Industry

This Guy Founded a Filipino Company to Get You to Switch to Plant-Based Cleaning Products

They're slightly more expensive, but Bryan Chua says they're worth it.
IMAGE WONDERHOME NATURALS
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There has probably never been a moment in history when people have been more obsessed about cleaning their homes as we are now. Although science says the coronavirus is mostly airborne, that hasn’t stopped many of us from constantly making sure our homes are free from germs, bacteria, and viruses. 

Commercial cleaners do the job, for sure, but one guy is taking cleanliness a step further by betting on a line of Filipino-made home and personal care products that are "green" as well as "clean." Bryan Chua is the founder and president of Boosterfood Inc, a company that has recently introduced a range of sustainable, plant-based cleaning products.

Wonderhome Naturals products are plant-based, and they come inside more earth-friendly packaging

Photo by Wonderhome Naturals.

“We know that homecare is a tough segment to enter because of the strong affinity of consumers towards the current chemical-based cleansers which is quite effective in cleaning their homes,” Chua tells Esquire Philippines. “But we know that if we started a business and a brand it has to be for the future, and it has to solve problems that are not being fulfilled by the products of today.”

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The result is Wonderhome Naturals, a product line that Chua says will try to revolutionize how people clean their homes in our country by relying on locally sourced plant-based biodegradable ingredients “that actually get the toughest job done.” He adds that the products also help clean our larger home—i.e. planet Earth—through sustainability and safety features, which is still quite unique in the market for now. 

Chua, who is a graduate of De La Salle University, worked for a short while in the corporate world before starting his entrepreneurial journey at age 24 with a company that distributed various fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) to retail outlets like supermarkets and sari-sari stores. A few years later, together with a business partner, he founded Bullseye Solutions Inc., a company that delivers digital integrated care to healthcare facilities in the country.

Bryan Chua is a serial entrepreneur leading the campaign for more sustainable and environment-friendly home cleaning solutions with Wonderhome Naturals

Photo by Wonderhome Naturals.
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“It’s now a recognized industry leader in the field of digital healthcare and radiography in the country,” he says proudly.

In 2012, Chua established Boosterfoods Inc, which makes and markets a variety of homegrown local brands like Cusina Natural Dishwashing, Booster C Energy Shot, 123 Baby Natural Gel Concentrate, among others. The company is also the local distributor of international brands (such as such as Key Coffee Japan, Mamas and Papas UK, and Love to Dream Australia) in the country.

The idea to create a plant-based and earth-friendly line of home cleaners stemmed from simply wanting to offer a product that would “equal or exceed” the efficacy of the more commercial, chemical-based cleaners. Chua says the company’s research and development team used purely plant-based materials and ingredients, such as concentrated versions of the Philippine coconut, for the actual cleaning solutions. The mixture also contains plant probiotics that produce enzymes that protects surfaces for up to 72 hours after application.

Wonderhome Natural's All Purpose Cleaner contains probiotics that disinfects and protects surfaces for up to 72 hours

Photo by Wonderhome Naturals.
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As for the containers, Chua says they’re made of about 70 percent ocean-bound plastic—essentially a recycled raw material that can substitute virgin raw material—and about 30 percent bio-wheat, which is natural and organic wheat straw fiber. In addition, customers can send the used packaging materials back to the company for a refill or properly dispose of them.

Chua admits that, as of now, it is much more expensive to use greener methods and materials compared to traditional chemical ingredients for cleaning solutions and packaging.

“I would say in terms of our cost, going the green route in terms of all the packaging and ingredients will easily add around 30% to our overall cost versus your standard home cleaners,: Chua says. “We shoulder most of this additional cost but ask our customer to share a little bit by pricing our products very slightly—about five to 10 percent—above market leading chemical-based cleansers.  

“We tried very hard to price our products in a way that will not alienate current homecare cleanser users to switch to a safer and sustainable homecare brand,” he adds.

Wonderhome Naturals has a range of home, personal, and lifestyle cleaning solutions

Photo by Wonderhome Naturals.
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For now, the Wonderhome product line includes specific products in home care (laundry, kitchen, home cleaning), personal care (hand wash, hand sanitizer, linen spray), and lifestyle (organic cleaners for the yoga mat, gadget and desk, and poo spray).

“We just chose products that people are used to in terms of cleaning their homes, but instead of using harmful chemicals to clean, we went the natural and sustainable way,” Chua says. “In trying to change someone to a greener lifestyle, the first step is always the most important and hardest step and we feel our complete homecare product line is a good representation of what it takes to clean a Filipino household.”

The company chief adds that Wonderhome answers the need for a line of natural products that covers nearly every aspect of a household’s cleaning needs at a fair and reasonable price.

“So this was part of our strategy from the start: a complete sustainable homecare cleaning line that works, at a price that is easy for you to switch over to,” he says.

Products come in upcycled plastic and plant-based packaging

Photo by Wonderhome Naturals.
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A trip to the grocery or supermarket will reveal a selection of homecare products that is still very much composed of chemical-based brands, so it might take a while before greener, more sustainable solutions overtake them. But Chua says a small market for more sustainable products isn’t a deterrent for them to keep pushing.

“We think the market is ready for a change to greener alternatives, as long as cleaning effectivity is not compromised,” he says. “ Awareness for the need to go green is very high and when given the chance to choose for themselves, I feel that more and more consumers will be enlightened to go green moving forward. We are really leading the charge in this green cleaning revolution, because it is still so new, but I do hope one day that it will become the norm in home cleaning.”

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Paul John Caña
Associate Editor, Esquire Philippines
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