Kencko is to launch a colour-coded power food supplement in US.
A Portuguese startup which has devised colour-coded “super foods” aims to launch in the United States market.
Founded in 2017 by Tomás Froes and Ricardo Vice Santos, the idea arose to create Kencko when Tomás, aged 34, discovered he suffered from a chronic gastric ulcer and that eating a daily recommended quantity of fruit and vegetables could replace the medicines he was taking as treatment.
The company offers no-fuss instant smoothies from powder sachets in what it calls an “effortless way to add fruit and vegetables to breakfast routines” in a foodstuff that is 100% organic and vegan and has no added sugars but has all the vitamins and fibre.
Each sachet has around 80 calories and gives the same nutritional benefits as 2 cups of fresh produce by simply mixing the powder into water or milk for an instant boost.
In 2019 it announced a US$3.4 million seed round for growth and product development. Kencko develops plant-based products that help people eat healthily. They come in a convenient sachet that has been flash-frozen and slow dried to retain all the goodness.
The company says that each 20 gram packet and mixes with water contains two or the five-a-day recommendation for fruit and vegetable servings in a dozen flavour options. Customers can buy the fruit drinks through a US $16 three-day trial pack or packages of 20 and 60 sachets which cost US$60 and US $150, respectively.
The investment came from NextView Ventures, LocalGlobe, Kairos Ventures, Techstars, Max Ventures and other backers according to Tech Crunch.
Looking for improved diet, Tomás set up a nutritional laboratory at home in an attempt to discover an easier way to eat fruit and vegetables. He transformed the ingredients in the first Kencko prototypes which he posted to people he knew to see how the product behaved and the reactions to the fruit and vegetables made into a powder.
“I began sending them out to friends overseas to begin testing and asked in what state the product arrived and how it worked in terms of dispatch and e-commerce” he said in an interview with the online news source ECO.
What he was creating, he later realised, was the start of a business but one that was completely different to the others that he has already created.
Focused on the US market, the startup created a community of over 11,000 followers before even launching its first product. Today they have over 35,000.