Life & Style

Snack it right

Indians love their snacks and millets are now increasingly being consumed for good health.

The Orgtree community knew this, then, to be a perfect match and brought them together in line of pure millet-based snacks under the label ‘Kiru’ (named after the Kannada word for millets ‘kirudhanya’).

“The Orgtree community is trying to bridge the gap between consumers and farmers. Working with a group of over 25 farmers in the Thenkahalli village in Karnataka, which is located over 110 kilometres from Bangalore, the organisation is encouraging them to grow more millets commercially. We then procure them from the farmers and make them in the form of snacks,” explains Siddhant Sarkar, who heads operations and business development for the organisation.

Orgtree, which focuses on millets and millet-based products, is a farmer-centric, sustainability driven social enterprise. “The snack market in India is filled with gluten-based products which are known for their negative impact on health. In fact, millets are increasingly gaining prominence even in Western markets as the world is now reeling under the impact of lifestyle diseases largely caused by unhealthy food. We want to revolutionise the snack market in India by putting health first.”Millets on the other hand, are alkaline, gluten-free and a naturally rich source of nutrients, including antioxidants.

“They are also among the hardiest crops in the world, they require very little water to grow and make for highly sustainable crops, especially in water-scarce regions. There is a clear trend towards sustainable, organic farming in India. And millets have been patronised by the country, even more so in the Karnataka region, for millenia.”Kiru is currently offering three kinds of snacks — millet sticks, like breadsticks; millet cookies and multi-grain millet health bars. They are now planning to launch a rage-based health drink.

“The millet sticks can be consumed with tea and coffee, almost like breadsticks. We offer different flavours in each offering. We have been expecting with flavours in each product, everything from banana to ajwain, cocoa and almonds. But these are natural ingredients that are grown along with our millets, we do not have any chemical or synthetic flavours. We keep our products as healthy as possible.”They do not use any preservatives in the products, choosing instead to work through the logistics of a product that has a shorter shelf-life. “The health-bar doesn’t last more than a month while the other products have a natural shelf-life of four months. We have a replacement guarantee for our products that go on sale, we replace them within 30 days if they are not sold. The unsold stock is then converted to manure and goes back to the soil.”

Siddhanth believes that Kiru is now at the forefront of millet-based snacks in the country, with very few players in the market. “The response has been steadily picking up. There is a lot of demand in the corporate segment because Kiru becomes the healthiest option for them to snack on when they skip meals. These snacks also keep hunger in check.”

Apart from offering corporate packages, Kiru snacks are also available on major online retail platforms including Amazon, Flipkart and Place of Origin, apart from their own website. “We are also working towards bringing the farmers closer to customers by organising sessions as part of the Kiru experience, where customers can ask them questions and learn more about hat they are eating. We, as an organisation, want to spread awareness on what we are all eating as a community and how we can work on our health through our food.” For details, vist

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Printable version | Jun 14, 2021 5:36:30 AM |

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