We caught up with Damian Soong, co-founder of Form Nutrition, to discuss the motivation behind his delicious, award-winning vegan protein brand.
How did Form Nutrition come about?
I saw a gap in the market, but I also saw a challenge. The protein space was extremely crowded, but no one was really elevating the concept of nutrition and there was no plant-based brand that really spoke to me or that tasted great.
Most plant-based products were additions to dairy brands and most brands were positioned towards the macho gym crowd with big plastic tubs, or towards hippies with unimaginative pictures of ingredients and flowers.
There was nothing aspirational and performance-driven. No one was thinking of nutrition as more than a protein shake after exercise and I wanted to elevate it into something more than that. I figured there must be some space for a new brand with new ideas.
What makes Form protein different to other vegan protein powders?
It tastes great!
It does great - with every product purchased we give a meal via our Form Feeding Fund at Bansang Hospital in The Gambia
Form is more than just protein. It’s a platform of products of course, but also content and community.
Form is a B Corporation, the first UK protein brand to achieve such an accolade and join brands such and Patagonia and TOMS in using business as a force for good.
The formulations are more than just protein, utilising other functional ingredients or superfoods to take your shake to the next level.
Why did you opt for using plant protein over whey protein?
Well, there’s the planet and animals – but even from a selfish point of view, it tastes better and our multi-source plant-based blend provides a complete amino acid profile just like whey. So really it’s a simple switch you can make with no compromises, only benefits for you and those around you.
Discover our Form Nutrition range >
Lots of customers ask us for advice on whether to have protein before or after a workout. What’s your view on this?
The anabolic window is a bit of a myth, what’s most important is your protein intake over the 24 hours. A post-workout shake could certainly be a good way to ensure your habits keep that 24-hour protein intake up. We’ve written more on this here.
In addition to the new tasty protein flavours, you have also launched various food supplement capsules. Can we expect any exciting product expansions in the near future?
Our hottest capsule is our ZZZZs sleep supplement. This combines 5HTP with calming amino acids and the minerals magnesium and zinc. 5HTP is the precursor for serotonin and melatonin production while the amino acids are proven to reduce sleep onset time. Sleep is such a cornerstone of all other performance. It’s amazing to read the customer reviews and see the impact this product is having on people's lives.
In terms of new products, watch this space! We have lots of things in the pipeline and as always it’s about doing it in the Form way and providing products that solve real issues and create emotional connections.
You recently achieved B-Corp status - can you tell us more about what that involves?
Giving and social responsibility is woven into Form’s DNA. Even at its pre-launch, we gave a meal for every sign-up. It’s important to acknowledge the luxury of our position when so many people don’t have the conditions for a healthy life. If our values are about health and wellness, I don’t think we can really ignore that.
It’s a rigorous certification covering everything from how we treat the environment in our supply chain to how we treat employees. It’s great therefore to be recognized for how we run our business and we’re very proud to be a B Corp.
What advice do you have for those looking to start their wellness journey?
Start slowly, be gentle on yourself. Just make moves in the right direction and things compound. For example, you could move in the direction of plant-based with a few meals a week, and that has a big impact. You don’t need to be 100% vegan and sometimes those absolutes aren’t helpful. Apply that to everything; the gym or whatever exercise you enjoy. Don’t be too hard on yourself.
What is your favourite recipe using Form protein and which flavour is your go-to?
We put so much work into the flavouring so I love that you don’t need to do much. My favourite is Performance Choc Peanut, almond milk, ice and half a banana. It’s like a milkshake!
Finally, tell us a bit about yourself
I grew up by the sea near Brighton on the South Coast. I moved to London after University and call that my home now.
Favourite way to sweat?
At the gym with weights. You’ll occasionally find me on a Peleton bike, at a yoga studio or playing tennis, though.
Favourite way to chill out?
Reading, music, walks in the park.
Discover our Form Nutrition Range >