[Startup Bharat] By positioning peanut butter as a protein supplement, how MyFitness is targetting Rs 100 Cr in ARR
When John Harvey Kellogg first developed peanut butter in 1895, it was for those who were older and needed protein-rich nutrients.
More than 150 years later, the spread remains a much-favoured addition to breakfast and other meals, not just in the western world, but in India too.
Gujarat’s Silvassa-based peanut butter brandhas been aiming to give the popular spread a healthy twist. The brand claims to be the first in the category.
“Peanut butter, at the end of the day, is a great source of protein. And the way we make it, our formula is probably the best in the market,” claims Poojan Shah, Strategy and Business Development Head, MyFitness, in a chat with YourStory.
Run by Tanvi Fitness Pvt. Ltd., MyFitness claims to eliminate the excess oil out of the butter, essentially turning it into a snack. “People have been using our product as a pre-workout snack,” informs Poojan.
Credit: YourStory Design
Relatives turned business partners Mohammad Patel, a chartered accountant, and Rahil Virani, a financial consultant, launched MyFitness as a new-age direct to consumer (D2C) food brand that provides healthy, tasty, and nutrient rich foods. With the duo’s family business being mainly into exporting peanuts and peanut butter, the entrepreneurs always felt strongly about customising a product for the Indian market.
“The export business is a completely separate entity and MyFitness is brand catered to people in India,” says Poojan.
Launched in 2019 with two versions - the original peanut butter and natural peanut butter, the firm has made a few more additions to its range -honey, chocolate crunchy and chocolate smooth, and is seeing 6,000-7,000 jars being sold every day.
According to Poojan, this growth has come on the back of strategic partnerships with celebrity personalities like Indian cricketer Hardik Pandya, and actors Kriti Sanon and Samantha Akkineni, among others. He also attributes the growth to strong word of mouth from body builders, and a robust influencer marketing strategy.
MyFitness has a network of close to 1,200 influencers. The firm is also one of the sponsors of Joe Weider's Olympia, a bodybuilding competition, for more brand recognition.
The peanut butter brand has tied up with a third party manufacturer to produce 90 tonnes of butter
The firm has increased their marketing spends to 5x compared to last year, and would be spending 15-20 crore on brand building.
MyFitness is now in the process of opening a new production facility, with a third party manufacturer, which aims to produce 90 tonnes of peanut butter every day, compared to 25 tonnes in its current facility. The startup, which started with four employees, currently has a team of 30.
About 55 percent of MyFitness’ sales happen through online channels, while the remaining 45 percent comes from retail stores. MyFitness butters have not yet entered the general or modern trade stores as it mainly targets fitness stores.
Funding and competition
The company raised a $1 million seed round from early stage investor 9Unicorn with participation from D2C brand Beardo’s co-founders Ashutosh Valani and Priyanka Shah, among others.
According to Poojan, the funds will be used to grow the team further as it explores product expansion by introducing apple cider vinegar and rolled oats. “Although we are looking to introduce these new products, we will continue to position MyFitness as a peanut butter breakfast and fitness brand, and launch a new brand for apple cider vinegar and other health products,” remarks Poojan.
As for competition, big names like Marico’s Saffola, and Sundrop have products in the same category, and D2C brands like Yoga Bar, The Whole Truth, and Pintola also give tough competition.
“We are going to differentiate ourselves by focusing on fitness enthusiasts, body builders, and in the breakfast category. Not many have entered the fitness category through something as simple as peanut butter,” quips Poojan.