If you’re looking to get a nutrient and health boost in your diet, superfoods are the way forward. With such a wide variety of brands and products out there, we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to accessibility and options, but you want to choose those which are 100% pure, additive-free and organic for the highest quality benefits.
Say hello to Kaizen Living, a new Manchester-based superfoods company launching in November. Founded on the Japanese principles of “Kaizen”, translating to ‘continual improvement’, they have travelled all over the world to source the very finest quality, certified organic, gluten-free products, all 100% suitable for vegans.
Leading such hectic lives these days means sometimes we need an extra burst of goodness, so Kaizen’s aim is to offer powders and tablet forms of some of the most powerful superfoods available. Each product has its own unique characteristics, properties and powers – here’s the range:
- Acai Powder
- Barleygrass powder
- Cacao powder and cacao nibs
- Chia seeds
- Chlorella powder and tablets
- Coconut oil
- Maca powder
- Spirulina powder and tablets
- Wheatgrass powder
It’s been a pleasure to strike up a friendship with the Kaizen Living brand as they gear up to the big launch in November; passionate, buzzing and Manchester based, there’s something special about these guys and I can’t wait until they go ‘live’! The health food and fitness industry is constantly growing and with brands like Wahu and Win Naturally recently opening in Manchester, it seems to be an ideal place to start out.
I was thrilled to receive some samples of their superfoods range which I’ve been experimenting with in healthy recipes (coming soon in another blog), but in the meantime I wanted to dig a little deeper into the mind behind the brand…
1) Hello Rob! Tell us, what inspired you to start the Kaizen Living brand?
I’ve always been very much in to health, keeping fit & a wide range of sports and then over the last few years I developed a much bigger interest in nutrition too, from that I discovered superfoods and I’ve been hooked ever since! I’ve sampled pretty much everything that is available in the UK market & one thing that struck me was the huge disparity in both quality & value, and certainly the two don’t always go hand in hand.
I was already working in an import/export industry (albeit completely unrelated) and doing lots of travelling all around the world so I figured I could use the skills I’d developed there and transfer them across to something that I’m incredibly passionate about & just decided to take a huge career gamble and start my own Superfoods brand!
2) With the approaching launch, this is obviously a very exciting time. Can you tell us some of the highs and lows along the way of how you got to where you are now?
It’s an incredibly exciting time! I just can’t wait to get going now, it’s been quite a long road getting here but I know that it will be worth it! There’s honestly been so many highs! I’ll try to keep it as brief as possible but apologies in advance if I keep on and on!
When looking for suppliers I’ve met a lot of amazing people but of course not all meetings went how I would have liked! There were some meetings where I literally knew within 5 minutes that they weren’t right for me, that they wouldn’t be able to match the levels of quality that I want, but then others where they just ticked every box. I’m so happy with the suppliers that I’ve got now, they’re a fantastic set of people and so meeting all of them was undoubtedly a high.
Witnessing the development of our website would be another high. I honestly can’t wait for people to see it. I wanted a site that would live up to the quality of our products and portray exactly what these amazing superfoods can do but also I wanted a site that would also have a real “community” feel to it; where our customers can feel part of the whole Kaizen Living concept, interact and be involved. It’s not finished yet but It’s really looking great and I can’t wait for it to launch next month! [Here’s a sneak peek guys…thanks Rob!]
Other highs would definitely be how much I’ve learnt whilst going through this process, not just about the amazing superfoods but also about launching this type of product to a retail market. From gaining registration with professional bodies like the Vegan Society and the Soil Association to just things I’d never thought of like, “Where does a barcode come from?”!! Just things that had never even entered my mind before! It’s been a massive learning curve but I’ve loved it!
3) There’s a lot of competition within the superfood and health food market. What makes Kaizen Living stand out and what makes it different?
There’s definitely competition out there, and like I said earlier, there’s some great quality on the market and also unfortunately some pretty low quality stuff too! And it’s not necessarily price reflective either! I think I know most of the competitors out there and I know their products extremely well.
I honestly believe that Kaizen Living’s quality will be as good as, if not better than anything currently on offer. Not only that but we will be far from the most expensive either. But as well as offering the best quality at great prices, we will also be different in how we interact with our customers. Like I said earlier, through the website we want to create a real community feel, we actively encourage user generated content on the site! Whether it’s customer reviews of our products, recipes, blogs like your awesome blog, photos of how people have used our products… we want to feature it all!
We have a “Social Patch” which basically pulls in user generated content from social media, so say if you post a comment on Twitter about Kaizen Living then we may well select that comment to then feature on our “Social Patch”, the same goes with photos on instagram or Pinterest! It’ll be a great place for people to share ideas, comments & feedback! Then we have a recipes page where we actively encourage people to get creative and let us know what you’ve come up with! [Guys, I’ll be posting my super healthy creations in an upcoming blog – here’s a cheeky teaser!]
We don’t want to be boring people with the same old recipes! We want to hear what our customers have come up with and give you guys a great medium to share it with the rest of the world! We have a “How do you want to feel?” section on our site too, this is great for people who maybe don’t know a great deal about the benefits of superfoods and don’t want to spend hours researching which product would be best for them! We make it so easy to find the right products to suit your needs and explain why they do what they do! We really want our website to be a place where Superfood fans come back to time after time after time… whether it be to look for a recipe, to learn something new or just gain inspiration.
It really will be far more than the usual run of the mill online shop. It won’t be just our own website where you’ll be able to interact with us either, we’ll be present and extremely interactive on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest and we’ll have our own YouTube channel too!
4) You must be a fan of superfoods yourself. What’s your favourite product of the range and how do you like to use it?
Great question! Yep, I’m a huge Superfoods fan! I genuinely love every product in our range but for some reason I’m totally drawn to the algaes on this one… spirulina and chlorella! And for anyone that has tried various Superfoods they will know that I’m most definitely not saying that because of the taste! I’m the first to admit that neither of those products taste great, which is why they are actually the only two products in the range that we’re also selling in a pressed powder tablet format as well as the regular powder. But I honestly feel that they both have something kind of magical about them! They are such complete foods, so many great benefits to them! And I think in a weird way the fact they don’t taste great makes me love them even more! I’ve always rooted for the underdog!! 🙂
In terms of how I use it, I usually mix the powder in a really basic but delicious freshly squeezed orange, apple and carrot juice! I find those three work really well together! Some days I’m so busy that I don’t have time to make the juice and on those days I do just take the tablets with water. You get exactly the same benefit as it’s still just 100% pure organic product so it’s great on hectic days, but of course you don’t get the enjoyment of making & drinking a healthy juice or smoothie!
5) Finally, can you reveal any upcoming plans or sneak previews as to what we can expect in the long-term?
Well the immediate plans are of course to get the products to market! All of our products will be available online at our own site, which like I say, launches next month. We’re also going to be selling our products through a handful of selected health food shops and health clubs! So we’re really excited about building those partnerships too!
As for the longer term, well plans are already afoot for some Kaizen Living “superfood blend” products to be launched in 2015. We can’t wait for those & we’re already working really hard in terms of getting the right mix of ingredients to blend together to get the most out of each product! It goes without saying that any additional ingredients that we bring in for the blends will match our core range of products not just in terms of in terms of being the very best quality available but also 100% organic and vegan friendly!
Thanks fo much for your time Rob, we’re looking forward to seeing more of Kaizen Living in the very near future!