Veeba Foods forays into health segment with nutritional drink for kids

In an exclusive interview with YourStory’s Daily Dispatch, Viraj Bahl, Founder and Managing Director of Veeba Foods, discusses the company’s growth post-pandemic and plans for the future.
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B2B sauce and condiments company Veeba Foods has launched a health drink for kids, Provee, in an effort to provide wholesome nutrition for children. Developed on feedback received from more than 100 mothers, Provee is made from Indian superfoods, including jaggery, plant proteins, ragi, among others. 

This is the food brand’s second launch this year after Earthmade Organix hit the shelves earlier this year. Earthmade Organix provides products such as hummus and dips and has more products in the pipeline for the coming months. 

Viraj Bahl, Founder and Managing Director of Veeba Foods, says India does not have many brands that are venturing into the organic processed food segment. Veeba Foods’ recent launches indicate it is foraying into the “health” segment to target health-conscious millennials, and Viraj says the Gurugram-based company wants to “give India the best of what is available in the world”.

A report by Food Industry Asia (FIA) identifies decisions around food consumption are driven by health after the COVID-19 pandemic. The report mentions that at the peak of the pandemic last year, 31 percent of consumer needs were accelerated by health as a priority. 

For a homegrown brand such as Veeba, the pandemic posed a challenge in the initial months as the stock could not be sold in markets. While the food services part of the business did take a hit, Viraj says there was a spike in the company’s retail business. 

“The demand was not the problem; it was the logistics,” Viraj explains. 

Veeba Foods now has an extensive presence in over 550 towns in the country. The company took over six to seven months to completely reach its sales channels, which went deep into Tier 2 and 3 cities. For the first quarter of last year, the brand could not have its stock on sale due to restrictions, but business activities picked up the pace by the second quarter. 

Veeba Foods began as a B2B company and has been providing its sauces and dips to global brands such as KFC, Pizza Hut, Burger King, Taco Bell, Domino’s, Starbucks, among others. It has a dedicated R&D department working on changing palates of Indian customers and provides a wide range of products to general trade, modern trade and Quick Service Restaurants (QSR). 

Backed by investors such as Saama Capital and Verlinvest, the startup raised $6 million in Series B funding back in 2016. 

Now, Veeba Foods aims to deploy investment into its capital expenditure and marketing activities, which include celebrity endorsements and distribution channels. The prime focus is on integrating innovation with the seamless distribution. 

Acquisition of complementary companies is also on the cards and Veeba Foods is keen to partner with companies that display the right valuations. 

Commenting on revenue targets, Viraj says there aren’t any specific numbers. The expectation is to do better than the previous quarter for employees.

“I want to be India’s most loved food company and fastest-growing company,” Viraj says. 
Edited by Teja Lele Desai