Futurelife celebrates a decade of nutrition
Functional food brand, Futurelife, began in 2007 as a social project to help improve the lives of malnourished and disadvantaged people in sub-Saharan Africa. It’s now taking big bites out of the breakfast cereal market and enjoying exponential growth.
At the outset, its research team of doctors and nutritionists developed a scientifically formulated, balanced, nutrient dense food, which contained Moducare, a daily immune supplement under license from Aspen Pharmacare.
“My aim was to create the most nutritional product possible at the lowest cost and convenient. We believed the product should contain quality ingredients, had to taste great and could be enjoyed just by adding water,” says Futurelife founder, Paul Saad (left).
“I decided to call it Futurelife because it was created specifically to give people the hope of a happy and healthy future life.”
Futurelife proved nutritious and popular with people who received it, that the decision was made to make it available to all South Africans. “10 years on, Futurelife Smart food, the original product, is still our customers’ favourite of the range.”
Bringing it to the table
The company has established itself as a keen competitor in the food industry and the breakfast cereal and functional food markets in particular.
“What’s interesting for us is that people are becoming more health conscious and consumers are choosing healthier brands that answer their needs for products that are not only healthy but are convenient and taste great,” says David Sweidan, GM: marketing and sales.
In 2015, the company underwent a restructuring process and entered into a joint venture with Pioneer Foods to ensure the vision of growing and diversifying its product range continued to be realised.
“Well-researched new product development is essential to success. To ensure we keep innovating we need to leverage strong strategic partnerships,” adds Sweidan.
Last year it launched a 2-in-1 breakfast, a high protein bran flake that comes with 10 sachets of Howaru Premium Probiotics, which are added to the cereal, ensuring consumers get the maximum gut promoting benefits.
FUTURELIFE Smart Fibre is designed with a 2-in-1 format simply because you can’t put probiotics through the same heat processing treatments as bran because the live probiotic cultures would be destroyed. HOWARU Premium Probiotics have been packed in individually wrapped foil sachets that provide:
- Portion-controlled servings of probiotics
- The correct environment to protect the sensitive probiotics
- Each sachet is nitrogen flushed and packed in a GMP facility to help preserve the number and viability of the probiotics
The concept of 2-in-1, says Futurelife, may also be translated to one product providing both prebiotics (wheat bran in the fibre flake) and probiotics (in sachets) which together could work as a symbiotic. While probiotics are live microorganisms that are beneficial to the body, prebiotics are the fuel that feeds probiotics, maximising their ability to restore balance of the digestive system’s good bacteria.
Not forgetting its reason for being, and knowing how sustainable feeding programmes have become increasingly critical for disadvantaged and vulnerable people, the company formalised an NPO – the Futurelife Foundation – in 2014.
The feeding programme currently serves around 150,000 nutritious meals a month to South African children, the majority of which are distributed to Early Childhood Development (ECD) centres.
“A hungry child can’t learn and prosper. Every child deserves to start the day with a healthy meal and this ensures that these children enjoy that right, enabling them to learn and grow, safeguarding South Africa’s future generation,” concludes Saad.
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