Keto on-the-go: US start-up targets affordable keto diet with single serve sachets

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18 Jan 2018 --- Nutrition start-up Ketologie has launched a Kickstarter campaign allowing consumers to pre-order the company's two most popular products (Chocolate and Vanilla) in new, single-serve sachets with collagen as their primary protein source. The company says it is “on a mission to make the ketogenic way of eating easier and more affordable for busy people on-the-go.” NutritionInsight spoke with Dr. Tracey King, CEO and co-founder of Ketologie, about the increasingly popular keto diet, the newly launched keto-friendly single-serve sachets, as well as the company’s future projects.

The ketogenic diet – a high-fat, generous-protein, barely-any-carb diet designed to produce ketone bodies for energy and other health benefits – has become increasingly popular over the past years.

“On a very basic level I would say that the keto diet is increasingly popular because it works so well for a great many people, with meaningful and (relatively) quick results, and it is easy and enjoyable, allowing people to eat foods that for decades now have been no-no’s due to their fat content (eggs, butter, nut butters),” King says. 

On top of that, she states that the non-weight related health benefits attributed by some studies to this diet are “measurable and therefore very compelling, especially for people with Type 2 diabetes or other metabolic conditions.”

“Our own experience with changing our diet made it clear to us that people need better options for eating well on the run. To truly impact people's lives though, that same nutrition must be affordable as well as portable – our goal is to keep the cost per meal to US$3 or less,” says Dr. King.

Click to EnlargeThe company plans to achieve that goal by choosing sachets rather than plastic bottles for their single serve shakes. “Plastic bottles cost more to make and more to ship, it's as simple as that,” says King. “This way we save the consumer money, while at the same time reducing our carbon footprint - it's a win-win.”

Speaking about the sachets, King explains that their nutritional composition aligns with the “classic” ketogenic macronutrient ratio of approx. 75 percent or more of calories coming from fat; 20 percent from protein; and 5 percent or less from carbohydrates.

“Each shake delivers 300 calories and so is certainly substantial enough to be considered a meal. However the European guidelines for a ‘meal replacement’ specify that no more than 30 percent of the calories can come from fat; so we are not able to market them in that way. Also in North America, we would have to ‘fortify’ the shakes with a long list of added micro-nutrients. Our audience would rather see a short list of real food ingredients, so we won’t be marketing the shakes as meal replacements as such. I think these are good examples of well-meaning rules and regulations that don’t always translate into good practice,” King says.

Ketologie's products are all gluten free, sugar-free and soy free, and although the company is working towards non-GMO certification, it has no plans regarding providing vegan-friendly products.

“Plant-based proteins tend to be naturally higher in carbs, and have definite taste and texture drawbacks. While it’s an easy enough assumption to make that plant-based is always better, the jury is definitely out on that. We take an evidence-based approach to our product formulation and after extensively reviewing the literature, we are happy with our decision to go with collagen as our primary protein source. We do use plant sources for our fats, so we feel our products offer a healthy balance,” King notes.

“Our goal is to continue to develop new, ‘clean keto’ products that are also convenient and affordable. We don’t want to be a niche, ultra-premium brand that only a certain sociodemographic can afford. To be impactful, we need to be accessible – both from a distribution point of view but also price point. One of the big criticisms of keto is that it’s too expensive, that people need to pad out their family meals with cheap grains and starchy carbs, like potatoes, rice, pasta and so on. As long as that remains true, we will not be successful in reversing the worldwide obesity and Type 2 diabetes epidemic,” King concludes about the company's mission.

By Lucy Gunn