How Sustenance’s founder grew his plant-based meal replacement shake startup 600% during a pandemic

  • January 27, 2021

Sustenance, a local foodtech startup specialising in 100% natural and vegan meal replacement shakes was able to flourish where others failed at the height of Covid-19 last year.

Founded in 2017, Sustenance creates 100% plant-based meal replacement shakes using whole foods and high quality ingredients. An alternative to instant, high-fat convenience foods, Sustenance’s packs are easy to carry and drink, providing people with a healthy meal in one gulp.

Retail might be floundering but eCommerce is just as risky a venture. In the initial stages of the circuit breaker last year, foodtech startup Sustenance found its business wavering as a drop in demand and disruptions in the supply chain threatened its margins. But just three months after Singapore exited Phase 1, Sustenance’s revenue had jumped over 600%. 

The key? Seizing an opportunity to overhaul Sustenance’s business model during the Covid-19 so that it could be the first out the gate once business picked back up. 

Sustenance founder Gautam Param

“Magical conversions don’t happen, and people are resistant to buying online,” says Sustenance founder Gautam Param. The solution, he says, is to build trust and create value for your audience.

A loyal customer base with affordable plant-based meal replacement shales

Since the circuit breaker, Sustenance has released a new line of affordable plant-based meal replacement shakes, invested in sustainable packaging, renovated its e-storefront, standardised its production processes and looked towards international expansion.

By investing in customer service and delivering on their promises, Sustenance has cultivated a loyal customer base online and will soon be available at Watsons’ e-shop and selected stores.

Just in time too: as the movement to adopt plant-based diets sweeps the region, Sustenance’s instant meal packs are poised to be the perfect solution for a time-starved but committed and health-conscious population. 

In just 30 seconds, Sustenance shakes provide healthy meals that are 100% natural and vegan. Created from produce like brown rice, chia seeds and acai berries that are freeze-dried, then milled into a fine powder, their shakes are a filling meal in a bottle packed with all the whole food nutrition you need. 

No additives, preservatives or chemicals

And it’s real, not artificial nutrition. Unlike other meal replacement alternatives, Sustenance does not include any additives, preservatives or chemicals in its shakes, which are manufactured with minimal processing. In short, you’re receiving the natural goodness of over 15 varieties of plant-based whole foods in their purest, and most efficient form.  

“Sustenance is the closest you can get to a home-cooked meal,” says Gautam. “We want to help people take back control of their health with a convenient and nutritious meal stored neatly in a pack.”

While advances in cell-cultured food and alternative proteins are remarkable in their own right, time-tested sources of plant-based nutrition already exist in nature. And as chronic health conditions rise amidst the twin evils of Covid-19 and Singapore’s penchant for overworking, solutions like Sustenance could provide stressed-out consumers with a much-needed lifeline. 

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