Powerup 365- Thilina Pitiwala
A fitness enthusiast and a self-confessed adventure junkie, Thilina was committed to eating right and working out regularly, both at the gym and outdoors where he loved hiking or participating in extreme sports that really got his adrenaline pumping. Living such a fast-paced lifestyle meant that he was always on the lookout for healthy, all-natural snacks that would keep his energy levels up while he went about his daily life- something that he soon realized was near impossible to find in Sri Lanka at the time.
“I already knew what kind of nutrition my body needed through research and had it covered with my regular meals, but the challenge I faced was finding on-the-go
snacks that were not unhealthy, processed and loaded with sugar. My only option for several years was to source them from overseas when either myself or my friends traveled, but the next logical step when I saw the demand was to bridge the gap locally for others too and make these healthy snacks available at an affordable cost,” said Thilina.
Having already researched the area thoroughly when he was first looking into it for his personal use, deciding on the right combinations and quantities when
manufacturing the nuts and trail mixes commercially was not a difficult process for
him. It did require a fair bit of research when it came to looking for vendors to source the ingredients, but this didn’t take long and he soon found a combination of local suppliers that were otherwise only exporting their ingredients such as dehydrated fruits and nuts, as well as international vendors to import ingredients that he was unable to find locally.
“One of my main goals when Powerup 365 first started was to make healthy snacks as affordable as possible and with our prices averaging Rs400- Rs500 for quantities that last at least 2-3 servings, I think we can check that box. Having said that however, there are still segment of people that would compare these snacks in terms of affordability to buying a kothu or a fried rice pack and feel that it’s not as affordable, but the difference is that the number of health benefits you receive from the combination of superfood in all Powerup 365 products can’t be compared. While the health conscious were already aware of the benefits of healthy snacks and were just glad to have these nut and trail mixes available locally at an affordable price, it was more difficult to convince others who still did not understand the importance of making healthy food choices and instead rely on unhealthy, processed, energy bars which contain ridiculous amounts of sugar as a snack,” explained Thilina.
After listening to feedback he received from potential customers, Thilina soon
realised that while the sports oriented packaging that was designed to resemble a
battery complete with energy levels and the names of the products such as Mega Omega and Protein Blast resonated with the gym goers, it was giving others the
impression that the snacks were only for serious lifters who worked out hard- which is completely incorrect, since these nutritious snacks can be used by just about anyone looking for a healthy midday snack! As a solution, Powerup 365 then launched their new formulations such as Banana Coins with Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Cherry Almond and a bunch of other new products that were less focused on the gym goer and more on people looking for a healthy snack to give them a boost of energy- something we all need when the midweek slump hits us hard!
Originally from Kandy, Thilina first setup his manufacturing area in his home town.
However he plans to move the manufacturing to Colombo in the near future as it’s
more feasible since a large number of Powerup 365 products retail at supermarkets across Colombo now too and distribution is primarily in Colombo, though there has been a growing interest from other areas and they offer islandwide delivery. All Powerup 365 products are not processed at all and contain no preservatives, fillers or flavouring, but the ingredients are essentially just combined in the right quantities and then packaged in laminate zip tight bags that ensure air is kept out and allow the product to be resealed and used on separate occasions - so convenient when you’re always on the go!
“While Colombo and quite a few other areas in Sri Lanka have started to become
more health conscious, the most common mistake I’ve found is that not enough
people are willing to do their own research, instead they would rather reach out to
people that don’t always have the right qualifications to provide nutritional advice and ask them for suggestions and nutrition tips. This often leads to a lot of incorrect information being passed along - for instance, many of the younger generation who have just started working out are mislead to believe that supplements are the only way to boost energy and get those gains they all want, but the truth is there’s numerous natural nutrition options that would help them do that too. Perhaps not as fast, but definitely without any harmful side-effects,” said Thilina.
Seeing a growing interest in his products, Thilina has a lot of new mixes in the
pipeline for 2019 and will even be considering lunch-box sized snacks packs of this delicious nuts and trail mix in the future - certainly something a lot of parents will be excited to hear!
“Don't wanna wake up one day wishing that we'd done more I wanna live fast and never look back, that's what we here for
Don't wanna wake up one day wondering where'd it all go?"
-Jonas Blue - Mama ft. William Singe