Healthier propositions are making inroads, but all of this is predicated on great taste- Rohan Mirchandani
The world is moving towards healthy choices in food and lifestyle. From what they eat, how they eat to how they burn it, people are keeping a tab of everything. In times so stressful, it sometimes becomes really tough to strike a balance and achieve perfection in our schedules. Probiotics are riding high currently and people are going for products that can offer them with this goodness. With more and more awareness regarding healthy food choices, this World Health Day, we had Rohan Mirchandani, CEO and Co-founder, Drums Food International, sharing his thoughts about what he sees as healthy, the trends that are emerging in the nutrition sector and how his brand, Epigamia Greek Yogurt, is meeting up with the health-related expectations of consumers in the market.
Kindly give a brief about your brand.
Launched in 2015, Epigamia is pushing boundaries to contemporize traditional foods by unleashing the best in them with fuels that energize you and tastes that stimulate you. We know that our customers are not only seeking healthier lifestyles but unwilling to compromise on taste and therefore we don’t allow ourselves to compromise either. Using all-natural ingredients and an authentic straining process, Epigamia Greek Yogurt is India’s first Greek yogurt. It has a thick and creamy texture, is low in fat, high in protein and is available in 9 unique flavours. In March 2017, we launched the Epigamia Snack Pack – a convenient, on-the-go snack consisting of Greek yogurt and a crunchy mix-in. We most recently introduced Epigamia Artisanal Curd – India’s first lactose-free curd. This newest addition to the brand’s product portfolio is aimed at improving gut-health and finally providing a cup of curd with “no consequences” to the Indian population that is lactose intolerant.
How has your entrepreneurial journey been so far?
It’s been challenging, rewarding and exciting. If there’s one commitment I give to every person on the Epigamia team, it’s that their jobs may be many things but they’ll never be bored, and so far, that’s exactly how the journey has been for me. When Epigamia was originally launched, it was meant to complement our portfolio, answering to the hyper-competition and seasonality of ice cream. We really didn’t know how the Indian consumer would react to this product given that we were positioning it as a snack, and not trying to compete with traditional dahi. But we’ve had an incredible response from the Indian market so far and have learned so much. One very interesting learning is that rather than being ‘price sensitive’ we’ve found that consumers are value-conscious more than anything. They value superior taste, the power of real ingredients and a strong health proposition. With that, Epigamia has really hit the mark.
What is your viewpoint regarding the Indian Nutrition Sector and its growth in recent times?
The Indian consumer is becoming increasingly health-conscious and discerning. When it comes to their food, consumers now expect healthy value additions - whether it is real, preservative-free ingredients, a high protein boost, or lactose/gluten free options. Healthier propositions are making inroads, but all of this is predicated on great taste.
According to you what are the latest health trends in the Indian market?
I think that a huge trend right now is the concept of all-natural, preservative free products. We’ve also seen an increase in demand for protein-rich products as consumers are becoming more committed to physical fitness and of course, we’re seeing a rise in awareness about certain dietary conditions like lactose-intolerance. Gut health, and specifically probiotics, are entering the limelight as well. Fermented foods such as yogurt, kombucha, kimchi and kefir, which are rich in probiotics, are shining.
How are probiotics healthy and needed in our diet?
Probiotics are live bacteria that are good for your health, especially your digestive system. These gut-friendly bacteria are responsible for nutrient absorption and help support our immune systems, among many other things. It’s a fascinating field of research and there’s so much we don’t know yet, but it’s become increasingly apparent that our gut health has an enormous impact on our overall health, including our mental health.
How is Epigamia pushing boundaries to provide India with innovative yet healthy offerings?
At Epigamia, we unleash the best in our traditional foods by giving them a contemporary twist with functional fuels, like high protein and probiotics, and the delicious, stimulating taste of all-natural ingredients. As new-age consumers, we are looking for ways to innovate and, yet we still value our roots – what our mothers and grandmothers have taught us. We’ve taken that insight and built our brand around it. So, to give you an example, we took a culturally-accepted product like dahi and made it thicker and creamier, increased the protein content and infused it with real fruit, making it a filling and tasty snack.
Any expansion plans for the brand to look forward to?
We’re in for a very exciting year in 2018. We are looking at a few new product lines, not all of which I can disclose just yet! However, they will definitely be ‘pushing the boundaries’ of what we are used to. In terms of distribution, we are currently widely available in Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi NCR, Hyderabad, and Chennai. In the short, to medium term, we are focusing on deeper penetration in the cities in which we are currently available, as well as expanding to new cities in India. In the not-so-distant future, we will look at expanding internationally.