Health-lovers, rejoice! A new Singaporean healthy-drink brand has arrived at teapasar. Established in June last year, Asmara creates healthy and tasty drinks based on science and traditional principles. And despite having started only last year, Asmara has already won several awards, such as the Cleo Beauty Hall of Fame. The teapasar team caught up with Ramesh, the co-founder and managing director, to learn more about this uniquely Singaporean brand.
Could you tell us what led you to launch Asmara?
One of the main reasons we started Asmara because we realised that Singapore is very reliant on other countries for health foods or superfood, for example for Taiwan and Korean brands. We wanted to change that and make something very unique and uniquely Singaporean. That’s why we decided to combine Chinese, Malay, Indian, and Western concepts, along with science to create our products.
How interesting! Can you talk a little bit more about why this focus on science and how you use it in your products?
Well, both my co-founder and I are food scientists by training, so with that background, we try to make sure that all the ingredients we use are scientifically proven to have health benefits. To illustrate, there is a lot of hype about turmeric right now, but if you look into the science, turmeric has very poor absorption rates. The studies showing the health benefits of turmeric are done on test tubes and animals, so their results don’t accurately reflect the effects of us humans consuming turmeric. On the other hand, there’s a compound in peppers called pepperin that aids the absorption of turmeric. So we know that the traditional health claims of turmeric are valid, but it has poor absorption rates. This is where Asmara comes in – we created the Astri 33 which has turmeric and pepperin, to make sure that you can reap the full health benefits of turmeric.
Besides the use of science, is there anything else that differentiates Asmara from other ready-to-drink brands in the market?
Yes. Apart from our emphasis on science, we also make sure we incorporate ingredients from various local cultures, such as Chinese and Malay herbs. We also use ingredients from cultures further abroad, such as Peruvian berries, in our drinks, along with various scientific ingredients. Our drinks blend modern day science with the wisdom of traditional herbs and medicine.
What else do you keep in mind when coming up with new products?
We feel that it’s very important to be unique. Take, for example, our Asari 7, which is a French rose bird’s nest drink. We start off by asking ourselves – with so many bird’s nest drinks, what can we do to make our drink stand out?
After thinking, we decided to make it pink. We infused the bird’s nest with rose, as the protein in the bird’s nest will absorb the colour, and then added gold to enhance its beauty. And of course, both rose and bird’s nest, along with the other ingredients in the drink, are known to be helpful in improving your skin.
We read that Asmara launched just last July, but you’ve already gotten so many fans! How did you get the word out?
We officially launched during the FHA (Food Hotels Asia), which is one of the largest trade shows in the world for its industry. When we saw people coming back to our booth and giving us very good comments, we knew that we had something special. With that validation, we started to build our social media platforms. Things also picked up after the Ashta Berries 8 and Asana 6 won the Cleo Body Award and Cleo Hall of Fame respectively.
Are there any exciting plans for Asmara in the near future?
Definitely! We have a few products in the pipeline, and we’ll be releasing new gift sets every festive season. For the coming Chinese New Year, we’ll be putting together a health-conscious gift set. We realise that a lot of gift sets are filled with healthy foods, so we’re putting together a gift set for the health conscious – even the wines will be healthy!
What is the biggest hurdle you’ve faced so far?
Our biggest hurdle definitely has to be customer acquisition. As a new brand, people don’t know who we are and are generally sceptical until they try our products. So we try our best to let our customers be exposed to our products. For example, when the National Galley and Cedele tried our drinks, they realised it was delicious and agreed to sell it. It also helped us that we got the attention of Straits Times and other newspapers.
What would you recommend to someone completely new to Asmara’s line of drinks?
That’s easy, I would definitely recommend the Ashta 8, which is made from different berries. We spent a lot of time balancing the flavour so that it would be easy to drink, and it shows – this is our best-selling product.
Would that be your personal favourite as well?
Well, when I feel like I’m going to fall sick, I reach for the Astri 33 which is formulated to help boost our immunity. But otherwise, my favourite is the Asari 7. I normally don’t like bird’s nest, but this drink is so rosy that I love it.
We love Asmara’s engraved wooden gift box, that comes with all 4 drinks! This is the best way to sample all of Asmara’s delicious drinks, and is also perfect as a gift!
As part of this brand spotlight, enjoy 10% off all Asmara’s products on teapasar.com, with the code “ASMARA10“. Valid until 23:59, 24th February 2019. Asmara’s drinks can also be purchased at NomadX.
In addition, Asmara is also giving away their gift boxes to TWO lucky winners (worth $50 each)! Receive a lucky draw slip with every $10 spent at NomadX from 22nd Feb to 28th Feb. Want to increase your chances of winning? Here are some ways:
- Buy more! For every $10 spent, you will receive 1 lucky draw slip. Hence, the more you spend, the more lucky draw slips you’ll receive! What better time to stock up your tea pantry?
- Receive an extra slip for every Asmara product you purchase
- Join our mailing list and receive an extra slip