India is the world's largest producer of fruits and vegetables, with barely 10% penetration into the food processing industry. Thus, resulting in a lot of wastage of the fresh produce every single year. Besides, the farmers also struggle to get reasonable prices for their produce. Many times, due to lack of visibility and access to the right market, they either have to sell their produce at throwaway prices or simply just let it rot in the open. Hence, there is need for more and more startups venturing into the food processing sector.
Hyderabad based Zilli's (formerly Kitchen D'lite) is a startup that has made a move in this direction. The startup is manufacturing dehydrated vegetable powders, thus not only reducing waste of vegetables by increasing its shelf life, but also making cooking easy and dishes interesting.
- Startup Name-Zilli's(formerly Kitchen D'lite)
- Founders-Anubhav Bhatnagar
- Founded-May 2018
- Parent Organization-M/S BNB Foods
About Kitchen D'lite and How it Works
Zilli's (formerly Kitchen D'lite) is a Hyderabad based startup that is into the food processing sector. The company deals in dehydrated vegetable powders and blends. Their products are made using fresh vegetables while ensuring that all the goodness of fresh vegetables remains intact. These products can be used in everyday cooking as a direct replacement for fresh vegetables.
Onion and garlic are staple ingredients in almost every recipe. But, peeling and chopping of onion and garlic could be a tiresome and time-consuming process. Lest, the onion tears, and the smelly hands. Similar is the case for all other vegetables. In addition, with the change in lifestyle and the busy schedules, there is a dire need for solutions that make cooking faster while also taking care of the health requirements. Zilli's dehydrated powders attempt to make cooking easier and faster for the Indian homes. These products are especially very useful when making curries, gravies, soups, dips, frying batters, in baking, smoothies, and juices.
Zilli's has collaborated with manufacturers who get their supply of raw materials directly from the farmers, thus eliminating the middlemen in the supply chain. This in turn empowers the farmers to get access to the end market and demand competitive prices for their produce.
Zilli's vegetable powders can be used in varied ways-
- Bake into loaves of bread and vegetables
- Blend into sauces, green juices and smoothies
- Shake them into vegetable juices, and salad dressings
- Sprinkle onto salads, eggs, roasted vegetables, pasta etc
- Stir into dips, soups, sauces, curries, gravies, casseroles, and stews
The products Zilli's Offers are-
- Garlic Powder
- Red onion Powder
- Tomato Powder
- Ginger Powder
- Green Chilly Powder
- Tamarind Powder
Zilli's also has two blends in its product catalog -
1. Kolkata Jhal Muri (Murmura/Puffed Rice) Masala- Jhal Muri is a staple snack in the eastern part of the country, specifically in West Bengal. It's murmura/puffed rice with chopped onions, green chilies, coriander leaves, coconut, peanuts mixed in a very small quantity of mustard oil, and blended with the goodness of spices which makes it a very tasty and healthy snack.
2. Lemon Tea Masala- This Blend was launched with the idea to give that instant energy boost and freshness to ones' body and mind. All you have to do is add a teaspoon of this masala to your freshly brewed tea (sugar/honey optional), and the tangy, salty lemon tea is ready to give that instant dose of energy.
The USPs of Zilli's are:
- 100% Natural
- 100% Pure
- No Preservatives
- No added flavors
- Shelf life of 12 to 18 months
- Premium Export Quality
We have never compromised on the quality of our products and our packaging, and that showed in the positive feedback that we were receiving from our customers.
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Dehydrated Vegetables Market
The global market for dehydrated vegetables registered the revenue worth US$ 54,241.9M in 2017, which is likely to exceed US$ 90,636.0M by the end of 2028.
Future Market Insights expects the dehydrated vegetable market to observe stable growth at a promising CAGR of 4.8% over the 10-year assessment period, 2018-2028. While dehydrated vegetables within developed regions such as North America and Europe have been consistently registering significant consumption volumes, those within the emerging economies have moderate growth. However, the forecast period is expected to experience attractive growth rates in the case of developing countries due to growing awareness among consumers and increasing demand for dehydrated vegetables from households.
There has been a drastic change in lifestyle, and people are becoming busier than ever. They are consistently looking for options that save their time and makes their life easier while not compromising on their health. In a scenario like this, there is immense potential for Zilli's products. We want to tap on this opportunity and make our brand a household name - says Anubhav
Founders of Kitchen D'lite and team
Anubhav Bhatnagar is the Founder of Kitchen D’lite. He is an XLRI alumnus and a first-generation entrepreneur with 6+ years of experience in Business Development. Like every other freshly graduated IT engineer, he started his career as a Software Engineer with Virtusa Consultancy Services Pvt Ltd. But that never gave him any satisfaction; hence, he started selling Lassi part-time. With learnings from his lassi shop, he started his new venture Sweetfrost.in with his friend that dealt in online delivery of cakes and gifts in Hyderabad and in 6 months of time, expanded his venture to cities of Bhopal, Delhi, Noida, Gurgaon, and Indore.
Realizing that scalability and profitability was an issue and both the partners being involved only part-time, he moved out of this to start something full-time. Being the experimental entrepreneur that he was, he ventured into SMSGrid.com that provided Bulk SMS and Digital Marketing services to customers. The start-up was growing aggressively, but the fall-out between the partners caused his exit. With little savings that he was left with, he started Kitchen D’lite in the summer of May 2018, and there has been no looking back ever since.
How was Kitchen D'lite Started
The idea for Kitchen D'lite got initiated right from Anubhav's kitchen. While Anubhav loved cooking, he found the process of chopping onions and peeling garlic quite boring and time consuming.
I love cooking and often cook at home. One such day I was making lunch for my wife and me, I was preparing a curry which required a good quantity of onions and garlic. Now while onions and garlic add a lot of flavor to the curries and like a lot of homes, these are the two staple ingredients in my kitchen; but the process of chopping onions and peeling garlic is not a very pleasant experience.
Anubhav got curious to understand if such an experience is unique to his own self or if its an everyone's problem. Initially, Anubhav spoke to people immediately next to him- his wife, mother, mother-in-law, and a couple of his friends to understand their experiences in the kitchen. As he realized that all of them had a similar experience, Anubhav started researching over the internet on possible solutions. One of the alternatives available in the market is garlic and onion paste by numerous brands. However, there is extensive use of preservatives in these products to increase their shelf life. This adulteration makes these products an unsustainable idea in the increasingly health-conscious society.
Anubhav further delved into the research, and finally, he came across food processing that keeps the natural essence of the products intact with no use of preservatives. With further studies, he acquainted himself with the concept of dehydration of food products and its innumerable benefits.
Anubhav to better understand the concept of dehydration of food, started experimenting at home using a microwave oven. Though he had multiple failed attempts, finally, he was able to successfully dehydrate garlic and onion and powder them. On trying them on his home cooked curries, Anubhav found that the results were amazing and the curries tasted even better with the powdered garlic and onion.
The first persons to validate the product were Anubhav's own family members. Anubhav sent home-made samples to his parents, in-laws, and friends, and the feedback was positive! This made Anubhav to formally initiate the journey of Kitchen D'lite. The initial products offered by Kitchen D'lite were red onion powder and garlic powder.
Kitchen D'lite - Name, Tagline and Logo
The company has kept the name simple and easy to remember. As Anubhav narrates,
With our product category of dehydrated vegetable powders being relatively new in the market, we were sure that we did not want any fancy name or tagline for our brand. We wanted a simple name and tagline that would be easy to read and spell would immediately connect with the customers and would talk about the usability of our products.
Zilli's(formerly Kitchen D'lite) tagline is 'Makes Cooking Easier'
Having such a simple name and tagline has helped Kitchen D'lite immensely as the customers could immediately connect the brand name with their own lives.
Kitchen D'lite - Business Model and Revenue Model
Zilli's follows a simple B2C model of business. Initially, when Kitchen D'lite launched its products in the month of August 2018 on Amazon India with a minimal investment of Rs. 30,000, they sold barely 20 units in the first month of launch. But they scaled up gradually and steadily to selling 1500 units within six months of launch. Kitchen D'lite's products have been ranked as Best Sellers in their category ever since. In addition to Amazon India, its products are also sold on Flipkart.com, Qtrove.com, and Kitchendlite.com
Currently, 70 percent of Kitchen D'lite revenue comes from selling its products on the e-commerce platforms. Twenty-five percent of the revenue comes from export, where they provide services like bulk export and private labeling. The remaining 5 percent comes from bulk purchases in national B2B like food startups, hotels, and restaurants. Moreover, the startup also displays its products in B2C exhibitions across India, which gives them a platform to interact and sell its products directly to the customers.
Kitchen D'lite - User Acquisition
As Kitchen D'lite is a startup venturing into a relatively new market of dehydrated vegetable powders, it was essential for the company to educate the customers of the benefits of using such products; besides popularizing its product in the market.
For intense and influential marketing Kitchen D'lite has used platforms like Facebook and Instagram Ads, Digital Marketing and Google Adwords. Influential marketing worked best for Kitchen D'lite. The company has associated with food bloggers and home chefs who would try various recipes using its products and provide feedback to their followers. This route provided the required credibility to Kitchen D'lite products in the market and increased its reach among the customers.
Prior to launching the services on Amazon India, Kitchen D'lite started by selling its products on its Facebook page, WhatsApp, and its website. The company has got its first order through their Facebook page. Once the company moved onto e-commerce websites like Amazon India, there has been looking back ever since. Kitchen D'lite acquired its initial customers within two months of launch. The company is operating on a lean model and its focus is to acquire customers organically.
Since we started our venture on a lean model, we were more focused on growing our customer base organically. We started receiving some 10 percent of our orders organically. We spend around Rs. 10,000 – Rs. 12,000 to acquire the first 100 customers as we were targeting low cost but effective marketing tools. It gives me immense pride to mention that today, almost 30 percent of our orders come from repeat customers. - quoted Anubhav
Kitchen D'lite - Startup Challenges
As Kitchen D'lite is venturing into a relatively new concept of dehydrated vegetable powders, the major challenge was to educate the prospective customers about the benefits of its products. Quite often company came across customers queries like, "Why would I go for these powders when I can buy fresh vegetables from the market," "I prefer using fresh rather than these powders," "My cook will not be interested in using such products." Most of them would not understand how to use these products; some would find it difficult to believe that in spite of not having any preservatives, it has a long shelf life of 12 to 18 months.
However, influencer marketing helped the startup overcome this challenge to a large extent.
We did not want any paid feedback. We were looking for food bloggers and home chefs who would try our products in their everyday recipes and give us genuine feedback, whether good or bad. We wanted to take that risk, also because we were confident about the quality of our products and we use them in our kitchen. A lot of research went in picking the right influencers. We were not looking for the number of followers they had, rather we were more focused on the quality of their content and that they would be willing to do this without any commercials involved.
Kitchen D'lite - Funding and Investors
The company is currently bootstrapped.
Kitchen D'lite - Future Plans
Shortly, Kitchen D'lite aims to introduce an entire range of dehydrated vegetable and fruit powders so that its customers get a more extensive range of catalog to choose from. Moreover, they are also consistently working towards introducing many more exciting blends that will promote a much healthier lifestyle. Over the long term, Kitchen D'lite aims to make a household name not just in India but also globally.
We are extremely inspired by the success story of the brand ID, that started with the simple idea of selling idli and dosa batter so that they could save the women from the trouble of making the batter at home. This simple idea of theirs brought convenience and change in the life of millions of women. This was their innovation! We believe that it’s not always the big things that count, we can bring innovation in very small and simple things as well. It’s about solving the problems nearer to home and bringing a change. Success will automatically fall in place.
Zilli's(formerly Kitchen D'lite) is a step towards making cooking easy and saving your time. We bring to you onion and garlic powder for your daily kitchen recipes. It is 100% natural with no preservatives. We work very closely with our partners and manufacturers to ensure that every product is genuinely natural ans is of highest quality, with no loss of major nutrients.