Bottoms up: Start-up uses milk tea to help consumers overcome hurdle of adding supplements to daily routine
Naked Blend launched in August 2020 with Original Milk Tea, a beauty drink that claims to provide UV protection as well as anti-ageing benefits.
The plant-based product contains ingredients to kickstart the production of the body's natural antioxidants that blocks the proliferation of melanin and reduce the harmful effects of UV radiation.
Among them is glutathione, an antioxidant commonly used for oral sunblock supplements to help the reduction of melanin production and the appearance of UV spots.
The product also contains curcumin. According to one study that looked at the effects of UV radiation on human skin cells, it was found that treating the cells with curcumin significantly reduced the harmful effects of UV radiation.
Additionally, the formulation also contains Ginkgo Biloba extract to inhibit tyrosinase, as well as vitamin C to boost antioxidants and help fight UV damage.
In the past few years, founder Vikki Tear has observed more people taking a holistic approach towards skin care, such as taking beauty supplements in addition to using topical products.
“We can trace this back to the all-pervasive wellness trend. People are more health-conscious and mindful about what they eat these days. Also, with less nutrient-rich food in our diets, they have become more open to taking supplements.”
Tackling consumer hurdles
While she believes the awareness and interest are high, she noted that there are many consumers who are held back by the thought of taking pills daily.
The company’s strategy was to incorporate the product seamlessly into the consumers’ lifestyle, hoping it can further lower the hurdles consumers have to jump over before deciding to try including a supplement in their beauty routine.
“Some people have this mindset that popping pills are like taking medication. So, I explored the idea of developing a product that was [less obstructive],” said Tear.
She added that she was inspired by milk tea, a ubiquitous drink across Asia, from India to Thailand.
“People are very into milk tea but it offers no good benefits other than to satisfy our cravings for sweets. So, I decided to combine milk tea with health and beauty benefits. The idea is to replace your milk tea habit in the morning for instance,” said Tear.
To lessen the risk for the consumer, the brand also offers a sampler set of two sachets at SGD9.90
Another major challenge for the brand is changing negative perceptions of beauty supplements.
“People are very concerned about the safety and reliability of the brand. They want to know about the ingredients and if you’re really using a premium ingredient as opposed to a cheap one. These are some common questions.”
To assuage potential doubts, Tear said the firm made it a point to source its ingredients from top suppliers and manufacturers directly in Singapore, where it can watch over development closely and ensure stringent measures are followed.
The company has been satisfied with the brand’s performance so far and is gunning for revenue of SGD1m in 2021.
Since its launch, it has added another SKU to its line-up and found a distributor for Hong Kong and Macau.
By the end of this year, it is aiming to find at least one offline retail partner. The start-up is also working towards a regional expansion.
Currently, the firm is in the midst of developing more products, which would include seasonal flavours of the milk tea blend as well as entirely new products. Tear said the firm is aiming to launch two new products by the second or third quarter of this year.