Tiruppur-based organic food brand ‘Some More Foods’ is making healthy living a viable option for adults and infants in Tamil Nadu, by offering an array of products ranging from baby food to health mixes.
According to UNICEF, India has 62 million stunted children (stunting leads to reduced physical and mental development) due to lack of good nutrition and care. The country represents one third of the global total of stunted children under the age of five.
When mom-preneur Deepa Muthukumarasamy saw her friends and relatives adding readily available supplementary food to their children’s nutrition quotient, it concerned her. Deepa notes that the women were predominantly feeding instant foods, which weren’t completely organic and did not have a mother’s personal touch. The 37-year-old mother often made health mixes using organic ingredients for her son and her secret recipe soon reached other mothers, making her realise of the gap for trusted weaning food in the market. Thus Some More Foods was born.
“Once my neighbour tried giving it to her baby and came back to me asking for ‘some more’. She asked me whether I could do a fresh batch for her every month. Having tried the sample, couple of her friends also came back requesting for the same and they were ready to pay me. That was a Eureka moment,” said Deepa Muthukumarasamy, founder and CEO of Some More Foods.
Deepa along with her cousin Vijayalakshmi Srinivasan started Some More Foods in 2013 and the company manufactures organic convenience food products including complete health mix, multigrain atta, millet noodles, millet sevai, puttu mix and baby food (First Spoon). However, Vidhya left the venture after a few months and since then Some More Foods has been a one-woman show. Today, Some More Foods products’ are available across 15+ paediatric hospitals, Baby’s World in Tiruppur and 100+ organic stores across the state of Tamil Nadu.
Overcoming challenges of being a woman entrepreneur
Deepa holds a Master degree in Foods and Nutrition and always wanted to pursue her passion of venturing into the food business. She decided to give wings to her entrepreneurial dreams after becoming a mother and seeing a growing demand for organic health food.
“I come from a conservative family which does not encourage women to be independent, let alone become an entrepreneur. It was a huge challenge to emerge as one, under these circumstances. To top it off, my husband and my father have their own family businesses which are in no way connected to food industry,” she highlighted.
As a first-generation entrepreneur in the food business, Deepa had little knowledge of marketing and growing her food brand. She was in great need for mentoring. This year, Deepa enrolled in The Indus Entrepreneurs’(TiE)women entrepreneurship roadshow (AIRSWEEE), which helped in shaping the brand’s marketing strategies and also provided a mentor to scale the business. After associating with TiE, the brand launched three new products - Millet Noodles (8 varieties), Millet Sevais (9 varieties), Millet Puttu Mix (two Varieties) and also took the re-branding route to increase visibility.
Some More Foods’ USP
Some More Foods uses traditional processing methods including sundrying, roasting and pulverising. As per the brand, the products are free from organic additives or preservatives (including sugar and salt) and aims to increase the physicochemical accessibility of micronutrients while decreasing the content of antinutrients such as phytate.
Deepa reveals, “We use the best practices followed by mothers and grandmothers to provide maximum nutrient efficiency. We research baby foods and after product development we get suggestions from leading nutritionists before launching them. Our products are certified by registered dieticians and meet FSSAI standards.”
Deepa feels that Some More Foods is at a nascent stage to worry about competition and the brand is currently focusing on growing pan-India.
The bootstrapped company generated revenues of Rs 16 lakh this year and hopes to reach a turnover of Rs 2.5 crore in the next three years by launching new products, expanding business to other states, hiring new distributors and making a strong online presence. Going ahead, the brand is looking to raise funds and come up with products for nutritionally-vulnerable sectors like infants, pregnant women, postpartum women and geriatric population.
“We want to emerge as a brand that provides nutritious organic foods to all ages from infants to elderly people,” says Deepa.