Leading the Nutraceutical Revolution with Benefic Nutrition of Dr. Yashawant Kumar

Leading the Nutraceutical Revolution with Benefic Nutrition of Dr. Yashawant Kumar

Episode Overview

Episode Topic:

In this episode of NutraPreneur, we get the innovative strategies and vision behind Benefic Nutrition, a company revolutionizing the health supplement industry. Dr. Yashawant Kumar, the CEO and founder, shares his journey from the world of snacks to nutraceuticals, highlighting the pivotal moment post-Covid that inspired him to create delicious and effective supplements.

Lessons You’ll Learn:                                                                                     

Listeners will discover the importance of consumer-centric product development, understanding consumer needs, and creating products that not only meet health requirements but also provide an enjoyable experience. Dr. Kumar emphasizes the value of simplicity in communication, using familiar ingredients, and ensuring products are not only tasty but also clinically proven and sustainable.

About Our Guest:

Dr. Yashawant Kumar is the visionary behind Benefic Nutrition, leveraging his background in the snacks industry and pharmaceuticals to innovate in the nutraceutical space. With a focus on consumer experience, quality, and environmental sustainability, he has positioned Benefic Nutrition as a leader in the market, prioritizing both health and enjoyment.

Topics Covered:

We finds the challenges in the health supplement industry, including consumer impatience for quick results, pricing perceptions, and regulatory complexities. Dr. Kumar reveals how Benefic Nutrition overcomes these challenges by creating products that consumers love, maintaining high quality and purity standards, and staying ahead of trends through consumer engagement and continuous learning.

Our Guest:
Dr. Yashawant Kumar, Visionary Founder and CEO of Benefic Nutrition

Dr. Yashawant Kumar is the CEO and founder of Benefic Nutrition, a trailblazing company in the nutraceutical industry. With a background in the snacks industry and pharmaceuticals, Dr. Kumar brings a unique perspective to the health supplement sector. His journey to founding Benefic Nutrition was sparked by the heightened focus on immunity post-Covid, which led him to notice a gap in the market for supplements that were not only effective but also enjoyable to consume.

Prioritizing consumer health and experience, Dr. Kumar envisioned a company that would revolutionize the way people perceive and consume supplements. His approach is centered around making supplements delicious, using familiar and clinically proven ingredients, and ensuring that the products are not only effective but also sustainable. Under his leadership, Benefic Nutrition has set itself apart by creating products that consumers not only want to take but also look forward to.

Dr. Kumar’s commitment to quality and innovation is evident in Benefic Nutrition’s products, which are not only delicious but also prebiotic and low in sugar. He believes in creating products that become a part of consumers’ daily lives, offering not just health benefits but also a delightful experience. Dr. Kumar’s vision for Benefic Nutrition extends beyond just the products; he is also focused on environmental sustainability, aiming to make every aspect of the company, from packaging to production, eco-friendly.

Leading the Nutraceutical Revolution with Benefic Nutrition of Dr. Yashawant Kumar

Leading the Nutraceutical Revolution with Benefic Nutrition of Dr. Yashawant Kumar

Episode Transcript: 

Yashawant Kumar: We want to make sure we add value to consumers life in terms of the experience, enjoyment, price point they can afford, and the trust that it is endorsed not only by us from the institutes. And the second thing is we are also working on technologies where it’s rapid release, for example, sleep chocolate will not work in sleep. We’re going to launch other formats. You’re not going to wait for two hours for sleep. Once you take something, you want to sleep quickly. Energy again. We want to bring some formats where it works in within 10 minutes or 5 minutes. We convenience. Environmental sustainability is one aspect of we are looking at. We want to make sure that every one of our packaging is 100% biodegradable. And also, the pollution is a big problem. We want to make a difference to the environment, and we want to be known as a company which doesn’t use plastic.

 Bethany Jolley: Welcome to Nutra Preneur The Nutra Industry podcast. I’m your host, food scientist and nutraceuticals consultant Bethany Jolley. Each episode will be exploring what it takes to thrive in the nutraceutical industry. From conversations with successful nutraceutical entrepreneurs to venture capitalists to tech executives whose innovations are reshaping the nutraceuticals industry. We explore the innovations and trends that are shaping the next generation of nutraceutical businesses. Welcome back to Neutral Preneur, where we uncover cutting edge insights from the nutraceutical landscape. I’m your host, Bethany. Today we’re excited to have Doctor Yashwant Kumar with us, CEO and founder of Benefic Nutrition. Under Doctor Kumar’s leadership, Benefic Nutrition has transformed the way we think about daily nutrition, prioritizing consumer health, enjoyment and convenience with their products. Welcome Doctor Kumar, it’s so great to have you today.

Yashawant Kumar: Thank you. Thanks for having me. It’s a great pleasure for me to be on this show.

 Bethany Jolley: So first off, Doctor Kumar, I think it’d be great if you could tell us about the initial spark that led to the founding of Benefic Nutrition and your vision for the company.

Yashawant Kumar: The initial idea came Postcovid. Actually, I came back to India. I was in UK, I worked in Nestlé, Cadburys, PepsiCo, all kind of snacks companies which make really tasty snacks. I was not actually nutraceutical industry, although I come from pharmaceutical background myself. When I came to India post-Covid, I noticed a lot of people are taking suddenly talking about immunity when we never spoke about immunity. Everyone is stacking up supplements, zinc, vitamin C everywhere and you go to. So once the Covid dust settle, I started traveling to places, meeting people, our relatives, you know, we haven’t seen them for one and a half years due to Covid. So suddenly I started visiting their houses and whenever I visited, I used to see a stack of supplements on the dining table and most people won’t take them. That really sparked the first initial thought. Why people don’t take it. It started as questions around why you don’t take them. Then the answer is I forget. Then ask them why you forget the same thing people expect when they take a capsule or tablet. They want to see the result in one week. If you don’t see the result, they’ll stop because if you take the antibiotic, you will see that fever going down or something.  it’s very well established in India that if you take a capsule, you want to see the results in 1 or 2 weeks, whereas supplement by nature the work around 45 days to 90 days. That’s when is a sweet spot. You start to see the results, your hair growth or skin. It’s hard to get better. 95% people drop out and that’s why supplements don’t work.  the idea came that how about because I come from a snacks background? I said to myself, how about I make this supplement so tasty, the consumer should come and ask, can I have one more? What if I have one more? I think then it will work.

Yashawant Kumar: It has to be not a new format. It should be part of their life. Then I started asking how do I make it? The answer is very simple. I ask myself, what is the most popular food in the world? I travel all over the world. Whenever I travel, I ask, I’m a foodie, so I ask question what is the most popular food in the world? Always it is a chocolate. Go to any country and ask them what is the most favorite food? It is chocolate. Chocolate is the only flavor people never get bored of strawberry flavor. That flavor will get fed up. But chocolate is one flavor which is very popular around the world, so it’s a no brainer that we start with chocolate. The reason is not only because tasty cocoa is a prebiotic, which helps in the growth of good bacteria and helps in the absorption of supplement. The supplement absorption is a very big problem, so it acts as a very tasty ingredient. It masks all the bitter flavors, then it acts as a tick. And also chocolate is a mood enhancer. If you’re in a bad mood, you know you take a bit of a chocolate. The flavonoids in chocolate. We have a great story now to tell and we even went to the first sample presented. I asked the people question Will you buy? No, I didn’t ask that question and ask, tell me one reason why you not buy this product. This was a question asked. So that’s how the idea of benefit was born that we make the nutrition so delicious, consumers should ask, can I have one more?

 Bethany Jolley: Yes, and chocolate is one of my favorite foods, so that would be something that I would enjoy taking daily as well. And the market really, it’s become flooded with a lot of different types of health supplements. And like you said, people aren’t always wanting to take a capsule or a tablet every day. So how does benefit stand out? By focusing on the enjoyment and convenience of daily nutrition.

Yashawant Kumar: I think one is making the product. Second is way people understand it. The communication is very simple. If you look at our website, it’s a very easily written anyone can. No one can tell that they have a prebiotic with everything is the calorie in our products is very low and except for products, all our products are sugar. So here is a company which is completely focusing on delicious products. Number one, it’s prebiotic, very low in sugar, or most products have no sugar. And the third thing is that we select ingredients, the combinations.  if you look at our brain fuel, I call it as ultimate brain fuel. The reason is the ingredients are clinically proven. We don’t select any ingredient. People don’t know ashwagandha. Everyone knows ashwagandha, curcumin. Everyone knows.  the way we select ingredients, which people already know, already proven.  the moment you say there is a sugar and they say, ah, there’s a sugar, I’ll take it. That is where it comes. Yeah, it’s tasty, delicious, prebiotic. But at the same time, ingredients they can understand. Nothing complex, nothing chemical. No, everything is 100% natural. There are three things, you know, recently, Mintel said in their report in India that three things consumers look for. These are the three words they want to hear. More bioavailability 100% natural. It is clinically proven. These are the three things they want to hear. We cover all three in a very simple way. And 85% of our consumers have no intention to buy a supplement. That is where we stand out. We go and give the product to people and say, hi, would you like to try some chocolate? They’ll come and say, yeah, what is this chocolate about? We say it’s good for your skin. So really any will have some chocolate. Let me have this one. So actually the consumers that we are targeting are they never have any intention to take a supplement that actually constitutes 85% of India’s population. The rest of the companies are targeting consumers who are looking in Amazon for, let’s say, curcumin. We are actually looking for people who can taste some chocolate.

 Bethany Jolley: So benefit does pride itself on commitment to precision and purity and potency. So how do you maintain all of these standards while still ensuring that your products remain tasty and enjoyable?

Yashawant Kumar: I’ll give one example. If we take ashwagandha, is extremely bitter. We look for ashwagandha, which is clinically proven but doesn’t taste anything. Ksm 66. we do use KSM 66, for example. It’s clinically proven. The dosage is clinically proven. Whatever the clinical dosage, we always add 10 to 20% more than what is actually recommended, because we know during the shelf life some of the stability can go down. we make sure that till our product is expiring, the ingredient dosage is maintained. Also, there are some ingredients, for example that you take one gram of it. We don’t add such ingredients. All our products are one a day, one chocolate bite a day. If you say to people, take two times a day, so again, second take it.  we are limited in terms of how many ingredients we can deliver, but the ones we deliver are clinically proven. What I was saying was, other than the putting the right dosage in the chocolate bite format or drinking chocolate, we also do third party testing to ensure that what we are putting is still there throughout the shelf life. Other than that, we also take the product ourselves. I myself take it some of people who test our product, they also take it to ensure that till the last day of expiry, we see the same kind of benefit. in that way we maintain those quality standards and we may keep every batch in the secure. we can compare batch to batch variation as well.

 Bethany Jolley: This episode is brought to you by Nutra payments.com. If your business needs credit card processing, that fully integrates with most major neutral software platforms, offers the lowest industry prices, and has built in features like recurring billing, $0 trials, and chargeback prevention. And visit us at Neutral payments.com for a free online quote. So next. I think it’d be great if you could discuss with us some of the innovative strategies that benefit has that you’ve implemented to make these health supplements both effective and enjoyable.

Yashawant Kumar: So when we communicate, we are very clear. This is my experience of working in Nestlé has taught me that you don’t need to launch 200 SKUs. Nestlé doesn’t launch a lot of products. Whatever category that Nestlé is in, they’re the market leader and there is a reason and how they do it is what I know I have learned. So when I started, you know, benefit, the first sentence I told to my team was we are building the Nestlé of nutraceutical industry.

 Bethany Jolley: So what are some of the Main challenges that you face in the health supplement industry, and how does benefic overcome those challenges?

Yashawant Kumar: The biggest challenge is convincing consumers that they need to take 45 days to 60 days. Consumers want results much earlier than that. Let’s say we are giving a supplement. If they don’t see any benefit in two weeks, people do get a bit impatient. A second challenge is some of the calls for the low quality supplement price, and that is one of the challenge that your price could be. But so far we haven’t seen that any consumer coming to us and saying our products are expensive, it’s it’s priced at a point. It’s affordable. The third challenge is regulation itself. The way for example, United States, a lot of the clinical trials have been done. Melatonin levels, the levels are clinically tested in the states. Those kind of levels are ingredients are not allowed in India. So there are some ingredients we cannot use here still evolving, whereas some ingredients we allowed here in India that we can’t use it in us. So the way we are addressing this challenge is obviously we’re making the product so tasty that they will have to finish. Till now, no consumer has come to us and said, I couldn’t finish the bottle.

Yashawant Kumar: All of them finish it. In fact, 25%, 30% consumers without any promotions, they coming and buying second time so that making the product so tasty as worked in our favor because every single consumer finishes our course. And the recent challenges seeing the raw material pricing is cocoa powder price of cocoa powder as 200% in last six months. But the way we are working around is we haven’t increased the prices of product, neither we have decreased the quality or changed any of the ingredient. Instead, we decided that for the next one year or so, we will take it on our margins. We still maintain high quality product. Instead we sell more volumes. Bring that consumer awareness. There is a product like this in the market available high quality product with a premium branding, a premium looking packaging and still very much affordable to consumers. With the time. As the volumes we build, we know that we can have a better margins and that margins again, we pass it on consumers with more discounts.

 Bethany Jolley: The rapid evolution of consumer needs and technology as well. Where do you see benefit nutrition heading in the next five years?

Yashawant Kumar: A lot of people think we are a chocolate company. That’s I think something is going to change in the next five years. Not one single format will work for every cause. We haven’t launched diabetes product yet. A lot of people ask me, my investors also ask me why benefit hasn’t launched a diabetes product in diabetes a life threatening situation. It can kill you if you don’t handle it properly. It has to be recommended by a doctor. It should be endorsed by a well known hospital chain. So we are working with India’s biggest hospital chain and they already signed off a few recipes, three diabetic products working with benefit and it will be launched with their name and our name. Something like that has never happened in India. So it is the first time a nutraceutical company with biggest hospital chain in India is going to launch a diabetic product, and India is a diabetic capital of the world. Whatever work we do, if it can make people’s life better, if it can give some kind of relief from diabetes that they suffer some kind of enjoyment. Diabetes patient never takes his sweet. But our product is actually very tasty. So if you can smile on their face and it’s recommended by a doctor, there’s assurance and it helps them. I think that’s where success benefit is. If we feel we are doing a great thing for the consumers and the society in India, money will come, product will be sold. We have our intentions. We are not in a hurry to push our products and make loads of money. We want to make sure we add value to consumers life in terms of the experience, enjoyment, price point they can afford and the trust that it is endorsed not only by us from the institutes.

Yashawant Kumar: And the second thing is we are also working on technologies where where it’s rapid release. For example, sleep chocolate will not work in sleep. We are going to launch other formats. Script should work in 15 minutes. You’re not going to wait for two hours for sleep. Once you take something, you want to sleep quickly. Energy again. We want to bring some formats where it works in within 10 minutes or 5 minutes. So we convenience. Environmental sustainability is one aspect of we are looking at. We want to make sure that every one of our packaging is 100% biodegradable. And also the the plan for every pack that we sell, we want to plant trees in India needs more trees. Pollution is a big problem. So we want to make a difference to the environment and we want to be known as a company which doesn’t use plastic, not only in terms of products, in terms of the environmental responsibility, sustainability and whatever products we are in. We want to be the market leaders. We are not going to compete. We are going to be the leaders in that category. If we are in brain fuel, anything to do with stress and brain fuel, we want to be the Nestlé of that category. It takes time, but we are happy to spend time, effort and we will reach there and we’re building a great team to achieve that.

 Bethany Jolley: Yes, and it sounds.

 Bethany Jolley: Like you’re headed in the right direction to reach that goal. And with all of the changing health trends and regulations in the nutraceutical industry, how do you keep up with all of that?

Yashawant Kumar: I think one thing is talking to a lot of people and I go for conferences. I follow a lot of people, actually. Influencers are fantastic because they speak the language of consumers, not me. Actually, influencers are some health related influencers. I follow them every single day. If you see our ads, most of our ads come from the comments that we read in our ads. We take a sentence of a consumer who has commented, those comments are the ads that we generate. We speak the language that consumers speak through influencers. Now Instagram influencers. And I read the comments. It actually tells what consumers looking for. There is no need to reinvent the wheel. You don’t need to go to Harvard to do a PhD. Everything is there, free of cost in social media. So we are very active in terms of listening to consumers. Amazon is a place where we read the reviews and we understand what consumers like of a competitor, what they don’t like. Obviously, we focus on what they don’t like more and solve the problems. We also participate in conferences where we do speak to industry leaders and understand and work with. For example, we are very closely working with the Food Safety Regulator of India, the director of IT, and we have that kind of a network where even some of the regulations, before they even get implemented, we are already having a bit of a inputs into it. So we are connecting that level and also talking to people like you to understand what’s happening all over the world.

 Bethany Jolley: That’s great. And I think it’s good. It’s great feedback about social media. A lot of companies overcomplicate things. And like you said, just reading the comment section or reading reviews for a product will give you a lot of insight into what consumers are looking for, what consumers like, what they don’t like. And so it’s great that you’re analyzing all of that as well.

Yashawant Kumar: For R&D team, one day in a week, we take the entire R&D team and ask them to stand in the supermarket and do the sampling with consumers and talk to them. I tell them R&D is done when we talk to consumers, not in the lab. Consumers actually tell us what to do.

 Bethany Jolley: That’s great because they’re the ones ultimately that are purchasing the product. So it’s good to understand what they’re looking for and to hear it straight from them. Straight from their mouths.

Yashawant Kumar: Yeah, absolutely.

 Bethany Jolley: Doctor Kumar, thank you once again for joining us today and sharing the inspiring journey and future aspirations of Benefit Nutrition. For our listeners who wish to learn more about benefits, products or explore their health benefits, we’ve included links in our show notes. Don’t forget to subscribe and share your thoughts on today’s episode on social media. Join us next time on neutral Preneur as we continue to explore the dynamic world of nutraceuticals. Thanks for tuning in to this episode of Nutra Preneur. If you enjoy the show, please subscribe and better yet, leave us a review as it really helps us grow the show.