Kuli Kuli Foods expands beyond moringa with new products packed with climate-smart superfoods

By Elizabeth Crawford

- Last updated on GMT

Source: Kuli Kuli Foods
Source: Kuli Kuli Foods

Related tags superfood

Functional food frontrunner Kuli Kuli Foods is moving beyond its flagship star ingredient moringa, which it helped introduce to the US over the past decade, to champion other “medicinally potent” and climate-smart “superfood” ingredients that deliver benefits the company says consumers can feel.

At Natural Products Expo West this month (Booth #N2121), Kuli Kuli Foods will introduce an expanded line-up of its Superfood Blends and vitamin gummies, some of which for the first time forgo moringa to better let shine other superfoods, including hibiscus, cacao and lesser-known baobab.

The new products also come with a new “more approachable” look and in packaging made with a high percentage of post-consumer recycled plastic that reinforces the brand’s mission to create products that are as sustainable as possible.

“The way that we’ve been talking about [this launch and meeting increasing consumer demand for more sustainable products] is the future of food isn’t just fake meat. It is also about using climate-smart, community-grown crops, like moringa, baobab, cacao and hibiscus – all these amazing plants that are super nutritious and, especially in the case of moringa and baobab, very under-utilized,” company founder and CEO Lisa Curtis told FoodNavigator-USA.

She added that Kuli Kuli customers, and shoppers more broadly, are increasingly making purchase decisions based off their values – be it buying products that are more environmentally sustainable, organic and non-GMO or from brands that ensure workers across the supply chain are treated fairly and not exploited.

“Our consumers, we find that they want it all. They are the intense humans who walk into the grocery store and read the back of the label, then look it up on their phones and do a deep dive to know how things are sourced and made. And, we are really excited about that” and to meet their ideals with these new products as well as the existing line-up, Curtis said.

Products offer ‘real functionality’ and fun

The four new products, including two Superfood Blends and two SuperGummies, build off the success of the company’s current Superfood Blends, which first launched last year in in Whole Foods and Sprouts Farmers Market, and the gummies, which launched a year and a half ago.

“This was one of the first times where we had retailers come to us and say, ‘Hey, these are selling really well, what else do you have?’” said Curtis.

And so, she added, the brand “thought really hard about what provides real functionality and how do we deliver that in a way that is fun and simple and easy to understand – because we know there are so many people who are interested in getting more superfoods into their diets, but a lot of people walk through the superfood aisle and they don’t know what any of the ingredients are or how to take them. So, we want to make it easy and delicious.”

New Superfood Blends offer natural support for immunity, beauty

As such, the brand is introducing two new Superfood Blends – Citrus C Defense and Marine Glow – which complement the existing blends Mood Magic, Gut Bliss and Green Powder.

“In the Citrus C Defense, which is made with baobab, hibiscus and acerola cherry, you get 100% of you vitamin C from real fruit and no additives. And, we know a lot of folks say that when the vitamin C comes from fruit, as opposed to an added vitamin, their body can process it easier. So, this is a nice natural boost of vitamin C.”

The second Superfood Blend, Marine Glow, takes Kuli Kuli Foods into the beauty-from-within category with a combination of blue spirulina powder, kelp and pineapple that delivers 100% of the recommended daily amount of iodine per serving to support skin health.

“We’ve seen a lot more consumers just really vibe with ‘you are what you eat’ and wanting beauty from the inside out and products that make them feel good and help them look good as well,” Curtis said.

Kuli Kuli Foods pushes the envelope for what a supplement can be

Kuli Kuli Foods’ new SuperGummies further reinforce the company’s entrance into the beauty from within space with the launch of Berry Beautiful, which includes “skin-loving ingredients,” such as anti-oxidant rich elderberry and blueberry; baobab, which has a rich history of use for beauty support; and other ingredients, including hyaluronic acid, biotin and vitamins D & E.

Curtis adds that Berry Beautiful also pushes the envelope for what people think about with supplements in that it is a sour flavor reminiscent of sour gummy bears.

“Sour gummies are such a big thing in candy, and we thought, why not have them in a supplement that you eat every day? We want this to be something that is enjoyable, something that feels a little bit like a treat,” she explained.

This same principle applies to the company’s other new gummy – Sweet Serenity – which Curtis described as a “cinnamon chocolaty treat” that can be enjoyed before bed to help consumers relax and unwind, thanks to the inclusion of ashwagandha and magnesium from the cacao, which she said can help promote restful sleep.

Product expansion enhances regenerative farming goals

The ingredients featured in the gummies and blends were selected not only for their functional benefits but because they also are considered climate-smart crops, either because they are drought resistant, like baobab which Curtis says is the largest succulent in the world, or because they are grown regeneratively by the farmers with whom Kuli Kuli works.

“As we move more and more into continuing down this path of regenerative farming, we needed to have more than just one crop. And this is something we have been talking to our moringa farmers about for years because many of them grow a lot of crops alongside moringa,” Curtis said. “So, part of this expansion was about what else can we source from these communities and how can we continue to partner with our farmers to improve their soil quality, improve their incomes and make some really incredible products?”

‘95% of our products are now made with post-consumer recycled plastic’

Equally important to what ingredients go into each Kuli Kuli product is how the products are packaged and their carbon footprint, which is why the company uses post-consumer recycled plastic in 95% of its packaging.

“Years ago, we did a carbon audit and found that that our biggest sink of carbon was not what I assumed, which was shipping our moringa from Uganda to California, but it was actually our packaging. And so we made a huge change where 95% of our product packages are now made with post-consumer recycled plastic" -- often in high amounts, Curtis said.

“Our printers always ask us if we are sure we want to do 50% PCR in our packaging because we are really pushing what the packaging can do. And we tell them, we want to make these as sustainable as possible,” Curtis said.

She added that Kuli Kuli Foods opted for PCR instead of compostable packaging because most Americans do not have access to the industrial composting infrastructure and, therefore, compostable packaging often ends up in the landfill – “so it is not actually beneficial to the planet.”

Alternatively, she added, “if we put non-virgin plastic into our product packaging, we are helping to create this market demand that I think, ultimately, will fuel a better recycling system.”

Related news

Show more

Related products

show more

Consumer Attitudes on Ultra-Processed Foods Revealed

Consumer Attitudes on Ultra-Processed Foods Revealed

Content provided by Ayana Bio | 12-Jan-2024 | White Paper

Ayana Bio conducted the Ultra-Processed Food (UPF) Pulse survey, offering insight into consumers’ willingness to consume UPFs, as well as the variables...

 Four actionable steps to reduce allergen recalls

Four actionable steps to reduce allergen recalls

Content provided by FoodChain ID | 04-Oct-2023 | White Paper

Failing to mitigate allergen risks has serious consequences - not just for consumer safety, poor allergen procedures can also cause financial losses and...

Related suppliers

Follow us


View more