ZappFresh is a fully integrated fresh meat brand which has transformed the meat buying experience of consumers through its farm-to-fork model. The company has developed a unique fully integrated supply chain which integrates farms, farmers and the end consumers thereby ensuring superior meat quality with guaranteed freshness. In an exclusive conversation, Deepanshu Manchanda, Co-founder, ZappFresh shares more insight of his venture.
What inspires you to launch Zappfresh? What were your initial challenges and how did you overcome those? Also, tell us about your business model?
We have a deep admiration for the people, businesses and products that make up our industry. It has encouraged us to create a new way of doing business. ZappFresh was founded on the idea that by creating meaningful relationships with our customers and farmers, we can improve the quality of life for everyone by offering them the best fresh meats.
While meeting people from grocery delivery services, we received their feedback about delivery of meat being a huge challenge. Further, we did a market study in November 2014. The study revealed that people are looking for quality, fresh meat which is conveniently available to them at doorstep. Convenience and service in this category was missing. This is where we got inspired to start Zappfresh. ZappFresh is a full stack business where our meat delivery process starts from procuring the fresh produce (livestock), take it to a partner slaughter house and then to our processing, storage and finally delivery in a 100% temperature controlled environment from farm to fork.
Some of the initial challenges include hiring the right set of people on board and procuring raw meat. Availability of raw meat in the initial stages was a major problem as there are no standard practices in unorganized meat selling market and meat selling is very unhygienic. Unavailability of quality talent is also a challenge in the fresh meat brand market.
Cold chain supply is extremely costly in India. In such scenario, what is your assessment about online meat delivery market? What kind of growth you are estimating in this segment over next five years?
Setting up a quality supply chain to ensure freshness and quality of the meat was another major challenge in our journey. Not much cold storage facilities across markets also posed lot of hindrances in operations.
However, after having worked in the market for over five years now, most of the challenges are resolved except the cold chain logistics challenges. We are still working with our partners to maintain strict temperature and quality control standards to supply fresh gourmet meat to our consumers.
Challenges of cold chain logistics still remain in India and we are working with our partners to maintain strict temperature and quality control standards so as to supply fresh gourmet meat to our consumers. The online meat selling market is setting up more modern and practical ways of meat processing and supply chain management processes. For cold storage systems of meat products, standardized mechanisms for storage and transportation are being set in place. Startups like Zappfresh are taking aggressive efforts in setting up a supply chain system which benefits the meat industry and the end-consumers. We have also established standard hygienic transport facilities with hygienically maintained closed containers which further help in transporting meat for dressing and selling for consumption.
I believe there is huge potential in online meat selling market. The industry is completely encouraged by the response of customers where the customer repeat rate is above 90%.
Currently, India’s total meat market is pegged at $30-35 bn which is growing at between 18-20% every year. Over the next five years, the online meat sellers will surely witness a six-fold growth and will make a huge contribution to the economic development of the country.
Tell us about your operational pin codes? Going forward, which new markets you are willing to explore?
We are already servicing Delhi and NCR. We have added Tricity of Chandigarh sometime back. With Jaipur being our most recent launch city, Zappfresh now has a direct footprint in eight cities across India which includes Delhi, Gurugram, Noida, Greater Noida, Ghaziabad, Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula. We will add other important towns majorly focusing North India within this fiscal.
What is your return policy? Also, how do you beat last mile delivery challenge?
Our return policy lasts 24 hours. We accept all returns if the product is unused and returned within 24 hours of receiving the product.
Zappfresh has a two-hour delivery schedule. We have tied up with a cold chain firm for farm-to-company deliveries and operate a fully equipped meat processing unit so that it can do away with unhygienic and overcrowded abattoirs. It has smaller, temperature-controlled units at key distribution points for maintaining product freshness throughout the supply chain, and its staff members do last-mile deliveries.
Do you plan to raise any more funds in the months to come?
We have plans of raising funds and we are working towards the same. Further expansion into new geographies will require additional funds. Zappfresh is an attractive proposition for investors and we would welcome discussions with potential investors.
Going forward, what are the plans to add new categories?
In the coming time, Zappfresh has planned on disrupting local fish-and-meat markets and also increase offerings under the ready-to-cook and ready-to-eat sections which are majorly preferred by Gen Y. We also keep adding new categories such as exotic meats like ducks, turkey, quail, and blue crab. They are all a part of our portfolio.
Tell us about your data protection policy?
To protect one’s personal information, we take reasonable precautions and follow industry best practices to make sure it is not inappropriately lost, misused, accessed, disclosed, altered or destroyed. We use secure server software to encrypt all of the data customers’ send to us to minimize the risk that the information sent to us is intercepted before it reaches us and have strict security measures to protect the information that we store from any unauthorized access.