The 10 bottled products will target issues on gut health, stress, sleep disorders, immunity, cholesterol, energy, rejuvenation, memory and growth. They are still in the research and development (R&D) phase and expected to be commercialised around September to December 2023, starting with India, said the firm’s co-founder and COO Shiv Vallabhaneni.
“These target issues are also areas where there is demand from the market. For example, Asian parents want their kids to succeed in school, so the memory supplement will be suitable. Our research also shows that the general audience faces stress and sleep disorders. Cholesterol is also a huge issue in India,” said Vallabhaneni, a chemical engineer by training and former top exec at US giants DuPont and Tronox.
Established in 2012, Diabliss has 30 FSSAI-certified SKUs in two major categories: 25 low-GI fortified food products and five supplements in the form of herb-infused water. The low-GI food range includes sugar, jaggery (unrefined sugar), tea and coffee premixes, jams, biscuits and “atta” flour. These products target diabetics, pre-diabetics and wellness enthusiasts.
The supplements feature herbal waters with organoleptic properties and are thermal-stable. Suitable for men and women, the different herbal waters claim to regulate health issues like hypertension and Type 2 diabetes and act as cosmeceuticals for hair and skin care.
Its products contain proprietary aqueous bioactive extracts of local food-grade herbs and spices, such as cinnamon, black pepper, cumin, gooseberry and fenugreek, mostly sourced from Tamil Nadu. They retail on various e-commerce platforms, like Amazon, Flipkart, BigBasket, JioMart and its own platform diabliss.com. Its products are also available at pharmacies and trade shops.
The firm’s research and development (R&D), herbal extraction and manufacturing facilities are located in Chennai, south east India, supported by an OEM manufacturer in Mysore, Karnataka (south west India). Besides India, it has distributed to countries like France, Mauritius, Kuwait and the French-speaking areas of the Caribbean since 2016.
According to Vallabhaneni, the global portfolio of beverages usually consists of 20% to 25% diet or low- to no-sugar options. However, such options comprise only 1% of the beverage portfolio in India. In addition, 60% of diabetics in India still consume sugar as part of a daily beverage and dessert.
Hence, Diabliss products were manufactured by adding herbal extracts, which were later proven to lower blood sugar spikes by 30%. The products, especially the herbal water for blood glucose management, can be formulated in functional beverages, meal replacements and nutritional drinks. But consumers can take it directly or mixed with other ingredients at a dosage of 15ml daily.
The firm conducted four years of clinical trials for the diabetes- and hypertension-linked products among male and female subjects.
A study on the herbal water for blood glucose management was published. Its results showed significant and gradual mean reductions of sugar content, with a maximum of 48% in fasting blood sugar and 44% in postprandial blood sugar. The active ingredients in the herbal water intervention used are “amla”, black “jamun”, fenugreek, cinnamon, turmeric (Curcuma longa), cloves, black pepper, ginger, coriander seeds, star anise, cumin, black cumin, Indian senna, guava leaves, white pepper, “ajwain” and fennel seeds.
A separate study on the herbal water for hypertension as adjuvant therapy was published in the International Journal of Herbal Medicine. After 180 days, the subjects demonstrated a gradual decrease of 48 mm Hg in systolic blood pressure and a decrease of 34 mm Hg in diastolic blood pressure compared to baseline. The active ingredients for this study involved black cumin, cinnamon, turmeric, dry ginger, cardamom, nutmeg, clove, guava leaves, flax seed, cumin, fenugreek, fennel seeds and liquorice.
Concluding the interview, Vallabhaneni believes the firm could make a “huge impact” with good B2B partners. He declined to reveal sales figures but noted that the firm enjoys a 40% growth year-on-year. He hopes to enter the e-commerce space in the US by Q1 2023 and retail in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries by Q3 2023. He is eyeing the Filipino, Malaysian and Singaporean brick-and-mortar retail markets too.
“We are looking to collaborate with large beverage companies and CPG folks to innovate products and nutraceuticals, such as the Procter & Gambles, Nestles and Unilevers of the world, to create unique SKUs,” he said.
Healthy ageing, probiotics and protein are major focus areas of our upcoming Growth Asia Summit in Singapore from 11 to 13 October. Check out big-name brands, international experts and pioneering start-ups slated to present here.