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Published on: Sept. 20, 2021, 7:06 a.m.
Three minute veg
  • Ankush: the segment is opening up

By Suman Tarafdar

Notwithstanding the regular advice to eat fresh, changing lifestyles and preferences are making it increasingly obvious that frozen foods are part of the future, globally and in India. The market is seeing emerging brands with ‘me too’ products, a space that a relatively new player, Myints is hoping to exploit by offering its differentiated range, which it claims is ‘innovative and healthy’. 

Myints brings a whole new dimension to consumers by integrating traditional flavours and cuisine ideas from other countries in its frozen vegetable delicacies range, according to Aneeta Myint, Founder, Myints. She felt the need when she saw that only fried potatoes, fried corn, flour and cheese were available as frozen products in the form of French fries, potato wedges, smileys, samosas, tikkis, etc.

“The frozen food and snacks segment is opening up only now,” says son Ankush Myint, co-founder and operations head, Myints. “The market is poised to cross Rs10,000 crore in the next four years. “Frozen snacks will be half of that. There is practically nothing in the vegetarian snacking market priced beyond Rs120 or so. We plan to be in the vegetarian segment by choice for now, simply because this segment is hugely underserved and has very limited options. Nothing is available at all in the non-fried, baked and roasted category, which gives one a gourmet taste in the convenience your home. The present share of the gourmet segment in vegetarian snacks available is less than 5 per cent at a regional/local level.” 

The Indian frozen food market was valued at Rs9,879 crore in 2020 and is anticipated to reach Rs22,490 billion by 2025, expanding at a CAGR of about 17 per cent during the 2021-2025 period, according to Research and Markets.

Myints may be new, but they have done their homework. The team has been planning recipes, industry relationships and a pan-India growth strategy from March 2020, says the younger Myint. “Our company was incorporated in August 2020 and the products were launched in Gurgaon and Delhi in April 2021.”

Three-minute promise

Just as Maggi transformed the instant noodles market in India almost three decades ago, Myints too seems to be counting on the speed of preparation as a selling point. Additionally, holding out the promise of ‘low fat and low-calorie products which are without any chemicals or preservatives’ Myints’ three-minute snacks are handcrafted in world class machines, says Myint. “We presently have five products for retail customers, and three more will have a Dussehra/October launch.”

He is confident the snacks are healthy. “Customers are evolving – they realise that frozen snacks are also healthy and hygienic, since they are made in quality-controlled world class kitchens.”

Ankush admits there are considerable challenges ahead, from production level ones to retailing and online distribution. For Myints, barriers to entry included the dominance of large players such as MTR, ITC and McCain, among others. “This is a capex heavy industry with a huge reliance on supply chain and relationships.” Funding has been internal, with the founders chipping in with seed funding. “Thereafter we had a friend’s round of around $75,000 in December 2020,” reveals Myint. “Our initial investment in the first year will be in the range of $200,000.”

Myints is steaming ahead with ISO-22000 certified production facilities in Greater Noida, Kashipur, Nashik and Bengaluru and production capacity is around 1,200 MT pa. It is reaching out to customers via omni channels – from grocery stores to online sales. “By the second year, we will be across all channels – D2C, e-commerce and offline channels, in 15 cities of the country, in retail as well as HORECA segments. We are also working towards a direct D-to-C model. By year-three, we shall be in more than 1,050 outlets across 20+ cities pan-India.” Vegetarians have something to look forward to.

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