From an AED600-worth of the first order for 10 pieces of keto bread back in September 2018, UAE-based, home-grown start-up Keto Goodies Dubai has grown consistently. What began in founder Francoise Crosbie’s kitchen has gained strong resonance. The first team – which comprised Crosbie, a baker and a delivery person – has grown to six.
What started as personal research to shed post-pregnancy weight has turned into a business entity that Crosbie plans to grow from online-only to brick-and-mortar with a standalone bakery/café at some point. The pace has already set off in this direction as today products from Keto Goodies Dubai are stocked in Carrefour at Mall of the Emirates, Ibn Battuta Mall and City Centre Me’aisem as well as Healthy Shop in Abu Dhabi.
Before we move over to understand Keto Goodies Dubai’s scalability and how it adds to the existing options in the market, a few words on the ‘keto’ concept. It is a low-carb diet, with high-fat and adequate-protein. The longevity of keto is the next obvious question. The global ketogenic diet market was worth approximately $9,700 million in 2018. Driven by rising awareness, the market is estimated to grow by about 5.5% CAGR during the 2019-27 period, touching $15,640 million by 2027.[i]
“To determine the longevity of any concept – keto or anything else – as a popular diet is tricky. However, any form of food or diet that promotes less sugar and carbohydrates is good. Overall, such foods and diet forms are healthy,” Crosbie responds. “In this regard, our low-sugar, gluten-free options are, thus, healthy. And we are very transparent about the ingredients used in our products, which requires in-depth research and consulting websites like iConsult. It is a combination of science, math and effort to create the keto goodies with the exact calorie count and macros.”
What began as “happenstance” – when Crosbie baked her first keto bread with almond flour and posted it on social media – evolved into a home-based business driven by significant demand. “In September 2018, after posting about my keto bread, I realised that there was a clear need for healthy, gluten-free alternatives that were tasty. It all happened through word of mouth. We started developing more and more such alternatives to test viability. By November 2018, my house couldn’t accommodate such high volumes of baking. I hired a baker and a delivery person,” Crosbie reminisced.
Along with maintaining a steady roster of repeat clientele, Keto Goodies Dubai is also forming several collaborations with like-minded organisations. A self-funded business, Crosbie is now evaluating the possibility of bringing on-board a like-minded – health-conscious – investor to undertake expansion.
“Self-investing to start my brand is one of the huge hurdles that I had to overcome right at the outset,” Crosbie admitted. “Since then, it has been about Keto Goodies Dubai gaining more visibility; I want the brand to be out there. And we have seen significant growth, compared to where we started. We have seen almost 200% year-on-year growth, when compared to our first order of AED600 in September 2018. To be able to sustain such exponential growth, I need more capital and therein lies the need for an investor.”
“I am looking at 2020 as the year for faster scalability. I am evaluating the prospects of opening a flagship store with a small café by the end of the year. We are also at advanced stages of discussion to export our products in the GCC,” she revealed.