Sowing the seed: Start-up offers nutrition support for marginalized communities

For founder Simi Launay, the mission to provide supplements and nutrition education for women of color afterย COVID-19ย was born out of the concern for some of the people closest to her.

โ€œI was so worried about my friends and family who were frontline workers in the UK, or were living in compromising living situations, or had comorbidities,โ€ the entrepreneur told NutraIngredients.

โ€œI was also looking at the COVID-19 statistics, and what was coming out was that it wasย disproportionately affecting people of Black, Asian and Arab originsโ€‹โ€”it was alarming to see theseย demographics so heavily impactedโ€‹.โ€

She and co-founder Mitesh Desai, who has a background in marketing and e-commerce, worked for three years to develop a wellness brand and introduced their first four products in April 2023.ย 

The range, now marketed globally, consists of an immune support product, a women’s multivitamin, a beauty-from-within supplement and a gut health prebiotic blend. All products come in a once-daily, month-long supply in hard gel capsule format.

A need for supplementsโ€‹

Launay believes supplements are a vital part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.ย 

โ€œI know this is controversial, but diet alone cannot provide all necessary nutrients due to the declining nutritional value of food caused by soil erosion,โ€ she said.

On top of that, Black, Asian, and minority ethnic (BAME) groups are more likely toย have an increasedย risk of nutritional deficienciesโ€‹.ย 

This was her inspiration for the flagship product Women’s Immune & Serene, which is designed to support immunity and calmness. It contains vitamin C, zinc, copper and selenium for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties; L-tryptophan for improved sleepโ€‹; andย vitamin D3, which as Launay explained, is imperative for people of African-Caribbean, Asian and Arab heritage, as people of color have aย higher Vitamin D deficiency riskโ€‹.

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