Nuts about nourishment

“I wasn’t sure if people would like it, but it sold out.” Umeshwari Machani of Green Light Foods is talking about the vaccum-fried vegetable chips that she trialled at the recent Gourmet Bazaar. Since it was successful, she is hoping to launch it in the next three months as part of Monsoon Harvest’s product list.

When the brand was launched in 2015, Umeshwari and her husband Srivardhan Sethuraman introduced millet-based muesli, which won the Great Taste Awards earlier in the year, and animal-shaped cookies. Now the range is expanding. Breakfast cereals for kids and buttermilk-millet crackers are already out. The first has a mix of oat clusters and ragi flakes with freeze-dried fruit. “It’s not puree or essence but chunks of actual fruit.” The crackers showcase the smaller millets like samai, varagu and kudhiraivali. “We use buttermilk to soften it as butter would have made it very heavy.”

They are looking to add granola (grain-free and vegan), nut bars and trail mix apart from the vegetable chips. “It takes about 18 months from concept to launch,” explains Umeshwari. “We have to go through different stages: experimentation, sourcing (which can be a problem sometimes), ensuring consistent supply and finally appropriate packaging.” For the vegetable chips, they have settled on lady’s finger, beetroot and sweet potato in three flavours. “We are experimenting with carrot, beans and karela too.” Most of their products come in resealable packets that can be reused. That came about, she says, because “once you open a packet, what’s inside invariably gets soggy soon if you don’t put it away carefully. We’ve also realised that the Indian consumers want to see what they’re buying so we’re introducing little windows so that they can see what they’re getting.”

Going forward, Umeshwari says that the focus on the breakfast and snack segment will continue. “We will look at expanding our portfolio and penetrating newer markets, while ensuring that whatever we have introduced continues to be available.”

Nuts about nourishment

While Monsoon Harvest can be found easily online, the main issue is getting into retail stores, she says. But she doesn’t want to get into the hassle of opening their own store. “We ship across India, not just to big cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai but also to smaller centres like Ranchi, Guntur and Kurnool. Punjab is actually becoming a big centre for us. We’re looking to move into the eastern India as well.”

She also hopes to apply for the Great Taste Awards again, may be in other categories as well. “I want to continue to bring out products that are new and not available in the market,” she smiles.

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Printable version | Sep 19, 2021 3:47:13 PM |

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