SNACKSTAR is India's leading online store for international snacks, which is aiming to distribute its products not only in India but also all over the world. It is working for enhancing the consumer taste for snacks for the last one year. It has increased its product limit from 150 to 600 within 6 months and has a goal to achieve 1000 products by 2021.
In an exclusive conversation with Indian Retailer, Aryaman Vasant, Founder of Snackstar, talks about the journey of SNACKSTAR and how the brand is revolutionizing the snack industry.
How did the idea to sell snacks of all international brands in the Indian market digitally strike you?
I got the idea of selling snacks when I was in Jamnagar, Gujarat, in my parents’ hometown. We were having conversations with some guests who had come back to India after staying in Dubai for a few years. They told us how they were missing out on all the goods, snacks supplies like different Oreo flavor, Cheetos, etc, and how they did not have any way to purchase it.
They were not staying in tier 1 cities like Mumbai, Delhi where international food items are available more easily than in tier 2, tier 3 cities. At that time, it strikes me that a significant part of the population in tier 2 and tier 3 cities have a demand for these products. I just had to figure out a way to make it reach to them in a fast and substantial way in a good condition with fresh products so that they will be satisfied with the received product.
After that, I started researching about it and developed packaging, websites to reach out to consumers. I already had a few of the products which were about 150 products and now which is around 600 products within a short span of 6 months. That’s how I came upon the idea of SNACKSTAR.
How many years have you been in the business? Also, what is the market size for your e-commerce business?
This is our first year with SNACKSTAR while we have been in the industry in the last 20 years with an offline tie-up. My father has been in the international food industry for the past 20 years. We are currently supplying all over India, to almost all five-star companies including Taj, Leela, Marriott hotels, etc.
The market size is pretty huge as noticeable with the response we got from the consumers during our early days. The FMCG is an essential commodity in an Indian market but for international products, there is a level of segmentation but the market is huge.
Since people are working from home, what consumer traction and trends SNACKSTAR have seen in the Indian market during COVID-19?
Looking at the COVID-19 issues, it is observed that people are looking at the thing that is being delivered to their doorsteps, whether it is from a nearby store or an online portal. Even if the stores are available a few steps ahead, they have a hesitation to go out because of the safety concerns. I believe this helped SNACKSTAR significantly in making a place in the market in the eyes of consumers. E-commerce gives us a significant boom during the lockdown period in India. Even the people who did not opt for ordering online went to an e-commerce site to place their first order.
I have also noticed that people are looking for good offers and good promotions which are worthy of their money as people are facing a financial crisis. They are more inclined towards good products.
Are you also looking to do healthy snacking options in the future too?
The major differentiator what we provide in our website is a quest dedicated to customers where they can suggest items they want to see on our website and definitely taking into this consideration, we are slowly but surely expanding to healthy products like an energy bar, sugarfree chocolates, baked chips, etc.
What is the average customer order size on your website? Are you looking for some funding so far? Also, are you digital-only, or also you have an omnichannel presence?
The average order size is around 3000. We are not looking for funding yet. Observing at our substantiate growth, we’ll look for some in near future.
We are only an e-commerce channel as of now; however, we are planning to expand the retail stores by 2021.
What are your plans for taking SNACKSTAR to a next level of growth?
Now, we are solely focusing on customer satisfaction as we have a high returning rate of customers to our site. We are trying to keep our services up to the mark. Customer satisfaction as well as retention is our priority. That’s how we will grow exponentially.
Furthermore, we are planning to expand in Canada and Dubai by the end of 2021.
As an international brand, how do you see competition in the global market?
In Indian as well as internationally the food market has boomed exponentially since people sitting at home not able to go out for anything want to indulge in snacks, cupcakes, etc more regularly. we believe as the first retailer to sell international brand snacks with the highest number rising after us there are a few follow-up companies that have been shown up in the market while we have more products, better service, and better customer satisfaction.
How do you see the snacking market changing in India?
The snacking market is very fragile in India. People are used to spending Rs 10 to Rs 20 per packet. While some people do not understand why some products are more expensive, we have a dedicated customer service team if you have any queries regarding our product or service you can contact them anytime.
Being sold at a higher price than the market, I would like to mention that we are importing fresh products every month. None of our products have a short expiry date. First, we are focusing on expanding our varied range of products by 2021 to reach up to 1000 products, which are currently around 600 products.
What is your experience in the Indian market?
When I started I had never imagined this kind of demand I am going to see because I had imagined it as a good venture but the demand I had anticipated was very less than what we see from the customer experience. The experience was very good. If any person has any idea for a business, they must completely go ahead with the solution to a problem with all their efforts to see what happens.