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Supergulp‘s story began with a simple trip to the supermarket. Julian Koh, a self-proclaimed health enthusiast, was never one for sugary drinks. 

One day, while casually exploring the aisles, Julian stumbled upon a few Western sparkling prebiotic brands. Intrigued, he grabbed them all, took them home, and gave them a try. To his delight, their low sugar content and refreshing taste hit the spot. 

“That’s when it hit me like a bolt of lightning, why not create something like this for our own taste buds? And voila, the idea for Supergulp was born,” he said.

Shaking things up

The vibrant force behind Supergulp started as a graphic designer at NYLON Singapore and from there, he ventured into marketing campaigns at Honestbee.

He also worked as a project manager at Easy Parcel and Pgeon. Most recently, he fueled business growth alongside C-levels at online food delivery business, Foodpanda Malaysia.

His rollercoaster of experiences—from donning the marketing hat to juggling project management and diving into the wild world of business growth—has one constant: selling. 

Whether it’s selling an idea, a product, or just convincing himself to get out of bed on a Monday morning, Julian has honed his persuasion skills across the board.

“How did all these corporate adventures help kickstart Supergulp? They gifted me with a kaleidoscope of perspectives,” Julian explained. 

Image Credit: Supergulp

Many founders may get caught up in crunching numbers or brainstorming marketing strategies when it comes to running a business.

But for Julian, it’s about seeing things from every angle, and his corporate escapades have certainly given him a crash course in that.

Despite having zero experience in the F&B industry, Julian couldn’t move past his burning desire to shake things up. Thus, Supergulp’s sparkling prebiotic drinks were born.

Making healthy choices easier to make

Supergulp’s target market is broad— it’s for anyone who values their health and is willing to invest in it, said Julian. 

There’s been a noticeable shift in consumer preferences towards products that are low in sugar, low in calories, and offer functional benefits. 

“Kombucha, for example, was a bit of a mystery three years ago but has now become a staple for many,” he noted.

Supergulp’s sales and marketing efforts take a holistic approach. The brand focuses on co-existing with F&B spaces, believing in balance. 

Image Credit: Supergulp

“If you’re enjoying a hearty meal or indulging in something a bit greasy—what better way to balance it out than with a refreshing, healthier option that does wonders for your body?” 

“That’s the vibe Supergulp aims for, making healthy choices seamlessly integrated into everyday life,” he said.

Fueling gut health with fun flavours

Nowadays, Malaysians are more familiar with probiotic drinks like kombucha than with prebiotic drinks.

According to Julian, prebiotics serve as a fuel that keeps the gut’s good bacteria thriving and healthy, helping them flourish and outnumber the bad bacteria. This balance is crucial for maintaining overall gut health.

“Probiotics, on the other hand, are live microorganisms found in foods like kombucha, yoghurt, or other fermented foods. Consuming probiotics introduces beneficial bacteria into your gut, improving digestion, boosting your immune system, and even enhancing your mood,” he said.

Supergulp’s prebiotics drink features refreshing flavours like Lemon Lime, Watermelon Pineapple, and Lychee Lemon. For first-time customers, Julian highly recommends diving into the Lychee Lemon.

Image Credit: Supergulp

“And stay tuned, because exciting new flavours are in the pipeline, all tailored to cater to the Asian palate,” added Julian.

Supergulp produces its prebiotic beverages in batches, ensuring quality and freshness.

A small but mighty team

The business is powered by a small but mighty team of four. With Julian dedicatedly spearheading Supergulp full-time, his partner focuses on partnerships and provides valuable guidance.

They recently brought on a partnership manager to strengthen collaboration efforts, and a part-time finance and legal expert handles those crucial areas. 

Their team mainly handles the creative input and testing, while the actual production is done by their manufacturing partners.

Supergulp might be a new brand in the market, but it’s already making waves. Supergulp is stocked in grocery stores like Qra, Village Grocer, and convenience stores like BilaBila Mart. By knocking on doors and refusing to take no for an answer, Supergulp secured its place on the shelves of top retailers early on.

Image Credit: Supergulp

With a steady increase in subscribers, especially from outside the Klang Valley, Julian’s journey with Supergulp is just beginning. 

Finding their product-market fit

One of the biggest challenges Julian faced in running Supergulp was finding the right product-market fit. 

“No matter how great the packaging looks or how clever the marketing is, if customers don’t like the taste and smell of the product, they won’t buy it.”

“Overcoming this involved a lot of trial and error, customer feedback, and continuous improvement to create something people truly love,” said the founder.

Supergulp reached its third-month target in just eight weeks and aims to break even by Q4 of this year. 

Julian’s vision for Supergulp is to play the long game and become the go-to healthy brand, much like the “Mondelez” of wellness. (Mondelez is the company behind household brands like Cadbury, Ritz, Chips Ahoy!, Oreo, and more.) 

In the short term, Supergulp is gearing up to introduce more exciting products and broaden distribution across Southeast Asia, with Singapore as the next big destination.

  • You can learn more about Supergulp business here.
  • Read other articles we’ve written about Malaysian startups here.

Featured Image Credit: Supergulp

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Vulcan Post aims to be the knowledge hub of Singapore and Malaysia.

© 2021 GRVTY Media Pte. Ltd.
(UEN 201431998C.)