From freezer to blender – this woman entrepreneur offers healthy smoothies without added sugar or additives
Vakula Sharma had a difficult time coping with her nutrition needs post-pregnancy, and depending on pills or supplements did not help much.
On her trip to the US, her cousin introduced her to smoothies. She remembers walking into a store and ordering one, to be surprised by the flavours that hit her. Devoid of powders or additives, the pure smoothie was available in different blends.
On her return to India, Vakula adopted smoothies as a regular part of her life and diet and saw a visible transformation – she lost a lot of weight and felt healthy, happy, and energised.
“The flip side is that here I had to make my own smoothies with different vegetables, fruits, and nuts to have a wholesome nutrition-rich meal, and that got me thinking about so many mums who didn’t have enough time to focus on their own food…that’s howwas born,” she says of the pain point behind her venture.
Healthy and wholesome options
The Hyderabad-based interior designer, inspired by her mother, who is also an entrepreneur, launched PulpBrew in September this year.
With a large number of people looking for healthy options during the pandemic, the product seemed to be right for the market.
“It’s a known fact that most people who look at losing weight don’t really look at the nutrition aspect or balanced eating that could lead to weight loss eventually. My aim, with PulpBrew, is also to educate people on consuming more natural and whole foods to maintain good health than just focusing on weight loss,” she says.
The options available in India were limited, so Vakula put her blender to good use. She researched smoothie blends and ingredients for fresh, wholesome smoothies.
PulpBrew offers ready-to-blend smoothies made with exotic, optimum ripe fruits, fresh veggies and greens, antioxidant-rich super foods like nutmeg, chia seeds , flax seeds, dates, and cacao.
It uses the Individual Quick Freezing (IQF) or blast-freezing technique so that food retains shape, colour, taste, smell, freshness and also its nutritional value. It has a long shelf life and ample care is taken in selecting ingredients and ensuring that the user get the best of nutrition in every pack.
This is why, Vakula says, it takes them about two days to deliver an order.
“All ingredients are individually frozen when they are optimum ripe and stored in the freezer at -18 degrees. The products are packed in according to their recipes. We have ready-to-blend meal replacement smoothies and also minis, which can be had at breakfast or as a snack. There is no added sugar or preservatives,” Vakula says.
While the berries are imported, other fruits are sourced from farmers/local markets, ripened at PulpBrew's unit naturally, and frozen when optimum ripe. Greens are sourced from hydroponic farms and blanched before freezing.
PulpBrew targets fitness enthusiasts, health-conscious people, and working professionals, but Vakula believes everybody needs a product like this, which helps “maintain great health without any effort”.
Educating people first
PulpBrew is bootstrapped with Vakula as the solo founder.
The revenue model includes D2C, supermarkets, and gyms, and Vakula is currently exploring the feasibility of setting up kiosks at fitness centres.
PulpBrew’s nearest competition are manufacturers of protein bars. “But we are on a mission to educate people on how our smoothies are different and truly healthy unlike a lot of other brands,” she adds.
Available for order from its website, and retail stores like Qmart and Planetarium Vegan Cafe, Vakula is exploring other retail spaces and is all set to start home delivery first in Bengaluru, followed by Mumbai and Pune.
The smoothie blends are priced from Rs 69 onwards. All you have to do is order, open the pack, slip into the blender, add milk/yoghurt/coconut milk/almond milk/water, and blend.
While Vakula did not share the young brand’s growth trajectory so far, she says it’s been a good journey so far as people are looking at healthier options. “PulpBrew is the right choice for those looking for healthy meals from the convenience of their homes.”
As a woman entrepreneur, Vakula believes, “Your decisions today define your tomorrow so keep going and live your dreams.”
Edited by Teja Lele Desai