With the escalating demand for wholesome food at one’s doorstep, the future of the health food segment is promising in our country. The segment of health and wellness food is estimated to rise to a whopping Rs. 55,000 crore in this fiscal year.
The market already has players like Spoonjoy (backed by Flipkart CXOs), offering freshly cut fruits and sprouts for lunch or snacks on a weekly subscription basis; and the new Delhi-based startup Fresh Food with its flagship product Juice Up, which offers raw and fresh cold pressed juices.
One such effort is FRSH, which at present delivers healthy food and beverages to almost 1,000 people daily in Gurgaon.
The journey so far
FRSH started in November 2013 with a small kitchen, delivering a limited menu of juices, sandwiches, and other breakfast snacks to offices. Says Founder Badal Goel, an IIT Delhi graduate who left his job at American Express to start the venture, “FRSH was born out of a common everyday conundrum of a regular office-goer: What to have for breakfast? A staggering 20 per cent of working professionals skip breakfast, due to the non-availability of healthy, value-for-money food every morning.” Co-founder Sumit Kumar, an alumnus of IIT Delhi and IIM Bangalore, has over five years of experience with McKinsey.
The concept and the food were well-received and FRSH was soon delivering 80-90 orders per day when it was first covered by YourStory in May 2014. Currently, the company is touching almost a 1,000 orders on a daily basis, with an impressive repeat-purchase rate of more than 70 per cent. The team has grown to 60 plus across operations, technology, and marketing.
The company has raised over $50,0000 in seed funding from two well-known angel funds and shifted its operations to a sprawling 6000-square-foot kitchen spread across four floors. “We have world-class kitchen equipment and our expanded menu goes beyond breakfast to cater to customers’ need for healthy food throughout the day,” adds Badal.
Quality is a key focus for FRSH
A passion for health and freshness runs in the DNA of the company, and is visible from the moment one steps into FRSH’s kitchen. “Quality is central to everything we do. From sourcing the best ingredients to preparing orders in the most hy1gienic manner to packaging to ensuring error-free and timely delivery,” says Prashanth Thapa, who comes from Oberoi Hotels, and now looks after FRSH’s kitchen operations.
What makes FRSH stand out in a crowded food delivery market? “At FRSH, we make sure that we cover all the checkmarks for our customers so that they can have it every day. The food is fresh, neither too oily nor sweet or spicy; it is not prepared in a hurry; and not too expensive for daily consumption,” says Badal.
By constantly experimenting and innovating with high-quality ingredients, the company keeps the menu at FRSH healthy and tasty.
The food technology connection
The rapid scaling up of FRSH was possible because of conscious investment in technology at the backend. Kitchen operations have been streamlined and integrated. Everything from new orders, inventory, recipes, preparation, and delivery can be managed centrally through in-house dashboards. “We are now in a position to add more kitchens in multiple cities since the backend is well sorted,” says Badal.
Besides their web presence, FRSH has launched an Android app. “With real-time updates on our menu and daily specials and features such as the health alarm, the FRSH app will become a part of our customers’ daily routine,” adds Sumit.
The road ahead
With FRSH’s reputation for everyday health food established in Gurgaon, and their technology-driven scalable systems, the company is set to start operations in more cities. FRSH’s business model is similar to the US-based Munchery, which is one of the most successful startups in the foodtech space. The company is gearing up for Series A funding, which it plans to close in the next couple of months.