How Slurrp Farm is Changing the Way World Eats

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Slurrp Farm was born from the concern that the current food system is broken, and requires innovation and creativity to re-introduce sustainable, nutrient-dense, and diverse ingredients back into children’s diets. This was thought to be the best way to ensure that kids, farmers, and the planet stay happy.

In an interview with Shauravi Malik and Meghana Narayan (Founders of Slurrp Farm), We got to know the Success Story of Slurrp Farm, How it started, the Business model of Slurrp Farm, Funding, Marketing campaigns & more.

Slurrp Farm - Company Highlights

  • Startup Name-Slurrp Farm
  • Founders-Shauravi Malik, Meghana Narayan, Umang Bhattacharyya (Brand Director)
  • Founded-October 2016
  • Headquarter-Gurugram 
  • Sector-FMCG - Packaged food industry
  • Funding-$9 Million+ (February 2022)

Slurrp Farm - About and How it Works

Slurrp Farm loves using a diverse range of superfoods! A variety of nutrient-dense ingredients like Ragi, Jowar, Foxtail Millet, Lentils, Oats, Amaranth, Nuts, combined with good fats like real Butter, real Fruits, and Vegetable, natural sweeteners like Jaggery and Honey go into making Slurrp Farm products.

Ingredients like Millets need a third of the water required by Rice. They are hardy grains, which can withstand long periods of drought, and they require little pesticides or fertilizers to thrive. This makes them inherently Organic in nature. Slurrp Farm aims to empower small farmers and help build a sustainable community by encouraging the use of indigenous crops.

Slurrp Farm - Founders and Team

Shauravi Malik, Meghana Narayan, Umang Bhattacharyya are the Co-founders of Slurrp Farm.

Slurrp Farm Founders/Owners

Co-founders, Shauravi and Meghana met at a Diwali party in London.

Shauravi Says - “It started very innocently. Meghana and I met at a Diwali party in London. We got along like a house on fire from the first time we met. We had some fun business ideas, which we joked about, but we always went back to our jobs the next day. At this point entrepreneurship seemed too risky.”

When they had children it all changed. They felt that as parents they were really short of options to feed their own children and there came the moment of wonder to do something about it.

It was not a case of taking a business model from another country; it was literally a giant-sized gap, which Shauravi and Meghana felt. A cursory glance at a supermarket shelf in any metro in India will show the number of products that are made only with wheat or rice, and contain trans fats and alarming quantities of sugar. For a country that has such an incredible food culture of eating a large variety of grains including millets, this lack of diversity is a gaping hole in the ready-to-eat market.

Shauravi Malik

She has worked in the Consumer, Healthcare, and Retail Advisory team at J.P. Morgan. She was an Investment Manager at Sir Richard Branson’s Group Holding entity at the Virgin Group in London. She holds a master’s degree in Economics from Cambridge University + BA in Economics from St. Stephen’s College, DU.

Meghana Narayan

Meghana was an Associate Principal at McKinsey & Company in Delhi where she led the public health practice. She holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, a BA in Computation as a Rhodes Scholar from Oxford University + a BE in Computer Science Engineering from Bangalore University. She was on the Indian National Swimming Team for a decade and had represented India at the Asian Games.

Umang Bhattacharyya

Umang Bhattacharyya, The brand director & co-founder, is the creative brain of Slurrp Farm. With over 15 years of experience in photography, graphic design, and video art, Umang has given Slurrp Farm its distinctive identity and brand language. Through the course of his creative career, he has done projects for several large multinational clients like ITC, IDEO (USA and Singapore), UNDP, and NGOs like Childline. He has received his formal training in the field of visual arts from the Srishti School of Art, Design, and Technology. Umang is a fantastic cook! He is committed to ensuring that a positive impact on the environment and our children remains the core focus of the brand as it grows.

"In terms of working together, the entrepreneurial journey is filled with ups and downs. But absolutely none of them have been about working together. To the contrary, the biggest joy has been in not doing this alone. We are genuinely 1+1+1 = 111" says the team

The current company size of Slurrp Farm has spread PAN India with around 60 employees (including salesforce)

Slurrp Farm - Startup Story

Inspiration, research, validation: The idea of Slurrp Farm was conceived when the two friends identified the gap of healthy eating options in the children’s food market in India. When they failed to find high-quality packaged food for their own children, Shauravi and Meghana decided to follow a business idea “close to heart.”

Slurrp Farm was launched in October 2016, with a mission to provide healthy snacks and mealtime options for young children and their parents. And in just over 2 years, what started as an experiment in their own home kitchens has now turned into a loved kids food brand; available at 600 stores across 3 cities in India, serving close to 7 lakh customers. Thye also sells across several other leading online platforms including Amazon, BigBasket, FirstCry, and own website.

"This journey has been exhilarating! We don’t come from traditional business families, and we have learnt a lot on the go. Meghana jokes that both our roles are really co-chaser 1 and co-chaser 2, and this is what we spend the majority of our time doing; we are both very persistent" - Says Shauravi, Founder of Slurrp Farms

Shauravi and Meghana learned by visiting umpteen number of organic food farmers and companies, raw materials co-operatives and vendors, food technologists, scientists, normal farmers, machinery and equipment manufacturers, small and large food companies, packaging vendors, food retailers, nutritionists, food labs etc. more than Oxford, Cambridge or Harvard! Their journey crisscrossed so many parts of India - villages, towns, and large cities - and the food industry has been what has truly shaped the vision for Slurrp Farm. Initially, while focusing on the quality, and getting just the right set of ingredients for the kind of products they had in mind, the team searched, travelled, and taught themselves.

For the first product prototype, they figured out how to make a very tasty organic fruit and vegetable purée product for children; they did all the recipes, branding, packaging, and legwork and it was all ready to hit the shelves in record time.

But when they moved on to more market research and samples trial - Shauravu and Meghana realised there was very little demand for it. It would be something that could not scale beyond the affluent Indian parent in the near future. So, they went back to the drawing board and did a tonne of market research, a lot of product R&D, a lot of thinking, and decided to follow their heart.

Shauravi and Meghana realised that the answers lay in their grandmothers’ kitchens.

"We (Shauravi & Meghana) made cookies with a childhood friend who is the most incredible baker, we dug into ingredients from our childhood but tried to make them tasty and not stodgy. During the pandemic, we realised that so many of us are baking more, so we have launched a range of cakes made with no maida (and in fact no wheat) and no refined sugar"

Every recipe starts on a small scale, and Slurrp Farm's in-house R&D team then works on making them work at scale without adding preservatives, artificial colours or flavours, trans fats or stabilisers, etc. All are focussed on doing all this while keeping an eye on getting the price-value equation right for the end consumer.

"It has not been easy is the honest answer! For each product line we have entered, we have been able to bring together experts for recipe development, commercial scalability and quality control. And every year along the way, we want to be better than we were the year before, and continue to innovate to have the best product possible" Says Slurrp Farm Team

The year that Slurrp farm was launched (2016-17 ) was in many ways seminal. Amazon entered the grocery segment. Soon after there was both GST and then Demonetization.

These hree events meant that a young food startup could:

  • Be ordered by customers across the length and breadth of India and so the team focused their energies on making Slurrp Farm available at retail and online and also strengthened the sales force.
  • Transport goods across the length and breadth of India without being drowned in paperwork, C-forms, and logistics complexity. Slurrp Farm channelized the team's energies on logistics management.
  • Demonetisation grew the online marketplace adoption and the team of Slurrp Farm saw potential there!
  • D2C revolution: They took their site a notch up and expanded Slurrp Farm's online footprint.

Slurrp Farm - Mission and Vision

"We’re on the mission to change the way the world eats" - Says, Founders of Slurrp Farm

With 1 in 4 children obese or overweight, India is the 3rd most obese nation in the world and is also ranked as the diabetes capital of the world. Malnourishment occurs at both ends of the spectrum and is not only due to poverty but also due to a diet with too much sugar, salt, and fried junk food with preservatives, artificial flavours, and colours. The market size of the opportunity is large, but at the heart of it, the team at Slurrp Farm felt to change things to be better, and be a force for good.

It is hard to fix the badly broken food system, but innovation lies in simplifying.  Control of exercise and food is in one's hands to control the suffering of lifestyle disease.

Slurrp Farm's long-term vision is to take Indian millets to the world.

Slurrp Farm - Business Model and Revenue Model

Slurrp Farm has a D2C business model, selling on our own website and eCommerce marketplaces. It also sells through the traditional FMCG store channel, albeit that is impacted by COVID.

Slurrp Farm - Startup Challenges

The biggest challenge of Slurrp Farm team has been to find a way to make what tastes delicious in a home kitchen, taste the same on a shelf when it reaches people's hands, without adding anything to it.

At the onset, we didn’t know that this would be such a challenge. But we also didn’t know we would have so much fun on the journey and meet so many cool people along the way who would help us figure it out. Another challenge is this feeling that it is all taking far too long. But when you look back on each and every year, the evolution is immense - Says Slurrp Farm's Founders.

Slurrp Farm - Funding, Capital and Investors

The starting capital for Slurrp Farm came from savings. Slurrp Farm's first angel round was a funding round of $1 mn, powered by a wonderful motley crew of people friends, family, and colleagues who believed in the product; or people like Ashish Dhawan, whose wife tried the product at a fair and emailed the customer service email at the back of the pack.

Slurrp Farm saw its first funding round from an institutional funding round that came from Fireside Ventures.

We are genuinely excited to work with them as they have possibly the best understanding of the early stage FMCG space in India. This year was one of those years where March nearly went to zero revenues. And then the rest of the year benefitted from the growth in ecommerce marketplaces and D2C channels - Added by the team.

This is followed by another fresh round of funding led by the Investment Corporation of Dubai, Fireside Ventures, and others on February 22, 2022. This new round of funding will further encourage Slurrp Farm to focus more on developing millet-based products that will consist of no junk ingredients.

Slurrp Farm - Growth and Revenue

Slurrp Farm's operating locations have grown to be in Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore.

Slurrp Farm parent Wholsum Foods witnessed a 10X growth between June 2020-December 2021.

Slurrp Farm's ARR (Annual Recurring Revenue) has grown 300% during the last 6 months and is looking to grow at the same rate to an ARR of $5-6mm in the next 12 months.

In just over four years, what started as an experiment in own home kitchens has now turned into a loved kids food brand; available at 600 stores across 8 cities in India, UAE and Singapore.

Slurrp Farm products are available on all online marketplaces in India, and through Amazon in several countries.

The company added more than 20 SKUs even in several unexplored categories

It has a 40% repeat rate on sites like Big Basket and Amazon.

Slurrp Farm - Products and Services

Slurrp Farm's products focus on Healthy, tasty, and convenient breakfast and mealtime options for young children and families. It doesn' make niche products.

Slurrp Farm uses better quality ingredients – for eg. Millets cost more per kilo than Rice and Wheat. The product cost is 25% above the comparable product.

"We feel strongly that people do not factor in the health impact of eating junk food. If you price in the doctor and long after health effects, we are sure we will be cheaper!" Says the team of Slurrp Farms

Slurrp Farm's range of products includes:

  • Single Grain cereals: Organic Sprouted Ragi Powder, Organic Oats Powder, Organic Brown Rice Powder
  • Multigrain cereals: Sathu Maavu, Khichdi Mix, Millet Oat Porridge (Daliya/Suji substitute), Organic Ragi, Almond and Banana Cereal, Organic Ragi.
  • Rice Cereal: Strawberry, Organic Ragi & Rice Cereal: Banana (No Sugar), Organic Ragi & Rice Cereal: Mango
  • Millet Pancakes and Waffle Mixes: Banana and Chocolate Chip Pancake, Chocolate Ragi Pancakes, Blueberry Pancakes, Classic Pancakes
  • Millet Dosa: Beetroot Oats Dosa, Spinach Dosa with Lentils and Foxtail Millet
  • Superfoods: Jaggery powder, Chia seeds, Nut powder. Its fun star-shaped munchies and puffs made with Supergrains like Ragi and Jowar are flavored and yummy savory/sweet snacking options for little tummies: Mighty Munch: Tangy Tomato and Mighty Puff: Choco Ragi
  • The Bake range includes: Vanilla Cake Mix, Coffee Cake Mix, Chocolate Cake Mix,  Chocolate Brownie Mix

Slurrp Farm - Target Market Size

Slurrp Farm's buyers are everyday parents, who are looking for hassle-free, healthy, and nutritious food products for their children. They are concerned about the health and make a specific choice to choose Slurrp Farm over other products in this category that have vast quantities of harmful ingredients, such as refined flours, trans-fat, excessive salt and sugar, colours, and preservatives. Slurrp Farm is offering convenience, ease, and peace of mind. Life today is busy and complicated.

"We have done the hard work of thinking about what goes into the food we make, as two parents ourselves. As two mother’s we have also worked very hard to make yummy = healthy! There is an advertising paradigm, which suggests that you CANNOT be both. We disagree!" - Says the Slurrp Farm founders

Slurrp Farm - Marketing Campaigns

Slurrp Farm not have grown from 10,000 to 7,00,000 customers had it not been for lovely FB communities such as Gurgaon Moms and Mommy A-Z. It also amped up its digital spends.

2020 marked the amplification of Slurrp Farm's marketing on social channels like FB, Instagram and marketplaces. It also turned to different channels and collaborated for content. Being in the business of food, the best way to showcase the products is through AV medium.

Some of the Slurrp Farm's Marketing Campaign is discussed below:

Bake your heart out:

In December 2020, Slurrp Farm introduced an exciting new product range of four cake mixes. Demonstrating the new cake mix range is preservative free, maida free, with no artificial colors or refined sugar. Available in four variants, including 1) Fudgy Chocolate Brownie 2) Chocolate 3) Coffee, and 4) Vanilla, these cake mixes are easy to make, saving health conscious mums and home-bakers from the hassle of combining heaps of ingredients. Slurrp Farm launched it across their social media assets and did an influencer outreach (ongoing). It is also partnering with leading content creators to drive the message of #ZeroMaidaCake home.

Slurrp Farm marketing campaign

Zero- Transfat waali Mithai (Zero-Transfat Sweet)

In 2020 festivities such as Diwali were celebrated differently. At Slurrp Farm, the team thought to bring back the nostalgia of all things yummy and home made.

Slurrp Farm campaign thought: This Diwali, don't be a HERO, be ZERO and celebrate with Zero Trans Fat Wali Mithas! Try this deadly delicious DIY Ladoo Combo today!

This led to greater brand awareness and affinity towards everything homemade.

You are what you eat:

In September 2020, Slurrp Farm took the French lawyer Anthelme Brillat-Savarin’s thought quote to another level. A simple thought, but the solution to the problem at hand.

During COVID-19 Slurrp Farm's Brand Director Umang Bhattacharya was able to put this little film together for under USD 60, and the whole team had a whole lot of fun voting for the clips they liked the best. Umang started a team WhatsApp group called 'Food Thoughts', in an attempt to get the entire company to really engage with the problem at hand.

We toyed with the versions of ads where one talks about 4x height and 2x nourishment and 10x what have you... But it didn't feel like us speaking, so we spoke from our voices instead.

Slurrp Farm - Competitors

In the broader space of children’s food – there are several players in India and Internationally. Slurrp Farm aspires to be a company like Ella’s Kitchen or Organix. They have an entire range and gamut of products for children. It doesn't compete with any of them, but that is the team's aspiration.

"In India, the shelf for children is still being created. We always joke that the large format retail stores have an entire shelf for dog food, but no dedicated shelves for children’s food" added the team

This category specialisation has happened in the personal care space, with brands like Mamaearth and Moms Co catering to the segment of products for children and their parents. In the Indian FMCG food context, there isn’t one player focussed on children. There are several players in the categories Slurrp Farm is in: Soulfull, Betty Crocker, Pilsbury, MTR, Nestle.

Slurrp Farm - Advisors and Mentors

In June 2018 Slurrp Farm had raised $1 million in a pre-Series A round. These key investors are like the other planets of universe.

The list included Mr. Sanjeev Bhikchandani of Info Edge, Mr. Ashish Dhawan of Central Square Founda;on, Mr. Aditya Ghosh, Board Member, FabIndia and OYO, Mr. Samrath Bedi of Forest Essentials, Ms. Yasemin Lamy, COO of CDC. Mr. Utsav Baijal of Apollo Capital, Mr. Rohan Haldea of Apax partners, Mr. Dhruv Agarwala and Mr. Kartik Varma of Prop Tiger, Mr. Prasenjit Duoa Barua of Facebook, Ms. Radhika Gupta of MoonRiver, Mr Sameer Brij Verma and Mr. Abhinav Dayal of Relco.

Slurrp Farm - Recognition and Achievements

Slurrp Farm is proud of the external recognition it has gained through the awards-

  • SheThePeople- Digital Women Awards 2020
  • Times She UnLTD. Awards - Women Entrepreneur Awards 2019 | Food
  • Gurgaon Moms- Mom Achievers Summit 201
  • Kid Stop Press- One Cool Thing- Now In India | KSP Award 2016
  • The DSSC- Power Packers 2017
  • Women Economic Forum- Exceptional Women of Excellence
  • Harvard Business School Venture Competition: Asia & Middle East winner 2017
  • Mens XP Award
  • It won in the Amazon Global Selling Propel Start-up Accelerator program

Slurrp Farm - Future Plans

Slurrp Farm's future is looking bright. It is planning to take Indian millets to global shelves. The team is working on product innovation with their RD team, nutritionists, and pediatricians. Within the next 5 years, the Slurrp Farm team is also looking to actively build channels for direct engagement with farmers for fair trade of millets and other ingredients like legumes and pulses. The company raised its new funding on February 22, 2022, and is currently planning to deploy the funds towards innovating its products, enhancing its marketing strategies, and increasing its footprint globally. This will help in enhancing the value chains of the smallholders and offer an impetus to the demand for the grains.

Furthermore, as Slurrp Farm has already expanded to the UAE, it will now be looking for the growth of its offline and online presence in the same region at least by 40% in the upcoming year, as of February 22, 2022.