From vegan meat to plant-based supplements: What's brewing in the FMCG space & other top stories of the week

From fast food to nutraceuticals, and plant-based meat, this week, SMBStory tracks the various development happening in the Indian FMCG segment.
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The Indian food and beverage industry has evolved in recent years. From ushering the fourth wave in the coffee industry to rising demand for bean-to-bar chocolates, the space is seeing disruptions across categories.

Over the last few years, another trend that seems to be picking steam is vegan meat or plant-based meat alternatives.

Two categories of people are giving a push to this trend — vegetarians looking to increase protein in their diets and non-vegetarians who want to gradually shift to a vegan lifestyle. 

While the concept of plant-based meat or "mock" meat is a matured concept in the West, with established brands such as Beyond Meat, Archer Daniels Midland and Impossible Foods operating in this space for some time now, the industry is at a nascent stage in India. 

Today, several companies in India are trying to crack the vegan meat code in India.

Read the full story here.

BodyFirst

When Pranay Jain set out on the path to healthy living, little did he know the journey would reward him in ways he couldn’t have imagined!

During his college days at the Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (NMIMS), he found himself consuming chocolates, processed food, and an incessant amount of sugar. From having an average weight, he went on to weigh 96 kgs in the second year. 

In 2013, he decided to take charge of his life and start on a fitness journey. Pranay joined his father’s business Gangwal Group in 2015 to handle international operations. Since the group was already operating in the healthcare and pharmaceutical spaces since 1987, he decided to launch the nutraceutical and supplements vertical in 2017. 

Formerly called Body&U, BodyFirst was started with an aim to make “India nutritionally responsible while providing authentic, genuine, and clinically researched products to the Indians,” Pranay tells SMBStory

The Mumbai-based brand offers a host of products such as plant protein, KSM66 Ashwagandha, vegan Flaxseed Oil, Fenugreek fibre, Astaxanthin, probiotics, whey protein, My Crunch protein bar, and more. Today, BodyFirst is present in 45 cities – through offline and online channels. 

Read the full story here.

The Burger Company

Neelam Singh was always a foodie by heart. It was her love for food that eventually led her to become an entrepreneur.

After working with Genpact and ICICI Lombard, she quit her job in 2017 to start her own food business. She says she wanted to target another gap in the market by opening a fast-food chain for youngsters specifically, preferably college and school students residing in Tier II and III cities. 

“I grew up in Agra, and there were not many places in those times where we could hang around,” she says. Today, fast-food chains across the country have considerably grown, and Neelam hopes to carve a niche in this very market.

To set the ball rolling, Neelam started a B2B business. “We took a small shop in the food court in one of the corporates, converted it into a kitchen, and supplied to corporates like Sapient (in Gurgaon). We offered mainly burgers and beverages.”

Seeing the burgers getting a good response, Neelam felt encouraged to take this a step further to start her own fast-food business called The Burger Company. In 2018, she opened an outlet in Palam Vihar, Gurugram.

Since the pandemic, the brand has scaled up to 42 franchisees and one outlet of its own. Following her dreams, Neelam has also been able to expand to Tier II and Tier III cities like Baraut, Loni, Roorkee, Bhiwani, Rohtak, Ujjain, Aligarh, and more. The larger plan is to open 100 more franchisee outlets by the end of the next fiscal year.

Read the full story here.

Other top stories-

Kazo

Strolling through a mall or a high street market in metro cities, it’s hard to miss a warm ambient store called Kazo, known for its rich western designs. However, not many would be aware that this international-sounding brand is in reality, completely Made in India, with its genesis in Delhi. 

In an exclusive chat with SMBStoryDeepak Aggarwal, Founder, CEO and Managing Director of KAZO, says that after completing his graduation, he wanted to do something of his own and not join the family business, which led him to start a small garment export house in 1991.

Running this business for about 15 years gave Deepak a good understanding of the industry, and he soon realised there was a wide gap in the western clothing market in India. 

“There were no affordable, high-street, international fashion wear brands in India,” he adds. 

To address the gap and bring a new dimension to women’s fashion in India, in 2007, Deepak started KAZO by investing about Rs 40 lakh of his own. Today, Deepak claims the company clocks a turnover of Rs 100 crore, with more than 170 points of sale across 70 cities in India. 

Read the full story here.

Edited by Suman Singh

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