Battling an Autoimmune Disease Inspired This Entrepreneur to Launch an Organic Food Brand

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Based in Bangalore food tech start-up hazelnut yogi was born from the personal journey of its founder Pallavi Gupta.

Few years ago, pallavi was diagnosed with the lupus autoimmune disease, which has no cure in Western medicine. It was during this time that she followed a diet inspired by Ayurveda and healthy eating.

Her journey has led her to discover the incredible power of clean eating and how food can be used to manage chronic conditions.

As her disorder was cured, she doubled down on her research into healthy eating. In 2018, pallavi spear hazelnut yogia collection of recipes and diet plans discovered by Pallavi.

She thinks the biggest misconception about clean eating is people thinking they’ll have to change their palette or give up certain foods.

“On the contrary, when we go back to our roots and understand that food was naturally organic and healthy at one time. It was delicious, cooked with love and full of nutrition. It’s time we relearned the full circle of our history and our food practices,” says the founder and CEO of Nutty Yogi.

That’s how the Nutty Yogi started offering healthier alternatives to everyday life. It offers a range of over 200 healthy and organic food products in categories such as daily essentials, healthy snacks, condiments, flour and flour mixes, breakfast mixes, super powders and other immunity enhancing products. All of these products are produced in-house.

According to the startup, the raw materials for its products are locally sourced. Nutty Yogi sources apples, nuts and pink salt from the Himalayasbuckwheat and all the super grains of Rajasthanfruits and berries of Nainitalbajra and makkai of Rajasthan and Gujaratjowar of Karnatakarice Kerala and Tamil Nadu and black rice from the eastern regions of India.

“We serve you what our grandmothers would have served us without thinking twice! This is how we define our standards. No preservatives, no additives, no chemicals,” says Pallavi.

“We use healthier alternatives like dates, honey and coconut sugar. We do not use any of the industry names where the sugar comes from. You get what you read on the label. No industry jargon, you get what you should be eating,” She adds.

The startup claims to serve over a million customers through its platform every year. It has more than two lakh (200,000) orders per month and has sold 10 million products until now.

Nutty Yogi says his repeat customer rate is 52 percent.

“Currently we are selling in all popular e-commerce marketplaces like Amazon, Flipkart, Bigbasket, our own D2C channel. We serve pan India and get the biggest traction from major cities like Bengaluru, Mumbai, Chennai, NCR, Indore, Nagpur and Kolkata and also getting demand from Singapore, Sydney and Dubai,” says Pallavi.

USP

Pallavi says Nutty Yogi products don’t require consumers to change their palate. They’re healthy substitutes for whatever’s in their kitchen without compromising on taste, says the founder.

“Being healthy won’t ruin your budget – healthy foods can be affordable and Nutty Yogi proves it. We don’t just care about ingredients – our mix and recipe preparations make it easy to convert ingredients into nutritious foods. The emotional essence of the brand – food is one of the few pleasures in life that shouldn’t be compromised. We allow you to indulge yourself without overloading your guilt bank,” says Pallavi.

“We are unique because we follow the pulse of consumers and evolve our range with consumer tastes and trends. We follow a model in which we provide new products every quarter to meet emerging needs. Recently, we launched diabetes control and donation products,” She adds.

The team

Before launching the Nutty Yogi, pallavi was the co-founder of the Kalandar Mast, a North Indian fast casual restaurant chain based in South India. Where she took care of operations, marketing and the client proposition.

She has finished BE in Electronics and Communication of Thapar Institute of Engineering and Technology, Punjab. She also received a MBA in the marketing of Institute of Management Technology, Ghaziabad.

Currently, the startup has 25 employees.

Funding and monetization

Nutty Yogi was launched with an initial investment of Rs 50 million of the founder.

The clean-label health food brand recently raised Rs 5 billion in seed funding led by Multiply Ventures. It plans to use the funds to expand its footprint beyond a direct-to-consumer model, launching into major brick-and-mortar retailers across the country. The startup also offers new products and will use the funding in the R&D process.

“We have been operating profitably from the start. Currently we are at $2 million ARR. We’re not just positive for EBITDA, we’re positive for PAT,” says Pallavi.

Commenting on product pricing, Pallavi says Nutty Yogi product prices range “anywhere between 49 rupees and 699 rupees. The average price of our product is Rs 149.”

The D2C startup makes money by selling the products through its online and offline platform.

hazelnut yogi

The path to follow

According to a Statistical reportIndia’s FMCG market was valued at $110 billion in 2020. Compared to 2012, the size of the fast moving consumer goods market had tripled. By 2025, the market is expected to reach $220 billion.

Pallavi says the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a tectonic shift in the healthy food market.

“Our biggest challenge came during the COVID period because we were quite young at that time and managing the operations was a difficult task,” comments Pallavi.

In niche spaces, the brand faces competition from players such as True Elements, Conscious Foods, Evolve Snacks, among others.

Speaking of future plans, Pallavi reveals, “Nutty Yogi aspires to become the one-stop-shop natural food brand for all healthy lifestyle needs, both domestically and internationally.

“We offer a healthy after-meal section like Indian energy bars and chikkis,” she adds.


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