Turmeric is one of the most well-known herbs used in Ayurvedic treatments, believed to be essential in treating digestive, joint and respiratory disorders. However, it can be off-putting due to its strong taste and the persistent yellow colouring it tends to leave behind.
As such, for many years the traditional method for turmeric consumption has been by cooking it into dishes, or more recently using it in lattes and taking curcumin supplements, though all of these still tend to leave a trace of either taste or colouration.
Singapore-based firm Haldy has developed an ingenious new format for the consumption of turmeric, or rather its active ingredient curcumin, by incorporating this into mint sweets, creating what it believes to be the world’s first turmeric mint.
“These mints are the result of 18 months of research and have removed all the previous issues of strange aftertaste or stained teeth, leaving a functional, refreshing sugar-free mint with all the benefits of turmeric,” Haldy Founder Push Sharma told FoodNavigator-Asia.
“These mints basically have the minimum effective dose of curcumin to provide the turmeric benefits, but in order to ensure these reach the mass market we did not want to go through the supplementation or medicinal route which requires a lot more effort for certification and so on – this will ensure wider adoption so the benefits are more far-reaching.
“There are clear double benefits with this product, being that it is a mint and it is also made of turmeric – the former appeals to younger consumers who all know mints but not turmeric and tend to be very curious about it; the latter appeals to the older consumers who are already familiar with the benefits of turmeric.”
Sharma also stressed that these mints are sugar-free, made with the ‘most natural sweetener available’ which is sorbitol, so consumers can essentially eat ‘as many as they want’.
“We definitely did not want to add sugar to these like many cheaper commercial products do, as this contributes to a lot of chronic diseases such as diabetes,” he added.
“That said, we did opt to use sorbitol as the most natural sweetener option as we also use the pure form of curcumin from turmeric, which does have an aftertaste, and the sorbitol helps to mask this as well as add to that fresh taste.
“We use 95% curcumin extract, which is of very high quality, and ensures higher functionality – turmeric itself usually needs to be consumed together with pepper to activate its benefits, but the curcumin extract does not need this and is also water soluble so the body can absorb it easily.”
Haldy mints are available in three flavours – lemon, peppermint and berries – on various platforms including FairPrice, Redmart, Shopee, TikTok and its own website.
Whenever herbs or superfoods with health benefits are included on a product’s ingredient list, more often than not these will end up with a hefty price tag, driving away potential repeat consumers – which is a situation Sharma aims to avoid.
“The addition of herbs like turmeric or ashwaganda to a product generally means that the price point goes up, which we do not want to see happen as it is crucial to ensure repeat consumers,” he said.
“We had the potential to market these at a higher price point around S$5 (US$3.75) at one point, but I vetoed this to its current S$3.75 (US$2.82) price, as the aim is to make it affordable enough for people to not think twice about buying these.
“This is so important as the mints can appeal to so many consumers out there.”
Indeed, Haldy’s appeal has stretched well beyond Sharma’s original target demographic group to cover mint-loving consumers – which is just about all potential demographics.
“Our primary target demographic was fitness enthusiasts and those looking for a change to to a better product, as these people generally already know about the goodness of turmeric so there is less of a hard sell needed,” he said.
“But as it happens the mints are also appealing to younger consumers, children, office-goers, busy parents, older consumers and smokers, all of whom have a propensity to seek out mints throughout their day to stop dry mouth of freshen breath.”