According to report by Mintel Global New Products Database (GNDP) the number of food and beverage products launched around the world that features terms such as “superfood” or similar has increased by 36% by 2015. With more than 70% of European consumers believing strongly in the health benefit of food it is apparent that consumers changing demand seem to be driving the market shift. While different brands are emerging in the market with the goal of meeting the increasing consumer demands some are not stopping there.
Market demands and consumer demands are not the only factors driving the emergence of food and beverage products enriched with phytochemicals in the market place. Scientific findings also highlights the health benefits of some food types commonly grouped as “superfood “. An example of such is Moringa (moringa oleifera), which is native to western and northern parts of India and is currently grown in different cities around the world. While studies have shown the effect of specific components of moringa on inflammation, reports have also shown that this plant is used in some parts of the world to treat malnutrition.
Treating malnutrition with moringa led Lisa Curtis who was serving in the Peace Corps in Niger at the time to discover the nutrient-dense plant, and her company Kuli kuli was launched. The company which now has products in more than 6,000 stores across US partners with more than 1000 female farmers in rural communities in Ghana, Haiti and Nicaragua providing business opportunities for them.
In an Interview with Julia Olayanju for a Forbes article, KuliKuli Founder describes her journey ” Upon my return from the Peace Corps, I co-founded Kuli Kuli, a mission-driven business, to drive economic growth, women’s empowerment and sustainable agricultural development by utilizing moringa as a tool for nutritional security. Together with my childhood friends Jordan, Anne and Valerie, we launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo to raise money to manufacture Moringa Superfood Bars.
The crowdfunding campaign was the most popular food campaign Indiegogo had ever had, enabling Kuli Kuli to launch onto the market in 2014. Whole Foods Market was the first retailer to pick up Kuli Kuli’s Moringa Superfood Bars, starting in Northern California. Kuli Kuli then launched the Pure Organic Moringa Powder in 2015 and expanded to over 2,000 retail locations.
In 2016, Kuli Kuli partnered with the Clinton Foundation, Whole Foods Market and a nonprofit in Haiti to help reforest Haiti with moringa trees and develop the Moringa Green Energy shots made with Haitian moringa. By creating partnerships with small farming cooperatives in Ghana and Haiti, private foundations like the Clinton Foundation and major retailers such as Whole Foods Market, Kulikuli created a truly sustainable and philanthropic business model.
In 2017, Kuli Kuli was one of the first Benefit Corporations to receive investment from a Fortune 500 company, Kellogg. Kuli Kuli now sells our Moringa Superfood Bars, Pure Organic Moringa Powder, Moringa Green Energy shots and new Organic Green Smoothie Mixes in over 7,000 stores nationwide. To date, Kuli Kuli has planted over 1 million moringa trees and partnered with over 1,000 farmers, providing more $1.5M in income to women-led farming cooperatives and family farms.”
Editor’s note: Do you own or work for a mission driven brand? Let us know about it at : pr at foodnicher dot com