During Trekking, When Sampat Sisters Devised a Breakthrough Idea of Providing Energy Through Bars
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Back in 2014, when Anindita Sampat was in New York, working with Ernst & Young, and her younger sister Suhasini was pursuing an exchange program at Wharton Business School, they became obsessed with trekking. During such trips, they realized carrying energy bars was much easier than large packages of food supplies.
According to them, New York changed the way they looked at food. Visiting local stores, they saw there are so many healthy alternatives that suit the Indian palette too. “We decided to plunge into making healthy snack bars for Indian consumers,” says Anindita.
The duo focused on packing high-protein bars with natural ingredients and zero preservatives. “There are several recipes available online and we almost tried all, before conceptualizing the final composition,” she explains. The snack bars consist of whole grains, complex carbohydrate, seeds, nuts and protein boost. Meanwhile, the protein bars contain a high percentage of whole grains, including millets, nuts, seeds and proteins derived from whey, lentils and almond. They even roped few chefs and food consultants to further advise them. “Unlike other players - RiteBite and Nature’s Value, we do not add cornstarch, additives or added vitamins,” she adds. Post compilation, they distributed those among friends at their Yoga class. It was an instant hit. The Yoga enthusiast sisters named the bars as Yoga Bar. The initial challenge for them was to figure out how to go about the business, in terms of technical aspects that it involved. Also, it was really a tedious task to convince the retailers. This meant knocking on several doors. Suhasini recalls visiting the Google office to persuade them to stock Yoga Bar in their cafeteria. “They said, they weren’t certain if they would. At that point, I told them that if a company like Google doesn’t encourage start-ups, then who would,” she further says. Today, they have a 100 per cent year-on-year growth and an average monthly sales of over Rs 50 lakh.
“The online acceptance helped us save certain shelves, in the modern day retail spaces,” sighs Anindita. According to Suhasini, initially, they used to sell 2,000 bars, but now they are clocking 20,000 to 30,000 bars on an average, in Bengaluru. Of this, 30 to 40 per cent bars are sold online and rest 60 per cent of them through offline retail markets, such as HealthKart, Bigbasket, Nature’s Basket and Namdhari’s Fresh to name a few, along with giants like Google, LinkedIn and InMobi.
Their snack/energy bar sells at Rs 40, while the 20gm pack of the protein bar costs Rs 125 each. Lately, they have even bagged their first angel round from Fireside Ventures.
“The New York experience was an eye-opener. We decided to plunge into making healthy snack bars for our Indian consumers."