Health and wellness is increasingly being embraced around the globe, particularly in Nigeria’s emerging market. In recent times, more Nigerians are making healthier food choices and living active lifestyles. We interviewed Mena Imasekha, founder of Omnutri – a healthy lifestyle brand in Nigeria and she shared her entrepreneurial journey with us:
Who is Mena Imasekha?
I am the Founder of Omnutri, a healthy lifestyle brand that makes organic almond mylk and raw vegan and gluten free snacks. I’m also a certified wellness coach. As a wellness coach, I help people achieve their health and wellness goals, whether it’s weight loss, weight management or other health goals such as stress management, diet and nutrition, increased fitness or general well-being. I help people to improve their lifestyles, so that they can become a healthier and happier version of themselves.
What Inspired Omnutri?
Omnutri started a little over a year and a half ago was inspired by a couple of things. One is providing affordable and yummy snacks that are healthy and good for you. We were also inspired by the idea that foods can beautify you from the inside out; a lot of our ingredients are particularly good for your skin. Lastly, we desire to help people achieve a healthier lifestyle.
Can you comment on the nutrition and wellness awareness in Nigeria?
I think nutrition and wellness awareness is increasing in Nigeria. I mean when I first moved back I didn’t really see many people caring as much about what they ate or exercise in particular. But now there’s kind of a boom happening, which is great. There are a lot more companies focusing on health, diet, nutrition and fitness and I think that’s a really good thing.
How has Omnutri contributed towards this movement in Nigeria?
The fact that we provide healthy snacks and lactose-free mylk free from refined sugar is the first thing. We also offer nutritional services such as meal plans and a wellness programme. We think it’s important to tackle diet and nutrition from both angles, providing the healthy foods that people need, and also teaching them how to eat healthier, stress less, exercise more and so on.
What products do you have now?
We have freshly made almond mylk in four flavours: a plain substitute for milk, and then ‘on the go’ versions in vanilla, cacao and matcha green tea.
We also do raw chocolate brownies, which are packed with four super foods for an immense dose of health and beauty. These are for those who love chocolate and need a really good chocolate fix which won’t expand their waistlines or contribute negatively to their health.
And lastly energy balls; these are much lighter snacks than the brownies and like the flavored mylks, are designed for eating on the go. We make these in two flavors: cacao, maca and hempseed and the other flavor is pumpkin seed, chia and acai berry. All the snacks we make are actually good for you, they aren’t just the healthier version of something, they are made from ingredients that actively contribute towards good health.
How has the response been so far?
The response has been fantastic so far. We have had positive feedback on the quality of our products. We also have some real fans, which has been encouraging. What’s been surprising is the children; they absolutely love our snacks – the brownies, the energy balls and the mylks, which is really nice as parents can start focusing on their children’s diet early by giving them healthy snacks at home and at school. So we are happy with the products that we make. Our focus now is to get our products out to as many people as possible so they can enjoy healthy, nutritious and beautifying raw snacks.
Where do you source your ingredients?
We have really good local suppliers, which has been a lifesaver and has made a lot of things easier for us. We import a few things, but as the health market has grown we are finding that we need to import less.
What challenges do you face as an entrepreneur?
I think it can be quite difficult to keep plugging in day in and day out. Yes it’s something you love doing, but it can be tiring at times and even a little demoralizing. It’s a tremendous amount of hard work and that’s why it’s impressive to see all these companies and people doing their thing.
What advice do you have for entrepreneurs?
My advice for entrepreneurs is to keep going, it gets better and to also trust your instincts.
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