What happens when a hobby turns into a passion to create an impact on nutrition? Perhaps the yummiest freshly made granola you might ever eat and mouth-watering cookies, all guilt (and gluten) free. That is the story of Asili. We caught up with the duo at the Kilimani Street Festival  and here’s what they’d like for you to know about their gluten-free products that are a hit in the market.

Asili Cereals - Gluten Free and Extremely Nutritious
The Asili duo (Elizabeth & Eve) stopped by for some photo booth fun 🙂

Word from Picha Booth: This is a tried and tested product and we have nothing but praise for it, especially since we are a health-conscious household 🙂

What prompted you to start this business?

It started as a hobby that turned into a passion to create an impact on nutrition; healthy living, healthy choices. Funny because it was a bit of an “accidental” business, Eve used to work in HR and since she used to organise a lot of staff meetings she noticed some of her colleagues would have some dietary concerns and would often need special consideration – gluten free snacks being top on the list. So Eve endeavored to find a solution and she started looking at the wheat free snacks available. Since options were few, she began baking cereal based snacks from home and VOILA… they were a hit!

What was your research process like?

We had to be a bit resourceful in getting suppliers. Because of the nature of the products, that is gluten-free, we had to be very choosey of the suppliers as some products might get contaminated. The nature of the product had to be improved as the business grew to be at par and even better than our competitors.

We had to go through intense training and consult a food scientist who helped us understand what it takes to make quality products. This involved portions, moisture content, nutritional value among other things.

Asili Cereals - Gluten Free and Extremely Nutritious
Snack guilt free!

How were the first batches of granola received?

First we had to give out free samples to our friends for tasting and feedback and thereafter we had immediate orders because people were genuinely surprised that such a healthy snack can also be so tasty! And off course who doesn’t want to indulge guilt free 🙂

Where are you based?

We are online based, selling products on Instagram and Facebook. Our pages are @asilicereals. Clients are able to order through these platforms and we deliver. We also have a growing number of referrals – we have found word of mouth to be a very impactful marketing tool.

Asili Cereals - Gluten Free and Extremely Nutritious
Gluten Free.

What has been the one major learning?

In business you have to be consistent because competition is stiff. Also there is constant learning to improve the quality of the product. It could be packaging, marketing of the product etc. Also, being in the food industry, building trust with our clients is paramount – delivering on what we have promised and exceeding expectations.

What are the pricing of your cereals and cookies?

The 750g granola cereals go for KES 1,000, while the 450g cookies retail at KES 800.

What vision do you have for Asili Cereals?

Our vision is to inspire everyone to embrace healthy living as a lifestyle.

What’s the payoff?

Being an SME, the return on investment is not very high because you’re working on exposure through various channels. We do a lot of events to get our product out there, which we need. There is also getting a standardization of our products through KEBS, which we must say comes at a price. However, the business is able to pay for all the expenses.

Parting shot?

You must be passionate to run a business because you fall one too many times. You have to have a plan A, B and C for the business.

As always, thanks for stopping by.