Why We Partnered

Why We Doubled Down On Our Partnership With Nuguru: Backing a Global Initiative in Revolutionizing Healthy Eating

February 22, 2024
|
Listen Time
Why We Partnered

Why We Doubled Down On Our Partnership With Nuguru: Backing a Global Initiative in Revolutionizing Healthy Eating

Listen Time
Why We Doubled Down On Our Partnership With Nuguru: Backing a Global Initiative in Revolutionizing Healthy Eating
Also available on

At DSG Consumer Partners, we have been tracking the evolution of health and wellness since we started in 2012. Our conviction in the category led us to invest in Nuguru in early 2020 when Vikram Rupani (co-founder of Redmart, a DSGCP portfolio company acquired by Lazada) started working on the idea for a new chapter in his entrepreneurial journey. We love to partner with visionary founders even at the inception stage on Day 1. Over the past three years, the DSGCP team has been privileged to accompany Nuguru on its journey of incorporation, transformation, and international growth. We are pleased to support and collaborate with Vikram and a fully built ace team to pivot the business model from its initial foray with the “Clean-in-15” program to today's harmonized approach to wellness.

Today, we proudly announce our continued partnership with Nuguru (https://www.nuguru.com/), a company that is redefining what it means to live a healthy life, with a multi-faceted approach, consisting of brand incubation, distribution, and investment.

The Flourishing Wellness Market: A Canvas for Nuguru’s Vision

In the post-pandemic era, market trends have crystallized more distinctly than ever with escalating demand for healthier lifestyles and high-quality, health-focused products. New Global Wellness Institute's research report “The Global Wellness Economy 2023” reveals a wellness market surging post-pandemic: the Global Wellness Economy reached a record USD 5.6 trillion in 2022 and is on a trajectory to grow at an impressive 8.6% annually through 2027, when the market will reach USD 8.5 trillion — nearly double its 2020 size.

Healthy Eating, Nutrition & Weight Loss is one of the few wellness sectors that maintained positive growth (6.7%) during the pandemic, launching a wave of interest in home cooking, healthy food, and immunity-focused foods and supplements. Post pandemic, the Healthy Eating, Nutrition & Weight Loss, valued at USD 1,079 billion in 2022, has maintained its growth momentum and is expected to leapfrog beauty by 2025 and hit USD 1,500 billion in 2027.

Within this burgeoning space, healthy-labeled foods and beverages is by far the largest segment, representing 81% of the Healthy Eating, Nutrition & Weight Loss market in 2022. This segment grew by 10.9% in 2021 and 3.1% in 2022, reaching USD 874.3 billion. The anticipated growth of the healthy-labeled foods and beverages space provides a large opportunity for Nuguru's innovative products. Particularly in markets like the US and Singapore, characterized by high GNI per capita, the pursuit of better-for-you and healthy products has moved from a niche trend to a fast-growing large consumer opportunity.

We believe that Nuguru is ideally positioned to meet this rising demand through its launch of Everiday Foods.

Everiday Foods: Nuguru's Brainchild Revolutionizing Healthy Eating

At the heart of Nuguru’s ethos is the commitment to "food as medicine," a principle increasingly embraced by consumers worldwide. This trend is driving demand for clean-label and naturally derived products, with a strong emphasis on premiumization. Consumers are not only seeking healthier options, but also want these products to be as delightful and tasty as their less healthy counterparts.

Nuguru’s first and flagship in-house brand, Everiday Foods, conceptualized by nutritionist Riyana Rupani, exemplifies this approach with its range of gluten-free bread, nutrient-rich crackers, and delectable granolas, all made from whole food ingredients.

Everiday Foods is positioned to capitalize on two significant market opportunities within the Singaporean gluten-free bakery sector and the US wellness-oriented food market.

1. Seizing the Untapped Potential in Singapore's Gluten-Free Market

Bakery items are staples we often toss into our shopping carts without much thought. Yet, how many of us pause to stare at the shelf and consider the missing opportunity in the bakery market? This traditional market has been dominated by mass-produced, wheat-based products with minimal innovation. However, we're seeing a trend towards high-end, health-focused bakery choices, as consumers prioritise functionality and wellness. This shift is fuelled by growing awareness of the potential health risks linked to gluten and soy. We believe this sector is undergoing a transformation.

Bread Products Available in a Singapore Grocer

Feeling bloated after every meal, often accompanied by nausea? Or while working out, finding yourself increasingly lacking in strength, with muscles that ache more and become sore, struggling to lift weights that used to be manageable, and quickly running out of breath? Or find the frustration of wanting to slim down, yet no matter how you adjust your diet or how scientifically your personal trainer plans your strength workouts, it seems futile. These experiences, surprisingly, may be linked to the consumption of foods containing wheat and soy, more specifically gluten.

Gluten is a protein primarily found in wheat, rye, barley, and triticale (a cross between wheat and rye), and plays a crucial role in giving bread its structure and chewy texture. It acts like glue, holding food together, which is why it's commonly used not only in breads and baked goods but also in a variety of processed foods to add texture and flavor. However, for some individuals, consuming gluten can lead to health issues, known collectively as gluten-related disorders.

Gluten-related disorders encompass a range of conditions, including:

1. Celiac Disease: An autoimmune disorder where the ingestion of gluten leads to damage in the small intestine, impairing nutrient absorption and causing a wide range of symptoms from gastrointestinal distress to neurological issues.

2. Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity (NCGS): Individuals with NCGS experience symptoms similar to celiac disease upon consuming gluten, but without the autoimmune intestinal damage. Symptoms can include bloating, headache, fatigue, and joint pain, and they typically improve with a gluten-free diet.

3. Wheat Allergy: This is an allergic reaction to proteins found in wheat, including but not limited to gluten. Symptoms can range from mild (rash, hives) to severe (anaphylaxis), and require avoidance of wheat-containing foods.

Noodles, dumplings, and pancakes... For many years, Asians were considered less susceptible to gluten-related disorders. However, recent studies and consumer surveys indicate a rising prevalence of gluten-related issues among Asian populations, particularly among Chinese and Indian consumers. Gluten-related issues affect approximately one in 30 Caucasians. For Asians, gluten-related disorders could occur from 0.6% to 11.8% in the high-risk population and details remain largely unexplored in many Asian regions due to a lack of comprehensive research. Despite the common love for wheat-based foods in Asia, discomfort can no longer be ignored. The evolving understanding of gluten and its effects has led to a growing demand for gluten-free products in Asia.

Everiday's commitment to creating high-quality, innovative gluten-free products is a direct response to this growing need. Everiday aims to redefine the bakery experience in Singapore by providing delicious, gluten-free options tailored to the needs of health-conscious consumers and those with gluten sensitivities.

Everiday's Gluten-Free Bakery

Additionally, while a significant majority (94%) of bakery purchases in Singapore are currently made offline, we believe that online sales will rise to 10% by 2025. This trend highlights the importance of a brand's robust online presence and engaging digital content, particularly to appeal to the next Gen consumers. Everiday stands at the forefront of this digital transformation, ready to leverage Vikram Rupani and Richard Ruddy's expertise in ecommerce operations to connect with and capture a wider audience. Simultaneously, Everiday Foods sets itself apart by controlling its sourcing and manufacturing processes. This control is pivotal in ensuring the exceptional taste, texture and allergen-free products that Everiday promises, which are key to winning over consumers in a market where quality is non-negotiable.

2. Everiday's U.S. Launch: Spicing Up Wellness with Chili Sauces and More

Everiday Foods is set to make a flavorful and health-focused entry into the U.S. market, capitalizing on the growing trend of spicy and wellness-oriented food choices. The initial launch in the US will be with chili sauces.

The post-pandemic dining scene in the US has seen a sustained interest in bold and spicy flavors. Data reveals a growing inclination among consumers to elevate their meals with an extra kick. This trend is particularly notable among the expanding East Asian population in America, where products like chili crisp, once considered exotic, are now becoming household staples. The hot/chili sauce market in the US has seen remarkable growth, ballooning to a USD 1.7 billion category with a 7.2% CAGR from 2023 to 2030.

The surging interest in chili and spicy foods has not been entirely pleasant for everyone, particularly due to the digestive discomfort in many experiences. This discomfort is often exacerbated by the presence of inflammatory seed oils, refined sugars, MSG, excess sodium, and preservatives. Furthermore, it might come as a surprise to many that numerous processed sauces, including some chili sauces and salad dressings, utilize wheat or other gluten-containing substances such as thickeners or fillers, potentially leading to gut discomfort.

Amidst the growth of Asian flavors in the US (according to The Economist, 25 February 2023 issue, "Like salsa, which once seemed exotic, chilli crisp is set to become a pantry staple."), there is a clear market gap for clean-label chili sauces that provide the boldness of Asian flavors but don't cause inflammation and other discomfort. Everiday has responded to this need by introducing a line of flavor-forward Asian sauces that are all made with extra virgin olive oil, and don't contain MSG, preservatives, refined sugars, and are entirely vegan. Further, all of Everiday's sauces are Gluten-Free, and designed to meet the complex demands of today's health-conscious consumers who do not want to trade their health for flavor. The range is already being stocked both online and offline in the US, and is being met with much enthusiasm.

Chili and hot sauces in store, Phoenix, Arizona, USA

With gluten-free penetration in the bakery segment at around 9% in the US (compared to < 0.5% in Singapore), and with approx. 30% of the US population seeking allergen-friendly alternatives, Everiday has the opportunity to expand beyond condiments into bakery and other pantry staple categories internationally too, presenting a vast and growing opportunity globally.

In the future, Everiday Foods aims to bridge the gap in the US grocery market, where few brands successfully cross categories to address the growing wellness trend while also connecting family mealtimes.

Everiday's Gluten-Free Chili Sauces

Looking Forward: A Future Defined by Health and Wellness

Nuguru's initiatives to date have reflected a deeper understanding of modern dietary trends and challenges, aiming to provide a solution that aligns with the evolving landscape of health and wellness preferences. As Nuguru scales up, we are honored to continue to support and be part of Nuguru’s journey as it strives to innovate and lead in the healthy-labeled foods and beverages space.

With Nuguru, we're not just investing in a company; we're investing in the future of wellness.

Download Report

Stay informed with our newsletter

Discover insights, perspectives, and the latest happenings in the consumer ecosystem.

Subscribe

Stay informed with our newsletter

Discover insights, perspectives, and the latest happenings in the consumer ecosystem.

Subscribe

Related articles

Why We Partnered With SATURDAYS: Bringing a New Vision to the Southeast Asian Eyewear Market
Why We Doubled Down On Our Partnership With Youvit: Building Southeast Asia’s Premium Supplement Brand
Why We Partnered with Rosé All Day: Indonesia’s Insurgent Cosmetics and Skincare Brand