The startup has a range of low-carb and keto-friendly packaged foods customised for the Indian palate
Aditya Somani of Bengaluru enjoyed snacking at all times of the day—namkeen, bhujia, et al. Though he knew it wasn’t good for his health and he had to find healthier snacking options, the bland taste of low-carb, low-fat, low-salt healthy foods available in the market would lead him to return again and again to his first love—junk food. Till he came across Lo! Foods’ range of healthy snacks. And he became a loyal convert! “The biggest problem of switching to healthier options was lack of taste and very high pricing, the reasons for which I never understood. Lo! Foods snacks are very tasty and crispy and munchable, and not very expensive,” says Somani.
Bland food unappealing to the Indian palate has been the bane of seekers of healthy foods in India for a long time. And the expensive price tags meant that they could not continue with these healthier options for long. It was this that led Sudarshan Gangrade, founder of Lo Foods, to build an entire range of low carb packaged products which are Indian in taste. He had earlier co-founded Lean Science: a boutique fitness consultancy firm which provided bespoke diet and nutritional advice where he witnessed the personal struggle of people who want to lose weight and have a healthy lifestyle. “For long, we have believed that to eat healthy and lose weight one has to compromise on taste. I wanted to challenge that notion,” he said.
Founded in early 2019 in Bengaluru, Lo! Foods sells low-carb and Keto-friendly packaged foods through its online platform, besides top health platforms like Eat Fit and Fresh Menu. Its products are also available on Amazon Prime and Big Basket. The range, starting at Rs 35 onwards, covers atta, namkeens, mixtures, biscuits and desserts. All products provide less than 5 gms net carbohydrates per serving, which is 60- 80% lower than regular products. This makes them perfect for a Keto diet, diabetics and anyone looking to cut down on carbs. “The biggest standout feature of the products is their taste. They deliver authentic taste that is similar to what the Indian palate has been used to,” said Gangrade. “In addition, due to its unique formulation, the atta is the best atta for Indian cooking; helping consumers make authentic fulkas, parathas and pooris. The atta is loved by professional and home chefs and finds extensive usage across desserts and breads.”
Each product and the ingredients in it have been tested at NABL certified laboratories. Their impact on blood sugar levels has been recorded using Continuous Glucose monitors and Blood Ketone meters. Gangrade says that the unique formulations of the products help lower the maximum retail price by 35-40%. “This is unlike most low-carb / Keto products in the market which use very simple formulations; where they are using ingredients that are low in carb like almond flour, soya, flax seeds, etc. This makes the products very expensive. Solving this requires creating formulations that use local and alternative products that are low on cost. That is the only way this category will open up to the masses,” he said.
After tasting success online with 35% repeat customers, Lo! Foods is looking to aggressively expand offline too. “We also plan to scale up in modern retail formats. We are also in talks with major five star chains to launch low carb menu or products,” he says.