Finding the perfect and healthy snacks for children is often a daunting task for mothers, say Anchal Abrol and Priya Puri from Mumbai.
These two mothers and age-old friends had a hard time finding healthy and tasty snacks for their families and realised this gap in the market. As experienced entrepreneurs, they decided to do something about it, and that’s how Snaqary, a healthy snack brand was born.
“Though there were brands that offered healthy snacks, we couldn’t find a good range of products for people to choose from. So, we decided that our brand would offer more varieties of healthy munchies using traditional ingredients, without compromising on taste,” says Anchal who used to work in exporting and corporate gifting business.
“The business was built based on a single thought we had while we were contemplating starting the snacks business,” says Anchal.
She continues, “Our grandmothers always advised us on making food healthier. Be it samosa or kachori, whenever we make food at home they would suggest adding some healthy ingredients like traditional grains or greens to make it richer and healthier. It is this thought that we take forward through our brand.”
Brand Snaqary focuses on making preservative-free healthy snacks using traditional ingredients and natural flavours. Currently, they offer around 35 products to over 50,000 customers across the country.
Adding a healthy twist to snacks
The duo started their efforts in the year 2019 with a clear-cut idea of building a meaningful food brand. Anchal says that the first step towards starting a snacks business is to come up with the right menu of products.
“We started curating recipes for the brand with the help of vendors who were well-experienced in making traditional snacks. Recipe curation is usually easy, but it was difficult for us because we had to come up with a formula that works out well for commercial production,” says the 44-year-old entrepreneur. So, it took them around a year to bring their products into the market.
“We put together snacks made using organic, plant-based and traditional ingredients. We have products across ranges like classic, baked snacks, roasted snacks, sauces and dips, puris, sev, sticks and seeds,” says Anchal.
She adds that there was a lot of trial and error involved while experimenting with the recipes. “We decided to make our base range of products with multigrain. One such example is how sev is usually made using chickpea flour, but we made it using multi-grains like ragi, bengal gram, lentils, corn, etc.”
Similarly, they also improvised traditional snacks like bakarwadi. “Instead of making it with maida, we use 60 per cent whole wheat flour, and we bake it instead of frying,” says Anchal adding that they have infused healthy alternatives as much as possible to bring out the best version of these traditional snacks.
Another traditional snack Puri made of wheat flour or maida was tweaked by the duo to make it healthier. They came up with ready-to-eat Bajra (pearl millet) puris in four different flavours — methi, palak, peri peri, and cream and onion.
“Instead of wheat flour, bajra flour forms the base for our puris. We also add different spices and greens like methi and palak to enhance its taste.” She adds that though primarily the puri is made of bajra, a little bit of maida is still required for binding it together.
Other than using traditional ingredients, Anchal says that all their products are preservative-free and have zero trans fat.
“We pack our products in such a way that the shelf life is five to six months in the domestic market and eight to nine in the export market,” she says. They are now all set to export the products to Bhutan.
Multigrain sticks, roasted seeds, baked biscotti, soya-coated peanuts, roasted khakhra, roasted chickpeas etc are some of the other snacks offered by Snaqary. The product price ranges between Rs 10 and Rs 200.
According to Shrishti Singh (31), a bank professional from Mumbai, Snaqary has been one of her favourite brands for healthy snacks. “They have an excellent range of healthier options for snacks and I have been buying from them for the past year. I love their chickpeas and peanuts but my favourite is their baked bakarwadi. The best thing about their products is that they are preservative-free and are of great quality.”
Talking about challenges, Anchal shares that one of the major challenges they faced while kickstarting their business was to find vendors for manufacturing.
“As a startup, nobody was ready to work with us. But we eventually found some of the best vendors in Mumbai who have been in the snack-making industry for decades. They are as passionate as we are and have been helping us to bring out the products without compromising the quality,” she says.
Bootstrapped by the duo, the brand has been able to garner over 50,000 customers through its offline and online offerings within two years.
“Other than Mumbai, we have expanded our sales to cities like Pune, Delhi, Hyderabad and Kolkata. Our products are also available on e-commerce platforms like Amazon, Big Basket and our website,” she says.
Edited by Pranita Bhat; Picture courtesy: Anchal Abrol