Healthy snacks your kids will love – Koala Picks
Women@Work were thrilled to meet with Aya, Ahmed and Omnia, founders of Koala Picks, a company changing the way kids snack!
We know a new wave of startups is revolutionizing what ends up on your kids’ plate and we are delighted to be partnering with our favourite.. Koala Picks. A company dedicated to ensuring this generation adopt healthy eating habits that last a lifetime. Say hello to energised, healthier and happier kids.
Meet the Team
Firstly, we met the brains behind Koala Picks, please introduce yourselves with a brief career background
Aya is an ex-corporate with a background in marketing. Aya leads product development and operations for Koala Picks and is also a proud full-time crafty mum.
Omnia is a super organized, social butterfly with an advertising background and a passion for copywriting. She manages brand communication, social media and marketing for Koala Picks
Ahmed is Koala Picks’ strategic numbers guy. He leads the team into the right opportunities whilst protecting their brand vision and purpose.
Women@Work, we are big fans of Koala Picks, but we want to know how did you get your idea or concept for the business?
Ahmed and Aya’s son is one of the reasons we started Koala Picks, as it was such a struggle for us to find the right snacks for him. Almost everything in supermarkets either had sugar or preservatives, and we found ourselves super frustrated because of all the snacks in the organic sections still contained sugar and unfamiliar ingredients, and this was what triggered us. We decided to take matters in our own hands and started a business which promotes healthy eating habits for kids through our snacks, our upcoming workshops and many more educational activities to come.
What was your mission at the outset?
Our mission is to give parents and families access to healthy snack options that their kids can actually enjoy. We thought of different ways to introduce healthy alternatives for kids to snack on and enjoy throughout the day, without parents feeling any guilt when it came to the quality or quantity.
We know every start-up has a unique journey faced with lots of up’s and down’s.. can you share any challenges you were faced with at the beginning and how you overcame these?
As a lot of us may know, setting up a food business in Dubai is a big challenge in itself! The process is quite extensive and costly, from obtaining permits and licenses, to perfecting our recipes through trials and tastings… It took us a lot of patience and effort to reach where we are now. It was a great start to our initial launch in October 2019, and then COVID hit us hard, like many businesses across the globe. This was definitely our biggest challenge yet, but it has taught us how to pivot and re-prioritize, and pick back up where we left off as soon as we were able to.
Can you tell us more about your company culture and work ethic and how do you achieve a healthy ‘work life balance’?
Finding that balance is definitely challenging. We can’t deny that it’s really not easy; especially the days where we have a really early start, and only come back home about an hour before bedtime – those are the days that the mum guilt hits the hardest. We do our best to maintain ‘working hours’ – which are sometimes stretched into the evenings, but we make sure to dedicated weekends to friends and family time, so we make sure to disconnect as much as we can.
Has Koala Picks model changed much since you started and how do you adapt to ever changing market conditions?
Yes, this has definitely changed a lot over the year that we’ve been in business. We’re proud to say that we are constantly listening to our customers and doing our best to accommodate their needs. We launched with 1 box size and only subscription being the service available, delivering only in Dubai. Throughout the year, we’ve expanded our box sizes to a total of 3 sizes, customers can choose to either subscribe or purchase a single snack box, we’ve launched a whole new range of breakfast and baking products which are sold on their own, and now have also made some of our snacks available for purchase individually. Subscribers can also have the freedom to customize their weekly snack boxes every week, where previously it was a set surprise selection. We need to constantly adapt depending on people’s needs and requirements, rather than try to force people to go with a model they might not be ready for yet.
We have lots of budding entrepreneurs in our community in various stages of their journey. Can you offer them any tips/advice?
Choose your business partners and employed team wisely, as they become your new family that you spend the most time with, and grow with. It’s always going to be ups and downs – embrace both and always know that things will get better when they don’t feel like they are sometimes. Stay focused and push through the difficult times, and you’ll make it out the other side! J
Lastly but not least, how we can get our hands on a subscription?
Since one of our goals is to make lives easier by not having them waste time running around every week looking for healthy snacks for their kids, our main product is a monthly subscription to a weekly delivered snack box (with 3 sizes available). Families will sign up to our snack box subscription on our website, and they will receive a weekly box that has a mix of savory and sweet options that they can customize. These snacks are meant to last for the entire week. All of our snacks are individually packaged, with each pack having its own label with ingredients, nutrition facts, storage conditions and shelf life. We have a special promo code (FIRST15) for 15% off your first subscription month for all new subscribers!
Visit www.koalapicks.com to find out more and subscribe!