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Muesli & Me: Advocate of ‘clean eating’

Source:Ringier Food

Date Published:11/22/2016 08:11:49 PM

Interview with Mia Aristanti, owner of Indonesian supplier of muesli and granola, Muesli & Me

MUESLI & ME is a company that advocates clean eating, according to owner Mia Aristanti who believes that breakfast is a meal we should never skip. Based in Bali, Indonesia the company offers grab-and-go homemade muesli and granola snack bars that people can readily consume as they start their day.

Mia Aristanti, owner of Muesli & Me

Why did you open Muesli & Me in Bali?

With today’s busy lifestyle we often forget that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, we snack on whatever just to keep us going throughout the day. However, it’s time we really pay attention to what we eat, what we put in our body. What we eat today will have a big effect on our health two, three or four decades from now. Muesli & Me offers good quality, natural products that are affordable, practical yet healthy and tasty. I also try to make Muesli & Me to be as close as to our customers. We sell to healthy food shops, and sports or wellness communities, so we grow together. We do not plan to have a glitzy outlet or supplying to big chain companies.

Healthy eating is definitely the main thing. Are Indonesians big on breakfast cereal?

Indonesians normally eat rice during morning, noon and night. However, things have started to change in the past few years along with emerging trends associated with a healthy and active lifestyle. People want to live better and eat cleaner. Modern, young families enjoy eating breakfast cereal for its practicality, however, cereal itself is a processed food product with additives and preservatives.

Muesli & Me offers a better option for breakfast. Our breakfast muesli is natural, you can still see each ingredients in its original form. Nowadays, our customers are not only young people who are aware of the importance of clean eating, but also mature people who are looking to change their eating habits, out of necessity or consciousness.

The obvious trend is toward products that are low in fat, sugar, high in calcium, preservative-free, and so on.  

From its inception, Muesli & Me is committed to manufacture only healthy products. Our products are peanut-free, preservative-free, low-sugar, GMO-free products. We want to focus on providing the market with natural food that actually benefits people’s health. This is not because of the trend, but because we see the needs to encourage people to make better choices with what they eat.

There are many cereal and muesli products on the market. How can consumers tell which is a high quality product?

The easiest thing to do is to read the labels, not just for breakfast food products, but for ALL the food products we buy. It is very important for customers to be informed about the things they consume. How much sugar or any added fructose is in the product; does it contain corn or wheat; what the additives are, and so on. Often, it has little to do with price – even “premium” products can be second-class.

Breakfast muesli is a good mix of oats, seeds, palm sugar, assorted dried fruits, and other natural products 

Please tell us about the products you offer.

Muesli & Me has two main products: breakfast muesli and granola snack bars. Our breakfast muesli is definitely better than just cereal, as it contains higher nutrients, higher fiber, low in sugar and free of additives.

Our granola bars are packed with good benefits, easy to carry anywhere and very tasty. We have five varieties of breakfast muesli and five varieties of granola bar snacks so far, and we are in the process of releasing new products soon – our signature raw trail mix for on-the-go snacks whether you are trekking, camping, cycling or working in an office.

How do you choose the ingredients?

Muesli & Me only uses ingredients that actually have health benefits, not just “fillers”. For example, we don’t use peanuts at all even though it’s cheap – because a lot of people are allergic to peanuts and it has “bad” fat. Instead, we use cashews that have lower risk of allergy and contain “good” fat. We spend a lot of time doing research on the nutrients and health benefits of each ingredient before incorporating them in any of our product. We only buy our ingredients from reputable companies that bring these ingredients from local and overseas. We are not looking for strictly organic products, but we do prefer naturally grown products that are treated as little as possible.

Does the company source ingredients from local suppliers?

We have several suppliers for our ingredients. Most are imported as Indonesia does not grow wheat, almond, and cranberries. But we do use local ingredients like honey and cashew. We are always on the lookout for new suppliers and exciting local products that have good quality and health benefits.

Are all the ingredients labelled on the packaging?

We have a designer that makes all our labels, and we state all the nutrition facts, serving suggestion, product description, and list of ingredients on the ready-made reseable standing plastic pouch for easy storage at home.  

Are you involved in activities that help raise awareness on the benefits of cereal?

Muesli & Me have been sponsoring sports community activities like yoga, running and fitness on their events. We also sponsor preschools in events to increase awareness in healthy eating, as we believe a healthy eating habit should start as early as possible. We are looking forward to increasing our presence in more sporting events and also in family events in the future. – Diana Suciawati

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