Startuper's Smoothies: the nutrient-rich snack for the startup scene targets the international market
Startuper’s Smoothies, a functional snack aimed exclusively at people who work in hectic professional environments such as startups, is aiming for the German market. The snack contains no sugar or preservatives, but packs in plenty of nutrients – and has an incredible 18-month shelf life, thanks to the use of novel technology.
The brains behind Startuper’s Smoothies are two young Lithuanian entrepreneurs, Lukas Laurinavičius and Karolis Basevičius. Both have experienced for themselves the fast-paced life of young professionals. They know that starting a business is nerve-racking, and healthy eating often falls by the wayside. And this isn’t just true for business people, but also those who lead fast-paced social lives, and who don’t pay enough attention to what they eat. The goal was therefore to develop a nutrient-rich and healthier meal alternative for people on the go.
Unique in Europe
The two founders of Startuper’s Smoothies met during their first year at ISM University of Management and Economics in Lithuania. Karolis Basevičius has been developing ideas since he was young, and enjoys finding unconventional ways to solve problems. Lukas Laurinavičius is a true entrepreneur who loves innovation, and has a passion for efficiency and improvement.
Both were inspired by their personal experiences at university, where the only snacks available during the 10-minute breaks between lectures were sandwiches, sugary bars and other unhealthy, low-nutrition options. This gave them the idea of inventing a healthier snack option. The name of the company, Startuper’s Smoothies, wasn’t chosen at random, either – it’s the name of their product, which took two years to develop, a nutritious smoothie. It is the first functional snack in Europe that primarily targets company founders.
72 marine minerals and an 18-month shelf life
Development of the product began back in 2017. After intensive research together with food scientists and experts from Kaunas University of Technology to combine the best taste with high nutritional value, a smoothie was created that includes 72 marine minerals from the United States. In addition, because young professionals usually do not have the time to worry about expiration dates, the smoothie was developed with an 18-month shelf life.
This was difficult to achieve without the use of sugar and preservatives. Therefore, a new technology was developed. “Most importantly, we discovered and invented first real meal replacement that activates our mouth saliva, stomach acids, and entire digestive system,” says Lukas Laurinavičius. According to Dr. Raimondas Narkevičius of the Food Institute at Kaunas University of Technology, “the technological process enables preservative-free production, excellent microbiological safety indicators and long shelf life. The composition of the product is well balanced; it ensures high nutritional value for adults as well as excellent taste.”
The drink uses vitamins from natural fruit purées and raw materials from no less than 10 different countries around the world. It also contains 19 per cent of the recommended daily amount of magnesium as well as other minerals, thanks to the sea salt used in the product. Startuper’s Smoothies come in four different flavours and contain ingredients such as organic yoghurt, fruit, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, minerals and vitamins, as well as plenty of high-quality vegan protein and prebiotic fibre.
According to the founders of Startuper’s Smoothies, it’s the first step towards changing the eating habits of young professionals. Their smoothies allow young and busy people to eat simply and nutritiously, as one smoothie can fill the stomach for three to four hours.
Already on offer in many countries – Germany is now to follow, among others
After product development was completed, Startuper’s Smoothies were introduced to foreign markets, mainly at trade shows. The smoothies are already very popular on the Lithuanian tech scene, and are now also on sale in Ireland, Estonia and Belgium. Supply agreements have been signed with markets in Brazil, Peru, Japan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Germany, France, the Netherlands, Denmark and Finland are the next markets to be conquered. According to the company’s founders, consumers in these countries value environmentally friendly, high-quality products. Expanding into Germany offers a great deal of potential, due to the size of its market. The next step for the Lithuanian startup will be to find a strong distribution partner who would like to bring their products to the local market. “Another challenge will be to introduce to the market new flavours that will come with nut butter,” add the founders. “In addition, we are aiming for a new round of investment in order to make ourselves visible and heard around the world.”
Lithuania is a perfect place for women to join tech industries as the country is one of the fastest-growing centres of life sciences in Europe and has a vibrant ICT, financial technologies, video game, and laser sectors. The start-up community, which has already exceeded one thousand companies, attracts talents from all over the world to innovate and think about solutions that can contribute to a global change for the better in many spheres, ranging from gene editing to solving circular economy challenges.
In implementing the Strategy for the Presentation of Lithuania Abroad 2020-2030 and ensuring the country’s overall positioning as “open for co-creation”, the entrepreneurship and export development agency Enterprise Lithuania presented the Co-created in Lithuania country of origin brand and unified national export stand concept at the Lithuanian Business Forum.