The Concept Of Life with Aduna Superfood Founder

Written by: Eleanor Hoath


Healf Journal

'Aduna' means life or world in Wolof, the language of The Gambia and Senegal, where Andrew’s superfood story began. Founded following a deep-rooted health journey, Aduna combines superfood nutrition with sustainable sourcing, to bridge the gap between prioritising your own health and making a positive impact on others, leading to their mantra ‘Healthier you, Healthier world. We sat down with founder, Andrew Hunt to find out more about the healf certified brand.

Q) Andrew, what inspired the creation of Aduna?

I started off my working life in advertising, creating and launching brands for big multinationals. Over time, I came to realise that I was putting all my energy into promoting products I didn’t care about or actively disagreed with, and it didn’t feel good. I asked myself “is this all I am good for?” The questioning turned to an existential crisis, and with other things happening in my life, spiralled into a full-on breakdown. I ended up unemployed and clinically depressed, plagued by a deep sense of worthlessness. I tried everything to get out of it, ranging from antidepressants to faith healing, but nothing made any difference.

Until one day, I had a random phone call from a family friend, a farmer and social entrepreneur, offering me the opportunity to volunteer my marketing skills to a social enterprise in The Gambia, working with remote smallholder farming communities. It is a personal miracle that after six months of darkness and depression, it took just two weeks in The Gambia to come back to life. I ended up staying for four years, becoming inspired by a completely different kind of business; one that actually makes a positive impact on the lives of people who really needed it. 

Q) Baobab is one of the main ingredients that your products were built on, can you tell us why?

I first discovered baobab during my time in The Gambia, where it’s an important ingredient in the local culture. My Gambian Auntie Fanta used to make a delicious baobab juice for me every week, and I would add it to my protein shakes before and after the gym. Although, at that time I wasn’t aware of its nutritional properties, I could just tell it was good for me.

I ended up doing some work with The Baobab Fruit Company of Senegal, and what I learned blew my mind. First of all, the nutritional profile – it has six times the Vitamin C of an orange and twice the calcium of milk. It’s almost 60% fibre, half of which is prebiotic, so incredibly nourishing for your gut health. And the best way of describing the taste is like “healthy sherbet”. But what inspired me most was the potential for positive impact. This is a wild harvested crop; every single tree is community-owned and wild harvested, meaning it generates income for women in very remote and poor rural communities. It was then that I knew what I wanted to do with the rest of my life – spread the baobab love! And that was the dawn of Aduna.

We introduced baobab to the UK way back in 2012. In the ten years since, we have worked with local NGOs to build an entirely new value chain, from remotest Northern Ghana, right here to London. As of 2023 we are now working with more than 3000 women in 300 co-operatives to harvest, collect and process the fruit. We have undertaken both organic and FairWild certification and we know exactly who our supply comes from and how much income has been generated. The success of our model has lead to partnerships with organisations like UNCCD, African Union, WWF, Business Fights Poverty and many more. We have also planted more than 30,000 baobab trees. I think this work we do behind the scenes, in the sustainable sourcing of our ingredients, is what makes us truly unique within the market. When you buy an Aduna product you can genuinely know that you are also making a positive impact on people planet. Not just greenwashing but the real thing. 

"I've seen first hand the impact and importance of the supply chain and the agricultural works that is so important, this is my upmost priority"

At healf, we're very particular about the products we select for our customers so we love how your formulations were built with a Nutritional Therapist, why was this important to you?

Although everyone at Aduna is passionate about health, we are not qualified nutritionists or dieticians. In creating our first range of blends, it was so important to us that we combine our expertise in sustainable sourcing, with some really heavyweight expertise in nutrition. We are so happy to have had the chance to work with the amazing Farzannah Nasser, who is a leading practitioner in gut health, microbiome and immunity. We also love that her heritage is Indian Kenyan, meaning she came with a pre-existing passion for both baobab and supporting women in Africa.

So we worked together with Farzannah and a chef to develop our range of 5 Advanced Blends. Each blend contains our “Essential Superfood Formula”, which includes nootropics, adaptogens and prebiotics, like Lion’s Mane, moringa and, of course, lots of baobab! As well as being functional they are also delicious, which makes them super easy to integrate into your daily breakfast routine! 

Q) Do you have a favourite Aduna product? If so, which and how do you use it?

Well, it would be fair to say that baobab was my first superfood love. I mean come on, it's The Tree of Life from The Lion King and its’ transforming people’s lives, you can’t get much better than that! But when it comes to the products, I just adore our new blends. I'm taking note of the 30 plant challenge at the moment and I put a teaspoon of all five blends in my Aduna Superfood Breakfast Smoothie, meaning I am hitting that number before 9am every day.

Q) Aduna was created out of your own challenges with mental health. What are your tips for mental health, especially for men?

From my time on earth I think I only really have one piece of wisdom, which is that the best things that ever happened to me came packaged as disasters. Sometimes we have to go through tough times, or even a dark night of the soul, in order to really know ourselves, let go of whatever was not working, and become self-expressed. Inner work has been an important part of my journey, and crucial to uncovering and embracing those parts of the self we have neglected or been ashamed of.

These days, to maintain my equilibrium, I focus on a healthy routine. Things I have ring-fenced include daily exercise, meditation, spending time with my little boy and, last but not least, my superfood smoothies! The biggest obstacle is the feeling of not have enough time or self-worth to these things for ourselves. These are essentially acts of self-love. And self-love feels good!

I also like doing fun stuff and eating indulgent food; life is about balance!

Q) What does ‘healf’ mean to you

I break it down into my physical, emotional, and spiritual health - and see the connection between them all. You can have a superfood smoothie every morning, make it to the gym seven times a week, and still be unhealthy because you're emotionally unhealthy. So it’s being conscious of what is really running the show, and doing the work needed in the right areas, which definitely does include nutrition. I call it ‘conscious wellness’, and it’s an area that we plan to explore with the brand in the coming months and years. 


This article is for informational purposes only, even if and regardless of whether it features the advice of physicians and medical practitioners. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice. The views expressed in this article are the views of the expert and do not necessarily represent the views of Healf