Après un master en commerce international et un mastère spécialisé en Communications, Laure débute sa carrière en agence de communication à Paris.
Vita Mojo has developed a concept to respond to the ever-growing demand for more personalised nutrition and healthier eating options. Thanks to their technology, customers can adjust the ingredients and the quantity of any of the suggested dishes and check the nutritional information. They can then order online or using in-store iPad and collect their meal from one of the restaurants. We had the chance to speak to Nick Popovici and Stefan Catiou, co-founders of Vita Mojo, and learn more about Vita Mojo’s concept and technology.
Q. What is the unique concept of Vita Mojo?
Vita Mojo is a food-tech startup. Our product is SaaS (Software as a service) for restaurants. We also operate three fast-casual restaurants which act as showrooms and testing grounds for new technological innovation and delicious recipes!
Q. What is the story behind Vita Mojo?
The idea was the brainchild of co-founders Nick Popovici and Stefan Catiou. As individuals, they are both motivated by doing something that improves the lives of other people however, they played with a lot of ideas in the beginning. Vita Mojo as we know it was influenced in part by Nicks personal story. Nick used to work in finance but suffered health problems. Long story short, he was able to overcome these through a change of diet. During that process, however, he went through the pain that anyone on a diet (enforced or otherwise) goes through in the city – You’re forced to ask for the ingredient list when you go out, you have to constantly ask the waiter what is in the meals, and if they can make it differently. Anyone that’s had to do this knows how inconvenient and annoying it is.
Vita Mojo was designed as a way to remove any hassle from eating by allowing everyone the freedom to eat how they want to with complete ease.
Vita Mojo was ‘launched’ around three years ago now, with food being cooked at home and Nick delivering the food to friends (and anyone that would try it) on his scooter. Endless, countless loops of feedback have refined Vita Mojo into the concept we know and love today.
Q. What technology brings to the business?
Our technology shapes the Vita Mojo concept and is what allows everyone to have their very own bespoke meal in only 3-5 minutes. It is the backbone of what we do from the client-facing interface, all the way to the back of the house.
Q. How technology enhance personalised nutrition?
In short, technology brings a lot of transparency. You can easily see exactly what goes in your meals, avoid it if necessary and choose the exact portions you want with ease. These all seem fairly easy points, but it is an experience that would be a lot harder to achieve if we didn’t have the technology behind it. It’s also a means to make meaningful food recommendations for an individual especially if you link it up with wider factors such as exercise levels, personal goals, and even DNA.
Q. What is the nature of the partnership with DNAfit and how does it help to create perfectly personalised meals?
DNAFIt is a partner that fits seamlessly with our ethos of having transparency of information. Currently, users can opt into sharing their information with Vita Mojo. We can then make recommendations that will help you eat better for your genetics. For example, if you are a slow caffeine metabolism, we won’t be pushing those coffees on you.
Q. Can you tell us about your app?
We do indeed have an app and its super useful for ordering ahead or just generally when you are on the go. People order when they are walking to the store, before their run or gym session or just whenever they are hungry. Naturally, it’s linked to all your information on the website so it’s a very handy addition.
Fitbit integration is something we have done but it’s still with a select group of beta testers. Integrations like this and with DNAFit are great for anyone that wants to make food choices based on wider information about their DNA or indeed activity level.
Q. How do you cope with customisation in the kitchen?
Making hundreds of fully customised meals over the lunchtime rush definitely has its challenges. However, we designed our operations and technology to work together from the start rather than making the front end and then figuring out how we could make it work. This intertwined design allows us to make mass-customisation in a fast-casual setting a reality.
Q. Vita Mojo changes the game of lunch. How did you communicate on your concept before the launch and after to make sure people would get it?
When we first started, we didn’t really know how people would adopt the concept. We thought maybe a few percent would personalise their meals (it’s over 95%) and we didn’t know which features people would like or not. Listening to our customers’ feedback over the years, it has become evident that it really is a personalised system and people really use it in a way that makes sense for themselves. I think the biggest hurdle though is communicating to first timers that there are no restrictions and that you really can have anything in any quantity you want!
Q. Could you tell us about your crowdfunding campaign?
Crowdfunding was a really exciting time for us. We raised £3.2 million through crowd cube, through companies like Elior, who is our largest investors, but mainly through individuals, the majority of which are our customers – which is really lovely.
Q. What are the future plans for Vita Mojo?
We truly believe that we are at the tip of the iceberg when it comes to personalised eating, so we are very excited to see how the landscape will evolve. As for ourselves, we are soon to be opening up a new site and we are leasing out our software to other restaurants.
There are a lot of exciting developments for the Vita Mojo brand, especially through partners like Elior. There is nothing immediate on the table in terms of international plans but it certainly could be a possibility.