That moment when you are standing in front of the cereal aisle trying to pick from the few dozen types that line the aisle. The child in you yearns for processed brands with cartoon characters on a sugar high that bounce around the front of the box. Yet, the adult in you tells you that even though all that bran and wheat are not titillating, they are good for you and the better choice. Enter 5STRIPES, a new locally created cereal brand that unleashes your potential to create the perfect blend of what the founders call “ceriously tasty cereal”, and gives you back those lost moments in the supermarket.
“We want to prove to people that healthy is tasty,” said co-founder Dr. Abdullah Al Ali. “We really invested in the ingredients, and you can customize your own cereal to get the nutritional value that you need, without compromising the taste.”
It all started when Mishaal Al Duwaila, an entrepreneur in the organic food market, and Abdullah Fakhra, wanted to bring healthy snacks made with premium ingredients to Kuwait. Al Duwaila had been importing organic foods from the Czech Republic to Kuwait. Yet, the idea with Fakhra evolved to more than just importing an end product. Over almost eighteen months they visited more than 30 suppliers in Germany, Holland and the Czech Republic. The whole time they collected grains, freeze dried fruits and other samples from around Europe.
“We were looking for quality and taste,” said Al Duwaila, also known as ‘The Hawk’ in the team for his detailed inspection of every tube that leaves their facility. “We wanted organic and we wanted something that tasted very good as well as looked good.”
They teamed up with childhood friends Dr. Abdullah Al Ali, who practices family medicine, and Abdullah Al Muthaf, a local restaurant entrepreneur. The group set out to create a brand that enriched people’s lives as a whole, and the concept 5STRIPES was born. Their fifth partner? A rotating partner they will team up with, from local nutrionists, to artists, to other local businesses, and you, the customer. All with a base of five core values, the stripes: creative, organic, socially responsible, healthy and above all, tasty.
“The whole thing is based on customization,” said Al Muthaf. “You can basically customize your own cereal to get the nutritional value that you need, and get the most compatible cereal for whatever lifestyle you have.”
Creativity may have started with the creation of this brand, but it happens every day on the 5STRIPES website. Simply log on and pick from one of seven bases including honey puffs, chocolate puff boons, and oat flakes. The site automatically fills your 550 gram tube with that base. From there, it’s time to get creative. Add grains like rye flakes or barley flakes. If you went with a bland base, try something sweeter like the chocolate crunchy flakes. Go crazy on nuts and seeds with everything from the tiny chia seed to the bazaar favorite, the cashew nut. Then, the fun parts: lyophillized fruits and extras.
“We are really proud of our fruits,” said Al Ali. “They are freeze dried, which means that you preserve their nutrients and a lot of the taste and texture. This is at a higher cost [than regular dried fruits] but we really believed that our investment in the extra cost would be noticed and appreciated in the quality of the product that we provide.”
Choose from an array of fruits including coconut, strawberry and the incredible banana. Then add a bit of extras like white chocolate pearls or chocolate peanuts, and your cereal is ready to go. Check the nutritional information as you add and remove ingredients until you find the perfect blend for your taste buds and your lifestyle. Then save the mix so either you or your friends can reorder it.
The bazaar team decided to get in on the cereal action and created our own mix. We put quinoa puffs, amaranth flakes, flaxseeds and almonds with a bit of banana, wild blackberries and apple-cinnamon on a crunchy base. Within 24 hours our tube was in the office and we were having the best cereal any of us had ever tasted. You can find the bazaar mix by entering the ‘premixed’ section of their website and inputting the mix ID 3757945 into the ‘re-order’ tab.
In their dedication to health, the team at 5STRIPES has created premixes for those of us with specific nutritional needs. For the athlete, The Beast has the highest amount of quality protein muesli, and with the Chocolate n Crunch it’s the perfect boost to build muscles and pump your workout. Have to go gluten free? Try their Gluten free can be tasty mix, based on organic gluten free cornflakes with amaranth flakes quinoa puffs and three types of fruits, this mix will fill you up without running you down. Want something for kids? The Sesame Street mix with white chocolate pearls and strawberries give the almond crunches and whole cornflakes that perfect sweetness for your child or the kid in you.
Ordering from 5STRIPES is about much more than the cereal. The team has dedicated themselves to becoming a brand that gives back to the community in as many ways as possible.
“We believe that your money is going to institutions so you should hold them accountable for how it will be used,” said Al Ali. “The fact is we want to engage and give back to the community which we operate in.”
They have a very transparent social responsibility agenda. Every year they pick causes that are health and environment conscious. You can, for example, bring them 10 tubes to recycle and they will give you one free. They have also dedicated five percent of their profits to highlighted causes. They have special tubes that are released once a year in solidarity with a highlighted issue. This year they are introducing a low glycemic index mix that will raise diabetes awareness. In the future customers can choose which cause to donate to.
“We live and love our product and we believe people will too because passion is honest,” said Al Duwaila. “A product can never fake the passion behind it.”