Crying jags, colic, sleep troubles, milestones, breastfeeding…new dad and mom face most of these and extra stresses each day. And then the day comes while the child can devour strong foods. New problems and questions crop up.
“Is the meals too granular?”
“Do vegetables keep vitamins after boiling?”
“Do I want to cook apples before pureeing?”
Traveling with a toddler adds to the strain – every meal looks as if a war for the parents.
This reality hit home when Pankaj Prakash, 37, and his spouse became dad and mom. But the seeds of the startup had been sown earlier.
“Sometime in 2016, I became accompanying my sister and her six-month-year vintage child from Delhi to Mumbai,” Pankaj recollects. “That 14-hour train adventure became out to be the longest – and most worrisome – experience I actually have ever taken,” he provides.
New kid on the block
When Pankaj, who turned into then heading advertising at Ola and became answerable for its launch in Delhi and Bengaluru, and his wife had a daughter a 12 months later, they went through the identical problem: finding nutritious and smooth meals to feed the baby, especially even as traveling.
“It caused the concept that there needed to be a wholesome and hassle-free choice for parents to feed their kids on the go,” Pankaj says.
After research that spanned a yr and a 1/2, Pankaj based Mumbai-primarily based Happa Foods in February 2017. The Mumbai-primarily based startup sells natural, healthful, and tasty baby food in tubs and pouches.
“We are on a venture to encourage an entire life of healthy ingesting conduct from the first actual chew,” Pankaj says.
An alumnus of MICA, Pankaj has 12 years of enjoying throughout merchandise and categories. Before beginning Happa, he was with Ola and has previously worked with ICICI Prudential and UNIDO. He additionally co-based green tea emblem LaPlant.
He used his private savings to make initial funding of Rs 20 lakh and started out working on Happa Foods with a group of experts, packaging producers, and a food scientist. Happa Foods is currently a team of 17 people. They additionally have an advisory panel of mother and father on board, who offer comments each time a new product is launched.
Clean and inexperienced food for babies
Happa Foods at present offers fruit, vegetable, and grain-based blends that are available tubs or pouches.
The purees are divided into three classes – single fruit purees, combination purees, and a mix of end result and grains. They cater to distinctive ranges of a baby’s increase.
The shelf lifestyles of that merchandise are six to 9 months.
“Happa Foods can be saved at room temperature,” Pankaj says.
Priced between Rs 99 and Rs 249, Happa Foods is to be had on ecommerce platforms like Amazon (Happa changed into a part of Amazon’s LaunchPad Programme), Firstcry, Babychakra, Flipkart, Snapdeal, 1mg, and Bigbasket.
“We have also partnered with the Future Group and are now available at Foodhall and Hypercity stores,” Pankaj says.
Happa is likewise operating with Reliance Retail.
The demanding situations they confronted
Happa Foods confronted several demanding situations because the group became “wading in uncharted waters”, Pankaj says.
Happa had no floor rules to follow and knowledge to faucet into. Moreover, lab checking out and trials were pricey.
“An unmarried device run for a small batch of trial merchandise would fee over Rs 25,000,” the founder says.
Given the nature of Happa’s target audience, the team desired to be doubly sure of the nice of the product and started out from scratch.
From the farm to the manufacturing unit
Happa assets components without delay from farms. It sources apples and peaches from Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand even as spinach is sourced from an organic farm in Nasik.
“Depending on the perishability, raw substances are sourced in a selected window,” Pankaj says.
Once the materials are sourced, they are sent for production to a manufacturing facility that Happa has partnered with. The manufacturing facility is certified by way of the United States Food and Drug Administration and the British Retail Council.
“We additionally have Hazard and Critical Control Point (HACCP) Certification, which ensures that each crucial point is often monitored and controlled,” Pankaj says.
Once processed, each unit is kept in incubation and fine tests are conducted. “The processed cloth is shipped out of the company’s warehouse as soon as we get the cross-beforehand,” Pankaj provides.
As of now, Happa claims to cater to fifteen,000 youngsters in keeping with the month and says it has recorded an 11x increase in sales, closing 12 months.
According to Statista, revenue in the baby food section in India quantities to $5,642 million in 2019 and is predicted to grow annually through 9.1 percentage.
Happa Foods competes with the likes of Nutreat Life, BabyStaples, Bebe Burp, and Happibo. However, what sets Happa’s purees aside is that they’re freed from insecticides and different pollutants. The purees do no longer comprise additives, chemical compounds, salt, and sugar. Moreover, they may be ethically sourced non-GMO merchandise and do now not generate any form of commercial waste.
“We have made our packaging on-the-cross pleasant. So be it at a daycare, in a plane, or at a marriage venue, parents don’t must compromise on their infant’s nutrients,” Pankaj says.
The startup, aside from prevailing over many parents, is likewise finding recognition. Happa Foods won the ‘Best Retail Startup’ Award by way of Retailer Association of India. The Trade Promotion Council of India has decided to showcase the infant meals corporation as an ‘Emerging Brand from India’ at Indus Food, 2019, a meals export merchandising occasion in Noida.
Pankaj says he’s on a challenge to re-believe infant meals in India and companion dad and mom in “their combat towards the onslaught of junk food from MNCs”. He’s also looking to raise finances quickly.
What’s within the future for Happy Foods? The group plans to launch greater product classes catering to special age organizations.