This brand manufactures healthy snacks for kids without compromising on taste

Mumbai-based Snack-A-Doodle is a homegrown snacking brand that offers a wide range of healthy, flavourful, gluten-free, and processed sugar-free snacks for children.

Ask any mother what she would change about her child’s eating habits, and the answer is likely to be, ‘I wish they ate less sugar!’

Mumbai-based brand Snack-A-Doodle attempts to address this problem by offering multiple healthy snacking options for children. It was co-founded by two young mothers -- Radhieka Pandeya and Simer Dhall -- in April 2021.

“The current premium kids snack market has limited options for allergen friendly and truly healthy snacks. There are caveats and hidden ingredients across many brands that had us concerned as mothers ourselves. Our vision is to simplify the choices for moms looking to give their kids the freedom to self-snack with a wholesome, trustworthy range of healthy snacks,” share the founders in a chat with YS Weekender.

The idea

Radhieka has a long association with the health food industry. She started her fitness bakery to serve her own sweet tooth through grain-free, gluten-free, and sugar-free desserts that would keep the pounds off. Now, with eight years of experience serving healthy and guilt-free choices to health-conscious folks including B-town celebs like Malaika Arora Khan and Hrithik Roshan, she has embarked on this new venture.

Radhieka believes it is the business acumen she gathered while pursuing her MBA at ISB, combined with her instincts as a mother to two boys that make her the driving force behind Snack-A-Doodle.

Simer Dhall is described as the “in-house expert on all things motherhood!” She became aware of this glaring gap in the market through her strong personal network of mothers, which led her to envision this brand of healthy and delicious snacks. A graduate of CAS Business School in London, she previously worked in the supply chain and transport industry. Referring to herself as an expert negotiator, she runs a tight ship at Snack-A-Doodle. She is also a hands-on mom and loves spending time with her son.

“We feel the introduction would be incomplete without mentioning our three beloved, and truly happy-to-oblige guinea pigs – our children. They have tried, tested, and loved each of these products before they were put on the market. As mothers, we are fully aware that healthy eating doesn’t matter to kids, only the taste of the food does. Hence, getting the taste of our products right was our biggest priority,” exclaims Radhieka.

Snack-A-Doodle was first envisioned around two years ago, but it took in-depth research and some trial and error before it was formally launched in April this year.

Explaining the choice of name, Simer says, “Kids often take to whimsical characters and names and our mascot ‘Dood’ was created from a child’s imagination. Snack-A-Doodle is our tribute to the playful journey that kids go through as they discover food, snacking, and what they love to eat.”

Snack-A-Doodle products

The growth story

According to data collected by Bizongo, an Indian tech-enabled B2B ecommerce and supply chain platform for packaging, apparels, and other customised goods, revenue in the Indian snack food segment currently amounts to $5,839 million. The platform further estimates the healthy snacks component accounts for roughly two percent of this revenue, which comes out to a whopping $116 million, boosting the vision of the team at Snack-A-Doodle.

The bootstrapped startup began with initial funding from friends and family, the entire amount of which went towards product research and development. Their core team consists of five members, and they have a bakery staff of ten to scale production. The team is based in Mumbai but the products are delivered pan-India. They rely heavily on social media to spread the word and frequently advertise online.

“Our biggest challenge remains our commitment to staying 100 percent wholesome and 100 percent healthy. This means we are very particular about our ingredients, suppliers, and manufacturing processes. It’s not difficult to make a regular cookie, but if the flour used is a healthier option, the process of manufacturing becomes complex. We have actively steered clear of making any choice that is unhealthy, even though it makes the process more difficult. We are happy to test our range versus any other in the market and we are sure that we will prove to be the healthier option in comparison!” says Radhieka.

The snacking segment is a large one, which means Snack-A-Doodle competes with every general snacking item in the market - from popcorn to regular chocolate cookies. What sets the startup apart is its tag of pure health, whose recipes have been designed by Radhieka to be healthy.

Simer explains, “We always tell our clients that it is not about making binary choices. Kids should enjoy all kinds of snacks as long as they are introduced to the concept of healthy snacking at an early age. If their palate gets used to non-processed sugar or alternative flours early, they will reap long-term benefits.”

Their confidence in their product is reflected in their numbers. Since beginning operations eight months ago, they have consistently grown month-on-month, with sales currently numbering 5X from when they began.

The products

The Snack-A-Doodle range currently includes eight products. These are their popular Bites, which are miniature bars in a host of flavours like Banana Choco-Chip, Strawberry Apple, and Mango Pineapple. They also have cookies in flavours of Vanilla Milkshake, Strawberry Milkshake, Crunchy Date, and Crunchy Chocolate Millet, as well as a do-it-yourself baking kit.

Snack-A-Doodle products

“Our bestsellers are the Vanilla Milkshake Cookies, which replicate the taste of a milkshake in a cookie. They have gotten rave reviews from kids and moms alike. Our bites are particularly appreciated by younger kids. Overall, our repeat purchase rates are at 44 percent, with 2,000 recurring customers every month. This figure mirrors successful launches in the FMCG industry, encouraging us that our product mix is working well,” says Radhieka.

Products range in price from Rs 250 for a pack of cookies and go up to Rs 900 for their mixed hampers. Currently, Snack-A-Doodle items retail on their website as well as through a few premium outlets in Mumbai. Over the next six months they plan to expand their retail presence to more offline and online marketplaces.

Describing the core strength of their business as their unique product, they hope to expand their range into new categories in coming months. They also hope to increase their range of manufacturing and distribution as they grow.

Simer signs off saying, “Snack-A-Doodle was born in the second wave of the pandemic, so we have lived through both the hard time of getting our product into consumer hands and also the boon of mothers willing to try new things online since they were locked indoors. It has been an interesting journey so far.”

Edited by Megha Reddy


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