Editor's spotlight: Startup Focus

Icelandic sailor jumps on the wave of probiotic food and drink with versatile powders

By Nikki Cutler

- Last updated on GMT

Wellness Lab probiotic teas
Wellness Lab probiotic teas
An Icelandic sailor has set sail on a mission to bring the benefits of collagen and probiotics to the everyday consumer with a range of health-boosting powders that can be added to teas, cakes, soups, smoothies and more.

UK based Elin Traustadottir, founder and director of Wellness Lab ltd., began to float the idea of creating health products after being inspired by her ailments caused by sailing.

“I wanted to do a sailing inspired brand which would appeal to sailors and other sports people. Sailing is quite labour intensive and you deal with sunburn, hair damage, joint problems and your hands suffer from pulling ropes.

“It inspired me to start a brand of sports and health products that I could take myself. To create products that contained no preservatives or other artificial ingredients was my main focus.”

The former interior designer began her business venture in 2017 with a Norwegian Omega 3 cod liver oil – something with which she was well versed as it is a staple supplement in ​Iceland - shortly followed by a range of sustainably farmed marine collagen powders made with no additives.

The powders dissolve in hot drinks and soups and can be added to smoothies or in cooking and baking. 

The popularity of being able to add health benefits to food and drink was clear so Traustadottir began researching the world of probiotics and realised this was another rapidly expanding health category.

“I knew my customers didn’t want to take capsules, they want to get good nutrition through their diet.

Elin Traustadottir
Elin Traustadottir

“And looking at the wider probiotics market I can see the strength of putting probiotics into food products. I see this is a real trend and it’s a wave I wanted to get on.

I wanted to sell something that could be added to a whole range of food and drink including teas, lattes, soups, cakes and smoothies but this meant it had to be able to survive all those applications."

The energetic entrepreneur discovered a probiotic by Ganaden which offered 'amazing versatility' and buoyed with a £1.5k grant from the EU funded programme Medilink East Midlands, Traustadottir created three flavours of probiotic powder: Matcha, Berry, and turmeric.   

Probiotics in food service

The probiotic range is available for wholesale via the website wellnesslabltd.com but Traustadottir can also see her probiotic powders working wonders in food service.

“The product would be a great addition to any vegan friendly café, independent health and leisure centers and spas.

"There's a cafe in Nottingham I'm working with that wants to make smoothies, lattes and even soups and cakes with probiotics.

"I think this could be an expanding area for the use of probiotics - cafes, bistros, even spas and leisure centres - of course many of them already sell super food lattes and teas but offering this next level of health will help them to pull in health conscious consumers.”

Future plans

The entrepreneur plans to remain in the health food and drink space with her future innovations and would like to create a protein hot chocolate to fill the a gap in the sports nutrition category.

"I'm going to do a vegan protein hot chocolate drink and I might put probiotics in that.

"I think hot drink powders could have more beneficial elements to them to make them healthier and not so full of preservatives and sweeteners.

"I would also like to do a smoothie powder range."


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