All the world's a farm: How Berrika curates and delivers exotic grocery baskets to your doorstep
Berrika’s origins lie in its parent company Anusaya Fresh — a 50-year-old supplier of fruits, vegetables, frozen foods, and edible flowers to wholesalers, retailers, five-star hotels, restaurants, and premium supermarkets like Nature’s Basket, Foodhall, etc.
As the pandemic hit the food and hospitality industry, and the demand for premium grocery items dwindled, Anusaya Fresh CEO Dinesh Shinde collaborated with one of his clients, KA Hospitality, and began delivering restaurant-grade produce to homes.
Initially, Dinesh and KA Hospitality Director Krysh Bajaj took orders on WhatsApp and scaled up deliveries building by building. Soon, they realised that there was a much bigger opportunity in the space.
With the pandemic putting curbs on international travel and eating out, several high-end customers generated a pent-up demand for avant-garde food and beverages. Dinesh and Krysh started Berrika in June 2020 as a premium grocery delivery service to cater to them.
Berrika Founder Dinesh Shinde (R) and Co-founder Krysh Bajaj
It brings an exotic range of farm-fresh fruits, vegetables, cold-pressed juices, gourmet cheese, imported chocolates, ice creams, and more to the doorstep.
Dinesh tells YourStory,
“We needed to serve our loyal customers and food enthusiasts who craved good produce, fine ingredients, and fresh flavours. A lot of what they miss from their travels and restaurant visits, Berrika brings to their homes.”
The bootstrapped startup launched deliveries in Mumbai and Pune in September 2020, and expanded to Delhi in May 2021. It is slated to begin services in Bengaluru and Hyderabad in August, and Kolkata by the next quarter.
High-end produce from farm to table
Berrika leverages its parent company’s vast network of suppliers. It procures fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, meats, and cheeses from 600-700 farmers in 10 countries.
The eclectic produce includes mangosteen, rambutan, longan, yellow dragon fruit, and Japanese melon from Thailand; cherry, Granny Smith apple, and Red Globe grapes from the US; Valencia oranges and William pears from South Africa; apricot, grapefruit, and peach from Australia; Hass avocados, purple corn, green and white asparagus from Peru; gooseberries, blueberries, and blackberries from Holland; Baby Mandarins and Malawi Alphonso Mangoes from Africa; blue potato, baby fennel, rainbow carrots from The Netherlands; bird eye chilli, mushrooms, and lotus root from Thailand, and many more varieties.
Berrika currently offers 850+ SKUs on its platform
Berrika also procures gourmet cheeses from France; Parmesan and Gorgonzola from Italy; Danish blue cheese and imported meats from Spain; nuts and dry fruits from Chile; pistachio and almonds from Iran; figs from Turkey; and black raisins from Greece.
It utilises Anusaya Fresh’s own warehouses, cold chain infrastructure, and refrigerated vehicles across India’s top six metros.
The founder shares, “Because of the lockdowns, we were sitting with all the stock, not knowing how to liquidate it. That is what made us start an ecommerce venture. Now, we import depending on weekly demand, and deliver the items to the customer within 24 hours.”
Operations and growth plans
The platform offers 850+ SKUs; its customers include high-end restaurants, boutique hotels, hospitality groups, home bakers, and private chefs of HNIs.
Berrika also operates a D2C model that allows individual customers, mainly high-income households in metros, to place orders on its app.
The startup is currently delivering to 175+ pincodes in three cities. It is clocking an average of 300-350 orders per day, with three weekly orders per customer.
The Mumbai-based startup claims to have hit a GMV of Rs 1 crore, and is clocking a 30-40 percent increase in monthly sales. It has over 20,000 users, with 65-70 percent active customers. The average order value ranges from Rs 3,000-5,000.
Berrika delivers farm-fresh finds to 175+ pincodes in three cities
Berrika is looking to hit a monthly GMV of Rs 2.5-3 crore by the end of 2021.
“Our target audience are premium buyers in the 25-60 age group. The older generation prefers to order via WhatsApp, so we have integrated with it,” Co-founder Krysh reveals.
He adds, “We’re the first movers in the premium online grocery category in India. The likes of Foodhall and Nature’s Basket exist, but they are more offline-focused.”
The startup recently rolled out its gifting vertical, Sol.
“It is a fresh take on the tradition of food gifting. It prioritises health and nutrition through its customised bundles of life-affirming foods. With Sol, you can gift someone good health instead of flowers,” Dinesh explains.
Future roadmap and market overview
Berrika plans to launch bakery products, coffees, and ramp up its ready-to-eat category (which includes salads, dips, sausages) over the next few quarters. “We also have health products and alcohol as a part of our future roadmap,” Krysh says.
The startup will also grow its juices and shakes offering, which is seeing demand from five-star hotels like Mariott, Hilton, Taj, and Oberoi for their breakfast platters.
Berrika is financed by its parent company, but plans to raise external funding for expansion. It will also roll out subscriptions for D2C buyers, who contribute 70 percent to its topline.
Berrika has 20,000 users and is clocking a monthly GMV of Rs 1 crore
“We are looking to reach a GMV of Rs 300 crore and 50,000+ active customers across all metros by 2023,” states the founder.
Its model is cost-effective given it utilises the inventory and assets owned by Anusaya Fresh. Add to that, the pandemic-led growth in online grocery, which is estimated to be a $24 billion market by 2025, according to a RedSeer report.
Last year, India saw 23 million active households — doubling from 12 million in 2019 — buying groceries online.
“With factors like doorstep contactless delivery, easy transactions, and platforms maintaining quality and hygiene, users preferred it [e-grocery] for convenience and safety purposes,” RedSeer stated.
The founders sum up by saying, “Berrika is an effort to make the world a smaller place, with a little help from the farmers, who bring abundance to our kitchen. We are cultivating conscious consumers who indulge in novel farm finds, and are enriching them with the best food experiences from around the world.”