A few years ago you may have noticed a trend. Suddenly colleagues at work were drinking bizarrely coloured homemade concoctions blended from bananas, kiwis, kale, spinach, carrots and all the latest so-called ‘superfoods’.
The era of the NutriBullet was upon us. Everywhere you looked new-age mixologists were delighting in their creations. Blender and juicer sales went through the roof – during Christmas 2015 a NutriBullet was sold every 30 seconds – and many businesses capitalised on this craze.
Emerging from this craze, comes Nutripouch. Founded by Rifat Jan in 2015, their Nutripouch Jügg System enables you to make a portable, lightweight drink such as smoothies, juices, protein shakes or energy drinks and fill a flexible, reusable, pocket-sized pouch. We caught up with Rifat to find out about her experience developing and launching the Nutripouch range of products.
How would you sum up Nutripouch in a sentence?
Nutripouch helps with storage and transport of smoothies, juices etc in portable reusable pouches.
Can you briefly summarise the background to Nutripouch and what you did before?
We launched Fill n Squeeze in 2013. This product helps parents to store homemade baby food in pouches using a patented pouch filling system. The demand became so great that an adult version was launched in November 2016.
What was the inspiration behind Nutripouch? Was there a lightbulb moment when it came to you?
After selling thousands of Fill n Squeeze pouch systems and reading about NutriBullet sale figures, it became apparent that there wasn’t a portable solution to carry homemade drinks besides big bulky containers. We then had the idea of aiming for serious sports people and those that want a healthy balanced diet. The idea of Nutripouch was formed.
What were the challenges around launching your products? Where did you find your time being spent?
The new design had to be better than the first, also bigger in capacity. The challenge came with designing and developing a non-drip valve. This tiny piece took 6 months. We wanted a one-stop pouch filling system that saved on mess and captured any spillages in the drip tray.
How has the business evolved since your launch? Have there been any particular milestones?
We are still fairly new with our launch and have been focusing on the marketing and developing our core marketing campaigns. So far we have aimed for triathletes, runners and cyclists. Feedback has been amazing but has also initiated new product developments such as a much-needed sports cap. We are now being regularly approached by athletes who want to be our brand ambassadors.
Thinking about social media and marketing, what are your tips for boosting brand awareness and ultimately sales?
Facebook and sponsored ads. Also, regular posts on Instagram has really helped create awareness. By recruiting bloggers and brand ambassadors they can really make a difference to communicating the product benefits to potential customers.
What are your long term goals for the business?
To focus on selling to sports people who are serious about natural nutrition that can help them with their performance in a more natural way, rather than sports gels packed with chemicals and bars that can be detrimental to the teeth. Also, as the pouches are reusable, we want to be seen and recognised as a brand that saves money and reduces waste. We will carry on developing new products with this aim in mind.
What are the challenges on a personal level running a business?
I have two businesses, one is for baby feeding and the second business for adult drinks. In addition, I have two young kids to look after. I have to squeeze all my working hours in between school hours and evenings.