In a market that includes giants like: Nestle, Unilever, Mars, Pepsi and other multibillion dollar conglomerates that control the enormous snack market, a tiny start up called Fyxx Health (www.fyxxhealth.com) in Boston MA is trying to rewrite the rules of the game.
After doctors told the founder, Sung Park to eat healthier after undergoing emergency open heart surgery, he found it incredibly difficult to stick to a truly healthy diet. “I found myself constantly craving something fun to eat, but most of the snacks that I loved contained tons of sugar and refined carbs, which are incredibly unhealthy for you”. So, he started Fyxx Health and teamed up with a nutritionist Stacy Kennedy MPH, RD, LDN, CSO to reinvent the snack market.
“We put good stuff in fun stuff” is the motto of the company. They take proven actives like fiber, probiotics, vitamins, minerals and herbs that you might not get enough of every day and hide them into great tasting low sugar, low carb - snacks, cookies, candies, chips and drink mixes. “As an example, more than 90% of people don’t get enough fiber in their diet and about 40% of Americans don’t get enough Vitamin D” says Stacy Kennedy.
The product line-up includes: low sugar, low carb cookies that contain active ingredients like probiotics, beta glucans, plant sterols and calcium. There are also sugar free gummies that taste like orange candies but are made from carrots. In addition there’s also a wide variety of sugar free flavored drink mixes that target supporting conditions like gut health, heart health, joint health, bone health and immunity. The company will be launching a line of healthy chips and chocolates in 2022. “We are basically tricking you into snacking healthier” says Park.
The Food as Medicine market is rapidly expanding. According to Food Business News –“Approximately 80% of consumers have adopted a “food as medicine” approach to eating, according to Nielsen, and The NPD Group found a quarter of U.S. adults are actively trying to manage their health through food. In addition to seeking healthier and more natural foods, people increasingly are cutting out foods they think could have a detrimental effect on their long-term health. Dairy, sodium and sugar are the most commonly avoided foods, with more than half of U.S. consumers cutting back on sodium and 80% looking to avoid or limit sugar, according to data from the International Food Information Council Foundation.”
The company is backed by Keen Growth Capital – Food as Medicine fund, XRC Labs, SOSV’s Food-X fund. “If they are successful, then it will force all the big food manufacturers to rethink their product portfolios” said Pano Anthos, an investor with XRC.
“When it comes to snacking, we think it’s easier to change the food rather than change people's behavior. If you’re going to eat a cookie, it might as well be a healthy one!” said Sung Park.