Veganism could be meaningless for a lot of people around us but Boombay is here to turn all heads around with condiments coming to the table near you, filled with care and delectable flavors created, curated, and crafted by a nutritionist + chef. Sounds like a complete meal? Isn’t it? The rise in plant-based, vegan and clean food is on the rise and someone thought why can’t clean food be irresistibly flavorful and creative? So Niharika Goenka and Chef Aditi Keni embarked on a mission to reinvent food and health with endless flavors with Boombay - a seed-to-sauce brand that offers a palate of condiments whipped in care.
The brand is known for offering products with a 6-month shelf-life with no additives/ preservatives.
“Most brands actually ‘health wash’ consumers by claiming that they add nothing in their products. However, if you look at the ingredients list, they will have added flavors/ colors/ preservatives at the back of the pack. Any mention of numbers in an ingredient list is usually a red flag. Our back of the pack reads like something that you can recognize and know as food. The only surprises there are good ones - unique ingredients sourced from across India,” said Niharika Goenka, Co-founder, Boombay.
“There is no added sugar or refined oils used in the products. All our products are sweetened using Coconut Sugar or Jaggery and are made in cold pressed oils,” she further added.
From D2C to Omnichannel
All products of the brand are packed and shipped in glass jars. After performing R&D on multiple versions of the packaging, the brand was able to safely ship products in glass bottles across India with minimal breakage. While these are still very early days, it has till now encountered less than 1 percent breakage on shipments after shipping out almost 50 test boxes to test the system and develop the solution. Today it has shipped out more than 100 boxes to consumers with minimal breakage.
Apart from this, retailers can store all products at ambient temperatures without having to compromise on the product's quality and taste. This is what enables it to build a D2C model where it can ship at ambient temperatures without an issue.
“The thing that cannot be said enough about D2C is that it is not a distribution strategy. Digital is merely the first touchpoint for a customer and the method of engagement and communication with the customer. It is where they get their information, and recipes, and learn about the brand ethos. However, the act of purchasing can be done across different channels - online and offline. While we build a D2C brand, we have equally aggressive strategies for our own website, marketplaces, and retail,” she asserted.
The brand is planning to grow a strong customer base at 200 GT and MT stores in its first year of operations. The aim, like every brand, is to do that with minimal returns. This also means it will have to ramp up the marketing efforts in stores with the help of signages and sampling activities.
“We believe that sampling is important to increase sales. However, it has to be done creatively and hygienically. We are in the process of figuring out a way to run impactful sampling activities. However, much of the marketing will happen online through highly engaging content, even if the purchase happens offline. One of the unique things that we have done is to introduce 40 ml sample sizes across all products and bundle them into a set of 5 samples that can be bought directly from the website. This allows us to test the market and demand with the lowest commitment,” she explained.
“We want to remain in a premium product category as we are adding significant value to our customers' lives by giving them a product that is actually healthy. With an average price of Rs 330/220 grams, we're more expensive than other market players in the same category like Wingreens and Urban Platter. We have reason to believe that with some volumes we should be able to compete on price as well with some of the larger players in the market,” she further added.
The brand plans to build a strong presence in cities like Bombay, Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, and Kolkata. The brand is looking forward to going omnichannel and expanding its presence in 200 General Trade and Modern Trade stores across India.
“However, we are already shipping to select retailers in smaller cities such as Jaipur and Goa. Since we fulfill sales directly as of now, we are able to ship to select retailers in smaller cities without having to hire a sales team there. Post the pandemic, more than 40 percent of D2C orders are now coming from Tier II and III cities. So even though we might not have physical retailers in smaller cities, they are able to fulfill customer demand nonetheless. It’s difficult for them to measure the response rate right now as we’ve recently launched,” she asserted.
“Along with this, we are also forging HoReCa partnerships and building a robust online presence. We are also building new products with various other packaged food brands and making co-brand menus to bring in an innovative flavor and unique set of offerings,” she concluded.