Bao is the first line of smoothies from Delice Foods to pair the Baobab Superfruit from Africa`s legendary Tree of Life with 100% natural exotic fruit purees and concentrates. Bao smoothies has no preservatives, no dairy, and no artificial colours or flavours. Just a taste of the exotic, the different-natural and nourishing. Ayiba‘s Eyitemi Popo learns more about Bao Smoothies from Founder, Abu Maiyaki.
How did you get the idea for Delice Foods/Bao Smoothies?
Delice Food’s mission is to be the world’s leading innovator of foods focused on African superfoods. Africa has much to share with the world of its pure earth bounty and marvel of natural goodness. It is and will continue to be the first organic. Why is this not celebrated? Why is there not a template for African food? This for me has to be the Delice contribution to the African renaissance.
What was your vision for the company starting out? My vision was “to be Africa’s food company to the world.”
Has that vision remained true in your growth?
Yes, we have remained true. Our purpose is very specific as a food innovator, especially in a consumer space that is changing and seeking differentiated products.
Why focus your products around the baobab fruit?
Firstly, acceptance. The baobab has received a lot of global attention as an African superfruit over the last several years. Secondly, versatility. The baobab lends itself well to product extensions due to its incredible properties. For Delice as a food innovator, this is important. We can build a five to ten year pipeline around a single ingredient in a way most food companies cannot.
Why create a line of smoothies as opposed to juices?
This again has to do with the properties of the baobab in the production environment. It is a natural source of pectin fibre which yields a smoothie-type consistency in the manufacturing process.
What has the consumer response to your product been like?
Consumer response has been great given the shift in consumer attitudes to foods, preservatives, sugars, and allergens. They are always amazed by the quality, taste. and functionality.
What has been the most challenging part of setting up your company?
I believe life is about passion and purpose. You have to wake up every morning with the belief that you have important work to do and dedicate yourself to that work. Dedicating and committing to the journey wholeheartedly in not knowing where it might lead has been a challenge. However, it has been a very rewarding challenge with incredible successes.
What is the best lesson you’ve learned in the process?
Humility in being kind and caring to myself and others. We, as entrepreneurs, oftentimes think we are superhuman and forget to seek the assistance of others. We often forget it is a long journey that requires self-empathy and replenishment. At the end of it all it is simply a journey and what truly matters is the companionship of friends and the love of family.
What’s your next milestone?
Given our early stage, simply to continue to establish the business proposition to consumers and our partners. There is still much exciting work to do.