Tasty World, which sells under the same brand name, exported to Australia between 2005 and 2007, shipping close to 30 tons of processed south Indian snacks. That was an eye opener to the nuances of the export-import business, Aravind said. Later this year the company will explore markets in Europe as well, targeting stores selling primarily to Indian communities to begin with, he said.
Aravind’s family owns coffee plantations in Chikamagalur, a key coffee growing region in the Karnataka state. But he picked processed food manufacturing because he believes it is a highly scalable business.
His company moved production to a larger factory in Chikamaglur, in February, with an installed capacity of around five tons a day. Product packaging has changed too, with savories now packed in metalized foil that ensures a longer shelf life –- giving the company the chance to sell across southern India and export simultaneously.
The larger players in the processed savories business like Orkla-owned MTR Foods or Bangalore-based Maiya’s are a boon to smaller companies as these companies are helping to grow the market.
Founded in 2000-2001, Tasty World had to wait some four years before it tasted success. Products did not see much traction in the initial years given they were priced at a premium, around 25 percent more, when compared to competition. Higher prices were justified because of the quality of ingredients used, Aravind said. But the market too was not ready for branded south Indian snacks and distributors did not stock their products.
All that changed with the software boom and the advent of the neighbourhood supermarket culture in the country, he said.