A new Berlin-based start-up is pushing the envelope of what constitutes a health drink and has begun selling a line of alcohol-free herbal shots.
These days, for nutritional food to sell well it has to do more than be filling and taste good. Therefore, an increasing number of start-ups are pursuing functional foods. For example, foods that help people to fall asleep or promote concentration. Here, drinks are more popular than food, possibly because the average consumer is already used to beverages with additional characteristics.
Drinks such as energy drinks or teas have already been tried by some start-ups. Now, two Berlin founders want to gain a foothold in the beverage market with herbal elixirs. Consisting of ingredients such as thyme, nutmeg or cardamom, according to the company the product promotes productivity, endurance and pleasure.
Called Nouri and sold in 60ml bottles they are aimed at a nutritional market. Officially, the shots are food supplements, as Nouri co-founder Lia Marlen Schmökel explains.
However, they are currently only available on the company’s home page and at 3,50 euro per bottle they are pricey. The price, however, is due to the high concentration of herbs used, and a shot will have an effect as quickly as 30 minutes later. The nutritional values are the daily maximum dose.
“We are close to the legal limit with all ingredients. A few milligrams more and we would be a pharmaceutical, “says Schmökel.
Part of the marketing which Nouri pursues on its website “wild herbs, wild life.” We don’t want to demonize food groups, instead we try to balance them, she says.
Schmökel previously worked in product development for another start-up Kukimi, is a professional nutritionalist. In 2016, she gave workshops on the psychoactive effects of plants and herbs (“legal highs”) at festivals. Together with Danielle Sheridan, who left her former employer Unilever, they founded Nouri to “bring herbalism into the digital age.”
The founders formulated the idea together with Atlantic Food Labs, the Berlin incubator of food investor Christophe Maire.