Please share a brief write up of your startup highlighting the latest achievements and future plans
Fruzzante is the world’s first and only producer of cider-style alco-beverage made from Chikoo extracts. We launched it on the New Year’s Eve of 2017 and thereon we have successfully produced more than 25,000 bottles.
We are additionally the only company producing fruit-based and non-grape bottled products in the wine category that is currently commercially available. Our entire wine range is brewed with home-grown produce obtained from the farms of Dahanu and Bordi, coastal areas located in Maharashtra. Furthermore, our products are both vegan and gluten-free.
One achievement that highlights the quality of our wine range is our silver medal at the “Drink Outside the Grape” challenge held in the United States in 2017. Ranking second among 145 global wines and ciders was no mean feat.
Apart from our flagship product, we have other variants in the vegan cider range including Pineapple, Mango, and Spice Garden (Cinnamon, Ginger, and Honey). Our plans are to diversify our product range further while working with several other fruits in the near future. In addition, we envision tie ups with about a handful of distributors to form a strong distribution network in Maharashtra.
What are your thoughts on how technology is disrupting the F&B ecosystem in India?
Technology has disrupted the food and beverage (F&B) industry to such an extent that it has formed its own niche in the form of the food tech industry – which is only set to expand further considering the new consumer demographic which includes young working professionals in urban areas. Players like Swiggy and Zomato are indeed heading the pack while Uber Eats is not far behind. However, recent news dictates that Swiggy and Zomato are competing for the sale of Uber Eats, which adds to the interest of the industry’s expansion. With that being said, consumer loyalty is one aspect that will continue to evade the sector considering consumer flock towards the platform offering the maximum discounts and coupons.
What are the key challenges being faced by food-tech startups in India?
Apart from the industry model failing to grasp loyal customer bases, startups face the challenge of market access, which is why they begin as internet-first brands. For instance, on-boarding restaurants or building an app catalogue is an immense hurdle considering restaurants need to be primed to give commissions beyond 20%. In addition, “on-time” and “cost-effective delivery” is another challenge.
Do you foresee a trend where startups and companies in the food sector will collaborate with each other?
This is already a trend. For instance, Uber Eats’ hybrid delivery model involves collaboration with contracted delivery boys from companies like Runnr. Companies need to collaborate with each other to overcome the varying challenges in the food tech sector, one of which remains in delivery. Failing to do so will eventually lead to their downfall unless they have stability in the market.