The startup for cold-pressed juices, Fresh Food Concepts has secured $2 million in a pre-series A round led by Angel investors Siddhartha Gupta and Ashvin Chadha. This announcement comes as the Delhi-NCR-based startup moves its flagship product Juice Up into the next phase of expansion.
Available in over 250 locations across Delhi NCR, Juice Up offers a range of 100% raw and fresh cold pressed juices. Speaking about recent developments, Riju Gupta, Founder CEO, Fresh Food Concepts said, “We are on target to hit 75,000 bottles per month so the timing of this investment is very strategic. Delhi NCR has 50 million people, making it bigger than many countries in the world. This gives us a great opportunity to grow 20X in this region alone.” The current round of funding will be utilised for upgrading the production facility, enhancing the sales and distribution network, branding and marketing and to explore new products over the next phase.
After successfully exiting two education-focused startups, Riju Gupta and Chandan Agarwal, who are long time partners since their IIM-Ahmedabad days, have now turned their focus to the clean label segment. Speaking about the impetus behind this decision, Chandan says, “We aspire to create a brand that stands for things that matter – our own health and the health of our environment. Everything we make will always be 100% natural, delicious and nutritionally net-positive, so that our customers are always physically and mentally better off.”
Despite being city-centric due to shelf-life limitations, cold-press juices have become one of the biggest categories in the clean label segment. Commenting on the dynamics in this niche yet fast-emerging space, seasoned investor Siddhartha Gupta says, “Compared to developed nations the clean label segment is largely virgin in India. In the cold-press juice category, each major city has a leading brand or two.” Speaking about Juice Up, Siddhartha added, “Fresh Food Concepts has bootstrapped its way into becoming the market leader in their region. This is a classic case of easy to enter, execution heavy segment. Lots of artisanal brands and quality products can be found across metros, but only start-ups that can scale will remain relevant.”
Siddhartha will be contributing significantly, not just as an investor, but also by bringing his many years of experience into guiding and growing the startup. He holds an MBA from The Wharton School has over 15 years of experience across multiple sectors. Siddhartha is a part of the promoter family owning the Jagran Media group in India and has worked with global consulting giants like Mckinsey & BCG and is an LP with Blume VC (Indias premier early stage fund).
Ashwin Chadha has 15 years of experience in Private Equity and Venture investing, having worked with firms such as General Atlantic, India Equity Partners and Morgan Stanley. He is an early investor in some very prolific startups like Bira91, Wow! Momos, & Wingreens Farms. Speaking about FFC, Ashwin said, “I believe FFC is on the right trajectory and has the right team to become a major player in the clean label segment in the country.”
Launched in November 2014, Fresh Food Concepts is the market leader for cold-pressed juices in North India. Led by a highly educated, experienced and committed team of young professionals this bootstrapping startup has established an impressive network in the B2B2C category; with special emphasis on the HORECA industry and FMCG retail sector in Delhi NCR. In December 2016, Fresh Food Concepts secured $1.8 million in a pre-series A round of funding led by angel investor Siddhartha Gupta.
The company’s flagship product, Juice Up is a ready-to-drink beverage that contains no preservatives, additives or sugar. No heat generation during the juicing ensures the preservation of essential vitamins, minerals and enzymes. Packing less than 100 calories per bottle; Juice Up comes in six flavours including Red-E-Steady, Melony, 24 Carrot, Anarkali, Green Mile and Hello Yello.
Residents of Delhi, Noida & Gurgaon can avail free home delivery of 30 juices through a monthly subscription on http://www.juiceup.today. These 100% raw and fresh juices are also available at over 250 locations including premium modern trade chains, hotels, restaurants, QSRs, cafés and entertainment venues across Delhi NCR.
According to Tetrapak report, consumers find cold pressed juices as healthy, natural and tasty. Brands in both developed and emerging markets are finding creative ways to capitalize on these attributes, introducing innovative new products that are capturing the imagination of consumers and helping drive growth. Such innovations are growing the category too, which has expanded beyond its traditional fruit base to include new sources such as vegetables and exotic plants, notably coconut. [Source: Tetrapak]
India along with Malaysia, Indonesia, Chile are the growth hotspots for cold pressed juice markets in the future. Juice Up competes with other Indian startups in this space like Raw Pressery. Raw Pressery raised $4.5M series B funding early this year from investors including Sequoia Capital, Saama Capital, and DSG Consumer Partners.
Along with this big beverage companies like Starbucks (Evolution Fresh), Coca Cola (Suja Life) and Pepsi (Naked Juice) are also eyeing cold pressed juice market.
So do you think cold pressed juices will upset the carbonated contingent. Post your thoughts below.