NutraIngredients-Asia Awards 2023

Metabolic and maternal mission: Our Start-up of the Year winner on functional foods knowledge plan

By Tingmin Koe

- Last updated on GMT

Darren Jerome Low (right), general manager, Of Dreams & Knowledge (Asia) and Gary Scattergood, editor-in-chief, NutraIngredients-Asia at the NutraIngredients-Asia Awards 2023 ceremony.
Darren Jerome Low (right), general manager, Of Dreams & Knowledge (Asia) and Gary Scattergood, editor-in-chief, NutraIngredients-Asia at the NutraIngredients-Asia Awards 2023 ceremony.

Related tags start-up Of Dreams & Knowledge Singapore

Of Dreams & Knowledge (Asia), a functional food firm which won the start-up category at the recent NutraIngredients-Asia Awards, is seeking to drive consumer awareness of its products by looking more deeply into metabolic and maternal health concerns.

The company, which launched its first series of functional food products last September, competed against South Korea’s CJ Food&Nutrition Tech (CJ FNT) for the Start-up award.

Selling under the brand name Milestone Food for your Genes​, its current portfolio of six SKUs features Greek-grown olive oil and pomegranate as the key ingredients.

Examples include its High Phenolic Olive Oil + Algae Vitamin D3 for immune, bone, and heart health and Pomegranate Concentrate + Natural B12 and Iron for brain, mood, energy.

Within APAC, its products are currently sold in Singapore, where consumers could make purchases via the company’s website.

Over the past year, most of its consumers got to know about its products via the word-of-mouth, with young adults in their 20s, working professionals, and the elderly forming the majority, Darren Jerome Low, general manager, told NutraIngredients-Asia.

He noticed that the biggest factors influencing the decision to purchase are 1) whether the products are natural and non-synthetic and 2) whether the products would lead to side-effects.

Its omega-3 SKUs are among the top favourites among consumers.

“I will say a lot of people in Singapore are very concerned about omega-3 and the omega-3 formulas are selling very well because they are good for the heart and brain.

“The young people who are taking the products also buy it for their parents,” ​he said.

Its next step is to drive further awareness of its products in Singapore, before expanding into other parts of Asia. Its parent company, Of Dreams & Knowledge, oversees the firm's sales in Europe and the US.

To reach out to more consumers, it is highlighting how its products could address health issues commonly seen in Singapore.

For a start, the company is driving consumer education through google ads to show how its products could support diabetes and cholesterol control, as well as supporting maternal health.

“We target some of the very commonly seen health issues, and various metabolic syndrome disorders are plaguing a lot of Singaporeans.  

“We find that a lot of Singaporeans are concerned about diabetes and cholesterol levels,”​ he said.

The company’s High Phenolic Olive Oil with Vegan Omega 3,6,9, for instance, is designed for heart health and diabetes. This is because olive oil polyphenols could contribute to the protection of blood lipids from oxidative stress, while ALA and linoleic acid could contribute to the maintenance of normal blood cholesterol levels, according to the product’s health claims.

Aside from taking it neat, consumers could also consume the products by adding it to yogurts, salads, or water.

The Iron + B12 blend under its pomegranate range, on the other hand, could be used by the breastfeeding and pregnant women, he pointed out. 

This is because the formula could work with folic acid to support red blood cell formation, energy production, and overall vitality during pregnancy.

Its High Phenolic Olive plus the algae-derived omega-3s oil also claims to support foetuses’ eye and brain development.

Winning the start-up award has also boosted the company’s confidence in reaching out to potential business partners, such as nutritionists and specialty health food stores, said Low.

The company is intending to work with vegan and vegetarian societies of Singapore in spreading the awareness of its products.

“Winning the award is an important milestone for us. It has opened new doors of opportunities for us where we can confidently approach people.

“I believe people will be more willing to view us more seriously and that we are a serious business with clear and concise direction, that we are here to stay and not some fly-by-night company,” ​he said.

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