Author’s text: Whenever I’m at the grocery store to buy eggs, I have to admit that I usually go for the cheaper ones that don’t seem as well bad. I do not buy them based on their grade, size or nutritional content. After all, once they are cooked, they look and taste the same to my amateur eyes and my unrefined palate.
I can’t help but think how disappointing my attitude towards eggs could be for the founders of Fornix Foodstuffs.
Led by Paul Lim, they are a group of investors with a vision of investing in nutritious and healthy food because they care personally about what they eat.
They created Fornix Foodstuffs for the research and distribution of food, food supplements and cosmetic products enriched with a specific pigment based on algae.
One of their products is OnZen Eggs, an idea that emerged when they discovered the nutritional benefits of the algae pigment that could be passed from hens to eggs.
This pigment is known as astaxanthin.
From the ocean to… the egg?
Astaxanthin is a reddish pigment that occurs naturally in some algae and causes the pink or red color in various seafood such as salmon, trout, lobster and shrimp.
Astaxanthin is one of the best-known things to be an antioxidant, and is said to help all kinds of illnesses, from high cholesterol to rheumatoid arthritis.
On the OnZen Eggs website, they list the properties of astaxanthin, along with a few:
- 6000x stronger than vitamin C,
- 550x stronger than vitamin E,
- 550x stronger than green tea,
- 17x more powerful than grape seed extract, etc.
“We were excited when we were exposed to astaxanthin as a very powerful antioxidant because it is rare in Malaysia to consume seaweed directly,” Paul told Vulcan Post.
“So, we had the idea of introducing astaxanthin into the community through a common food: eggs.”
The way they deliver benefits to consumers is to give their chickens food enriched with the pigment.
After a trial and error process, they finally had eggs to test, and were delighted to find that their eggs had higher nutritional value than commercial eggs on the market.
In total, they have invested at least RM 2 million in the production of OnZen eggs.
“To be very honest, it’s a revolutionary idea, and like new products, investments are needed,” said Paul.
Papers in support of their word
On the OnZen Eggs website, they have a copy of their certificate of analysis for the nutritional value of their eggs as proof that they are not just using buzzwords marketing.
The content of their eggs is tested by Vet Food Agro Diagnostics (M) Sdn Bhd (VFAD) based on strict standards provided by Japan.
They also source specifically from Japan because of the consistent quality and reliability of the astaxanthin content.
Thanks to the specific formula of their ratio between chicken food and astaxanthin, their eggs have a nutritional value which outweighs the cost of the egg at around US $ 0.25 (around RM1.07), explained Paul.
At RM20 for a package of 20 eggs (RM1 / egg) and RM27 for a package of 30 (RM0.90 / egg), it is certainly more expensive than what I am used to, because my purchases of eggs do not exceed usually not RM5 for a pack of 10 (RM0.50 / egg).
In addition to having a reddish yellow, OnZen Eggs’ eggs are also said to have a creamier, smoother texture, and it is recommended to try their boiled eggs without soy sauce or pepper to really taste them.
You don’t have to be a healthy nut to eat better
Personally, I became quite desensitized to products marketed as having X and Y health benefits because I was not patient and consistent enough with them to see the results, so I wondered how OnZen Eggs would acquire customers who could be like me.
“The nutritional effect is long-term, it’s not something that shows immediate results,” said Paul, but added:
One good thing for us is that we market eggs. If you are taking eggs, why not take eggs produced from healthy chicken?
Paul Lim, OnZen Eggs
I had a hard time challenging this simplified logic. While I’m still not influenced, there are certainly more concerned customers willing to pay a higher price for switching to healthier eggs.
For example, Paul shared that sales have been stable over the months, with OnZen eggs producing an average of 200,000 to 300,000 eggs per month.
Their eggs can be found in physical stores like Jaya Grocer, BIG, Village Grocer, Oliver Gourmet, etc., as well as purchased online here.
Apparently, 2 other brands have also started producing astaxanthin-filled eggs since the beginning of OnZen eggs, but rather than seeing them as competitors, Paul is excited to share a vision.
Their efforts are concentrated in the Klang Valley for now, but they aim to spread to other states with the ultimate aim of recreating the vision of OnZen Eggs with egg producers abroad.
Conclusion: I assumed that if I ate eggs more regularly, I would be willing to shell out (no pun intended) a little more money to invest in quality eggs. It would be more worth it, because maybe I could finally see some health benefits, but it would still take a long time to really convince myself that it is really worth it, and that’s just my point of view at this subject. To each his happiness!
- You can read more about other Malaysian startups we wrote about here.
Featured Image Credit: OnZen Eggs
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