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INTERVIEW

“Organic products should become accessible through affordable pricing”
Monday, 12 October, 2020, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Nourish Organics is a clean food company that aims at making healthy eating easier for the urban population through sustainable, organic food with a wide range of wholesome, multi-grain breakfast cereals, nutrient-dense cookies, on-the-go snacks, seed & nut combinations and fruit plus fibre based health bars.

As a pioneer in clean-label packaged food, all the products are 100% natural, free of processed sugar, preservatives, genetically modified foods, trans-fats or artificial flavour. Each variant is made with locally sourced organic ingredients that are wholesome, rich in fibre, high on plant-based protein and packed with essentials fats, vitamins & minerals through a bounty of nuts, seeds & dried fruit.
 
In today’s times when immunity building is such an important element of daily living, the well-researched, quality food products that nourish, while being responsible towards the planet by the company acquire immense importance.

Seema Jindal Jajodia, founder, Nourish Organics, elaborates further in an e-mail interaction with Ranjana Sharma. Excerpts:
 
What are the different and innovative products offered by you?
Ours is a clean food brand that aims at making healthy eating easier for the urban population through sustainable, organic food with a  wide range of wholesome, multi-grain breakfast cereals, nutrient-dense cookies, on-the-go snacks, seed & nut combinations and fruit+fibre based health bars.
Our range includes multiple variants of bars like Amla Bar, Apple Oats Bar, Banana Oats Bar, Choco Oats Bar & Lime Chia Bar. Muesli variants such as Multi Grain Muesli, Lean Muesli, Amaranth Muesli, Honey Crunch Muesli & Seeds+Nuts Muesli and Granola variants such as Oats Granola, Cocoa Crunch Granola & Cranberry Super Grain Granola. Fig Amaranth Cookies, Almond Buckwheat Cookies, Oats Cranberry Cookies, Ginger Oats Cookies, Chia Turmeric Cookies and Chocolate Coconut Cookies are included in our Cookies category. Snacks include Tomato Herb Flax Crackers, Brown Rice Snacks & Onion Poha. And, finally, Nuts and Seeds such as Active Flax Seeds, Fruit & Nut Trail Mix, Omega Seed Mix, Honey Roasted Walnuts, Active Sunflower Seeds & Pumpkin Seed Mix that perfectly balance taste with utmost health.

Has your company been affected by Covid-19?
People have started to look towards purchasing healthy foods due to immunity-boosting requirements and thus we have seen an increase in our online sales and queries for our products. Naturally, retail sales have seen a drop as people are choosing to stay home and order online over going out into stores.

Though slowly we are seeing retail patterns coming back to normal as lockdowns ease and the fear related to corona drops around the country. We have definitely seen consumers become more health aware during this period as they look more deeply into the nature of products. This has been great for us as we are able to further educate them about clean eating and truly healthy foods, allowing consumers to understand what sets us apart in the market.

Are your products available online or offline?
The products can be found in popular modern trade outlets, including Foodhall, Nature’s Basket, WH Smith and premium general trade across major Indian cities including Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Pune, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Panjim, Chennai, Chandigarh, Kochi, Kolkata and parts of Rajasthan. The brand is also available on e-commerce platforms like Amazon, Flipkart, BigBasket, Milk Basket and Daily Ninja.

Since you have recently launched your immunity booster products range, how different is it from that of competitors?
All our ingredients are chosen keeping in mind providing the highest quality of items that are extremely essential to include in each person's diet. We have also tried to include items that are normally missing from a typical Indian food diet such as seeds & nuts. We pay utmost attention to including Super Foods, a category of ingredients that pack a variety of nutritional benefits in comparison to regular foods. We encourage our consumers to #readthelabel so that they are aware of what is going into their body & pay attention to the amounts of goodness each product provides.

How do you see the competition within the organic food industry?
As people move towards healthy living across India, there have, of course, been a lot of new brands that have come up in the space. We think it is important for the informed consumer to be able to discern between brands that have come in only to make a quick buck from the trend, versus brands that exist due to the true purpose of providing essential health & nutrients to their consumers. Fortunately today’s consumer pays attention to reading the ingredient list and nutritional table that helps them choose true health correctly. We are constantly striving to break common misconceptions about healthy eating and to educate our consumer to choose better.

How is the organic market for healthy foods faring in India? In your opinion what is the size of the market?
The market for organic products in India has been growing at a CAGR of 25 per cent. It is expected to touch ?10,000-?12,000 crore by 2020 from the current market size of ?4,000 crore, according to a report produced jointly by ASSOCHAM and Ernst & Young. The organic market is still at a nascent stage, but with every passing day it is gaining popularity and is becoming an integral part of urban living. Currently, the industry should aim at becoming more accessible through affordable pricing. If the demand for organic food increases further, the government will gradually provide relevant subsidies and incentives to farmers to produce it. This would bring a new wave of organic products at competitive pricing for the discerning Indian consumer.

What about plans such as expansion, diversification, and collaboration and so on?
When it comes to organic food, the Indian market has a great scope for brands to explore and innovate. We hope to utilise the market’s interest in our product, along with newly acquired capital, to educate consumers on how healthy and tasty can be synonymous. Our efforts going forward will focus on aggressive sampling, distribution expansion, new product development and establishing a team of professionals who believe in our vision. Our expansion efforts will be focussed towards making our products accessible across leading metropolitans in the country.

What are the visible trends that you sight in this space of healthy food options?
There are many trends that come & go in the health food market, and while it is important to listen and understand each of them, it is also important to understand when & how to follow along with the trend. For example, gluten-free is an important trend that is currently on – but a lot of people don’t know that this was initially created for people with celiac disease which refers to a person with complete gluten intolerance. A lot of brands tend to write “gluten-free” on products that are naturally gluten-free, like a beverage item, as purely a marketing tactic, while a lot of brands are seen claiming “gluten-free” on oat-based products which is a risky thing as oats are normally grown in the same fields at wheat, causing oats to be a risky product for someone with the actual celiac disease to consume. Therefore, it is very important to know and understand a trend before jumping onto it & it is also important to take educated decisions when you see brands or products that are making use of a particular trend to reach you.

What goes into quality and innovation while manufacturing the products?
We take quality control & management extremely seriously. Sample products from each one of our batches is tested by a quality control manager in order to make sure the product always matches up to our promise of true health. Innovation is also a huge part of our company, especially with our founder being the brain behind most of our innovations, the company prides itself on its extremely well-considered & wide array of products that are not only extremely tasty, but also check all boxes in providing true health to the busy modern individual.

What are the precautions taken by the company to tackle Covid-19 threat, while delivering the products?
The company has been extremely careful in choosing who we partner with for deliveries during this time. Besides running usual internal audits on product packaging at the factory level so we can make sure all QC measures are being consistently upheld, we also regularly communicate with our delivery partners to make sure the necessary precautions & systems are in place for safe delivery of our products.
 
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