Our Startup Journey with Peanut Butter in India: Alpino Co-founder

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By Chetan Kanani

With an unfortunate nutritional status, a large portion of the population in India lacks proper nutrition, hence resulting into malnutrition.

While the Indian consumer remained unaware of the existence and benefits of Peanut Butter, we six friends from college came together to contribute to the better health of the society.

Me along with Priyank Vora, Hiren Sheta, Mahatva Sheta, Milan Gopani and Umesh Gajera, each coming from different business backgrounds, concluded that India desperately needed a good source of nutrients at a reasonable price.

Founded in 2016, Alpino Health Foods now produces of a variety of Peanut Butter and India’s first Peanut Butter Powder products

Although it is a common American breakfast item and one of the most loved spreads across the world, yet it was not very popular in India. Starting off with a small capital of merely Rs 9 Lacs was not an easy task for us.

We had to run from pillar to post to collect seed funding. Later when the production and sales began, the company had to spend a significant part of the revenue in promoting the benefits of the product instead of the brand.

The lack of awareness about the product in India was a major challenge. However, it is not over yet. Despite spending a fortune on the promotion and marketing of the product, most of the Indian households still do not use Peanut Butter. Hence, we penetrated the brand into the Indian fitness industry, which was relatively more aware of the product benefits.

It is not a surprise to see fitness enthusiasts consuming Peanut Butter regularly, as it is very rich in protein and helps to build a healthier and stronger body. They often consume the product before and/or after a good workout for better results.

Additionally, it is a very good snack option for weight watchers. A peanut butter snack is very filling and can play the role of a good alternative for sweet cravings. This helps in avoiding overeating and consumption of sugar by those who wish to reduce weight.

Another challenge that our enterprise is still facing is the demand of retailers for higher margins as Alpino is still new in the FMCG sector and needs a push.

We conducted a lot of research before developing the product. The statistics say that the malnourished population of India desperately needed a good source of nutritions. We strongly believed that it was very vital to do something to change the situation.

Hence, we concluded that Peanut Butter would be a good choice of product. Alpino Peanut Butter is not only made of all natural ingredients but is also sold at a very reasonable price.

Apart from contributing to the society, of course we want to see Alpino Health Foods as a global pioneer in the FMCG and health food segment. It will be fruitful for us, both morally and commercially.

Breaking the stereotype of a steady growth of a startup, Alpino has taken over a major portion of the market in an unusually short period of time.

Apart from selling through our own website, we also offer products on e-commerce giants like Amazon, Flipkart and Healthkart. This has helped us to reach a larger set of audience across the nation, which could not have been possible through offline sales.

Alpino has gained trust of consumers and has gradually built a very strong consumer base online as well, all thanks to our strict quality check and brilliant after sales services. There have been very few unpleasant reviews about the products so far. Word of mouth has significantly contributed to our brand’s growth.

There have been cases of instant replacement of the product if there has been any complaint from consumer.

Right now we have developed a strong consumer base for our all natural Alpino Peanut Butter. We are happy to see that the brand is flourishing in the fitness industry and can’t wait to expand further. Our future plans are to go global and expand our product range by introducing more products in the health foods sector.

(The author Chetan Kanani is co-founder of Alpino Foods. Views expressed are personal)

 

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