Home Estate Planning Wellness wonders: Meet the CEO of gut health brand Biotiful Kefir

Wellness wonders: Meet the CEO of gut health brand Biotiful Kefir

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Wellness Wonders delves into the stories and innovations driving the UK’s thriving landscape of health, wellbeing, fitness, and nutrition. Join City A.M. as we meet the visionary minds and passionate entrepreneurs behind leading brands and the impact they’re making on the pursuit of wellness.

For this feature, we sit down with figure-skater turned entrepreneur, Natasha Bowes, who founded Biotiful Gut Health in 2012 to fulfil her dream of introducing Kefir to the UK and improving the nation’s gut health.

How does Biotiful contribute to good health?

Increasingly, awareness around the importance of gut health has become front and centre in the world of wellness. People have a much greater understanding now about how gut health can impact both physical and mental wellbeing, and that it needs to be prioritised in the way we eat, exercise and live our lives in general. Naturally, fermented foods made with live cultures, such as Kefir, kimchi and sauerkraut, can give the body a dose of live microorganisms which are crucial to healthy digestion. These bacteria are thought to help a multitude of health issues, specifically digestive health. A healthy gut improves digestion, immune function and metabolic health, and also reduces bloating and boosts your mood. This is why we have created products which make it easy to get a dose of good gut health every day.

Why should Biotiful become a wellness staple?

Living and working in London as we do, we understand how a busy life can leave little time to focus on ourselves, what we need, and what is good for us. That is why our range of gut-friendly products are carefully created to meet the demands of even the busiest professional. Biotiful products are available as drinks, yoghurts, protein pots and most recently as Meal Boosters which can be sprinkled on breakfast, smoothies and more. As Biotiful is available in all major supermarkets and convenience stores up and down the country, the products can be bought as part of a weekly shop, or picked up quickly on the morning commute or lunch break.

How can Biotiful support overall wellbeing?

Kefir is a delicious naturally fermented dairy drink packed with billions of live cultures and a whole lot of protein! Originating from the Caucasus mountains, Kefir has been a trusted dietary staple for over 2,000 years in a number of countries. The word literally means ‘feel good’, and with over 40 strains of live cultures in our Biotiful Kefir we understand why. Fermented foods like Kefir are probiotic – meaning they provide a dose of live microorganisms to support healthy digestion and improve Gut Health. In addition, Kefir is a source of calcium, which contributes to the normal functioning of the digestive enzymes, and of Vitamin B12, which supports the immune system.

How has the brand gained a following?

We are proud to be the UK’s pioneering and leading Kefir brand, and having filled the baskets of more than 6 million customers last year, we have an offering that people enjoy and trust. We believe this success, in an increasingly competitive space, is thanks to the quality of our products. Every single one of our products not only delivers on natural health but also tastes great. It is one thing to be nutritious, which Biotiful is, but if the taste credentials don’t stack up, people will not buy again. Thanks to our Product Development team, we have a range that is bursting with health benefits, that can be enjoyed at any time of the day, anywhere, and one that tastes delicious!

Any funding to drive product innovation?

I appeared on the BBC’s ‘Dragon’s Den‘ in the early days of the business. Here, I was successful in generating offers for funding from the Dragons – but believed that they undervalued the potential of the business so I turned them down. With the results that we’ve seen in the growth of the business since we believe that this was definitely the right decision! Since then, the business has mostly grown organically.

Growth figures and expansion plans?

Since we established the Kefir category in the UK, the category has grown at a phenomenal rate – from zero in 2018 to nearly £100m today. The category is still growing strongly – up 22 per cent year-on-year. As the pioneering Kefir brand, and the UK’s Number 1, Biotiful Gut Health has really driven this growth! The London market has been central to our success – as seen by the fact that we chose to test our new poster advertising campaign in London last September. That campaign was so successful – increasing both sales and awareness for the brand – that we’ve since rolled it out nationally this January.

How does Biotiful stay ahead of its competitors?

In the last decade there has been a massive shift in the way people view gut health – today it is something that most people are aware of, and crucially the pivotal role good gut health has on overall health and wellbeing. This greater understanding has had a direct impact on the sales of gut health products, and we have seen this growth year on year across all aspects of the business. We stay abreast of what customers want, and reflect this in the way Biotiful products are created – and in the ranges we have developed: We have a range of Biotiful Kefir Protein pots that are richer in live cultures and higher in protein than any conventional yogurts – perfect for fuelling your busy day! Our recent launch of a dedicated kids range was a long-term goal for the business to be able to support the gut health of the whole family

How about sustainable and ethical practices?

At Biotiful sustainability and ethics are at the very heart of what we do – and we only work with partners who share our values. For example, our largest Dairy supplier is leading the way on sustainable production processes, with solar panel roofing, a biodiversity area on site, and an anaerobic digestor to reduce its carbon footprint. In addition, all the milk we use is from British cows, local to our production sites, and Red Tractor certified. We believe that healthy, happy cows provide the highest-quality, most flavourful and nutritious milk – that’s what we use in our products.

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