The Changing Face Of Clean Label

True Elements has its own manufacturing unit in Pune - that can cater to 300-400Cr in revenues with basic investments

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Puru Gupta and Sreejith Moolayil started with distribution and aggregation on its own portal (marketplace- healthyworld.in which had 3500 SKUs across 20 categories - very similar to what Healthkart is sans medicinal products). Along with that, they also activated these brands across corporate and consumer touchpoints to build awareness around them. "However, we noticed that while customers learned about the products/brands, we actually acquired them for the brands and not for us. An outcome of this was that as brand awareness grew, these brands started getting listed on other portals as well. So the customers we acquired for those brands went ahead and bought them from other points of sales eventually," mentions Puru Gupta, CEO and co-founder, True Elements. This prodded them to get their own label on the products they sold to ensure the acquired the customers and retained them as well. It also pushed them to define clearly, in-black & white, what honest and clean food could be. That became True Elements, a digital first brand!

True Elements
Puru Gupta, CEO and co-founder, True Elements

2015 is when they began thinking about how True Elements could define what "clean and honest" food could be. They identified 8 am, 11 am, and 5 pm as the key consumption occasions when consumers are open to trying an alternative to their existing options! They also learned that no matter how much importance you give to health, the taste is what gets you a place at the dining table again – hence their unwavering focus to delight the taste buds while providing clean food.

Talking about the challenges while building a D2C brand Gupta says, "firstly, the sizing of the market is critical, when we tend to over-assume the market, basis our initial assumptions, or tend to undermine the power of competition present or evolving with us. Secondly, the physical availability by way of distribution, channels to sell and presence closest to the shopper, which itself is evolving."

True Elements has its own manufacturing unit in Pune - that can cater to 300-400Cr in revenues with basic investments. They have also built contractual agreements with farmers last year, where they became one of the few food brands that directly (and transparently) procure almost half of the raw materials from the farmers. Currently they dispatch directly from their manufacturing hub. Talking about expansion, Gupta says, "In our quest to deliver 300 Cr. ARR in the next 18-24 months, we plan to focus on the key pillars of brand building, go-to-market, tech and product innovation." The plan is to launch 30 new products in the next 6 months fuelled by product innovation and customer insights. They plan to build focused leadership as a brand in the breakfast space in the next 12 months while scaling offline-reach and plans of entering 25,000 outlets in the next few quarters.

Factsheet

  • Best seller: No Added Sugar Muesli, Dark Chocolate Granola, Crunchy Nuts & Berries Muesli, Rolled Oats, Chia Seeds, 7 in 1 Seeds & Nuts Mix
  • Total SKUs: 200+
  • Team size: ~280
  • Repeat customer ratio: 65% over 12 months
  • Online platform resulting in maximum revenue: Amazon
  • Turnover for FY 2021-22: INR 6000 Lakh~
  • Split between offline and online sales: 75% online - 25% offline