindset helped them greatly in innovating the star product of their business.
We focused on innovation to fill the gap in the market. Our primary focus is understanding mothers — what they like, what they go through, the difficulties they face, and their wishlists.– Lee Chee Leong, co-founder of 2NutGuys
The duo’s R&D process was rigorous and spanned a few months. They surveyed and interacted with approximately 30 mothers who face concerns over low milk supply or poor milk quality, and took their time to identify and source the right ingredients.
They then conducted multiple testings to nail down the consistency and flavour they wanted.
The survey contributed significantly in helping to conceptualise the final product. They also curated a group of nursing mothers and sent the products for them to try. Over 40 per cent of the mothers experienced positive outcomes from their product, namely increased breast milk production or creamier milk.
“Their feedback was important. We listened and we learned, and that helped us to improve our product. We finally nailed it with the seventh version. Knowing that the mums loved it encouraged us to launch it,” he adds.
As males in a female-centric industry, they knew that learning from mothers — their target market — will help them create a better product to serve their needs.
The process of attaining the final product consists of carefully roasting American almonds at a temperature that brings out the natural oils and flavour.
Thereafter, the nuts are churned with their own recipes and combination of lactation-boosting ingredients: organic chia seeds (a breastfeeding superfood and rich in protein, calcium and iron), cold-pressed almond oil, low-glycemic index gula melaka, and other “secret milk boosters”.
The final product is versatile enough to spread on toast, add to overnight oats, yoghurt, or even be consumed on its own. It is also low in sugar, with no MSG or preservatives.
They also have a regular version of ‘Nutmond Butter’ for non-lactating mothers.
Small capital, big dreams
2NutGuys had a startup capital of S$5,000. However they only choose to measure their successes by the mothers they’ve served since its initiation.
The day we put money in the bank, we spent half of it on a machine to start our R&D process. The rest of the funds were spent on getting ingredients. Since our launch, we’ve served and helped thousands of mums boost their milk production.
Our goal is to help mums in their motherhood journey — to start them on a nutritious and healthy journey right from the moment they conceive, to nursing and weaning their little ones.– Lee Chee Leong, co-founder of 2NutGuys
Running the business isn’t that easy though, especially since they have to juggle it alongside their full-time jobs and families.
“We need to stay super focused and prioritise properly. There are countless things to do each day and we need to be deliberate about choosing the right thing to focus on, and then do it well. Our day jobs have its full attention until the clock strikes 6pm. Then, we put on our aprons, kitchen face masks and hair nets to start our second job,” he elaborates.
Moving forward, they aim to have their nut butter spread to be a top-of-mind product for breastfeeding mothers and eventually have hospitals stock them on its shelves.
“As the future is full of possibilities, we’ll go where the mums take us,” Chee Leong adds.
Featured Image Credit: 2NutGuys