The Indian packaged snacking market is worth over Rs 35,000 crores. This sector is dominated by old players and their old ways of creating snacks. Traditional players like Balaji, Haldiram, and ITC offer multiple products but few hold nutritional goodness. It is overloaded with junk and unhealthy food to such an extent that it makes our snacking industry one of the unhealthiest in the world.
Sagar Bhalotia is an IIT Bombay graduate who has worked with a range of startups like Oyo, Quikr, HealthifyMe, and more. He is currently the co-founder of TagZ Foods.
Product offerings and venture for TagZ Foods
Sagar Bhalotia says, ”TagZ Foods is an urban Gen Z snack brand. And as a brand, we are there to kind of craft lip-smacking snacking experiences for the consumers, which are better for them. Better for you means much better than the products or the kind of snacking options available in the market. At the same time, we are kind of classic neutral brands so we are nature friendly. In that way, we are trying our best to do that.
Our brand stands for innovation, better for us snacking. It's a very Gen Z-oriented brand and a planet-friendly brand. That is how majorly I can put up. The first product that we made is a hot potato chip, which is not fried, not big, not roasted or fried or vacuum fried, it's a completely new technology that we took almost 10-11 months to develop completely in India. Our product comes across five, six flavors, three Indian flavors, and three more of a bar snacking range which is a little more international flavors. We started dips which again come across six international gourmet ranges of flavors. We recently launched the chocolates as well. We have launched the chocolate cigars basically so now you don't have to smoke them when you can eat them and so we will be long-range as well which is again going to be a little more innovative and snacking experience than you had in your market. That's how the brand is kind of evolving around.”
He further says, “The technology itself brings down the fat content so our chips are precisely 57% less fat but we kind of still say that we have 50% less in fact it's 30% less than calories there is no trans fat, no gluten, even the little bit on that uses is sunflower oil and is not palm oil, which is the kind of barrel. There are no preservatives, no artificial colors flavors so we have tried to keep it as clean as possible as well as kind of in the mainstream category which is the Potato chips which is why we are trying to make a healthier alternative for consumers.”
USP of TagZ Foods
Sagar Bhalotia informs,” There are a lot of brands which are very handy to have a healthy category as well. Firstly, I would not like not really kind of you know talking about these. There are two types of companies I would rather see one which claims to be very healthy. like superhealthy, but essentially they are not, They're just more of a marketing thing. Maybe then there are companies that are actually trying to kind of disrupt the health market and trying to make something really healthy.
There are 78,000 people in India who say that they really want to kind of look for some healthier snacking options. But the thing is that snacking is a big problem in India. So, they are categories like potato chips, excluded snacks, cookies, and various chocolates. Now, these are the mainstream categories. So the thing is that they ate up like 90% of the old snacking pie chart.
Now, what we are trying to do is that we are trying to create better alternatives in these categories. So like potato chips, if I try to replace it with a multigrain completely new grain or millet or something our consumers are still kind of in a nascent stage to adopt.
So what we're trying to do is that we're picking up those mainstream categories and trying to create a much healthier or fitter option or an alternative for them. So, that is how we can say that we are kind of differentiated from the companies or the brands who are trying to completely bring out a new product or a new innovation in the sense of the pace of raw materials which consumers are not really aware of. And also I would be very honest about it in terms of taste, I mean these are the tasty options. So while keeping the taste is primary, we are trying to create something better there. So taste is not something that we would try to compromise on, you know, in terms of creating something better.”
Customers have enjoyed TagZ Foods so Far
Sagar Bhalotia states, ”5 lacs customers is the reasonable number that I am taking because the comfortable number that I am speaking about and it's much much higher than that.”
Funding for TagZ Foods
Sagar Bhalotia informs, “We have raised around $1.5 million and a million beforehand itself before start time and we raised almost 4cr from our consumer base that was more interesting than I would be honest. We raised almost 4cr from consumers through consumer stock options, and we got oversubscribed by over 800%. So that was the kind of love that we got from consumers and a lot of validation from the consumers that they really wanted the brand to grow, and they have invested in us. So that was like a really good moment for us, a happy moment for us.
A lot of people as well, individuals are putting their money in the basket, it has been a continuous journey for us.”
Future scale-up and expansion plans for TagZ Foods
Sagar Bhalotia says, ”We have existing factories, we started with one factory in Bombay, and we set up another factory in Bangalore. We might be coming up with another unit, we are increasing the capacities big time. At the same time, we are also trying to kind of get into the different categories, new categories, which survive on the same supply chain with new innovative products. Sometimes, there is capital required for the R&D for the raw materials and the trials and then kind of taking it to the market. We are into chocolates and cookies with innovative technology which is exciting. We have an expansion plan. In terms of the product team. and e channel base, you can see that we have been continuously growing our retail base, we were present in 7-8 cities early on now we are present in 20 Plus cities. And we will probably be kind of going ahead with a lot of other tiers one metro cities. And also the demand has been coming from tier 2 3 cities as well. The expansion plans are there in terms of improving or increasing our presence on the retail end. And also online. We're almost there in almost 40 Plus channels.”
Motivation for TagZ Foods
Sagar Bhalotia informs, ”People are looking for healthier options in mainstream markets and not finding alternatives. Telling someone who wants to eat chocolate to switch to a granola bar is going to be a task. If you have a craving for potato chips, it is difficult to let them go. I wanted to craft such products which do not leave them with a craving even after switching to healthier alternatives. So, creating those tasty products with innovative ingredients made us do it. We want our future generation not to sit behind an electronic screen and watch tv and eat chips. We want our consumers to lead a healthier lifestyle, outdoor lifestyle, and eat better. So if you see, our brand revolves around travel, music, sports, outdoor living, active lifestyle. We want our consumers to lead a healthy lifestyle and eat better. We are promoting an active healthy lifestyle.”
Edited By: Dr.Rati Parwani
Contributed By: Sagar Bhalotia, Co-founder, TagZ Foods