Siröpa’s co-founders, Maëlle Giroux and Valentino Skoda, hit upon the idea of making fruit-based syrups that are mixed with water after arriving in Chile and seeing the high soda consumption. “After a few months in Chile, we realized that syrups did not exist for individuals. In bars, some bartenders use syrups from major French brands to make cocktails,” Giroux said.
“We therefore considered a product that would combine taste and health in order to offer an alternative to the Chilean beverage market. “We made a list of products and ideas that could be interesting to develop in this country. Creating 100% natural syrups based on dietary fiber caught our attention, so we embarked on the adventure!”
The entrepreneurs set up the company in 2017 using personal funds and in just a few months won a competition organized by CORFO, Chile’s trade and business promotion agency, which put it in touch with CREAS, a research and development center with a focus on healthy food products, based in Valparaiso.
Working with a team of food engineers, Siröpa formulated its natural fruit syrup enriched with a blend of vegetable-based soluble and non-soluble inulin fibers. The start-up got a further vote of confidence last year from CORFO which gave it CLP$25 million (US$31,500) in seed funding.
Siröpa currently has four flavors in its range - raspberry, kiwi & banana, lemon, and mint – but is in the process of developing more. “Summer is coming, and we try to offer as much seasonal fruit as possible,” Giroux said.
Free from warning labels
The early-stage start-up – it launched just a few months ago – said sales are starting from a small base but are growing. Giroux said the biggest challenge so far is introducing a relatively unknown product to a new market. However, she believes Siröpa has an edge thanks to its clean label formulation.
“It’s a product free from chemical residues with a higher nutritional value than common products and a more intense flavor,” she told FoodNavigator-LATAM.
The syrups contain fruit, water, cane sugar, dietary fiber of vegetable origin and natural essences. One hundred milliliters contain around 49 g of sugar but the company does not have to add a front-of-pack warning label for high sugar content.
“Our product is considered as a reconstituted product, i.e. the syrups must be mixed with water to be consumed. Once mixed, a glass of syrup contains no more than 5% sugar. In addition, it is a product rich in dietary fiber.“
Inulin is a soluble fiber that comes from chicory, with prebiotic benefits that optimize intestinal transit and calcium absorption. Virtually tasteless and slightly sweet, it is ideal for adding to juices, milk, coffee, tea or yogurt,“ said Giroux.