'What should I feed my baby?' - Andhra-based Nutreat Life has some answersSindhu Kashyaap
The bootstrapped startup makes home-made food for babies, kids and a small range of health food using traditional processing techniques.
At a glance:
Startup: Nutreat Life
Founders: Jyothi Pappu
Founded in: 2015
Based out of: Malkipuram, Andhra Pradesh
Sector: Food & Beverage
When Jyothi Pappu had her baby in 2015, like any new mother, she fretted about what to feed her son. Baby foods available in the market did not cut it as she found nothing that was natural and preservative free.
Then, like any new mother, she turned to her grandmother, seeking her age-old wisdom. While her grandmother was more than happy to share a wealth of information - there was, however, a caveat. She insisted Jyothi only use traditional methods to grind the food, which meant stone grinders!
The Masters graduate in Pharmacy from Sri Ramachandra University, Chennai, also consulted a few pediatricians and friends, did some research on the internet, and started making baby food at home.
The initial days
"I shared the recipe with my friends. Since most of them were working mothers, they asked me to prepare it for them. These requests made me think of going commercial with the support of my husband in 2015,” says Jyothi.
This was how Nutreat Life was born. Nutreat makes home-made food for babies, kids and a small range of health foods using traditional processing techniques. The company is based in Malkipuram in Andhra Pradesh.
Beginning with an initial investment of Rs 25,000, Jyothi enlisted the help of four women. The principal helpers are Manga and Lakshmi, who stone grind the rice and other ingredients. Durga takes care of the packaging of the products. The team works in a godown near Jyothi’s home.
The team handpicks raw ingredients directly from local farmers, and sun-dries them to improve shelf life. Ingredients like rice and millets are ground in a stone grinder to retain maximum nutrients, after which they are slow roasted in clay pots (this enhances the taste). The raw ingredients are purchased in bulk, and the products are manufactured using only traditional appliances.
The initial challenges were understanding the commercialisation aspects of the business. For this, Jyothi received help from her husband and a few friends.
They helped her in scouting the market and finding the right vendors and distributors, while being aware of costs.
For packaging, Jyothi has tied up with local manufacturers and distributors who in turn supply with retailers. She was able to onboard the packaging team and distributors with the help of her husband and her friends in the IT industry.
“We don’t use preservatives or artificial ingredients to increase shelf life, as we believe food should always be consumed fresh and before it spoils. Hence our products have a very low shelf life of six months, like most homemade foods,” explains Jyothi.
Initially, they started by supplying products to local retailers. Nutreat sells five products through a few retailers in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. The team is looking to release six more products this year. The products are also available on Amazon India and few other health portals as well.
Currently, the team claims to be making revenues of Rs 2 lakh per month, and is targeting revenues of Rs 5 lakh to Rs 8 lakh per month by the end of the year. The average price of the products is between Rs 300 and Rs 500. The average basket size is Rs 350. The margins are between 18 and 20 percent.
According to a Research and Markets report, the Indian snacks market will touch $1 billion by 2024. There are a growing number of health-snack startups like Mumbai-based Snackible, Gurugram-based Supa Foods, Poshtick, and Evolve Snacks, to name a few. These now compete with the Britannia, ITC and Haldiram’s, who are also getting into the health snacks space.
In the future Nutreat is looking expand its retail presence to different parts of the country.