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INTERVIEW

“Items like beetroot chips & ragi cookies are popular”
Monday, 12 February, 2024, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Binge on Baked (BOB) by the eighth generation of Bhagat Halwai, intends to revolutionise India’s snacks sector, combining classic recipes with modern flavours through its diverse product portfolio comprising all kinds of baked snacks offering, biscuits, cookies, cakes, puffs, pizza crusts, bread, buns, rusks and many more delectable snacks.

Riddhi Bhagat
, founder and concept leader, Binge on Baked (BOB), shares insights on snacks market in India and company's journey in this industry in an email interaction with Aanchal Chaudhary. Excerpts:

What inspired the company to venture into the snacks market?
At BOB, our inspiration to venture into the snacks market stemmed from our desire to enhance the snacking experience. We noticed a growing concern that many snacks in the market lacked taste and nutritional value. We aimed to change that narrative by creating snacks that are not only delicious but also wholesome. In today's market, where misleading advertisements and unhealthy ingredients are prevalent, we wanted to provide consumers with a genuine, tasty, and nutritious snacking option, addressing the gap we observed in the industry.

How has the snacks market evolved over time?
Over time, the snacks market has undergone a significant transformation, shifting towards convenient, ready-to-eat packaged items that are easy to carry and consume on the go. Packaging and ingredients play pivotal role in shaping consumer preferences today. With a focus on convenience and quality, the market has embraced innovations in both packaging techniques and ingredient choices, reflecting the changing needs and preferences of consumers. At BOB, we have adapted to these shifts by ensuring our snacks not only meet these criteria but also offer a delightful and healthy snacking experience.

Share insights into the unique blend of classic recipes and modern flavours in the products.
At BOB, we take pride in our commitment to authenticity. Our products boast a unique blend of classic recipes and modern flavours created with utmost transparency. As the founder, I firmly believe in clarity regarding our ingredients. For instance, our cookies are crafted with organic flour, ensuring a perfect balance when combined with other premium ingredients. We focus on preserving the essence of classic recipes while infusing them with contemporary flavours, ensuring a delightful and genuine snacking experience for our customers.

What are the latest trends in the snacks market?
In the ever-evolving snacks market, we've observed a growing preference for products prepared from wholesome raw materials. Items like beetroot chips and ragi cookies have become particularly popular due to their health benefits. At BOB, we stay abreast of these trends and are dedicated to offering innovative snacks made from nutritious ingredients. Our focus is on providing our customers with a wide range of healthy and delicious options, aligning with the latest trends in the industry.

What challenges does the company face in this industry?

One of the challenges we face in this industry is positioning our preservative-free products. While our commitment to natural ingredients means our products may undergo colour changes over time on shelves, it resonates with health-conscious consumers who appreciate authenticity. Striking a balance between maintaining product integrity and meeting customer expectations is an ongoing challenge. However, we believe in the value of transparency and providing genuinely healthy snacks, making it worth overcoming these hurdles for the satisfaction of our customers.

Give us details about your product portfolio.
At BOB, we take pride in our diverse product portfolio, ranging from wholesome bread varieties, including brown, multigrain, and garlic bread to delightful desserts like brownies, cookies, and cupcakes. Our product range also includes savoury options like crackers, kulcha and different types of buns, such as white and multigrain burger buns. For those who love pizza, we offer both white and brown pizza bases. Additionally, our selection features traditional favourites like white and brown pav, as well as healthy options like suji rusk and ragi rusk. Crispy puffs like regular and jeera puff complete our lineup. Each product is crafted with care, ensuring a perfect blend of taste and quality in every bite.

How do you envision the snacks sector in India in the long run?

In the long run, we envision the snacks sector in India evolving in response to shifting consumer preferences. Successful companies will need to adapt by prioritising product quality and innovation, while also addressing growing concerns related to health and sustainability. At BOB, we are committed to staying at the forefront of these changes, offering snacks that not only satisfy cravings but also align with the changing values and expectations of consumers.

How does the company ensure sustainability and ethical practices in its production and sourcing?
At BOB, sustainability and ethical practices are at the core of our operations. We meticulously source raw materials from certified sustainable sources and implement eco-friendly manufacturing processes to minimise energy and water consumption. Additionally, we actively promote package recycling among our customers, providing detailed information on proper disposal methods for our packaging. Moreover, during trial sessions of new products like cookies or tea cakes, untouched batches are distributed to those in need, ensuring that no food goes to waste and making a positive impact on the community, especially for homeless children. These initiatives reflect our dedication to sustainable practices and responsible production methods.

Tell us about the R&D that goes into making the products.
At BOB, our R&D process is dynamic and ongoing. We conduct extensive experiments monthly, adjusting our recipes based on the natural variations in ingredients influenced by weather conditions. Since we refrain from using artificial flavours or preservatives, our team focuses on researching optimal cooking temperatures and carefully selecting ingredients based on their date and place of origin. This meticulous approach ensures that our products consistently meet our high standards of quality and authenticity, delivering a delightful snacking experience to our customers.

Do you have plans to introduce anything new or undergo future collaborations?
BOB is gearing up to launch a range of savoury products under our esteemed banner. We believe this expansion will not only diversify our offerings but also cater to the varied tastes and preferences of our valued customers. Stay tuned for more delightful surprises as we continue to innovate and grow in the market.
 
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