ForGoodnessGraze off to a healthy start
‘KICK the sugar, keep the craving’ is not only a tagline but a lifestyle motivation for CEO and owner Tara Shoucair who, through her company ForGoodnessGraze (FGG), wants to flood the market with healthier options for guilt-free snacking.
Having first-hand experience battling nutritional ailments Shoucair, who had long began to monitor what she ate, was inspired to develop a full product and company which seeks to help others with controlling their nutritional health and consumption patterns.
“FGG is a 70 per cent dark chocolate sweetened with monk fruit, which is said to be the first of its kind to be produced locally using Jamaican cocoa. The business was started out of a desire to produce a product locally that would benefit persons looking for healthier snack options, especially those who often suffer from a sweet tooth,” Shoucair said.
Monk fruit is a small round fruit grown in Southeast Asia. It contains natural sugars, mainly fructose and glucose, but these are not responsible for its sweetness. Instead, monk fruit gets its sweetness from unique antioxidants called mogrosides.
“While my chocolate bar is low glycaemic and suitable for diabetics, vegans, gluten-free individuals and others, it is one that can be consumed by all while helping consumers to change the way they think about their diet, and to know that they can enjoy lower-sugar sweet treats that actually taste good and are also good for them,” Shoucair told Jamaica Observer’s Sunday Finance.
The company, now only a month old, has big dreams for the future, stemming from its steady rise in consumer appreciation and recognition at this year’s Jamaica Observer Food Awards where it shared in the ‘Best New Local Product’ award.
“We have only been on shelves since this month, having officially launched to the public in June, but already I’m seeing the potential for growth. My vision and plan for the next three to five years is to take my time to grow the business while trying to stay focused on not losing the passion to grow and innovate. My hope for FGG is for it to be received by all in grace and love, with no hidden agenda or bad vibes,” Shoucair stated.
Lauding the overwhelming support she has received from friends, family, and business partners Chocollor, the budding entrepreneur said the journey so far has been nothing short of amazing. This, as through her current network of support she has been able to build out her company while learning and benefiting from the guidance and tutelage of other experienced players in the chocolate-making industry.
Operating out of a shared factory space in the Corporate Area with Chocollor, which currently does contract manufacturing for the product, Shoucair said the intention is to, over time, transition to her own production facility â€” but only after the company has grown revenues and taken advantage of prospective opportunities.
“I see big things coming for the product; it has a space in the market and it definitely has the potential for export and growth. As the country continues to battle with high cases of noncommunicable diseases I will be producing more of these and other healthier alternatives locally as the potential for growth looks very promising,” she said, adding that she’s encouraged by the feedback she has already received about the product.
“With passion and dedication I will also be pushing the product to become a staple in households locally. My hope is to attract a wide range of customers while embracing sustainability and ethical sourcing, to position FGG as a socially responsible business appealing to the conscious and not-so-conscious consumers,” Shoucair added.