India’s consumption pattern has seen a great shift since the 90s, as consumers started to prefer healthier and more flavorful options when it comes to snacking. The reason behind the shift in this trend was the introduction of healthy and nutrient snacks in the Indian market.
The changes in habits such as a shift from regular white bread to brown bread, the increasing popularity of oats as a breakfast option or even otherwise, and the surging demand for healthy beverages and drinks particularly in metro cities – they all epitomize the rise and emergence of new-age health-conscious snack lovers. In fact, nuts and dry fruits, yogurt, and fresh fruits too have found more acceptance and usage among them.
A survey conducted by IPSOS has revealed that while 72 percent of participants were aware of the nutritional needs of the body, 91 percent of Indians would like to explore healthier alternatives while looking to ‘snack up’. Prompted by a fast-paced lifestyle always pressed for time, people are consciously making healthy snacking an integral part of their regimen.
In a recent worldwide poll conducted online on snacking habits and preferences of people that also included Indians, 63 percent of respondents affirmed that health was a top priority.
Nowadays, snacking companies are also making changes according to the trend and manufacturing their traditional unhealthy snacks more healthily to grow and grasp the bigger portion of the market.
But as most of the brands give assurance of being healthy, consumers find that a bit difficult to believe them because some of the brands don’t provide the nutritional value as promised. On other the hand, founded in 2014, Yogabar offers exactly what the consumer wants. With a motive to make the world a healthier place, Yogabar operates with a mission to improve these snacking habits and make consumers more aware of what they're eating, also providing them with complete transparency in what the products offer and consist of.
Suhasini Sampath, Co-Founder, Yogabar shared, “As our brand proposition calls out each ingredient for its natural ingredients with definite health benefits, we hold a value proposition very different from our competition. Unlike other brands, owning our manufacturing allows us to innovate quickly without spending as much as the big FMCGs. Each of the ingredients that we choose has definite nutritional value. We prefer staying away from ingredients that contribute to empty calories. We don’t use any artificial sweeteners, preservatives, or coloring agents.”
“Another way we stand out is through our packaging. We were the first food brand that started using bright, pop, happy colors on the packaging. It has now become our identity. Whenever a customer walks into a store, they immediately spot our products because it catches the eye. On the back of our products, instead of celebrities, we feature neighborhood advocates whose stories we can all connect with,” she added.
Retail and Marketing Strategy
A healthy lifestyle is something Yogabar feels everyone should actively adopt and as a healthy snacking brand they want to be looked at as the forerunners in revolution. Yogabar has a presence in retail stores across all major cities in the country such as Mumbai, Bangalore, Pune, Delhi, and Hyderabad.
“Amid the pandemic, when Yogabar had to pivot from an offline presence across more than 6,000 retail stores to online channels, the customers were waiting. We have gained a large online community of loyal customers and a supportive community over the past couple of years,” she stated.
“Word of mouth and sampling has primarily been the marketing strategies we have sworn by. Apart from that, we do some performance marketing on our social media platforms. We have stayed away from roping in celebrities. Our customers trust us because of our honesty and look down upon advertising which has no real substance. Instead, we tie up with everyday people who have the same ethos as us and have had inspiring journeys. We feature their stories on the back of our packs and our social media. We have received overwhelmingly positive feedback from our customers and followers for this initiative,” she added.
Because of its diverse product portfolio suiting multiple target audiences Yogabar got overwhelming support from its customer base in India. It is a new age and an innovation-driven brand.
On the technological front, she said, “Top-quality and carefully sourced, clean ingredients are facets of the business that we swear by. Living up to the expectations of the Indian consumer is something we work on daily, striving to keep a detailed examination on all the processes right from manufacturing to sales. We have full ownership of the manufacturing process and facility as well as the best quality equipment and training procedures for the personnel. We constantly iterate our processes as we aim to optimize our value chain across production, operation till our final product reaches our customers. Since the very beginning, we have always been very focused on ensuring that we, as a brand stand out from the competition. A creative recall is extremely important. We’ve been able to make this work through our packaging design - it has now become our identity which we have incorporated into our social channels as well.”
“We brought the clean label revolution to India and now the industry is following suit. Yogabar, as our brand proposition, calls out each ingredient for its naturality. We even had our products tested and reviewed by over 50 leading chefs and cooks. These aspects are very much a part of our core values. This is what defines us and sets us apart from other competitors in the market,” she further added.
All the products of Yogabar are natural, gluten-free, and have no artificial preservatives.
Yogabar offers a diverse product portfolio and has more in the pipeline.
While discussing the upcoming products in the pipeline, she shared, “As young foodpreneurs starting in the industry, we observed the growth in demand for healthy food products in the country. So we began with snack bars and later forayed into creating innovative flavors of muesli, oats, and peanut butter. The subsequent launch of our breakfast segment captured about 20 percent market share very quickly. With the success of this segment, we then ventured into creating seed mixes, whey protein ayurvedic juices, essentials, and infant food, catering to the tastes of consumers. The learning over the years has been great and we aim to transform the industry through more innovative iterations. Our dark chocolate cranberry muesli was the first of its kind in India.”
“We strive to constantly experiment and reinvent our products to enrich our customer experience with a perfect balance of nutrition and snacks. We made the move into the kids’ segment, our most recent venture, keeping in mind reasonable pricing. We are all ready to penetrate into Tier ll and Tier lll cities and also promote the products’ wholesome composition for children,” she further added.
Yogabar is aiming to reach the bracket of Rs 500 crore in the next two years, a 100 percent growth YOY is how the brand is trending. The guiding principle that led Yogabar’s journey was to offer a product, designed by nutritionists and not marketers, that promises 100 percent clean and natural ingredients with exemplary taste.
“One of the milestones we wish to cross is to expand our presence offline and move to 4x the number of retail and chains in the next three years from 10,000 stores at the moment. Our focus is going to be on increasing offline sales along with online sales in the upcoming financial year. We are also shifting our manufacturing unit to a large 60,000 sq. ft. unit in Tumkur. This expansion will enable us to scale up our production to meet the rapidly growing demands for Yogabar products,” she said.
“One of the key milestones that we are proud of is that we are a Rs 200 crore brand and have seen 100 percent Y-O-Y growth consistently over the past few years. Our strategy has been to quickly enter and disrupt the segments which are core to our brand proposition and the value we want to drive. Yogabar is a brand that proves that there is a healthier and cleaner version of every packaged food. Relentlessly pursuing what we had set out for, our major milestone would be serving over 25 million customers to date since the brand came into existence,” she concluded.