Want Granny's Nutrition Formula For Your Child? Try These Packaged Food
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This is a time like no other. The awareness around the value of diversity in business, politics, and entertainment has never been so high. It is like a cultural paradigm shift and a change in attitude from lenders, big retailers, government, etc., is notable. That awareness creates new tangible opportunities.
It used to be that the fridge got all the glory when it came to stocking it high with healthy eats. But in the new normal, where grocery trips are few and far between and there's never a guarantee of what's on the shelves, the workhorse of the kitchens is getting its due with the increasing ration of health-conscious food.
Gurugram-based Slurrp Farm—a company that believes millet can fuel an even greater purpose—is a millet-based packaged food brand that was started in 2016 by two mothers, Meghana Narayan and Shauravi Malik, to offer healthy eating options for children. The idea was to bring back super grains such as bajra, jowar, and ragi into their diet.
The brand is empowering millennial moms with a unique combination of goodness-filled choices for their little ones.
As a team, their goal is to inspire people to live a healthier lifestyle by educating them on which products are truly healthy, as well as providing recipes made using clean ingredients. Since we’re all short on time, their products require minimal healthy ingredients and are quick and easy to make.
As a brand that primarily talks to parents, Slurrp Farm has a lot on its plate to aesthetically arrange and experiment with.
They got acquainted five years ago and at the time all their friends started having kids and asking them to bring children’s food bag.
Malik told Entrepreneur India while reminiscing, “And we didn’t have kids at that time so we didn’t understand the scale of the problem. When we had kids ourselves, we realized the need because there is no real innovation as there were the same brands and products in the market. They offer a lot of sugar and maida in them.”
“Meghana and I always joke saying we are grandma tech company because we just want to bring back how grandma’s ate by making it convenient for the consumer by being available, by being tech-savvy in terms of D2C, and by being on the shelves with customers,” Malik shared.
“What happened is that when we started to eat like the West and eating how the rest of the world, we have stopped thinking what food to eat in what season; we only eat wheat and rice with lots of masala and sugar and salt. And you know, she's told me say like the problem of nutrition is on both ends. It's not just poor people in India who are nutrition poor. It's also well-off people being malnourished and being obese. There is this two spectrum in India and one in three children in India falls into one of the two,” she remarked with ringing concern.
And that’s how Slurrp Farm was born because they felt that working parents and people who live a healthy and busy lifestyle, need alternatives.
Instilling important values and lessons in kids about their bodily and mental health, caring for the world around them, and being mindful might feel daunting at times. One wants to make sure the information is easy to glean, kind and careful.
For most kids, the word ‘snack’ conjures up images of a pack of chips, cookies, chocolates, or sugar-filled jellies. Many children graze through the day eating unhealthy snacks that are not specifically targeted for their age.
Children today have access to packaged food more than ever. A quick stop at the supermarket can result in a number of snack packs that are mostly unhealthy. Parents often find it difficult to buy trustworthy, wholesome, healthy, and guilt-free snacks that are suitable for children.
With the long-standing popularity of rice and wheat and their frequent usage in daily meals as well as packaged food products, nutrition experts suggest the need for alternate foods that can fill the nutritional void left by the overconsumption of a few grains, Malik believes.
Children are always the starting point of habit change. So, it is really important for human health outcomes that young children eat well. The way the world has started to eat in the last 30 years it needs to change. One can only change societal habits to conscious eating if they teach children not to eat that from the first day because if you teach people to eat junk food then it's very hard to change. One should eat better from day one and stick to it, as your brain needs rewiring. And while we believe that adults need to eat consciously as well, people really start to think about their diet when they have children, either because of the age where you are putting weight on yourself or because you are responsible for feeding another adult.
With their target audience being children under the age of 10, they decided to focus on the children market: to children and to parents who want to make better choices for the children. They have reached about 700,000 customers over the last five years, on several airlines like AirAsia and SpiceJet and on in every major offline retail store such as Modern Bazar, Reliance Fresh stores in different cities, Amazon, BigBasket, Firstcry, Flipkart, and their own website. They sell on all these channels in India, also in the UAE and Singapore.
Startups focusing on nutritious offerings in the kid’s space are witnessing rapid growth in pandemic times with Indian consumers’ heightened focus on health and immunity-boosting offerings.
The company maintains that they have raised $2 million from multi-stage venture fund Fireside Ventures in its Series A funding round in December.
For Slurrp Farm, the impact of COVID-19 was a double-edged sword. Being a food company, they were allowed to be operational from day one. However, the uncertainty and disruptions in regards to logistics were major hurdles they had to deal with.
Under lockdown, consumer behavior and content consumption patterns have shifted to a certain degree and to be able to identify such patterns is critical in terms of a crisis. This is essential to pivot marketing plans, which rely heavily on empathy, according to the consumer needs, the team feels.
Once the logistics opened, that they saw a big spike and then the revenue tripled from pre-COVID to date and broke even.
So in some ways, COVID helped people become conscious about buying from smaller brand local and has made everybody introspect about being healthy and eating local as the core ingredient used in their products – the tremendous force of traditional ingredients like millets, used by our grandmothers – to the rest of the world. Similarly, this is the brand that goes beyond India and sells to other countries as well, as it is a nice time for millets as an ingredient, which is grown, in general military grown by smaller-sized farmers in India.
The company plans to deploy the funds raised for product innovation, marketing, and increasing inventory to cater to the increasing demand. The brand is also looking to strengthen its team and fortify its D2C channel.
“We are also looking to strengthen our brand’s international presence in Singapore, UAE, and the UK,” Malik added.
The brand is available at 800 stores across 8 cities in India, serving close to 5 lakh customers, and has a 40 per cent repeat rate on Amazon. They also sell across several other leading online platforms including BigBasket, FirstCry, and BabyChakra.
The brand now sells across several leading online platforms with its products available in stores in India and the UAE. Its annual recurring revenue (ARR) has grown to 300 per cent during the last six months and is expected to grow at the same rate to an ARR of $5 to 6 million in the next 12 months.