The demand for healthy food options have led to the mushrooming of a clutch of food-tech companies
There has been a constant rise in demand for healthy products, especially food in the last one year, post the outbreak of the novel coronavirus. In fact, Google’s ‘Year in Search 2020’ report showed that “how to increase immunity” was one of the most searched health topics on the platform. Interestingly, this has led to the mushrooming of food-tech startups, offering customised meals based on individual dietary requirements and fitness goals. Coupled with personalised diets, these brands have collaborated with nutritionists, doctors and culinary experts to offer a subscription based solution for their customers’ health needs along with doorstep delivery. “Our net revenue has gone up by 30-40% in the last one year compared to FY20. On an average, a customer subscribes to Food Darzee for around 30 days which costs them Rs 245 a meal for four meals a day. We currently serve 1,500 customers,” Anirudh Ganeriwal, co-founder, Food Darzee, told BrandWagon Online. The health and nutrition company, which has its footprints in Mumbai, Delhi NCR, Pune, Bangalore and Hyderabad, claims that its net revenue for FY21 stood close to Rs 18-19 crore. It also plans to expand its presence to other cities such as Chennai, Ahmedabad, Surat, Jaipur, Chandigarh, among others.
Meanwhile, ParaFit, which delivers healthy meals in Delhi-NCR, too claims to have seen a growth in the delivery business to the extent of 80-90%. “Fitness and health sector has seen good growth over the last one year. We have tied up with Zomato and Swiggy for a-la-carte orders in South Delhi. By the end of this year, we are also planning to expand our operations in Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore and Hyderabad,” Paraj Primlani, founder, ParaFit, said, adding that there will be an increased focus on hygiene, quality, besides expanding to new markets as well as introducing menus according to varied taste and preferences. The company claims to be targeting a growth of 80-90% in net revenue in FY22 at around Rs 3.5-4 crore. Moreover, it also aims to expand into the retail sector with the launch of brownies, protein bars, healthy cookies, and organic vegetables.
As these brands offer a differentiated proposition, most companies claim that word-of-mouth packed with performance marketing and social media marketing has helped in acquiring consumers. “Google Ads, Instagram and Facebook marketing, as well as advertising on Zomato have worked the best for us. In fact, customer acquisition cost (CAC) has decreased by 30-40% in the last one year as conversions have increased. It stands between Rs 90-100 for a four week subscription plan,” Primlani added. Meanwhile, EatFit plans to spend 90-95% of the advertising dollars on digital. “Our consumer base has mostly been organic so far, however, this year, we will spend about Rs 5 crore on advertising and branding. This is largely across getting our brand ambassador Devdutt Padikkal. As part of the association, we will be creating digital films to evangelise about healthy foods,” Ankit Nagori, co-founder, EatFit, said. The Bangalore-based company, which also operates in Coimbatore, looks to expand its operations to Mysore, Chennai and Hyderabad.
Even as these businesses continue to grow, experts believe that brands need to work on a more focussed approach to increase their reach, especially as the alternatives available are more accessible and affordable. Evoking some amount of trust in the product is key, Upasna Dash, founder and CEO, Jajabor Brand Consultancy, stated. “It is important to show and communicate the value proposition for the price being paid to get consumers hooked. Furthermore, micro influencers that represent the consumer cluster in a particular city also play an important role in communicating the message across. As most of these brands thrive on word of mouth marketing, it’s important to get as many people as possible to taste and consume these products so they become the real advocates of the brand,” she added.