‘Transparency and authenticity are the buzzwords’: The Organic World
With consumers becoming more health conscious and mindful about their consumption, the Indian organic food market has witnessed a remarkable growth during the pandemic.
Gaurav Manchanda, Founder and CEO, The Organic World, said the surge in demand for organic fruits and vegetables, food products, personal and beauty care products, home cleaners, health and wellness products has been witnessed at a macro level in India.
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“‘How can I be sure the product is 100% organic?’ That is the question we get asked often,” said Gaurav Manchanda, Founder and CEO, The Organic World. As one of the largest, multi-brand organic and natural store chains in South India, The Organic World has recorded a surge in demand as well as consumer awareness when it comes to organic fruits and vegetables, food products, personal and beauty care products, home cleaners, and health and wellness products.
With consumers becoming more health conscious and mindful about their consumption, the Indian organic food market has witnessed a remarkable growth during the pandemic. According to research firm IMARC, the organic food industry in the country touched $815 million in 2020 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 24% up until 2026.
“The demand has been witnessed at a macro-industry level. Transparency and authenticity are the buzzwords at the moment and rightly so,” noted Manchanda. More brands in the organic and natural segment adopting the online retail model has further spurred consumer awareness and thereby, rise in demand.
Read the labels
The Organic World encourages consumers to read the labels to know what goes into the making of the products, and then, make an informed choice. “Our quality standards are higher than the industry standards. We have a strict quality control process that goes into curating our product assortment. Every product on our shelf is chemical- and preservative-free, making it a truly healthier alternative to what’s commonly found in most groceries and supermarkets,” said Manchanda.
The Bengaluru-based organic retailer owns certified organic farms, ensuring that all their fruits and vegetables are grown following organic farming practices and are 100% organic. For the rest of its product categories, The Organic World has created an industry-first ‘Not In Our Aisle List’ – a list of 25 (and expanding) ingredients that have been banned from their stores.
The unique list includes commonly used, yet harmful ingredients, such as trans-fat (found in commercially fried and baked products), phthalates, sulfates and parabens (found across beauty and personal care products), sodium benzoate (a common preservative) and high fructose corn syrup (a common sweetener), among others. “We only partner with brands that meet our set standards,” said the entrepreneur.
There are over 40 government-recognised certifying bodies in India. Consumers should look for organic certifications from agencies such as Jaivik Bharat, India Organic, PGS-India Green, PGS-India Organic, USDA Organic, FSSAI and Aditi Organic certification, before making a purchase. “When a product carries an organic certified logo, it means that the brand strictly follows the highest organic standards, right from the cultivation stage to the manufacturing and processing,” explained Manchanda.
On a growth path
Currently, The Organic World has 10 stores across Bengaluru. The plan is to launch 10 more stores by the summer of 2022. “In the city, we have a target of 20-25 stores. We are also looking at expanding in other markets in South India,” said the Founder and CEO, who is driven by the endeavour to make better choices more accessible to Indian consumers.
The organic retailer’s in-house brand, Wellbe Foods, which started off with pantry staples, like atta, dals and rice, has consistently grown in consumer demand and now includes cold-pressed oils, spices, healthy snacks, and health and wellness products too. Given the positive consumer feedback on Wellbe’s recently launched range of refined-sugar-free breakfast cereals, the brand will soon be foraying into the pickles, jams and cookies space.
By working with local brands, SMEs and women entrepreneurs – who share their vision of offering chemical- and preservative-free choices to the consumer – The Organic World is committed to giving niche players a platform to compete against the big-box retailers. It is safe to say the stage is well set for the disruption of the organic industry in India.
(Disclaimer: Brand Desk Content)
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