How Sustenance shakes food shakes S’pore’s industry, APAC


Gautam Param and Leon Chen first met a couple of years ago when they worked for the same company and went on a business trip together to the UK.

Leon was a senior executive at a Singapore-listed company, before becoming the CEO of an e-commerce company.

Gautam, meanwhile, used to work as a business analyst before testing it out at a couple of companies, including a delivery-only restaurant.

Then in 2019, two years after the food replacement company Maintenance was founded, joined forces to climb it.

“I saw a lot of people and companies preaching about how to live healthy through‘ advanced ’diets and eating strategies, but no one came up with good products to help people run it,” Gautam said.

“I wanted an easy way to eat healthy without putting my diet at the center of my life. I looked at other options on the market, but I didn’t really like them because they had a lot of artificial rubbish and were too far away from nature to be considered a real food ”.

Creating a drinking food

Observing this market gap, the duo wanted to offer people minimally processed products that used real food ingredients from premium suppliers in the United States and the United Kingdom.

What about a food shake Sustenance / Image Credit: Sustenance

In fact, their products contain a lot of protein and fiber and a minimum of bad things like saturated fats and artificial junk.

The idea of ​​Sustenance is simple: we want it to be simple and painless for people to eat healthy. We want to empower people to lead a healthy, disease-free life without having to put diets at the center of their lives.

– Gautam Param, co-founder of Sustenance

The 30-year-old added that his meal replacement offers are suitable for people without a hunger for time, such as busy workers who prefer fast and healthy meals. Some also resort to Sustenance to incorporate it as part of their diet to lose weight.

After all, smoothies contain a lot of fruits and vegetables, grains, seeds and vegetable proteins.

“They approach a healthy homemade food than any other option on the market,” Gautam said.

Because food smoothies are also rich in fiber and protein, it makes them very filling, in terms of calories.

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Working on new and improved formulas / Image credit: Sustenance

All batches produced are tested by third parties in an accredited laboratory of the Singapore Accreditation Council (SAC) in Singapore for safety and purity.

“We test if there are things that don’t appear on labels like heavy metals and harmful bacteria,” Gautam said.

Meal replacements versus a conventional healthy meal

While Sustenance offers many nutritional benefits, Gautam stressed that it does not precede a conventional, healthy meal.

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Suitable for people who are hungry for time / Image credit: Sustenance

The winning factor in maintaining these meals is their comfort factor. If you have little time, can’t find affordable options or eat healthy around you, Sustenance food shakes are a good alternative instead of resorting to something unhealthy like fast food.

“I think the food replacement industry has a stigma for overusing unnatural ingredients and not filling up. After all, who will believe that a drink will fill them for hours? “he reflected on Gautam.

“It’s a shame, because the benefits of food shakes are often overshadowed by these stigmas. Going back to the basics and using satiating whole food ingredients, we hope to change the way we perceive food smoothies and present our healthy and convenient smoothies to everyone. “

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Sustenance meal shake / Image credit: Sustenance

According to Sustenance, the main hurdle to a healthy diet is the difficulty of constantly eating healthy and meal replacements can help fill that void.

Science has established that eating consistently and healthily is a behavioral problem, not a knowledge problem. People know what healthy eating means, but in the long run they struggle to do so constantly because of the inconvenience it entails.

No one wants to spend breaks for lunch queuing (to eat), spending a bomb eating grain bowls every day, or spending an hour cooking and cleaning during the week. If we reduce the friction of the decision to eat healthier, many people would eat healthier more consistently.

– Gautam Param, co-founder of Sustenance

This is the only proposal to replace meals: they serve as a “backup option” that is readily available anytime, anywhere and that is enough as a quick and healthy meal.

Eliminate the stigmas associated with food substitution

At first, Gautam said his key struggle was to address the stigmas associated with food substitution.

Historically, the industry has had so many “bad apples” such as multilevel marketing systems and companies promoting unhealthy products for strong diets.

It was really hard to fix all this and convince people that we sell honest products. Things ended up getting better after we got older (as more customers tried our smoothies).

– Gautam Param, co-founder of Sustenance

He added that most of his customers started out as non-believers who had never tried any food substitution. However, after registering for free samples and buying their starter kits, they became converts.

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Customers Taking Samples of Sustenance Shakes at an Emerging Event / Image Credit: Sustenance

“These people who were initially on the fence end up being regular customers and repeat many purchases. Then they would recommend it to their family and friends: this is our main source of growth. “

So far, the customer group has grown to “several thousand” over the past twelve months and its products have a 4.9 out of five-star rating in several hundred reviews on Google, Facebook and Shopee. Many of these reviews speak of the unexpected delight of smoothies despite their green appearance and fullness.

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Freeze-drying versus fresh food / Image credit: Sustenance

By using real whole food ingredients, in addition to using top quality manufacturing methods such as freeze-drying and enzyme processing, they entail very high production costs, but Gautam reasoned that it helps preserve nutritional value. of the ingredients.

Despite the high costs, their smoothies are reasonably priced, ranging from 4.50 to 10.50 Australian dollars, depending on the packaging and size of the smoothies. In addition to selling directly to customers on their own website, they are also online at the FairPrice supermarket, local Watsons pharmacy, as well as on the e-commerce platforms Shopee and Lazada.

The company has increased its revenue more than sixfold by 2020 and began selling in Hong Kong and Australia in March 2021. They plan to enter two more Asia Pacific markets later this year.

The team is also working on introducing a new snack bar in the next six months as an alternative to their smoothies.

“We want snacks to offer the same level of goodness as our meals are nutritionally shaken and, most importantly, maintain our ethos of using minimally processed whole foods,” Gautam said.

To check out Sustenance’s range of food smoothies and find out which ones suit you best, visit their website here.

This article is written in collaboration with Sustenance.

Featured Image Credit: Sustenance

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