Hello there curious visitor! I think this is the part where we're supposed to write up mission and vision statements, throw in business jargon like ‘quality first’ or ‘best in class’ and show you how professional we are. But we'll try to keep things a bit more casual and upfront.
Chances are, if you’re reading this, you've skimmed through our website, and you have a vague idea of what we’re trying to do. But maybe you still have some nagging questions at that back of your head – like ‘Why would I drink this green thing in place of a meal? Why can’t I just eat normal food? What does this drink offer over any healthy, conventional meal? Who are these dodgy Singaporean guys with an overly colourful website?’
We’ll try to address some of your more pressing questions here. Before getting to our product, let’s first start off with what meal replacements are and how they’re supposed to be used. It’ll bring more clarity as to what we’re trying to achieve.
What’s a meal replacement, and why should you care?
If you’re in Singapore, you’ve probably seen the aggressive initiatives by the Health Promotion Board (HPB) to educate people on healthier eating. I see it everywhere – at bus stops, train stations and even as sponsored posts in my Facebook feed. This has been an ongoing effort for the past couple of decades. Despite this, the general health of the population is worsening.
Just between 2010 and 2014, the rate of obesity in Singapore grew by about 25%. Over the past 35 years, the rate of diabetes in Singapore has gone up by 300%. According to the International Diabetes Federation, as of 2015, Singapore has the 2nd highest proportion of diabetics among all developed nations. It’s a similar theme across the world – almost every developed country is seeing a similar upward trend in diet related ailments, such as obesity, organ failure and certain types of cancer.
Although society in general is better educated about optimal nutrition, the average person’s health is worsening year to year due to improper eating. Pretty difficult to make sense of, right? This is because we’re solving the wrong problem. We often forget that knowledge is useful only if it’s applied. The main obstacle to healthful nutrition isn’t the lack of knowledge, it’s the difficulty of consistently eating healthy.
And this is where a meal replacement can work its magic.
Let’s picture the average person in Singapore – say a lady in her 30s working a corporate job. She eats about 21 meals a week (3 meals/day x 7 days).
Let’s assume she has 7 of these 21 meals with her friends and family – 3 weekday dinners, 2 weekend lunches and 2 weekend dinners. Of the remaining 14 meals, let’s assume she indulges for 4 meals – a hearty Monday lunch for a sorely needed morale boost, company dinners on Wednesday and Thursday, and booze with finger food on Friday. That leaves her with 10 ‘functional’ meals – meals for which she just wants to get something convenient, decent tasting and healthy in her body.
For these functional meals, which make up almost half of all the meals she eats – her average meal is only as healthy as the default meal she can fall back on. If she oversleeps and runs late for work, unless there’s a default to fall back on, she’s going to skip her breakfast. If she heads out for a quick lunch during a busy day at work, unless there’s a default to fall back on, she will slip up from time to time and choose an unhealthy option.
I think you get where we’re going with this. Having a meal replacement stocked up in your pantry is a good idea if you’re in a similar situation. You are bound to eat healthier on average because there’ll be a simple, convenient option you can always fall back on when you want to eat healthy without thinking or going out of your way. It greatly reduces decision fatigue and the friction to eating healthier. And assuming that it’s filling and tastes decent, you go through no pain by having it.
So that’s the case for meal replacements. If you’re with us so far, you might be wondering what we bring to the table as a company. After all, the concept isn’t new, there are already well-established players in the meal replacement market.
Sustenance – An honest product grounded in science
Picture your ideal healthy meal in your head – for me it’s a plate of brown rice, served with a heaping portion of fibrous vegetables, some legumes (for protein) and a serving of fruit to finish it off. Where we come in is simple – we give you your ideal meal as a delicious, ready-to-mix green smoothie shake. It has everything your body needs to thrive, and none of the nasties.
We formulated the first iteration of Sustenance in March 2017, for ourselves. My co-founder and I worked day jobs with long hours. When our busy schedules got in the way, we wanted to eat healthy without thinking or trying.
While there were already several meal replacements in the market, none of them met the mark for us. The existing options were not fit for sustained, long-term use because they had one or more of these problems:
They contained artificial junk like synthetic vitamins and synthetic flavours
They were loaded with highly processed ingredients like refined sugar and oils
They lacked sufficient amounts of key nutrients like protein and dietary fiber
After going through 3 nutritionists, 40 suppliers and 80 different formulations over 9 months, we finally had a product that was cleanly formulated, nutritious and also great tasting.
When we first launched, we had people from all walks of life buying our product – senior business executives, housewives and even an oncologist from the National Cancer Institute. These customers never tried (or fancied) a meal replacement prior to trying our product, but most of them continue taking Sustenance regularly to date. Besides the convenience and the quality of the product, they love how transparent we are about what we put in our product.
Our meal replacements contain only natural, whole foods that you can find in the grocery store – ingredients like brown rice, oats, berries and fibrous vegetables. These ingredients are also minimally processed – the fruits and vegetables we use are freeze dried and powdered. It’s the gentlest way to dry and preserve food, while also locking in most of the nutrients. The ingredient list you see in our website is exhaustive, there are no cheap fillers hidden as ‘proprietary blends’ or ‘natural extracts’. What you see is what you get.
There’s sound science behind the formulation of Sustenance. Just so we don’t scare off our visitors, we’ve left out the mind-numbing details. If you’re curious, just get in touch with us. We’ll send lots of juicy information your way (what we considered when formulating the product, certificates of analyses, QA tests etc.).
What we do is simple. We make honest meal replacements from real, whole food ingredients. We do this so you never have to compromise your health for convenience again.
If you’ve already been taking meal replacements, give ours a try. A good chunk of our customers switched over from well-known meal replacement brands. None of them have ever switched back. If you’re skeptical, grab our single serving sachets – they cost just S$10.90, including delivery.
If you’re new to meal replacements and want to find out more, get in touch via email ([email protected]), mobile (+65 9027 0847) or drop us a message on Facebook. We’re very responsive – we usually reply to queries within a couple of hours.