This startup is raising awareness about consuming healthy eggs with its antibiotic and hormone-free eggs
Second-time entrepreneur Namita Satija believes there is a lack of awareness about eggs in the market.
“Nobody knows what kind of eggs they are eating. The cycle between the laying of eggs and the person buying and eating is huge. There’s a lot of news and awareness about milk, but there is absolutely no information about eggs in the market. No one talks about antibiotic-free eggs or hormone-free eggs, nobody talks about it--not even bigger brands,” she says.
To help people make better choices with the eggs they consume, Namita and her husband Atul Mittal started Bettr Eggs and Food Private Limited.
The Chandigarh-based startup produces organic, antibiotic, and hormone-free eggs. It is currently partnering with small farmers to produce enriched eggs and also helps them earn 30% more above their income. The company also clocked a revenue of Rs 5 crore in August 2021, just over a year since its launch in 2020.
How it started?
Namita’s previous startup PLAPP, which was into the upliftment of artists, came to a halt during the pandemic. The couple then started visiting Atul’s poultry farm frequently, which is in Chamkaur Sahib, about 75 kms away from Chandigarh.
“It was also a time when people were having organic foods to boost their respective immune systems. We thought of improving our lives with whatever we have. After doing some research as to what was good for the hens and after talking to a veterinarian, we found that the eggs become a little better for digestion if we feed the hens with amla, haldi (turmeric), etc,” says Namita.
So, their next logical step was to ask a few of their doctor friends, who were gastroenterologists in the city, to try those eggs as well as give them to their patients who had issues with digestion.
After knowing that it did not have any side effects, Namita and Atul started visiting organic cafes in the city to make them understand that the eggs they source are orange in colour due to the artificial additions.
“There was nothing organic about the packaged eggs in the market. We then tried giving different feeds to our hens--including beetroot and bell peppers. Even then, we could only achieve a dark yellow colour and not orange. Initially, nobody admitted to using orange colour, but we realised that all those people are using colour, which are synthetic in nature,” Namita says.
“We did not hire anybody to increase the reach. I had gone to retailers myself. Our delivery timing, quality, and freshness are our USP that have been able to take us so far,” she says, adding that they have their own systems in place that help quality check the eggs.
Namita says that reaching small outlets and explaining to people how the eggs fromare different from the eggs available in the market was a key challenge to her while starting the business.
“When people were not going out, we were going from shop to shop and telling people about our mission. People didn’t think that selling eggs from retail stores was a respectable work to do, especially for an educated girl. But I felt there was enough work to be done and it was our passion that made us continue,” she says.
The startup currently competes with Egozz and Happy Hens, which also offer organic eggs.
Working with farmers
Bettr Eggs initially started selling eggs in boxes to retailers. However, it did not want to utilise just its farms and be operational heavy. Thus, the startup started collaborating with smaller farmers.
“We help them manage their farms because what happens in a small farm is that they're not able to sell their produce. They have limited number of eggs and nobody comes to pick them up regularly. They often have to wait for a week so that they can have enough produce for a truck, which can be sold. And if the eggs are old, they will have to sell them at a discounted rate--leading to bigger losses,” Namita explains.
Bettr Eggs joined hands with these small farmers to take their produce in return for using its supplements. Currently, the startup has three farmers on board.
The company also works with rural women for packaging and cleaning the eggs. The entire set up is near its poultry farm in Chamkaur Sahib. Apart from them, the team also consists of two delivery personnel who supply eggs.
Although the team has done awareness campaigns at schools and gyms, it plans to raise awareness about the quality of eggs people consume going further. The team is also on a mission to have a lot of ethically raised birds, which means the hens will be cage-free.
“Since the market is a little price sensitive right now, we offer caged eggs too. But we are going towards being a more humane society. We truly believe this is the future of poultry as well in India,” says Namita.
Edited by Megha Reddy