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Healthy sells, healthy sales: This Australian health food start-up that focuses on millennials has recorded a $10m turnover

Tropeaka co-founders Caleb Marshall and Blake Mackenzie
Tropeaka co-founders Caleb Marshall and Blake Mackenzie

Arduous battles with chronic illness alongside everyday health concerns were the catalyst for Tropeaka founders Caleb Marshall and Blake Mackenzie which ultimately led to a journey toward discovering the powerful benefits of high-quality nutrition.

Through personal trial and error, Caleb and Blake came to realise that many of the health products available on the market at the time were not marketed well to millennials and contained unnatural nasties or products known to exacerbate stomach upsets.

It was at the age of 24, seated at the dining table of their share house, that the young Sydney-based entrepreneurs hatched a plan to make health foods cool and gym supplements healthy.

What is the motivation behind Tropeaka?

Tropeaka was born from their desire to allow people to conquer the day the healthy way. Their goal was simple, but the path to launch was trying. In the early days, the duo struggled to juggle their passion project with full-time employment.

Delays were recurrent due to the natural challenges that came with starting a health food company. Motivated to go beyond what is simply “good” in the pursuit of excellence, Caleb and Blake undertook painstaking measures to ensure they sourced the highest quality ingredients from the best suppliers around the world.

“On top of this came the difficult task of formulating products alongside nutritionists and naturopaths, which were not only of the highest quality but also tasted great. It’s made even trickier in the world of ‘100% natural plantbased proteins’, as plant-proteins have a reputation for tasting sub-par, especially those that are free from artificial sweeteners and flavours,” said Caleb.

In the two years that passed between conception to launch, Caleb and Blake exhausted the initial $120,000 self-funded investment. “By the time we had developed a range of high-quality products we were proud of, we were left with a marketing budget of $0,” said Caleb.

He acknowledges that this became the blessing that lead to their exceptionally speedy success; “It allowed our focus to be on achieving all that we could with the limited resources we had, which was ensuring exceptional product quality and providing the best customer experience possible.”

As well as a desire to provide high-quality plant-based health products, the team at Tropeaka has always maintained a strong focus on developing a community of like-minded people who are proud to express their desire to be healthy and share stories of their own journey.

What has Tropeaka achieved so far?

The brand’s unwavering commitment to providing exceptional customer service, coupled with efforts to market exclusively to a millennial audience, has resulted in a highly-engaged 250,000-strong social media following that use the Tropeaka platforms to research products, seek nutritional advice and share their health updates.

Today, Tropeaka ships to over 50 countries around the world and recorded a turnover of over $10,000,000 last financial year, to become one of Australia’s fastest growing and largest health food companies. However, for Caleb and Blake, the greatest achievement is having over 5,000 5-star reviews since beginning to ask customers for them since April this year.

“We are simply blown away by the reviews and level of positive engagement we receive. From the start we’ve encouraged research and education around healthy choices and love how our community embraces this exchange of knowledge and expression of shared values,” said Caleb.

Tropeaka is now a cult-favourite for its 100% natural plant-based proteins, superfoods and teas that deliver great taste and texture whilst containing an abundance of health-promoting benefits. “It’s important that consumers read ingredient labels to ensure they’re consuming natural, high-quality and wholesome foods.

Many products on the market promote that their ingredients and flavours are natural, however they leave off the important point that the product is sweetened with artificial sweeteners, or full of artificial preservatives,” explained Caleb.

Outside of Tropeaka products, Caleb and Blake also encourage health conscious millennials to educate themselves on what not to include in their day to day diets, something they claim is just as important in ensuring they live a powerful, healthy life.

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