Post the Covid-19 pandemic, the world has evolved - be it business or lifestyle. One can witness changes in every possible segment of life. With health becoming a top priority, there has been a noticeable shift in food consumption and purchasing pattern globally.
Moreover, according to a report by Avendus Capital, Indian households are likely to double their spending on health-focused foods and beverages in the next five years, as consumers increasingly shift to healthier alternatives and buy foods with better ingredients.
With health becoming a major priority, it is expected that there will be a 2x increase in per capita spending on healthy foods by 2026. The segment will assume a market size of $30 billion in the next five years, it said.
India is the fastest-growing health food market expanding at 20 percent CAGR, and this has given a boost to the Healthy Snacking market, with more and more brands making their way into the category. Brands such as Auric, NuttyFox, Pink Harvest, Lil' Goodness, Yoga Bar, etc. lead the category with their wide product portfolio, allowing their consumers to curb their cravings without giving up on their health goals.
Need for Healthy Snacking
Deepak Agarwal, the Founder of Auric, a 100 percent natural Ayurvedic drinks brand for Healthy Lifestyle says “We observed the main reasons of Millennials to not consume Ayurveda was poor sensorial, little trust or absence of aspiration, but since Millennials are going to carry the flag of Ayurveda in future, therefore, we decided to build Auric - Ayurveda for Millennials. Wellness, natural living, and going back to roots are some of the strong drivers for Ayurveda to become a daily lifestyle for India going forward and Auric is at the helm of the same.”
On a similar note, Upasana Kagzi, Co-Founder of Pink Harvest Farms, a brand that started with the simple goal of making foods that help live a balanced and holistic life accessible in the modern world, comments “As regular people, we too struggled with eating healthy, and in our constant search for creating healthy foods in the modern world, we completed our respective education as we knew we had to find a way to make these foods more accessible in India.”
NuttyFox a brand all about smart snacking is a fast-growing and new-age healthy snack food brand that was created by Subhashish Bharuka and offers tasty, healthy, and nutritious snacking options without compromising on quality. Bharuka says, “Most adults indulge in unhealthy snacks which compelled me to bring out healthy snacking options to solve this problem, we have even introduced healthy chocolates to allow guilt-free snacking.”
The Growth of Healthy-Snacking
The trend of Healthy Snacking is here to stay, Pink Harvest and Bean-to-Bark founders believe that this trend will not slow till the majority of snacking is healthy.
Likewise, Auric beverages in its attempt to provide customers with healthy beverages keep in mind the traditional formulations of Charaka Samhita along with the recommended daily intake as prescribed by Ayurveda Pharmacopeia of India. Each bottle of Auric contains 25 percent of recommended daily intake of essential herbs for wellness and beauty.
“With our products, we are aiming to transform the snacking industry of India through a unique combination: healthier-for-you options in popular snacking category indulgence formats e.g. chocolates, puffs, chips, dairy drinks with Goodness based ingredients, on-pack gamification to create stickiness and brand love and community content through influencers to drive home the message of Goodness in nutrition,” resonates Harshavardhan S, Co-Founder, and CEO, Lil' Goodness.
The growth of the said segment can be determined by the individual growth of these brands, while Pink Harvest and Bean-To-Bark have crossed the Rs 5 crore revenue mark in FY 21, the brands have witnessed a 4x growth rate in the second year of operations which further doubled in the third year of operations.
Auric has grown 350 percent in FY 22 as compared to FY 21, doing more than 25,000 orders every month just from its online presence in India. While NuttyFox has seen steady YoY growth since December 2019, and a noticeable month-on-month growth since January 2022.
Brands and their USPs
With its aim to make Ayurveda easy, simple, and convenient for busy lifestyles, being a wellness brand, Auric builds Ayurveda for daily lifestyle.
The brand started with coconut-water-based Ayurvedic beverages for Skin, Hair, Immunity, and Sexual Wellness and then moved on to variants of hot beverages, followed by effervescent detox tablets, gummies, ghee, peanut butter, etc. with a twist of Ayurveda.
“Pink Harvest products are typically the cleanest possible version of the product, we are constantly innovative to bring the cleanest and most nutritious foods to the market. Our brand was the first and still is the only one to offer pasta without wheat, rice, or starch. Similarly, our chocolates are focused on healthy snacking, while other Indian chocolatiers only make bars,” says Upasana Kagzi.
Providing products 100 percent free of artificial preservatives, chemicals, or additives NuttyFox believes, a snack has to be enjoyable and at the same time guilt-free. “We have consciously used olive oil and natural flavors in the process. Our goal is to offer the healthiest snacks that are scrumptious and has some key nutritional elements that one needs in their daily diet,” adds Subhashish Bharuka.
Betting Big on D2C
Another common aspect one can witness amongst most healthy-snacking brands is their marketing strategy, Direct-to-customer. The said channel is uniquely positioned to provide personalization, convenience, and consistency for buyers, while companies have full ownership over the consumer journey.
“The direct access to consumers on the D2C channel allows a brand to learn from consumers about their likes or dislikes, allowing brands to have a deeper understanding of its consumer cohort while having a feedback loop on what strategies would work,” asserts Deepak Agarwal.
Even though NuttyFox is currently available in both online and offline markets, it started as a 100 percent D2C brand. “We are working towards building a wider D2C presence in the coming months, though it’ll be an omnichannel approach with product and pricing differentiation. D2C has been a preference for us to reach wider geography, especially in Tier II and Tier III cities. Moreover, it has worked in our favor in the last 2.5 years, boosting our growth and brand presence,” comments Subhashish Bharuka.
Staying close to its customers, Lil' Goodness team speaks to customers to get a real pulse of the market, customer reactions, and feedback to understand macro trends that will shape the industry. “We communicate with our customers through online channels, use events and activations to reach out to them for feedback, and use data from online marketplaces to reshape our go-to-market,” adds Harshvardhan S.
However, Pink Harvest says, the pandemic accelerated its digital strategy which made them go online, through its own website and fulfillment channels allowing the brand to interact directly with the consumers, on our terms as opposed to marketplaces or retailers; in totality aiding its growth.
Recently placing their products in the US and the Middle East, Auric plans to have an offline retail presence in the next 12 months in India.
“In the next two quarters, we aim to enter into breakfast and snacks through Millet - the ancient grains from Ayurveda,” adds Agarwal.
Currently present in premium gourmet style roasted and flavored makhana and handpicked raw makhana NuttyFox will be introducing its seeds and nuts trail mix in October and will be introducing at least 4 new products by March 2023.
With its vision to become a Rs 500 crore brand by 2025, with an intermediate milestone of Rs 100 crore by 2024. Lil' Goodness aims to touch at least 20 million families with kids, through its products.
“We plan to scale 10x over the next 18 months, establishing a firm presence in the minds of consumers as the preferred choice for fun, daily snacking, strengthen online presence, especially through improved marketplace performance- scaling 15x,” asserts Harshvardhan S.
While the brand doubles down on its existing product categories, it is also entering select new categories that resonate with its consumer’s preferences.
With their goal for everyone to lead a healthy balanced life without compromising on taste and choice, Pink Harvest is currently present in superfoods, healthy pasta, snacking chocolates, and sugar-free chocolates and plans to go deeper into the categories.
“Within the next five years we want to see an India where anyone can access an equally tasty healthy version of their favorite foods, be it rice, pasta, or chocolates, with a little bit of Pink Harvest and Bean to Bark in every household,” concludes Upasana Kagzi.