With Veganury in fully swing and another influx of people ready to take the pledge, what is the role of vegan protein and vegan supplements within the industry? We talk to the co-founder of Form Nutrition, Natalia Bojanic, self-confessed “life juggler on a mission to do good in the world” about their competitive edge and what they see for the future of veganism.
Natalia is a former PR Director with over 10 years’ experience in the luxury industry working with brands from Land Rover to Dior.
She left the corporate world to follow her passion for human development and became an entrepreneur in the Nutrition and Mindfulness space.
She divides her time between running and expanding a disruptive startup and hosting leadership workshops sharing practical tools to help people live more meaningful, creative and joyful lives.
What is your superhero origin story?
I was in a rush to come into this world and was born a few weeks before my due date. My mum worked really hard during her pregnancy, so striving for independence and to be of use for humanity was instilled in me from a very early age!
If there is any superhero element in my origin story, it’s passed on from my mother, who raised me with the power of unconditional love and compassion.
Wellbeing is not a luxury, but a necessity and that we all have the ability to master ourselves, one thought at a time.
What was your eureka moment, and how did you test your idea for Form?
Form is the brainchild of my co-founder, Damian Soong. He brought me in as a strategist during the early stages of the brand – when we didn’t have products, a logo, packaging, or anything tangible like what we have with Form today. I saw the potential in his idea and knew that if anyone could make vegan protein cool it was Damian.
Lucky for me, he is a wise entrepreneur and realised the brand would benefit from someone with experience in communications and PR from the Luxury industry to elevate it.
Bringing supplements to unexpected places, expanding protein shakes beyond the gym circuit and attracting non-vegans to plant-based nutrition has been our goal from day one.
We tested the concept at Planet Organic and began selling there within three months of launching online. It’s been the best-selling brand in the whole protein powder category for over two years now.
Our current partners include Soho House Europe, Net-A-Porter and The Lanserhof.
What’s your competitive advantage when it comes to the protein and vegan supplements industry?
Taste. Not compromising on the quality of our ingredients and making delicious healthy products that people look forward to having on a daily basis.
Can you share a story about the biggest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
Something I probably need to get better at is firing people. It sounds harsh and anyone reading this might think I have ice running through my veins, but it’s fair to say I am guilty of holding on to people who are not engaged, committed and right for the job in the hope that things change for the better.
What role has social media played in Form’s success?
Early on we were extremely honoured to have genuine, non-paid support from amazing advocates such as Niomi Smart. It really helped, and continues to help spread brand awareness.
It’s really humbling to see is the amount of user-generated content Form receives. Our customers are our biggest supporters and it fills my heart with joy every time I see a post that authentically recommends us.
When partnering with other companies, it’s all about value alignment and if I like and use the brand to the point of recommending it to a good friend.
We have a policy of not paying for posts and rely solely on authentic support, therefore we only work with creators and influencers who really love the brand and want to be part of our mission.
What do you see as Form’s role within vegan supplements and food product industry?
We want to change the narrative around vegan supplements.
- Vegan is not gross
- Performance can only be defined by you
- Nutrition is not just about calories and macros, but how you nourish your whole self
- Educating and empowering people to make their own choices and not playing on their body insecurities and telling them they are not good enough unless they look some kind of way.
What do you find is the main misconception when it comes to vegan protein?
It doesn’t offer a complete amino acid profile. Our protein blends are made up of organic pea, brown rice, hemp and algae proteins which, combined, comprise all nine essential amino acids.
What are you most excited about within the Vegan scene right now?
Vegan doughnuts and Greg’s vegan sausage rolls.
Surround yourself with passionate, smart and proactive people.
Speaking from experience, a co-founder or an experienced mentor will also help to share the load of leading and bring you support. Then, make sure your customers know how much you care about them.
If you don’t truly and deeply care about who your product is for, find a 9-5 job elsewhere.
Starting a business is not about you, it’s about who you serve.