- The humble
milletsare now popular as ‘superfood’ for their rich source of protein, fibre, minerals, iron, calcium and low glycemic index.
- Millets are also capable of withstanding climate change.
- As per the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, the production of millets has increased from 14.52 million tonnes in 2015-16 to 17.96 million tonnes in 2020-21.
- Riding on this wave, India’s snacking company Troogood wants to become the powerhouse of India’s millet needs and make nutrition affordable.
India’s snacking industry, which offers a variety of fried snacks at an affordable price, has been putting its consumer’s health on the back burner.
Home-grown millet snacking company Troogood aims to encourage the world’s diabetes capital, India, to change its snacking habits and become more health-conscious.
Unlike most other healthy foods, they want to reach the Indian masses by keeping their costs low. Trogood offers millet parathas, millet chikki and peanut chikkis in the same price range as Lay’s, Kurkure and Balaji. Millets check all boxes of affordability, taste and nutrition.
“In the ₹5 product range, most of them are oily snacks or junk snacks. “Millets are gluten-free, they have a low glycemic index. When you eat the millets, you’re almost full of appetite and you will not be hungry for the next six to eight hours. It is also rich in protein, calcium or magnesium fiber,” Raju Bhupati, founder and CEO of Troogood told Business Insider India.
The company started in 2019 by selling 1,000 products per day. Within three years, they are selling about 2 million products per day. Out of these, more than 1.5 lakh chikkis are brought by pregnant women.
Thousands of schools under the Andhra Pradesh government provide Troogood’s millet chikkis to kids as their morning snack. It hopes to reach 100 million kids across the country.
Why are millets known as superfoods?
As per the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, the production of millets has increased from 14.5 million tonnes in 2015-16 to 18 million tonnes in 2020-21. Millets are all set to become the superstar of India’s commodity sector.
As per Bhupati, more than 4 billion people consume wheat and rice globally, and those grains surpass millets in terms of consumption, but in nutrition, millets supersede popular commodities.
“Millets are weather-resilient. They are grown in the harshest environments. Millets are also chemical free. Lastly, for the cultivation of rice and maize, they use nearly 4000 litres per kg of water consumption whereas millet takes at least 1/4 of the water consumption,” said Bhupati.
The Indian government has declared 2023 as the International year of millets. After a little push from the central and state government, all Indian states are now embracing millets as part of their diet menus.
“If you look at the middle class consumption patterns, millets take at least 20-35% share of the daily meal. Slowly, it is developing,” said Bhupati.
After COVID-19, urban consumers have become more health-conscious and have embraced millets. Because of this growing acceptance, Bhupati is optimistic that millets will become a key part of the snacking industry.
“In the next one to five years, millets will take around 15-20% share in the pie of snacks,” he said.
Taking humble millets global
According to the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, India exports about 20% of the world’s millets, and Bhupati believes this number will grow tenfold in 3-5 years.
Riding on this global wave for healthy snacking, Troogood also wants to become the powerhouse of world’s millet snacking needs.
“We process nearly 700 to 1000 tons per month of millets and we hope to become the category leader, especially regarding millets. We want to become a global leader in this category in 3 years,” said Bhupati.
Troogood currently exports its products to UAE and would cast its net wider to include Europe, Australia and other Gulf countries in the years to come.