By Ankita Jain
Fitbox Nepal delivers healthy food at your doorstep always keeping in mind the basics: only wholegrains, low-to-no-added-sugar and calorie-planned meals.
Denim Shrestha’s quest for healthy food began when he couldn’t get one while he started hitting the gym. Already in the fitness business, Shrestha was planning for a platform which only deals with making and delivering of healthy foods. In May 2018, he launched Fitbox Nepal after intensive market research. “The sheer importance of healthy food emerged when I started working out in the gym. Since my family was in the catering business for the past 20 years, it was easy to get into it with a twist of my own interest,” says Shrestha.
Fitbox Nepal is a one of its kind business in the country delivering healthy and nutritious food in a microwable box. “The aim is to bring about a lifestyle change by providing well-balanced nutritious meals,” he shares. After several months of intensive experimentation, Shrestha’s team of chefs and dieticians have designed meal plans that are not only healthy but also tasty. “There are many start-ups running throughout the country which provide doorstep delivery but none of them delivers healthy food to people. Hence, this service is our unique selling point,” he explains.
According to Shrestha, they ensure using ingredients with only the best nutritional value, use as little oil as possible and only healthy substitutes like olive and coconut oil. Currently a team of 18, the establishment provides two categories of meal: low calorie meal and high calorie meals. Based on their diet plan, customers can opt for these options. The three -week high calorie meal plan costs around Rs 5200 while the other costs Rs 4500. “Customers can also get their meal customised as per requirement,” he quips. The menu ranges from shredded chicken, kidney bean meal, chicken casserole, vegetarian meal, quinoa chicken salad, deluxe ostrich meat meal and more.
Like any new start-up, Shrestha also faced a few challenges in the beginning. “In the initial stage it was difficult to deliver meals to different clients on the time required by them. The challenge was in the delivery rather than the preparation. The concept was new to the valley and we found it tough initially. But gradually we learned to manage things and we are doing great now,” he shares. The other challenge was to manage meals for people with different food allergies. “This side of the business only turns up when you are actually running an enterprise rather than penning it on a paper. These were actual problems which we tackled very well,” he adds.
Unlike many entrepreneurs, Shrestha doesn’t believe in reaching the masses via extensive promotion. He wants people to know about the brand organically. “I do not believe in advertising; rather word-of-mouth is my type. I want people to know about my brand naturally. In the initial days, the team of Fitbox Nepal visited several gyms around Lalitpur and gave samples of their meal to many. “Through such kind of initiatives, we received good feedback and recognition. It also helped to make our base strong,” he smiles.
With their office and kitchen in Gwarko, Shrestha first started to target athletes and gymmers but slowly realised that many people in the capital have quest for healthy food. “Fitbox Nepal has a long way to go. In the future, we want to expand our vegan meal and provide more options to our clients by offering halal food,” he mentions. They are very concerned about the quality of the meal and keep finding innovative ways to keep the meal fresh and healthy.
Gaining quick popularity, Fitbox Nepal has been praised by many. “The amalgamation of the array of options offered and the concept of healthy living is amazing. I usually used to live on fast food during my lunch hours but not anymore. I have subscribed to Fitbox meal plan and they make sure to deliver on my preferred time,” says Namrata Adikari, a fitness enthusiast. While the quality of food isn’t compromised, many find the meal plans a tad bit out of budget. “I reckon Rs 4500 for three weeks will burn a hole in my pocket,” says Piyush Basnet, a student. Further, there are those who prefer home-cooked food. “I am a working woman and making breakfast and at the same time packing my lunch is a normal affair every morning. When I heard about Fitbox Nepal through a friend, I made up my mind to try it once. I found the food healthy and am glad that now I have a substitute to my home food,” shares Ritu Murali, an interior designer.