How this homemaker taught herself to make healthy snacks and tasted success with Gouri’s Goodies
Fifty-year-old Gouri Gupta is well-known for her range of artisanal snacks, Gouri’s Goodies that took root out of a passion for providing nutritious, anytime snacks for her family.
Today, the popularity of the 15-year-old brand rests on the belief that one does not have to choose between three important factors – nutrition, good taste, and convenience. Gouri’s Goodies do not use any additives or preservatives, are made with completely natural ingredients, and are made in small batches to ensure freshness at all times.
The turning point came from a simple, yet a life-changing decision. “My husband decided to opt for naturopathy and this gave birth to the importance of conscious and nutritious food habits, knowing where one’s ingredients have been sourced from and most importantly that just because it’s nutritious doesn’t mean it’s not tasty.”
In fact, some of her earliest memories are of visits to the market with her father to buy the day’s freshest produce. Her childhood was filled
with understanding the basics and about fresh produce, and at the same time learning baking from her mother. All these early lessons kicked in much later in life and encouraged Gouri to do something with food.
Anytime, nutritious snacks
She started Gouri’s Goodies at home with a small kitty of funds, just to initiate the purchase of ingredients.
The primary focus for anytime meals, Gouri says, is on mindful eating. “We offer the convenience to eat nutritious food on the go, which is ultimately adaptable for urban living. For instance, you can opt to consume our cereals with dairy or non-dairy milk, probably grind it and make a pudding or innovate it as a simple bhel.”
The product range includes cereals, energy bars, mini bites, and ladoos, each handcrafted in small batches. And each of these products can be extensively consumed and adapted into varied recipe formats. There are products for everyone in the family at all age groups and specific dietary regimes, such as vegan, gluten-free, and diabetic-friendly.
The products also come with seeds, which are densely nutrient-packed. Sesame seeds, Gouri elaborates, is a great source of iron while chia seeds are a natural coolant.
The concept of Happy Ladoos was to bring back the ladoos in fashion, especially for the youth as well as for older generations to relish ladoos absolutely guilt-free.
“We’re a small, homegrown company, and when it comes to sourcing our ingredients, our processes, and our hardworking helpers in the kitchen, we take on a straightforward approach: what you see is what you get. We believe in conscious eating and snacking on natural, preservative-free food that actually tastes good, because we care about the people we feed, and want you to nourish yourself without sacrificing taste in the process,” she adds.
From being a homebound brand, Gouri’s Goodies hit the shelves three years ago when Gouri’s elder son, Vidur, moved back from London after a stint in the FMCG sector. “For this growth, we started from scratch, with elements such as the necessary packaging, production capability, product and pricing strategy. We’re a self-funded company, and so we really had to build it all from the ground up with major learnings while on the job,” she says.
The products are produced in a facility at Mahalakshmi, Mumbai. It’s a dedicated kitchen for production, run by a talented team of women.
Up to a year back, Gouri says the focus of the company was to grow and be a part of the retail segment in the industry. But in the last few months, they have consciously taken up the tall challenge to go absolutely digital and ensure to grow with direct-to-consumer channels.
“Our achievement has been to take the products to the end consumer within two-six days of production. We are producing to order, which reduces the need to hold inventory and thus higher control on the life and quality of our products,” she says.
The biggest challenge she has faced has been the negligence from the part of grocery retail stores, where they would reorder without making an effort to sell, just to keep the shelves stocked. This unmanaged and ever-growing level of wastage drove the brand from the large retail format stores to go directly to the consumers.
Getting Mandira on board
Gouris Goodies is now solely available through its website and e-retail brands such as Amazon and Flipkart. The objective is to deliver to the end consumer within two to four days and as fresh as possible, and manage to reduce food wastage. As part of this effort, they are now launching Post Box Café in Goa, which will be the retail front for its complete portfolio of products.
Recently, the brand made another important move by collaborating with actor and talk-show host Mandira Bedi. On the association, Gouri says, “We collaborated with Mandira Bedi, a mother and fitness enthusiast, forging a bond over a mutual appreciation for clean eating, nutritious food, and above all, family. Eating consciously and staying true to her exercise regimen, Mandira Bedi epitomises the values of Gouri’s Goodies.”
In the last four years, Gouri’s Goodies has seen substantial year-on-year growth, an upwards of approximately 30 percent each year.
“Our future plan is to continue to grow by directly to consumers. The pipeline entails launching new products and continue experimenting newer recipes with current portfolio,” Gouri says.
(Edited by Evelyn Ratnakumar)