The heightened concerns about hygiene during the pandemic have made meat-eating consumers shun buying meat from their local butcher shop and purchasing it online. There is no doubt that D2C is the current trend in business, with both new age and traditional brands trying to tap the market. Maintaining a D2C business in the seafood and meat category for over eighteen years is difficult, yet Pescafresh captures the market in Mumbai by supplying high-quality items at a reasonable price. The potential for business in the meat and seafood segments is enormous, and through technology, the brand hopes to engage with its customers in long term.
Pescafresh was founded by Sangram Sawant in 2004. While working for Great Northern Products Ltd, a seafood distribution company in the US, Sawant put together a business plan of launching a service in India that retails fresh seafood. The endeavor was to create a brand that relies on taking freshness and customer service to the next level.
“I remember starting the brand as a shoestring venture initially in central Mumbai. Today, we have delivered fresh seafood and other meats including our No Antibiotics Ever (NAE) Chicken and free-range Eggs, and Tender Red Mutton to over 1,00,000 households in Mumbai. We also expanded our product portfolio to our SASH22 RTE-RTC range and have introduced unique and exotic spreads and chicken deli meats under the category,” Sawant said.
“Pescafresh did not want to be essentially just a seafood and meat store, but a platform where people can come and give suggestions. We listen to those suggestions, and we bring the products to our customers based on what they love. To serve the customer base better, we wanted to create an end-to-end model where it has control over the farm to processing to last-mile delivery,” he added.
The brand owns the entire back-end supply chain, including cold chain control, procurement, processing, and storage. The entire process is automated and technologically driven with zero cross-contamination along with a temperature-controlled EPS box delivery service.
Unlike most D2C brands in the seafood and meats space, Pescafresh has built a robust omnichannel presence to enhance customer convenience and cut down on delivery time.
“An omnichannel strategy has more benefits as it gives us the convenience of reaching our customers through different channels and builds trust for the brand in the long run. We have a very strong B2B arm that is focused on reaching maximum digital and brick-and-mortar platforms, including the HoReCa sector. We have set up dark stores across the city to ensure timely delivery to our buyers,” Sawant asserted.
Pescafresh operates various hygienic state-of-the-art processing, where all meats are further tested for microbial counts and quality before it is processed further at their facilities, cleaned, and then vacuum packed to ensure maximum safety and freshness. The packaging and delivery procedures also go under various testing processes, keeping the meats under temperature control and fresh.
“We have a wide range of products starting from our No Antibiotics Ever (NAE) Chicken and free-range eggs. Our chicken comes in more than 15 customized cuts and is served fresh every single day. Our Tender Red Mutton comes from ethically sourced and naturally raised goats. Some of the cuts include Tender Red Mutton Curry Cut, Tender Red Mutton Keema, Mutton Chops, and others. In the category of seafood, we sell everything from exotic lobsters and mud crabs to the more staple surmai and pomfrets,” Sawant elaborated.
“Our SASH22 spreads, curated by in-house chefs of Pescafresh are easy to use, natural, and contain 100 percent Pescafresh seafood and meat. The uniquely flavored meat spreads include - Butter Garlic Lobster Spread, Chilly Garlic Prawns Spreads, Prawns Cocktail Spreads, Citrus Salmon Spread, Chicken Salad Spread, Chicken Thecha Spread, Chicken Shwarma Spread, Herby Chunky Chicken Spread, and Egg Salad Spread. We have around 100 new products in the pipeline in the raw and fresh categories,” he further added.
Pescafresh is aggressively focusing on brand building, and it has a significant presence on various digital platforms as well.
“In our recent out-of-home campaign, we have deployed 30 BEST buses promoting the brand’s live commerce platform, Pescalive. The tech platform has already started influencer editions, live cooking sessions with renowned chefs, interactions with food bloggers, and more. The objective is to drive product visibility and communicate brand messaging to the customers. At the same time, we are also committed to bringing transparency to our customers and ensuring that what they see on our digital platforms is exactly what they receive, quality-wise. Using technology in the right way to focus on customer delight will be our key to success,” Sawant added.
Apart from this, to break the clutter, a brand has to offer something more to its customers. Innovation comes also with a nuance of educating the consumer. Recently, Pescafresh launched the world’s first live commerce tech platform in seafood and meats - Pescalive.
“As a brand, we believe in transparency. We have always given importance to traceability. Any inefficient part in the supply chain is circumvented and the company directly approaches the core constituent of the chain. Integration of technology to bridge the gap between shore to door and farm to fork is the need of the hour. We are implementing IoT solutions for temperature monitoring, prompts, and control,” Sawant said.
“Despite a huge seafood consumption market in India, there is an alarming discomfort that people express when it comes to buying seafood. With Pescalive, customers can select their seafood and meats from the live platform and buy the same in real-time. Fresh stock is showcased at 9:30 am every day on the Pescafresh app. We talk about all aspects, right from where the catches where it comes from, to what time they reached our unit, along with benefits, tips to buy seafood, and cooking hacks. We also have influencers’ editions, live cooking sessions with renowned chefs, and interactions with food bloggers. The idea is to drive the concept of ‘what you see is what you get’,” he further added.
The company has witnessed a funding round recently. Pescafresh received funding from marquee investors such as Blume Ventures, Elara India Opportunity Fund, UK, and Rehan Yar Khan of Orios Ventures.
“We aim to expand geographically in multiple cities this fiscal year. We also plan to expand our product line, both fresh and spreads, and add innovative products in the near future. Furthermore, in the coming years, we aim to focus on growing our technology to make Pescalive a better experience. By December 2022, we target to reach an ARR of Rs 100 crore,” Sawant concluded.