We are all guilty of it and let’s admit it. For some, it’s the boredom, for a few it’s an indulgence and for the rest of us it’s a craving when hunger strikes between meals. Nevertheless, snacking is something we all love to indulge and cannot stop nibbling, even though we know it isn’t the healthiest of habits. Snackexperts, a Chennai based startup understands our love-hate relationship with snacks. That’s why they came up with the startup idea that intends to swap out unhealthy cravings with delicious snacks packed with dollops of nutrition. Sounds (or rather tastes) healthy… Ah? Let’s find out…
A subscription based pre-paid service, Snackexperts is a web based snack delivery platform that delivers nutritious and tasty snacks right at your doorstep. “We aim to introduce our array of healthy, nutritious, portion-informed and wholesome snacks to snackers who are always on the look-out for better snacking options”, says Arul Murugan Palanichamy, CEO &Co-founder of Snackexperts. “We ensure that the user receives the snacks box right at the doorstep within 5 days of placing the order and payment”, he adds.
Why healthy snacks?
We are a nation of snackers. Munching between meals has become a part and parcel of our lifestyle. In spite of the reportedly adverse effects consuming snacks can have on our health, we are unable to kick out of this habit. “We realised that snackers did not have a choice nor could they stop snacking altogether”, says Arul, an alumnus of TNAU, Coimbatore. The founders of Snackexperts discerned that snacking isn’t inherently bad. It is our choice of snacks that are deemed unhealthy. “So, we decided to bring out snacks that could be termed safe, nutritious and delicious, at the same time”, he says.The Snackexperts team believes that if healthy snacking options are available on a platter, there is no reason why people wouldn’t want to switch over. “We are just showing them the way.” he adds.
Now then, the USP
The team at Snackexperts love snacks as much as the rest of the country. If snacks are made healthy, you can nosh them to your heart’s content. Snackexperts essentially targets the health freaks who are constantly striving to strike a balance between their hectic lifestyle and health. The venture wants to bridge this gap through healthy snacking, curbing snack cravings and providing the essential nutrients for normal body metabolism. They also want to bring in healthy snacking options to kids and teens – most affected by theill effects of junk food. Their mantra is simple:‘creating and spreading happiness’ through snacks’.
Made from locally available, fresh ingredients, all their snacks undergo only basic food processing and are devoid of margarine’s, shortening agents, partially hydrogenated oils, emulsifiers, colouring agents and artificial dyes that pose threat to one’s health. In short, Snackexperts strives towards bringing the taste of home into their snacks.And that’s what gives them an apparent edge in the market.
At present, they offer six categories of snacks: Sweety Retreats, Fruit nut Extravaganza, Fruits Fosterage, Scintillating Savouries, Sassy Seeds and Flapjack fairies, all offered to customerwith zesty names. The team is doubly environment conscious and that made them introduce reusable boxes to deliver their snacks to users. Arul says, “We follow the Three R’s – Reduce, Reuse and Recycle, at every point. Our snack boxes can be reused for several purposes like storage box, first-aid box, magazine holder, garden box. We run campaigns regularly to bring about an awareness of smart and healthy snacking habits amongst children, working class and the general public.”
Arul adds, “We also use our Social media profiles for our awareness campaigns. We regularly share health and nutrition tips, discuss the importance of a healthy lifestyle. We share a special rapport with our users by means of engaging contests and information.”
Snackexperts is spearheaded by Arul Murugan Palanichamy, who co-founded the venture along with Arun Prakash, COO and Mary Shamla, CFO in 2014. Their 12-member team boasts of people who are experts in diverse areas: product innovation, marketing, design, among others. They were lucky enough to rope innotable pundits in their ranks to mentor the venture viz. V C Karthic, Founder Director – Buzzworks Business Solutions; startup centre Lead investor Ajeet Khurana, Former CEO – SINE – IIT Bombay; E-commerce expert Ravi Gururaj who enjoys various positions such as Product council Chair – NASSCOM, Chairman – Frictionless ventures,Co-Founder – HBS Alumni angels association and Taha Nabee, Vice President, Sales & Distribution – Aromatan Cosmetics.
Snackexperts raises seed capital
The founders learnt that startups are not built in a day and running one is no cakewalk. While they were overflowing with ideas, it is the ‘Ten Minute Million Event’ in IIT Mumbai that changed their life. The event called for people with promising ideas where they had wowed the investors with their design within an allotted time of 10 minutes. Interestingly, they were one of the two non-IIT startups and the only venture from South India to raise seed funding. Snackexperts raised 20 lakhs seed capital from angel investors that nurtured their startup. The venture is currently in the early revenue stage.
Obstacles along the way
As their snacks are made with freshly available ingredients, the shelf life can be considerably less when compared to other popular snacks out in the market. This, they believe, can be an obstacle in their road to the acme. However, Snackexperts stand by the fact that extreme processing poses serious health concerns, which is against the very principle of the venture that helps people shift to healthy snacking.
The road ahead
Health and delectability together in a snack box is something snackers will love to try out. Arul says “People have begun to trust us and our ideas. We see ourselves as the most trusted destination for snack lovers.” Snackexperts wants their brand to be synonymous with nutritious and tasty snacks. He adds, “In the future, we want to introduce and innovate snacks that cater to specific groups like children, women, diabetics, vegans and fitness enthusiasts.” Get in touch with team Snackexperts at firstname.lastname@example.org