Food makes the world go around. But food that nourishes your soul and takes care of your gut health is a different experience altogether. The world is challenging various food related allergies. Gluten intolerance is one of them. Gut health is also becoming a reason why a lot of people are switching to enzyme rich food.
Currently, the India Gluten Free Foods & Beverages Market itself is projected at 189 million USD by 2024 registering a CAGR of 8.7%. Today, India is facing growing number of cases suffering with celiac disease and poor gut health. This is one reason that consumers are opting for gut friendly gluten-free products. Celiac disease is found to be more prevalent in Northern India, where wheat is primary staple cereal.
So how does one figure a diet around these challenges? We spoke to the founder and brand head of Fabcafe, Rebekah Blank, whose menu design is for all those who are looking for healthy food habits, without worrying about different food allergies.
How did Fabcafe started?
I am an American Indian who has struggled with gluten allergy since I was a young individual. I have worked all my young life designing diets. When I shifted to India, FabIndia was looking at starting something in the food segment. I understand food very well; and I understand gluten free the best due to my personal challenge with the food. They wanted to create this experience for their customers. Besides walking into the store, one would want to experience the brand that FabIndia is. So, Fabcafe was born; a celiac friendly food concept which offers healthy eating options as a café.
Why is Fabcafe a completely celiac friendly concept?
It is a fact that today, wheat and sugar have become death traps. The quality of wheat is not as it used to be; blame it on pressure on the ecosystem. Many people are complaining of gluten intolerance or celiac disease, something that leads to allergy of wheat, barley and rye. Also, after extensive study and data gathering, we realized, we wanted to offer a white sugar free substitute to our customer. Most of them come looking for alternate sweetening agents.
What is Fabcafe’s offering to its customer?
Fabcafe is a concept. It is an added experience that the brand wants to offer to its loyal customer. We would like to offer the home-cooked food experience to our customer. Therefore, our chef, Sunil Chauhan has curated the menu in a way that food is much tastier and less 'spicy' in all aspects. During this time, he did a lot of research in regional specialties cooked at home most of which have never been exposed to the world. His hands-on experience in various international cuisines has also given him a deep understanding and know-how of the evolving nouvelle Indian cuisine.
What are the expansion plans for Fabcafe?
We are currently offering 28 experience centres to our customer. This comprises the experience centre, a Tugbug and the Fabcafe. By the end of this year, we would have added 35 outlets to our kitty. We want to access the response and then plan to expand more. At the moment, we are banking our own properties. Our endevour is to provide the customer with what he or she needs. So, we are also in the process of launching our own FMCG line of healthy food products. They will be available on shelves at all FabIndia outlets and we will be improvising our menu to use them. These include things like cashew cheese (substitute for cheese), Gluten free cookies, chocolates in 3 variations (uses vegan milk option) and the likes. Alternate food requirement is becoming the need of the hour and as a healthy food campaigner, we intend to help the consumer get what their body’s natural requirement is.