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How Soulfull Rode The D2C Health Food Wave For 200% Revenue Growth Amid The Pandemic

How Soulfull Rode The D2C Health Food Wave For 200% Revenue Growth Amid The Pandemic

As consumers are figuring out approaches to buy clean and healthy food merchandise, new and existing FMCG manufacturers are attempting their stage quality to strike the right chord on the subject of the site of the products. With converting consumer tendencies and shopping habits, fitness meals has end up a chief buzzword inside the D2C recreation with organic and wholesome brands seeing huge boom in adoption.

The variety of fitness-conscious people (HCI) in India was ninety Mn in 2018 and anticipate to develop through 1.Four times to reach one hundred thirty Mn via 2022 in line with a Redseer document. This has fuelled the increase performed by fitness merchandise startups such as AADAR, Epigamia, 23BMI, Namhya Foods, Forbidden Foods, Storia and others in recent months. And this boom has been maximum for immunity booster meals and merchandise. The call for also trickled all the way down to Indian startups imparting health products ranging from wholesome snacks, immunity pictures and ayurvedic drugs.

For millet-based totally snacking brand Soulfull, the virtual transformation adventure inside the wake of the pandemic changed into the biggest task. The emblem, which heavily relied on offline general and modern alternate stores and marketplaces, had to pivot to the web local D2C version in April. And at the same time as the journey might have been tough, it has carried out 4x growth in terms of D2C sales inside the final six months. 

“Previously, we used to earn 7-8% sales coming in from online marketplaces, but after Covid, approximately 30% of our sales commenced coming at once from digital structures, such as hyperlocal deliveries and on-line marketplaces, while our native internet site changed into contributing 25% of revenue,” said Prashath Parameshwaran, managing director of Kottaram Agro Foods, the figure entity of Soulfull. 

Also Read:- Customer Obsession Drives Our Growth: Mayank Agarwal, Cofounder & CTO, Hubilo

Founded in 2011 with the aid of Parameswaran, together with Amit Sebastian, Rasika Iyer, Kottaram Agro Foods (Soulfull) commenced the adventure as a packaged-food processing employer. It envisioned reviving the point of interest on conventional Indian grains which includes jowar, ragi and bajra with the aid of turning them into modern-day day attractive breakfast and snacking alternatives, inclusive of cereal flakes, snacks, smoothies, premixes and geared up-to-cook food amongst others. 

It buys ragi from Tavarekere, Banadapalya, Kunkuppe, and Hebburu villages in Karnataka and is said to have impacted the lives of around six hundred farmers. After shopping millets directly from aggregators to guide nearby farmers, Soulfull procedures them at one among India’s biggest millet production capabilities spread throughout 30,000 squaretoes in Bengaluru. Till date, the company has raised $five.3 Mn from Aavishkaar Bharat Fund, along support from essential studies corporations and authorities entities to sell millets as a countrywide clever meals. 

Ragi Farmers In Karnataka Seeing The Light Of Soulfull Products

In the past six months, Parameswaran claimed that the enterprise noticed a 60% spike in local on-line sales after launching a brand new range of products in the pre-mix and smoothie classes.

Further, he said that the startup witnessed 2 hundred% sales boom via D2C channels at some point of the Covid-19 duration by marrying its current trendy alternate, kirana shops and ecommerce distribution channels with its D2C platform. It also launched eight new merchandise, with 200 distinct SKUs being bought on a every day basis. 

According to the corporation’s corporate filings, its sales in FY19 grew by 2X to INR 21.58 Cr from about INR 11 Cr in FY18. Its prices also ballooned from INR 15.3 Cr in FY18 to INR 41.8 Cr in FY19. But ordinary losses improved to INR 20 Cr from INR 9.4 Cr in FY18. Its EBITDA additionally stood at poor 373.70%. However, with the above-noted growth amid the pandemic, the founder stated that Soulfull is constructive approximately becoming EBITDA-positive inside three hundred and sixty five days. 

“When the lockdown become introduced, our production facility in Bengaluru turned into shut down only for an afternoon. After that, we have been capable of jumpstart our production, thereby ensuring all our products reach the cease purchasers,” recalled Parameshwaran

While the income group have been worried in streamlining distribution and delivery, the center control team changed into brainstorming around the D2C approach and executing partnership with the hyperlocal gamers, which includes Dunzo, Satvacart, WellCurve.In, Jumbotail, Grofers, 1mg, Swiggy Insta, BB Daily amongst others. 

Soulfull’s Distribution Strategy

“When you are processing 1 Mn devices of products and transport it to clients from one of a kind places, they constantly have unique needs and wants,” emphasised Parameswaran. 

After figuring out the D2C shift, the distribution and advertising techniques needed to be revisited and it has performed a pivotal role in Soulfull’s growth during the pandemic instances. The Bengaluru-based startup, which relied closely on BTL sports and sampling for advertising in the pre-pandemic times, went virtual whilst it got here to promotions to returned the D2C shift. A key part of this is the ‘Soulfull Family’ network which focussed on content related to sustainability, healthful food conduct and enhancing the livelihood of farmers. It engages onboarding industry specialists, instructional institutions, paediatricians and others for digital periods underneath this initiative.     

“When you've got your customers figuring out methods to shop for your products, however they may be no longer capable of discover them. It isn't the clients’ hassle, it is Soulfull’s problem.”


With the demand growing across key urban geographies, Soulfull extended its warehousing in Bengaluru, Mumbai and Gurugram to devise its stock earlier and provide sparkling stock to its clients. This helped make bigger the agency’s reach to almost 23 cities, thereby enabling nearby providers and stores which had inventory of Soulfull merchandise in the ones towns. “At the identical time, we were also searching at optimising the gap in these warehouses to make certain final-mile deliveries for direct, hyperlocal and ecommerce channels,” he introduced.  

For example, deliveries in Bengaluru for orders placed on Soulfull’s website had been fulfilled inside forty eight hours, with contactless delivery alternatives. For premix products, Soulful took a conscious decision to supply a restrained variety of units in smaller portions to make sure freshness of product for daily consumption. 

In addition to this, diversifying its sales streams, Soulfull piloted a subscription version for its breakfast muesli variety, which can be every day-use products “When it involves our merchandise at the internet site, clients are extra cozy to purchase it in bulk,” Parameswaran stated about the subscription test.

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