Fighting an autoimmune disease inspired this entrepreneur to launch an organic food brand

Launched in 2018 by Pallavi Gupta, Bengaluru-based food tech start-up Nutty Yogi offers a range of over 200 healthy and organic food products across different categories. The platform caters to about two lakh orders monthly.

Bengaluru-based food tech start-up Nutty Yogi was born out of the personal journey of its founder Pallavi Gupta. A few years ago, Pallavi was diagnosed with the autoimmune disorder lupus, which has no cure in Western medicine. This is the time she went on a food regimen that was inspired by Ayurveda and clean eating. Her journey led her to discover the incredible power of clean eating and how food can be used to manage chronic disorders. As her disorder got cured, she doubled down on her research into healthy eating. In 2018, Pallavi launched Nutty Yogi, a collection of the recipes and diet plans that Pallavi had discovered.

She believes that the biggest misconception about clean eating is the fact that people feel they will have to change their palette or give up on certain foods.

“On the contrary, when we go back to our roots and understand food was naturally organic and healthy at one point in time. It was delicious, cooked with love and full of nutrition. It's time we learn back the full circle of our food history and practices,” says the Founder and CEO of Nutty Yogi. This is how the Nutty Yogi started providing healthier alternatives to daily life. It offers a range of over 200 healthy and organic food products across categories like daily essentials, healthy snacking, condiments, flour and flour blends, breakfast mixes, super powders, and other immunity-building products. All these products are manufactured in-house.

According to the start-up, raw materials for its products are sourced locally. Nutty Yogi sources apples, walnuts and pink salt from the Himalayas, buckwheat and all the super grains from Rajasthan, fruits and berries from Nainital, bajra and makkai from Rajasthan and Gujarat, jowar from Karnataka, rice from Kerala and Tamil Nadu and black rice from the eastern parts of India.

“We serve you what our grandmothers would have served us without thinking twice! That's how we define our standards. No preservatives, no additives, no chemicals,” says Pallavi.

“We use healthier alternatives like dates, honey, and coconut palm sugar. We don't use any of the industry names from which sugar comes. You get what you read on the label. No industry jargon, you get what you should be eating,” she adds.

The start-up claims to serve over one million customers through its platform annually. It has more than two lakhs (200,000) orders monthly and has sold 10 million products so far.

Nutty Yogi says its repeat customer rate is 52 percent.

“Currently we sell through all popular ecommerce marketplaces like Amazon, Flipkart, Bigbasket own D2C channel. We are serving pan Indian and getting the highest traction from the top cities like Bengaluru, Mumbai, Chennai, NCR, Indore, Nagpur and Kolkata and also getting the demand from Singapore, Sydney and Dubai,” says Pallavi.

Pallavi says Nutty Yogi products do not force consumers to shift their palate. They are healthy substitutes for everything that exists in their kitchen without compromising on the taste, the founder says.

“It will not break your budget to be healthy - healthy food can be affordable and Nutty Yogi proves that. We are not only about the ingredients - our blends and recipes based preparations take the effort out of converting ingredients into nutritious food. The core emotional essence of the brand - food is one of the few indulgences in life that shouldn’t be a compromise. We allow you to indulge without overcharging your guilt-bank,” Pallavi asserts.

“We are unique as we follow the consumer pulse and evolve our range with the consumer's taste and trends. We follow a model in which we provide new products every quarter to suit the emerging needs. Recently we launched some gifting and diabetic control products,” she adds.

The team
Before launching the Nutty Yogi, Pallavi was the Co-founder of the Mast Kalandar, a chain of fast-casual North Indian restaurants based in South India. Where she handled the operations, marketing and customer proposition.

She has completed BE in electronics and communication from the Thapar Institute of Engineering and Technology, Punjab. She also received an MBA degree in marketing from the Institute of Management Technology, Ghaziabad. Currently, the start-up has 25 employees.

Funding and monetisation
Nutty Yogi was launched with an initial investment of Rs 50 lakh from the founder. The clean-label health food brand recently raised Rs 5 crore in Seed funding led by Multiply Ventures. It plans to use the funds to expand its footprint beyond a direct-to-consumer model, launching in major brick and mortar retailers across the country. The start-up is also coming up with new products and is going to use the funding in the R&D process. “We have been running profitably since inception. Currently we are at $2 million ARR.

We are not just EBITDA positive, we are PAT positive,” says Pallavi. Commenting on product pricing, Pallavi says that Nutty Yogi product prices range “anywhere between Rs 49 and Rs 699. Average pricing of our product is Rs 149.” The D2C start-up makes money by selling the products through its online and offline platform.

The way ahead
According to a Statista report, India's FMCG market was valued at $110 billion in 2020. Compared to 2012, the market size of fast-moving consumer goods had tripled. By 2025, the market was expected to grow to $220 billion. Pallavi says the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a tectonic shift in the healthy food market.

Our biggest challenge came in the COVID period as we were fairly young at that time and to manage operations was a tough task,” Pallavi comments. In the niche spaces, the brand faces competition from players like True Elements, Conscious Foods, Evolve Snacks among others.

Talking about the future plans, Pallavi reveals, “Nutty Yogi aspires to become the one stop health food brand for all the needs of a healthy lifestyle both nationally and internationally.

"We are coming up with a healthy after-meal section like Indian energy bars and chikkis," she adds.