How TruNativ is encouraging Indians to eat healthy and stay fit
Standing tall on their three pillars of taste, health and convenience, nutrition startupis dedicated to creating a nutritionally complete and an affordable range of products helping Indians solve their nutritional needs faced on a daily basis. This Mumbai-based startup’s main purpose is to provide balanced nutrition and a desire to pursue fitness as a passion.
Food and nutrition have deteriorated in value over time. Chemical farming, genetic modification, climate change, usage of preservatives, consumption of ultra-processed and canned foods, carb-heavy Indian meals and change in eating habits is one big problem. As per medical research estimates, 73 percent urban Indians are protein and nutrient-deficient, implying there is a very large market. On the contrary, there are several factors contributing to India’s nutrition crises. These may be a lack of understanding of nutritional sources, less time to indulge in nutritional eating, tasteless food options in the ready to consume cereals category and a perception of healthy not being tasty. In the current situation, there is a strategic shift when India wants to eat healthy.
Research suggests that the millennials form 47 percent of the total working population of India. These millennials spend close to 1/3rd of the income on food and related items and are on a look out for healthier options. Around 62 percent of all Indian consumers aspire to live a healthier life.
Meet the founders
In an effort to inculcate healthy and nutritional eating, the founders of TruNativ, Pranav Malhotra and Mamta Malhotra claim that the brand is 100 percent natural and is backed up by a science of real goodness, smart nutrition and non-GMO. TruNativ’s premise is structured around an online platform, as a nutrition brand, delivering a wide variety of quality nutrition products at a reasonable price.
Their group company, Passion Global, is one of the largest importers of whey protein and bio-activities in India, supported by a robust supply chain, warehousing and infrastructure capabilities. The founders are highly experienced in the market and have scaled businesses. They are frontier suppliers to leading FMCG, pharmaceuticals and nutritional businesses across India.
Pranav, with his dynamic personality, has been a risk taker since his childhood. In 2011 at the age of 15, he set up his first business in the automobile sector. He graduated with a Harvard University certification in 2017 on Entrepreneurship Essentials. In 2019, when he entered the nutraceuticals business, he managed to achieve a 700 percent y-o-y growth to the tune of $6 million in revenue. By 2020, his enterprise TruNativ that started on wellness, became the one of the largest importers of proteins in India, drawing a seed fund from 9Unicorns in 2021 for the consumer-facing business.
Providing ‘smart’ nutrition
Food and beverage-based products having a shelf life, demand stringent measures to control their quality. These would draw attributes in setting standards on maintaining the aroma, taste, and most importantly, the nutritional value. This is in consonance to their mission in providing smart nutrition. Do you know why? Health is no longer limited to the elderly, but now is a way of life. It is now a matter of wellbeing and this is where these incumbent entrepreneurs have captured a delight in their start-up. They have discovered that India’s deficiency in nutrients is around proteins and fibres – some of the striking points for building their products.
The founders’ belief is in the state of the mind, hence, their research has been on creating great-tasting products, which are designed to seamlessly blend in one’s lifestyle. With this belief in creating all natural or nothing, they had to revisit in relaying a better understanding on purity, which is the centre for quality. They concluded that a convenient nutrition delivery system does matter, keeping in mind that healthy and happy consumers are more important besides their responsibility towards the environment.
What’s on offer?
TruNativ offers Froat - a plant-based blend of fibre and antioxidants, Raw Whey – performance proteins and EveryDay Protein and Fiber, which is their flagship product crafted for families to meet their protein needs. They provide India’s first drinkable fruit and oat fibre that lowers cholesterol, keeps the heart healthy on beta glucan, aids digestion and weight loss, a clinically studied breakfast in a glass that improves immunity, gut health and recovery. Their competitive edge lies in providing supplements and nutrition for everybody. Everyday Protein is one such innovation, it is designed to add clean and natural protein to your daily meals without changing the texture, flavour or colour. In order to generate more nutrients, they have focussed on the best certified organic ingredients. Oats, which is one of their principal ingredients, is sourced from Gothenburg, Sweden, where they are grown in an ideal climate in a sustainable way. Froat, that is 100 percent gluten free containing zero-added sugar, is a combination of Swedish oats and natural fruits. The freeze-drying process is unique and hence, it is able to retain 95 percent of nutrient content. The start-up claims the ingredients to be an everyday protein, plant-based fibre with antioxidants and a combination of vitamins and minerals.
The #Hargharprotein mission
Given that TruNativ follows a direct to customers (D2C) business model, the company has positioned itself around institutions, modern trade, retail and events. Their products have created a disruption in the D2C community with a slogan on fitness nutrition mindfulness and #Hargharprotein - a CSR initiative for protein fortification for the needy.
India’s D2C health foods segment is rapidly growing. In this target zone, TruNativ has been able to reach over 1.4 million users with an affinity for immunity therapy, antioxidants, staying healthy, caressing weight loss diets and muscle gain diets. As per statistics, 73.04 percent males and 26.96 females form the buyers group. Between the age groups of 18-25: 18.9 percent; 25-40: 45.86 percent; 40-60: 27.82 percent and 60+ 7.43 percent constitute the engaging individuals with TruNativ’s products. Some of the cities that draw these consumers are: Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Faridabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Pune, Thane, and Ghaziabad. With ground research in action, the start-up is accelerating to create a range of future products that include health drinks, high protein coffee, fortified soup blends, protein snacks and children nutrition.
Interestingly, TruNativ is pursuing to strengthen its network of influencers, which comprises gym trainers, a battery of nutritionists and the yoga trainers who form the cluster. At the initial stages, TruNativ has been able to raise around $200,000 from 9Unicorns. It has been able to draw co-investors like Ashutosh Valani and Priyank Shah, the co-founders of Beardo. They also were one of the fastest early-stage companies to score strategic interest from FMCG giant Emami and Nithin Kamath of Zerodha, participating in the follow-on round.