Personalised nutrition in Malaysia: Start-up sees strong demand for skin health and weight management products

By Guan Yu Lim

- Last updated on GMT

Personalised nutrition start-up sees demand for skin health and weight management among Malaysian consumers ©Nourished Asia
Personalised nutrition start-up sees demand for skin health and weight management among Malaysian consumers ©Nourished Asia

Related tags personalised nutrition Malaysia skin health Weight management

Malaysian personalised nutrition start-up Nourished is seeing a boom in demand for tailored skin health and weight management products, especially among consumers between 16 and 45.

The start-up established in September last year sells about 50 individual powdered ingredients ranging from digestive enzymes, collagen, vitamins, astaxanthin and others.

Its business model is divided into two, an a la carte model for consumers seeking to buy the ingredients on its own, or a personalised nutrition service where the firm can products  for consumers.

Speaking to NutraIngredients-Asia​, Jinn Lim, project director at Nourished Asia, said most of its customers were concerned with youth preservation, particularly preventing skin ageing, and weight management.

Malaysia is the most obese country in South East Asia, with more than 60% of the population either obese or overweight, according to the WHO. This also leads to increasing diabetes risk, hypertension and other non-communicable diseases.

Lim added that immunity-related ingredients were also starting to gain interest, mostly contributed by the ongoing pandemic.

The firm is now planning to expand its ingredient portfolio to 80 by next year, and also expanding into the healthy ageing realm, focusing on cognitive, joint and cardiovascular health.

Personalised powders

Its products are available in unflavoured powder format and can be added into daily food and beverage items such as milk, smoothie, coffee, yoghurt, or muesli to get a functional boost.

Lim said this approach to taking supplements offered more versatility than just popping a pill.

Experts recently pointed out “pill fatigue​” as a driving force for supplement alternative formats such as drinks and powders in Asia.

We don’t want supplements to be a burden to consumers. We try to put fun into supplements, encouraging consumers to add ingredients into their diet,​” Lim added.

Lim, who is also a trained pharmacist, told us Nourished Asia wanted to provide evidence-based supplements for consumers, but at the same time become a people-centric brand.

The firm said all its ingredients are scientifically validated, and it compiles information on research conducted on these ingredients, publishing it on its website to educate consumers.

For the personalised service, consumers fill a questionnaire which will be accessed by the firm’s professionals who specialise in nutrition, diet and medicine.

Lim said it takes about two days to screen and develop a personalised plan for a consumer, before the ingredients are packaged and delivered to the consumer within 14 days.

The personalised service will include between six to seven ingredients combined together, and packaged into one bag (30 servings per bag).

Covid-19 impact

The company sources its ingredients mostly from the EU and US. For instance, collagen is sourced from Italy, digestive enzymes from US, however more local ingredients such as tongkat ali are obtained from Malaysia.

Lim cited some difficulty in sourcing ingredients from its international suppliers during the ongoing pandemic, hence the firm had to turn to alternative sources.

However she was quick to add the company was lucky as it was allowed to operate under essential services, given the many restrictions imposed by the government to contain the pandemic in Malaysia.

Currently, consumers can buy Nourished Asia supplements through its website, Lazada, and Shopee in Malaysia. The personalised supplements are only available on its website.

The firm has also been approached by a pharmacy chain in Malaysia, to which Lim said they were considering the best time to launch its products into retail given the current economic climate.

The 20-staff strong firm is also planning to expand into Indonesia and Thailand in the future, where Lim cites cultural similarities with the Malaysian market.

The company is estimated to reach RM 3.6 million (US$867,000) in revenue this year.

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