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June 21, 2024
Food Beverages Processing | India no 1 Food Processing Magazine

Mr. Ashish Verma, Founding Director – Kalyan F&B Private Limited

1.Please give us a brief overview about your company.

Kalyan F&B Private Limited was formed in 2016 with a vision to provide healthy packaged food and beverages to the Indian consumers. We are the exclusive importers of ‘be’ products – a Thailand based brand which provides a wide range of flavoured coconut water and baked coconut chips. My family and I had the pleasure of experiencing this brand’s products in Vancouver, Canada and so I decided to bring these products to Indian market. 

Coconuts are highly treasured in Thai culture and this aided in origination of ‘be’. Our coconut water is sourced from a single estate farm in Southern Thailand which is considered as the best quality coconut in the world. It is processed on the same day it is harvested and delivered to packing facility, making it as fresh as off the tree. This part of Thailand is known to have the most beautiful beaches in the world.

The story of ‘be’ products starts with two paths:

The first while conducting fieldwork in a small village in North Eastern Thailand over 8 years ago – where we encountered the nutritious and refreshing water of this tropical palm. Our relationship with the land and the people grew from a simple friendship, to a strong commitment to the community and environment. The second, a local Thai manufacturing company already specializing in premium natural products whose aspiring momentum was the essence of being – Being Pure, and Being well. ‘be’ products are gaining great response from the consumers who want to munch on healthy snack. Evolution in health and wellness industry has made consumers extremely conscious about their lifestyle and eating habits. Nowadays consumers are well aware of, what a brand has to offer in terms of nutritional value, quality or environmental impacts. 

2.What are the ranges of product you are dealing in India?

Kalyan F&B offers a wide range of coconut-based products. In the era of aerated drinks, our focus is to provide pure coconut water to the consumers. The flavoured coconut water is a mix of fruit juice and coconut water as we do not want the product to be processed into a fruit juice.

-Pure coconut water: Coconut water is the fluid found in the cavity of a coconut when you crack it open. It contains no fat and is very low in calories. It has a naturally sweet taste it also contains 5 electrolytes required by our bodies for natural functioning. In fact there is more potassium in 200ml of coconut water than in a banana. We use coconuts sourced from southern province of Thailand which are rich in potassium and magnesium with 0% fat. Our coconut water has no added sugar, no preservatives and is free from cholesterol, gluten and fat.

-Coconut water with mango splash: It is a blend of mango juice and coconut water. BE coconuts are young and hand-picked from Prachub Kerekan province in the southern part of Thailand. This variant of flavoured coconut water contains mango juice along with a hint of pineapple juice. It contains 0% fat and 12% potassium which make it extremely healthy. In the era of aerated drinks, our focus is to provide pure coconut water to the consumers as we do not want the product to be converted into a fruit juice.

-Coconut chips: Coconut Chips are a unique and innovative continental recipe which is a healthy change from the regular fried chips that are quite unhealthy. This snack recipe is made using coconut flakes that are tossed into spices and then baked until crispy. BE Coconut chips are all natural, high in fibre with no artificial colours and flavours. It is gluten and cholesterol free.

3.Could you please give us a brief overview of the latest trends in the Beverages sector as far as the consumer demand for healthier products is concerned? And how you see the scope for your products in this sector?

Over the years as evolution took place, Indians have become more open to travelling across the globe and welcome the international products available in the Indian market. India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world with increasing annual growth thus resulting in rise of per capita income, giving consumers more power to purchase. All this has led to the change in buying and consumption patterns of the consumers. People now are shifting towards healthy snacks and beverages, for e.g., fried snacks have been replaced by healthy chips and soft drinks have been replaced by juices or other healthier options available.  Consumers are more educated and curious to know about every detail of the product that they are consuming. This evolution has resulted in increased demand for imported and healthier options of food & beverages.  We believe in delivering the best quality products to our consumers at competitive prices with distinguished packaging. The F&B industry is the fifth largest sector in India with Liberalised foreign direct investment (FDI) policy. The total consumption of the food and beverage segment in India is expected to increase from US$ 369 billion to US$1.142 trillion by 2025.According to reports, the packaged coconut water segment in India was worth $15.38 million in 2016 and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of over 17 percent (in value terms) during 2017-2022 to hit $40.73 million by 2022.  Our brand caters to Cat A and A+ category of consumers and wants to create a niche market for ourselves. Moreover, the shift of customers from aerated drinks to healthy options is also proving a lucrative opportunity for the business growth.

4.Please give us a brief about your sales network in India? Are you selling your products online?

Be products are primarily available in Northern region of India like Delhi NCR, Ludhiana, Lucknow Srinagar, Chandigarh etc. They are available offline on the shelves of brick and mortar retailers like LeMarche, Modern Bazaar, Foodhall etc. We also reach out to the audience nationwide through various online platforms like amazon.in & Big Basket. Right now we are focusing on Northern regions of India, however we are soon planning to expand to the other parts of the country too and reach out to our audience across the nation. 

5.The food and beverages sector is highly regulated and faces unique challenges, not the least of which is related to quality & hygiene. How you are committed towards manufacturing hygienically best products?

Since the manufacturing of our products takes place in Thailand, ‘be’ products follow international packaging standards. Our products have the same high-quality packaging which is used in developed nations like USA, Canada, and Australia and are fully recyclable. However, we follow the best possible practice to ensure product protection from any infestation. Be coconut drinks are packed by a range of modern machinery. Micro-biological inspection is also maintained in our products. As different products have different types of packaging, our coconut chips are packed in ALU LLDPE bag. They all are safe and of high standards. 

6.How you see the competition of your products with other Indian & overseas manufacturers?

Healthy competition in every business is must as it encourages development of the business and sets the benchmark in terms of quality, technology, pricing and many other such factors. Being an imported brand, we only consider other imported brands as our competition as it is quite challenging to compete with a domestic brand since a lot of factors affect the product quality and price.

Three factors that make our brand stand out from other available brands:

-Packaging – the blue coconut water can makes our products more appealing in comparison to other brands in the same vertical

-Quality – the coconut used in our products is from the region which is considered the best in the world in terms of quality of coconuts

-Approach – our approach towards new product makes us different. We have coconut chips which are a new and unique snacking option for the consumers same is our coconut water with mango splash.

We always keep up with our core value of providing the best quality products to our customers.

7.What would you consider to be the major milestones achieved by your company?

Like any other start up, we have also had our share of challenges to deal with initially. It was difficult for us to reach out to our target audience but with the course of time we have marked our presence into the Indian market. Coconut products have recently started gaining popularity in the Indian FMCG industry. We consider customer preference for our products as a major milestone achieved by us. Audience have accepted and appreciated our products and we have received an overwhelming response from Northern part of India like Delhi/NCR, Ludhiana, Srinagar and Lucknow. Now we are planning to expand to Jaipur, Mumbai and other tier I and tier II cities. 

8.What are your company’s future plans?

We are in the process of identifying products from different countries, so that we can increase the availability of healthier options in the Indian market that are high in quality and which would match interest of Indian consumers. We will only add new products in our portfolio when we feel that those products would fit within the parameters of Indian market and pricing. We aim at introducing new and unique products on a regular basis, which will help us build and maintain a niche position amongst our consumers and will build a trust within them that they are getting the best quality of products from ‘be’. 

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