A few years ago we saw a sudden drift towards organic food. Everyone started going gaga over organic products and products like organic eggs and organic vegetables got popular within no time.
Then just recently Health Food became a focal point for many food-related companies and they started bringing changes in their existing brands or started adding new products to their portfolio. India saw many startups also taking the healthy route and bringing in food items like Green Teas, Quinoa, Oats, Soya Milk to replace the regular food items.
With the fast changing world and health being the focus, Fresh Food is the new fad for growing startups in India. Today if you visit a supermart, you will surely see a section dedicated to fresh food items. These products both in snacks and beverage categories are now becoming common. Such products usually have a shorter shelf life and hence fall in the fresh food category. Yogurt, Juices, Cold Brew Coffees, Meat Products, Idli-Dosa Batters etc make for some of the products that are right now reining the supermart shelves.
Though this change is more visible in the upper strata of the society, everyone else also seems to catch up on the trend. The educated millennial generation is far more evolved and affluent with the current trends. They are more aware of brands and what goes into them, today before making a purchase decision, they evaluate the benefits to the core. They are even ready to pay a premium and buy brands that boast of everything right about them.
Licious by Delightful Gourmet Food, iD Fresh Food India and Drums Food International are some of the brands that are growing fast in this zone of Fresh Food. Licious that started 3 years ago is one stop shop for fresh meat and fish products. They claim proudly that their products have a shelf life of two days only. Being so conscious about the freshness of their products, they haven’t yet gone on an offline business model and do not believe in letting the product go out from their hands. They want a direct brand to consumer association in order to ensure the freshness of the products. They are working strictly on an online model and have recently raised $25 Mn funding.
iD Fresh Food India Pvt Ltd., which is into idli and dosa batters are also gaining momentum in the market and seeing increasing demand for their products. P.C. Musthafa, founder of iD Fresh Food says “Fresh is the way to go in the future. Consumers want healthier food. I read somewhere that in China, 70% of the food business is happening in the fresh category.” Since iD Fresh deals in highly perishable products, it manages its own distribution chain. The products reach the retailer barely an hour after production. Musthafa firmly believes that even larger packaged consumer goods companies are keen on entering the fresh foods category, but they do not have the mindset or nimbleness to do so. Consequently, they will either invest in some of these food start-ups or buy them out, he added.
These startups believe that this change of consumer mindset is based on a fundamental need and is not a fad. In spite of the challenges of infrastructure like cold chains and distribution management, these startups see a bright future in this segment. More and more startups are joining the bandwagon of fresh food and it definitely seems to carry a positive way ahead.