During a cold day in 2011, Zeeshan Kaba was suffering because of his allergies. Reaching for a cough drop, the idea came to him for AllergEase. With so many options for cough drops, Zeeshan wondered why there wasn't any “quick fixes” for allergies. Along with his cousin Dr. Omar Javery, they began to develop their idea AllergEase, an all-natural lozenge that relives the symptoms of allergies.
After a year, they had distribution with major retailers and the year after that reached $1M in revenue.
Why did you start your business?
The idea for AllergEase came from a personal need. I suffer from allergies and I was shocked that the current market place did not have a fast acting lozenge based solution. On top of that, there aren’t many natural options that don’t come with the side effects of the chemical based drugs. I think the best ideas stem from a personal need and AllergEase came from just that. AllergEase has become a passion project for me. It’s not every day you get to work on a product that helps people live a better and more fulfilling life.
What do you feel are some future trends in the market?
I think people are very interested in looking for alternatives for chemical based drugs. The all-natural and organic trend is here to stay and natural health remedies sector is growing. If you can avoid putting chemicals in your body, why wouldn’t you? People want a way to fight back that doesn’t involve side-effects and chemicals. Natural remedies provide a clean way for people to live their lives without being slowed down.
What is AllergEase and how does it work?
AllergEase is the first all-natural lozenge that is clinically proven to help increase nasal flow rates. Our lozenges are helping people with indoor and outdoor allergies. We just had a clinical trial done recently that shows within 15 minutes of taking AllergEase, our lozenges help to reduce a runny nose and sneezing. Our product is certified organic by Quality Assurance International and it is a portable and fast acting way for people to take on their indoor and outdoor allergies. We’ve put together a proprietary blend of herbs that have been used for centuries to help people with allergy related symptoms. We also added some organic honey and a touch of menthol to our lozenges.
How did you get some of the major distribution deals? Who are they with?
We went to major trade shows and met with the cough, cold, and allergy category managers for the major retailers. We were given between 15-25 minutes to discuss our product, discuss the benefits, talk about our marketing plan, and answer any questions the category manager might have about the product and the company. Currently we have distribution with Walgreens, DuaneReade, Amazon.com, Winn-Dixie, Bi-Lo, Supervalu, Meijer, Giant Eagle, Cardinal Health, Bartell Drugs, Hy-Vee, Drugstore.com, Wakefern, and we’re growing our distribution every month!
What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners?
Make sure you’re really passionate about your idea and what you’re about to set out to accomplish. When you’re an entrepreneur, you’re bound to go through a ton of down events or periods. Passion is the one thing that can help you overcome any situation you and/or your company is facing. Structure and discipline, have it, learn it, and stick to it. Create schedules, to do lists, and goals because they help to put structure in your life, which leads to a higher level of focus and efficiency.