Article by: justentrepreneurs.co.uk
Lotus Bites are the next piece in the ‘healthy eating snack’ jigsaw. Lotus seeds are an undisputed ‘super seed’ brimming with beneficial nutrients. In Indian culture lotus seeds are lauded as ‘God’s Food,’ on account of a stunning Food Completeness Score that rightly identifies lotus seeds as a prolific source of: Iron, fibre, zinc, calcium, potassium, phosphorous, magnesium and a healthy smattering of upbeat antioxidants.
If that wasn’t enough, this is a humble, nutritious nibble that is low in saturated fats and calories, rich in protein but with an appealingly low glycemic index, which makes it an unrivalled provider of ‘slow release’ energy.
Like any worthy super food lotus seeds over-index in terms of ‘nutritional worth,’ which helps explain their prominence within Chinese medicine. It’s a bold notion, but we see this self-effacing seed as the next acai, coconut water, beetroot, blackcurrant…..
Why is the time ripe now?
This is a thoughtful snack, championing vivid and wholesome flavour profiles, (turmeric, pineapple and beetroot & tomato) whose appeal extends to vegans, vegetarians and the gluten-free fraternity.
Who is your target audience?
Health conscious consumers of all ages! Lotus Bites targets consumers who’re on the look-out for all-natural ingredient decks, meaningful flavours and low calories. In its 1stincarnation this is an idyllic on-the-go bite or ‘me-time’ treat but sharing packs are a definite within the very foreseeable future.
We wanted to pioneer a ‘super food’ snack with everyday appeal, a range that embraces vegetarians and vegans without being deemed fringe or niche. Above all we wanted to prove that great taste and an abundant nutritional deck aren’t mutually exclusive goals.
We are a brand that truly personifies, you are what you eat!
What's the biggest obstacle you've had to overcome so far?
We’re keen not to be typecast as a‘next generation’ popcorn. Yes, we’re a puffed grain that provides the perfect stage for stunning flavours to express themselves, but our remit is so much wider (albeit we like the thought of a cinema listing in the future).
Whilst popcorn covers many bases, from super indulgent to low calorie, our mantra is only aligning with wow flavours with proven healthy reputations of their own: beetroot, turmeric…..
And what's your proudest moment?
I feel very strongly that now is the moment for a health-orientated, all-natural snack with broadbrush, multi-cultural appeal, incorporating ingredients of proud Indian descent but with a discerning Western twist.
The humble lotus seed has kept its positive nutrition story out of the mainstream arena for far too long and we’re going to change all that!
What inspired you to get started?
Without question my mum and our countless memories of her exquisite culinary skills. Unfortunately my mum passed away last year and I was determined to establish a head-turning portfolio of best-in-class snacks that provide a fitting tribute to healthy, tasty cuisine.
What's the best advice you would give to fellow startups?
Only embark on such a journey if you truly believe, this is not an arena for self-doubting pioneers. Spotting a gap in the marketplace is one thing but you’ll need the courage of your convictions in the tough times that are inevitable part of the wider journey.
You also need to be able to lean on a small huddle of friends and family whose opinions you trust implicitly.
What's next for Lotus Bites?
All about forging mutually beneficial relationships with like-minded retailers who’re tied to the health conscious community. Exhibition season is upon us and I see so many opportunities to shine: leisure centres, healthy vending, independent health food and artisan wholesalers, foodservice airlines, online, independent cinema chains and of course the ‘foodier’ supermarkets.
Image credit: Shabana Photography