Over the course of six months of quarantine, Americans have been desperate for things to do. To cure some of the boredom, many have taken up new hobbies, learned new languages and started new home improvement projects. But with more free time than ever, many have turned to exercise, seeking to shed a few pounds during quarantine, explore some new trails, or achieve some fitness milestones.
But when it comes to personal fitness, exercise is but one side of the coin. A proper diet is just as integral to maintaining personal fitness as any run or weightlifting routine. But eating properly is easier said than done. Beyond merely counting calories, those seeking to eat healthily should find ways to incorporate fruits, vegetables, and other key nutrients into their diets.
Since even before the onset of COVID, plenty of innovative startups have been hard at work devising new restaurants and products that offer tasteful, healthy food while catering to the unique preferences of young consumers.
We sat down with Amit Raizada—an entrepreneur, venture capitalist and CEO of Spectrum Business Ventures to talk about how the startup and VC sectors are helping to develop new products that can help fitness enthusiasts enjoy healthy, low-calorie meals that complement their workout routines.
“One of these companies is Tu Me Water, which Spectrum Business Ventures is proud to support,” said Raizada. “Tu Me is an excellent post-workout choice, as it offers flavored water injected with turmeric.”
Raizada explained that turmeric is a critical, yet often under-consumed, nutrient that helps aid muscle recovery. Turmeric is often used to reduce inflammation, which Raizada said comes in handy after a difficult weightlifting routine or a strenuous run.
“Tu Me really got it right when it came to turmeric,” Raizada said. “The nutrient has long been celebrated for the ways it reduces inflammation in the body. Tu Me combined this with water—which we all drink after our workouts—and unique flavoring to create a healthy, enticing product.”
Raizada cited Tocaya Organica, an SBV-backed venture, as another firm making waves within the health-food sector.
“Tocaya Organica offers clean, fast-casual Mexican cuisine in an upbeat setting,” said Raizada. “Tocaya’s food is vegan-base, meaning that all meals conform to vegan standards. Customers can add additional, non-vegan ingredients as they wish, but no matter how you build your meal, Tocaya is delicious, healthy, and low calorie.”
Both companies, Raizada said, created innovative models that align with many of Spectrum Business Ventures’ guiding investment philosophies.
“I always seek out ventures that have identified a demand popular among younger consumers and have devised a solution to fulfill it,” Raizada said. “That was the case with both ventures, which saw the ways in which personal fitness and healthful living had become major markets, and developed innovative, health foods that quickly took hold.”
Raizada said that, often, successful ventures need not reinvent an established market to make a sizeable splash.
“Younger generations are particularly health- conscious, and during quarantine, this has become even more mainstream,” said Raizada. “Companies like Equinox, for example, have come up with trailblazing ways to cater to this increasingly well-established trend. By tailoring their cuisines to meet the appetites of an increasingly health-conscious clientele, Tu Me Water and Tocaya Organica became hits.”