Packed in receptacles, those, crunchy, spicy, sugary chewy bites are our comfort food at times when we are hungry, when we want a meal replacement while running late or having it as a party staple. However, snacks don’t have a good rap as they shoulder some of the blame for eating habits that can contribute to health issues. As snack manufacturers tailor offerings to deliver snacks that appeal to both, the palate and the psyche, knowing what drives a consumer to pick one snack rather than another is vital to stay competitive in the $374 billion worldwide snacking industry, which is growing at a rate of 2% year-on-year. In an awe to make people healthy, Devang Shah founded Fabbox to provide a healthy replacement for the fried and sugary snacks available in the market.
In conversation with Restaurantindia.in, Devang Shah, Founder, Fabbox, speaks about his idea and the journey he had so far.
What was the rationale behind launching Fabbox?
Being a foodie and struggling with weight issues, I was fond of checking calorie count on the packet of almost everything. On a tour to US I had some snacks, which were really yummy. But, when I checked the details on the packet, I saw that they were low at calorie count and high on nutrition value. It really got me hooked and I wanted to give them to my parents as they are not really healthy eaters. Being Gujrati’s, they want everything fried. I wanted them to have it so that they could eat better. I hardly found the same kind of stuff in India, after looking for 3 hours I could not find anything which was comparable, which was a huge shock to me. It struck me so hard that I started doing a rigorous research, why are people not making this kind of snacks? People have a right to eat healthy. I was roaming in the country, meeting people who are into making snacks, they told me very bluntly that I could fry a snack or I could put it through a powder treatment and the customer would never know that if they are fried or roasted. This experience and my research made me believe that healthy snacks are so much required in India.
Please take us through your journey so far and the challenges faced?
Biggest problem for me was to find people who share the same mindset and are excited in creating healthy stuff. I used to cook myself, but I am not a chef. I kept meeting manufacturers, asking them if they create healthy food and they always gave me things either stuffed with sugar or fried. Nevertheless, I did not want that, they were putting sugar in almost everything. The biggest problem was mindset, changing that mindset of these people and making them believe that we can make yummy stuff without sugar and frying them, was the hardest task for me.
What is the USP of your brand?
The USP of fabbox is that we make super yummy snacks with no oil and no sugar. But, as a matter of course, some products like cranberries have natural sugar in them. Some products may be require 2 grams of sugar in a 140 gm pack, we are talking about necessity and not luxury in terms of sugar. In fact, we avoid sugar in almost every variety, out of 150 products we have only 6 to 7 products in which we add sugar.
Who is your target group?
At the beginning I honestly didn’t knew who was going to buy this product. However, I believed there are people out there who want to be healthy. Many youngsters are becoming health conscious these days. People who want a healthy life are my target customers. There are office people who feel hungry at 4PM and need something to munch on and Fabbox gives them a healthy alternative.
What is the price range for products available and what is the variety in terms of product offerings?
There is only one price, Rs. 999 for a Fabbox. A Fabbox includes 5 packets of healthy snacks 140 grams each. Talking about the product range, we currently have around 150 products divided into 5 sections, which are Heath bars, Super nuts, Cookies, Fruit chews and Nutri mixes. A costumer can choose any five from the product range for his/her own Fabbox.
What are your expansion plans? Do you have any plans to take Fabbox international?
We are looking at one challenge at a time and if you ask me about expansion, I want to take Fabbox to every corner of the world, so that people can have healthy snack and benefit from it. We want that people should have a healthy option than whatever they are eating. But, firstly I would like to capture the Indian market before going international. Talking about retail shops, I am not planning that for alteast next one and half years. Currently our focus is to make Fabbox India’s first direct to customer snack brand.
Have you found your angle investor yet? If yes how are you planning to use the investment?
There are many interested, but we have not finalised any deals as such.
To conclude, feel free to share anything about the company people would love to hear.
Our mission at Fabbox is to create super yummy snacks to beat the fried and unhealthy snack available in the market and create something that helps the mind grow and love your body.