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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 11 December 2018

Order healthy groceries to your door from Dubai start-up Plotos

Driven by an aim to fight obesity and diabetes, Plotos promotes healthy eating, including gluten-free and paleo-foods

Two of the founders of Plotos are nutritionist Nadine Tayara, left, Maria Abi Hanna. Courtesy Plotos
Two of the founders of Plotos are nutritionist Nadine Tayara, left, Maria Abi Hanna. Courtesy Plotos

Healthy eating. It’s a movement taking the world by storm, even in the UAE, where fast food franchises have historically reigned supreme. While residents have been hungry for healthy food options for some time, start-ups catering to the eat-clean movement have only really started springing up in the last year or so, and the trend is quickly gaining momentum. Plotos, a digital nutrition and wellness concept, launched earlier this year with its mobile restaurant delivery platform, and only four months later, has introduced a grocery delivery service on its app.

What does “Plotos” mean? Co-founder Nadine Tayara, who is a nutrition consultant and previously worked as a clinical dietitian with Right Bite, explains that she and the other two Plotos founders – Maria Abi Hanna and Mohammed Johmani – were keen to incorporate the world “wealthy” into the name of the business. “We believe health is your greatest wealth,” she says. “We searched for various names and then looked for the meaning of wealth in Latin and discovered it was ‘plotos’.”

Products available on the grocery app include bakery items, cereals and grains, fresh produce, snacks and spreads, pantry staples and beverages, including a selection of gluten-free foods. All items are carefully selected by Plotos founders, who are determined to promote healthy eating habits. “We are here to disrupt the food delivery industry and connect our customers to healthy eats in an easy, innovative and user-friendly way, with the aim to fight obesity, diabetes and other nutrition-related diseases,” says Tayara.

Plotos has partnered with local suppliers like Hapi, The Clean Living Company and Skinny Delights by Right Bite, to provide Dubai residents with grocery items. Each vendor has its own minimum delivery charge, starting from Dh50. In terms of timing, the grocery delivery feature from Plotos isn’t aimed at residents looking for an urgent milk or bread fix. “It is usually more of a ‘planned’ grocery order. It can take anywhere from same-day delivery to no more than 48-hours for the items to be delivered to our customers,” says Tayara.

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While grocery stores generally offer a wide range of foods, the selection from Plotos is more curated, offering nutritious specialty snacks rather than generic fridge-fillers. Some of the foods available include organic beef and chicken bone broths from The Clean Living Company, vegan almond butter and peanut butter spreads from Hearti Grub, cheese and thyme crispy crackers from Brizeles and blueberry nut and raw chocolate hazelnut bars from Skinny Delights by Rite Bite.

The app interface is colourful and easy to use, with a GPS feature that can determine which stockists can deliver to a user’s location.

While the healthy grocery feature is marketed to all UAE residents, right now, most of the Plotos merchants only offer delivery within Dubai. “We are currently in the soft launch of expansion to Abu Dhabi,” says Tayara.

One vendor, My Quality and Convenience, does currently deliver to Abu Dhabi, with a Dh100 minimum order. Its products are limited to a selection of vegetables, including baby carrots, white cabbage, beetroot and spinach, and fruits like apples, blueberries, bananas and avocados. Water – sparkling and mineral – is the only available beverage.

Though there is a chat feature on the app, where users can send queries to an admin user named Zoe from Plotos, upon testing the function, our message was left unanswered.

Naturally, the newly launched feature is still ironing out the kinks, and in addition to extending the paramaters of its delivery service, the founders plan to recruit more suppliers and partners, for both the new grocery section and existing restaurant section.