The food and nutrition industry is constantly evolving along with consumer demands and food beliefs. The trend for healthy eating has turned towards finding the right balance. Consumers aim to reduce “bad” nutrients such as sugar, salt or carbs in their diets, while increasing “good” nutrients such as fibre and protein.
New niche ingredients constantly appear on the market with promising health benefits, some backed by scientific evidence more than others. Delhi-based start-up Habbit Health and Nutrition is also walking on similar lines by developing clean, healthy and nutritious products on the back of ‘alternatives’ (proteins, fats, and sugars), without compromising on the taste.
Founded in 2019 by serial entrepreneur and angel investor Dhruv Bhushan and leading brand consultant Dev Kabir Malik, Habbit Health aims to build an innovative global FMCG company.
Market for Alternative Proteins
There is huge buzz around plant-based eating and ‘Alternative Proteins’ at the moment. Alternative proteins is a general term that covers plant-based and food-technology alternatives to animal protein.
The company at present is offering five main products – Wise Cream, Super Shake, Habbit Apex, Habbit Active and Habbit Green. While Apex and Active contain whey protein, Green contains Pea protein. These proteins are trending and have marked serious growth in vegan product development.
The core theme of the nutrition-tech start-up is to make “everyday nutrition simple, enjoyable and rewarding”. If you look at the packaging of the company’s products, it is premium and sustainable, with fun and flavourful design. In short, no technical language, just plain nutrition.
Majority of the protein-based food brands in the market are very product-centric and positioned to target those who are highly involved in fitness. This is the point where the offering of the start-up is different. It is an everyday protein and not specific for a gym-goer or an athlete.
The company at present is offering five main products containing whey and pea protein. These proteins are trending and have marked serious growth in vegan product development.
Curated According to Indian Needs
On average, there is a deficit of 25gm protein per day in every Indian and most of the home-cooked meals lack in protein. The company claims that its proteins are crafted especially for Indians, to aid smoother digestion and are fit for everyday consumption.
In the coming months, the company will be launching a wide portfolio of personalised nutrition products – from natural proteins for everyday use, to snacks, beverages and ice creams.
What’s in it for me?
There has been an increasing prevalence on the alternative protein/fat/sugar market with investors ploughing increasing amounts of funds in the same. Start-ups are also attempting to cultivate meats using cell technology or fermentation, with others also attempting to bring insect proteins and whey proteins into the mainstream.
Start-ups need to prove the path to commercialisation of their product.They need to demonstrate ability to scale production to a commercially viable size that is cost efficient. Secondly, the distribution from lab to shelf must be smooth across inventory management, transportation, to storage. Start-ups must remember that scaling up bioprocesses from pilot to demonstration to full commercial, as well as developing additional use cases and optimising this technology, will take billions of dollars in financing and R&D funding.
If you are looking to dive into this market, we suggest to have a look at the industry insights here.