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Are You Looking for Super Grains and Organic Grab-and-Go Meals?

Likitha Bhanu of AdiTree Naturals has an answer. With a seed investment of $1,00,000 in early 2017, Bhanu is looking to raise $1 million to fuel market penetration in organic meals and expand farming projects.

Are You Looking for Super Grains and Organic Grab-and-Go Meals?
Are You Looking for Super Grains and Organic Grab-and-Go Meals?

Likitha Bhanu’s startup focuses on ready-to-snack organic products. Inspired by her mother Padmaja Bhanu who has always been driven towards agriculture and organic cultivation, Bhanu started AdiTree Naturals under two brand names – Pan India and Power Puffs.

So what was the idea behind this project. “With the changing habits of the new generation and the need to survive in the fast paced life, we thought of combining Indian food with smart eating. We thought of lip-smacking, organic and ready-to-eat food items that can satisfy hunger pangs and at the same time be nutritious. Hence, AdiTree Naturals was born. The latest being crunchy and tasty snacks ‘PowerPuff',” says the 27-year-old founder and CEO. “It is gluten-free and made of millets that has tremendous nutritional power.

‘PowerPuff’ was recently launched at the 3-day National Trade Fair on Organic & Millets to promote the nutri-rich cereals. It comes in three popular flavours - Masala munchies, Tomato Tasties and Mint Munchies. Bhanu has personally worked on the taste and food value, the two very important ingredients for home-grown millet snacks.

All the products have been made with in-house R&D in collaboration with ICRISAT, an international organisation which spearheads the movement of popularising millets and other semi-arid crops. “What we have also ensured is to answer persistent consumer questions – how ingredients are sourced, how farm produce is treated and manufacturing practices,” says Bhanu.

“Unlike other snacks, these are organic whole grains and majorly constitute millets i.e. Jowar and Ragi. This is signified by the characteristic brown colour of the base which is absent in many snacks on the counter due to high content of processed grains added to them. We have used the technology of extrusion where in the snack is not fried or baked. It is puffed and therefore is very healthy.”

As per the business model, Bhanu believes that this market is niche to drive growth. The organic food industry is growing at a CAGR of 25-30% and the snack market in India in this sector is at a very nascent stage. The market is only pegged to grow and Aditree Naturals’ intent is to be the front runner in this sector.

The venture began operations with a seed investment of $1,00,000 in early 2017 and is in talks with investors to raise $1 million to fuel its market penetration and farming projects. The production ingredients are currently met by farmers from Terra Greens network (Aditree Naturals parent company) and other parts of India, going forward the company is keen to build millets farm project in Karnataka. Right now, the company has invested to build network of 4000 farmers for good quality and genuine food grains. It plans to add farmer groups in Karnataka with buy-back guarantee coupled with training services to fuel its growth plans with a long-term view to ensure consistent supply.

Going forward Aditree Naturals plans to launch the product in three major cities - Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, and will be expanding to other cities by the end of this financial year.

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