Founded with a vision to change the course of health and nutrition for children and families in India, Gladful, an FMCG brand aims to bridge the nutritional gap.
The brand’s current portfolio comprises 14 SKUs under 3 categories, all of which promise a serving of 4-8g of protein. Throughout its last year's journey, Gladful has served more than 70,000 customers pan-India, expanded its product portfolio, as well as featured on Shark Tank season 2, and bagged a 3-shark deal.
More than 73 percent of the urban population in India, is deficient in protein which is the building block of the human body and the lack of it impacts muscle growth, immunity, and oxygenation of cells, hormones, hair, skin, and nails.
However, most protein brands in India focus on the health-committed gym-frequent audience which results in protein deficiency plagues in regular families with kids, for whom there are no options on the shelves.
Gladful is building a portfolio of easy-to-consume foods which are high in this macronutrient. An FSSAI-approved brand Gladful uses superfoods like sprouts, amaranth, millets, peas, brown rice, and lobia.
“Gladful was an epiphany that arose from a personal pain point. A mundane pediatric consultancy for one kid made me realize how protein deficiency can affect a child’s growth and daily activity,” stated Parul Sharma, Co-founder Gladful.
She further added, “What stunned me was to learn hundreds of parents had similar concerns and overlooked the importance of this macronutrient. Being an FMCG veteran with 14 years of CPG experience and having worked extensively with the target audience of mothers and children gave me an in-depth understanding of their needs and desires.”
Sharma parted ways with her corporate journey to build India’s first plastic-neutral protein-friendly brand. Along with her younger brother and after intense rounds of hustle, research, and execution the duo built Galdful, a brand where nutrition and taste could co-exist.
Gladful is focussing on creating foods families crave with the protein they deserve. The brand's focus is to build high protein and fiber versions of foods currently on Indian dining tables, not only for gym-goers but everyone.
“We are starting by solving Indian moms’ struggle to make school tiffin boxes healthier and more accessible with their highly distinctive protein pre-sprouted mixes, protein cookies, and dates and nut-based desserts,” asserted Sharma.
Apart from that, the brand aims to simplify the consumption of superfoods like sprouts, millet, amaranth, lobia, dates, nuts, and seeds and plans to launch more products with a strong base of lentils, millets, and sprouts.
“We envision a protein-sufficient country. We participate in offline school events and draft detailed listicles where we talk about important food groups everyone needs to incorporate into their life. Furthermore, we are also building a strong community of parents and young adults and are bringing in nutritionists and other mothers to help spread awareness about healthy eating habits and nutrition,” commented Sharma.
Technology and Gladful
During the research phase, the brand discovered the evident loopholes in the Indian food and nutrition market. Studying the eating habits and interviewing more than 100 parents to get a better understanding of their needs and requirements, the brand found many popular kids and families' food brands overlooked ingredients like sprouted moong, amaranth, and other legumes.
Gladful then decided to utilize such unique ingredients to create its products, becoming the only brand in India to use pea protein, rice protein, and milk protein to make cookies. Thus, Galdful is the only brand to use superfoods like amaranth and lobia to make spiced pre-mixes that are high in protein and fiber.
“We as a company are proponents of the centuries-old practice of sprouting, as it significantly boosts protein content while making it easier for the body to process and build muscle,” asserted the Co-Founder.
She further added, “Sprouting boosts Vitamin B12 levels, which many vegetables lack, further eliminating anti-nutrients like Phytic Acids that make it hard for our bodies to absorb nutrients. We work to create products that are easy to consume through sprouting, making them nutritionally rich and maximizing their protein content.”
Growth and Revenue
Gladful has recently crossed 70,000 transactions, with almost 25 percent growth month over month. Almost 30 percent of the brand’s revenue comes from its website and the rest from various marketplaces.
“We upscaled to a new manufacturing unit which is 10x in terms of the capacity of our old unit. Gladful’s production is currently located in Haryana and Rajasthan, with our headquarters in Jaipur,” commented Sharma.
Moreover, post Shark Tank the brand received 1000+ orders within the first week since the episode aired. Backed by sharks like Amit Jain, Aman Gupta, and Namita Thapar, Gladful was able to build a strong community of 13k parents and young adults.
Apart from the Sharks Gladful is backed by Antler India, Huddle, Shiprocket, and Angel investors such as Shantanu Deshpande (Bombay Shaving), Ankita Vasisht (Stronger Ventures), Pawan Nanda (Winzo Games).
Retail and Marketing Strategy
Striving to become the number-one brand, the brand states there exists a potential online market for them. Gladful intends to acquire 90 percent of its total income from online marketplaces, quick commerce platforms, and its website.
With D2C, within the first 12 months of the company's existence, Gladful crossed Rs 3 crore in revenue with strong gross margins.
“We have solidified our presence in two categories: Protein Snacks and Protein Breakfasts. The company is listed on more than 15 online portals including quick commerce channels. 5 out of our 10 protein-rich snacks were also listed on Amazon’s Top 10,” added Sharma.
Gladful thus is the only family-friendly protein brand to make protein cookies with the power of three proteins - milk, peas, and rice.
With this in mind, Gladful is set to exponentially grow and become the quintessential child nutrition brand in India and cross Rs 600 crore in revenue in the next 5 years.