If you are craving to munch on Indian snacks but are afraid of the unhealthy ingredients in it, then Lo! Foods has come to your rescue with its low-carb snacks. Read here about its story.Palak Agarwal
When it comes to healthy eating habits, people seem to have become more proactive than they used to be. Today, there are many fat-free, gluten-free, high-on-fibre snacks and food products than traditional munching items available in the market. But, how many of us like these foods?
If given a choice between sugar-free biscuits or diet namkeen and aalu bhujia, mathri, or jeera biscuits, our taste buds will only crave for the latter despite knowing the fact that they are unhealthy. However, Sudarshan Gangrade (39) thought of bringing a change by not letting people compromise on their favourite munching items.
Sudarshan, who previously worked as Head of Marketing at Ola, quit his job after finding his call to serve the country. With an aim to give back to society and create a good impact on people’s health, he founded Lo! Foods in January 2019 to promote low-carb snack and food items.
Prior to founding this venture, Sudarshan co-founded LeanScience, a boutique diet and fat loss consulting organisation, which offers completely personalised fitness and weight loss plans. He says that while dealing with 600-700 customers on a daily basis, LeanScience gave him an insight on the dearth of good diet options in India. He found that healthy eating options available in India were either too expensive or tasted bad.
The Indian taste buds want something desi to munch on, but finding a healthy option is difficult. People do not like to have a granola bar or ragi biscuits with their tea. So, here we are to cater to their taste buds with satisfactory and tasty low-carb snacks,” Sudarshan says in interaction with SMBStory.
Bengaluru-based Lo! Foods claim to have already become one of the popular low-carb packaged foods in India. Its product range includes atta, namkeens, mixtures, biscuits, and desserts, with many of these being the only ones of their kind in a low-carb/keto friendly form in India.
Lo! Foods was launched to encourage people to eat tasty and healthy food by promoting low-carb products. Sudarshan says, having a healthy snack on one occasion, and unhealthy stuff the rest of the time does not lead to healthy outcomes.
Today, India tops the list of diabetic patients in the world, as well as people suffering from poor heart health. The only way to prevent these diseases is by following a good diet, and that can only be achieved by serving a range of food products that they can have through the day, but in a healthier way.
People know they must limit their intake of sugar and rice as excess consumption of these items is bad for health, Sudarshan explains on the eating habits of people. However, they are not aware that these are all forms of carbs. Lo! is a natural progression, coming from a strong understanding of nutritional science and real consumer behaviour. Sudarshan says,
There is no low-carb brand, and everyone is making a healthy product by adding millets in the snack, or producing a granola bar, raw juices, and more. But no one is cutting down on carbs, which is the primary contributor to bad health.”
Started as a bootstrapped company with a capital of approximately Rs 40 lakh, the company’s manufacturing unit is in HSR Layout, Bengaluru, and it employs more than 15 people in the unit.
Sudarshan wants Lo! Foods to be a full FMCG brand like Haldirams, Britannia, and ITC, but with low-carb snacks. The brand currently offers mathri sticks, namakpare, jeera biscuit, chilli biscuit, coated peanuts, masala almonds, and chocolate coated almonds to its health-conscious foodie customers.
Sudarshan says the ingredients used in their products are different from other manufacturing brands, and in order to maintain transparency, he publishes his list of ingredients in various media portals regularly. He also claims that his brand has unique, technically superior formulations that have been developed after months of R&D, which makes it one of the tastiest low-carb health products in the market.
In a span of almost five months, the Lo! Foods website has seen more than a thousand customers, with a return rate of 35 percent, which Sudarshan says is excellent when compared to other ecommerce websites.
The brand is listed on Flipkart and is under the cataloguing process with Amazon and BigBasket.
The company aims to reduce the incidence of diabetes and cardiac-related diseases in India by five million by 2023. With ecommerce and online health platforms showing rapid growth, Sudarshan says he believes the brand will ride on their growth.
He further adds that though the distribution is challenging for FMCG products, they are in the phase where they need to reach a larger market and continue to have a place in the FMCG distribution space.