It is an extremely common occurrence that escapes the attention of many Indian parents and HealthKart CEO Sameer Maheshwari was no different. As a father of two — a 13-year-old boy and a seven-year-old girl — he found it difficult to believe that the same health drink could fulfil both the children’s nutritional needs despite their age difference.
“Being working parents, my wife and I relied on health foods to ensure that our children got ample nutrition. But it was bewildering to know that my son was drinking the same brand of nutrition drink that I did while growing up despite leading a more active lifestyle than I did,” says Sameer.
In a market swarming with big brands and celebrity endorsements, India’s health foods space has failed to address the need for personalized nutrition for children of different ages and with varying needs and goals. The observation paved the way for a business opportunity that sat well with HealthKart’s brand vision. Soon enough, the team launched their personalized nutrition brand ‘Gritzo’ in 2020.
Envisioned as a D2C brand, Gritzo looks to bridge the gaps in the Indian nutraceuticals industry, which is expected to reach a valuation of $18 billion in 2025.
Sameer says that his team’s market research shed light on what parents were looking for in a nutrition brand which helped Gritzo refine its focus and create a drink that was more than just a flavoring agent.
Backed by more than two years of research, the team created a formula containing adequate quantities of macronutrients and micronutrients to create a customized range of products for children. The range ensures optimal levels of health indicators like height, weight, brain, energy levels, among others.
In fact, the nutritious drinks also had the approval of Sameer’s children. “They loved its rich chocolate flavour,” laughs Sameer.
Decoding the need for personalized nutrition for children
With the product ready, the team started gearing up for a market launch. However, the road ahead was riddled with several challenges. “For starters, we struggled with educating consumers who were not ready for a new-age product like Gritzo SuperMilk. Brands that have existed for the last 40-50 years offer products that usually contain artificial ingredients. We had a tough time educating the parents about the need for a customized nutrition solution for their children,” he recounts.
The team also faced the mammoth task of impressing the children, who’re known for being picky eaters. “We created a range of nutrition drinks that were not only good in taste, but also did not contain any additives or refined sugar,” he adds.
Unlike several popular nutrition drinks, they don’t include any malt, refined sugar, preservatives, artificial colours or flavours, trans fats and gluten.
Gritzo SuperMilk is customized for three age groups, i.e., 4-7 years, 8-12 years and 13+ years. It also offers personalized nutrition drinks crafted especially for girls. These five variants of Gritzo SuperMilk are available across most e-commerce platforms. One can find more personalized and goal-specific nutrition drinks on Gritzo.
Moreover, Gritzo’s official website features an artificial intelligence-based tool that helps parents assess their child’s body mass index. Based on the information, the tool recommends a personalized Gritzo SuperMilk and also generates a customized diet plan that addresses individual health requirements.
These products also take into account the nutritional deficiencies that are likely to occur at various stages of growth. For instance, India witnessed a protein deficiency of more than 80 percent in 2017, against the recommended consumption of 60 g a day. Also, the global average daily protein intake is 60-90 g; in India it is only 10 g. Grtizo SuperMilk ensures that children don’t miss out on their growing years because of a protein deficiency.
The restrictions due to the lockdowns and the pandemic added to their woes, but the team was able to iron out the hiccups eventually.
Talking more about the brand ethos, Sameer says, “We believe that each child is unique and so are their nutritional needs. Gritzo wants to become a nutrition partner for parents while offering a scientifically tested and clean product that helps their children achieve their true potential.”
Building bright futures with the child-friendly nutrition
Given how the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed health and nutrition to the forefront, the range has been instrumental in carving a niche for itself despite an uncertain business outlook.
In the short time since its launch, the company has managed a 50,000-strong clientele and is clocking a month-on-month growth rate of 20 percent. “We have been steadily acquiring new consumers every month. And, the best part is that our churn rate is extremely low,” says the IIT-Delhi and Harvard Business School alumnus.
With a successful start in its journey, Gritzo is now looking to explore new avenues of growth. “We want to educate more parents and want to extend our range to children and teenagers in the 4-17 year age group.” He added that the brand has its eyes set on a target of a million plus consumer base for Gritzo.
With his experience of building a full-stack startup like HealthKart, Sameer is well-versed with the nuances of the Indian D2C market, which is estimated to reach $100 billion by 2025.
HealthKart gathers a lot of actionable insights about consumer preferences and the mined data is then used to develop products. “We applied the same principles while developing Gritzo. Even with marketing, we divided Gritzo’s potential customers into micro-segments according to their needs, like we did at HealthKart. It helped us build more targeted and effective marketing strategies.”
While entrepreneurship is not a cakewalk, it has its own joys, believes Sameer. He sees entrepreneurship as a long-term game. “You must follow your passion and try to solve a genuine need of a consumer. A company might be big or small, but if entrepreneurs are driven and follow their true passion, the sky’s the limit,” he adds.
5 amazing health benefits of sweet potato
The sweet potato (Ipomoea cantatas) is nutritious and delicious root vegetables. Sweet potatoes when cooked, it results in mild, starchy and sweet flavour when baked or boiled, it becomes soft and creamy and when it is fried or roasted at high heat, it becomes crisp and caramelized. Sweet potatoes are packed with many medicinal benefits. Sweet potatoes have cancer-fighting properties; it supports healthy vision while it enhances brain function.
Sweet potatoes can also help manage diabetes
The rich fiber and magnesium in sweet potato are beneficial for diabetes management because they can lower blood sugar levels. Around 10-15% of the fiber in sweet potato has soluble fibres such as pectin, it is effective in reducing food consumption and spikes in blood sugar. This is because it helps in promoting insulin sensitivity and then regulating the amount of sugar in the blood.
Sweet potatoes can help manage stress levels
Sweet potatoes are rich in magnesium. One of the most important advantages of magnesium is that it helps to reduce stress and anxiety. A study found that Magnesium can reduce insomnia in older individuals. Thus, sweet potatoes are one of the important foods to be included in our diet. Sweet potatoes can replenish the body’s magnesium levels and help lessen the symptoms of depression and anxiety-related behaviours and insomnia in individuals.
Sweet potatoes can help prevent cancer
Sweet potatoes are packed with carotenoids such as beta-carotene, which plays a significant role in protecting men from becoming afflicted with prostate cancer. In addition, sweet potatoes have also been shown of limiting the growth of breast, gastric, colorectal cancers. Thus you should have sweet potatoes often.
Sweet potatoes can help improve hair and skin
The presence of Vitamin A, C, and E helps in the promotion of proper skin and hair health. Eating sweet potatoes will be enough to glow your skin and hence you will not need to spend huge money on effective products to make your skin glow. The vitamins in sweet potatoes are useful in repairing skin that is damaged due to exposure to UV light. The vitamins also help to slow down the cell ageing process in the skin and help to retain a youthful look for longer.
Sweet potatoes can help in weight management
As sweet potatoes are rich in fermentable fibres, they can help in reducing the overall weight of an individual. So, this is another reason to include sweet potatoes in your diet. It will result in an increase in fiber intake, which will, in turn, lead to lower body weight.
Top 5 vegan sources of omega-3 fats
Omega-3s have a positive impact on health when consumed in small quantities – 1.1 gram for women in a day and 1.6 grams for men – can be obtained easily if one enjoys fish very frequently. However, that does not mean vegetarians and vegan sets of people must be deprived of the omega-3s.
1. Walnuts: Nuts are some of the healthiest foods there are and nutritionists for long have recommended them as a healthy snack when hunger pangs strike between meals. Among nuts, walnuts are a rich source of omega-3s. In just one ounce, walnuts give you 2.7 grams of omega-3s and additionally help lower blood pressure, improve heart health and promote weight loss as well.
2. Kidney beans: Kidney beans or rajma are a versatile food that can be used in Indian curries or continental pies, and what makes them even better is the plant-based protein and omega-3 content. Although they offer only 10 per cent of your daily omega-3 requirement, kidney beans are a rich source of iron, folate, and fibre as well – making them ideal for all especially pregnant women.
3. Canola oil: And if you are wondering whether or not there is a variety of cooking oil with loads of omega-3s, we recommend canola oil. With 1.28 grams of omega-3s in just a tablespoon, this one is a must-have for all because of its nutrient profile. Canola oil is also a rich source of vitamin E, K content, and is low in saturated fats as well.
4. Flaxseeds: Weight watchers rely on flaxseeds a great deal owing to their healthy fats and fibre content – and turns out that this food with its nutty flavour delivers more omega-3s than any other edible on earth. In just one tablespoon, it delivers twice as many omega-3s as you need in a day. When consumed in oil form, one tablespoon can deliver seven times the recommended quantity. Additionally, flaxseeds are a rich source of magnesium, manganese, and vitamin A.
5. Chia seeds: Weight watchers often rely on chia seeds to shed stubborn fat. However, little do they realise how one ounce of chia seeds can load them with 5 grams of omega-3s. Also a rich source of fibre and protein, chia seeds are a vegan source of calcium as well.
Winter diet: Here’s why you should eat Vitamin B6 rich foods
Winter is here and so one should be prepared with the precautions to fight the health-related issues it brings. Experts advice to eat food items that are rich in vitamin B6, also called pyridoxine.
Vitamin B6 plays a key role in treating several conditions – it helps in mood regulation and may reduce symptoms of depression. It also helps the body break down and use proteins efficiently.
Here is the list of foods that are super rich in Vitamin B6. Take a look.
3. Chicken liver
7. Green peas
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