‘The market share for Naturell India is 55+ per cent in 2014-2015’

A nine-year old nutritional bar manufacturing company, Naturell India has introduced various healthy bars to the Indian market. Vijay Uttarwar, President and Chief Executive Officer, Naturell India shares more details about his company and its products, with Usha Sharma

What are the ongoing activities of Naturell India?

Vijay Uttarwar

Naturell India started its business in 2006 for nutritional bars under the brand name of RITEBITE.

The current activities involve focussing on increasing the consumption of RiteBite bars through various awareness programmes to target working professionals, weight watchers, fitness freaks and majorly all the health conscious people. Along with launching new products every six to eight months, we are also aggressively expanding our retail outlet distribution network to improve RiteBite awareness and availability to targeted consumer groups.

Which products do you offer to end consumers and what are its benefits?

Naturell offers a wide range of RiteBite premium products to keep up energy levels. Naturell provides nutritious products with superior quality. RiteBite Nutrition Bar comes in a convenient pack, so wherever you go, whatever you do, RiteBite makes a perfect on-the-go snack. Switch to a healthy lifestyle with RiteBite.

Our other products include:

  • Herbal protein bars
  • Ritebite Eazy Slim Herbal bars
  • Ritebite Eazy Immune Herbal bars
  • Ritebite Eazy Calm Herbal bars
  • Protein bars
  • Healthy snacking and diet bars

Tell us about your herbal protein bars. What quality tests do you follow and how conventional are they?

Naturell India performs various researches, leading to the final launch of an innovative product. It goes through a rigorous product development cycle, starting from lab formulation to pre-launch consumer feedback. The products are then further tested for various elements such as shelf life, nutritional content, taste parameters and feedback. At manufacturing, various steps are taken to provide the highest quality products including selection of raw material, manufacturing process and post manufacturing storage and shipping. Naturell India also has an edge over others in terms of quality – ISO – 22000 : 2005, wide range of nutritional bars in variety of flavours catering to different market segments, taste, availability and price.

In case of herbal protein bars or any of our bars, we always maintain high standards of quality. For example, in Ritebite Eazy Herbal Bars we are using high oleic oil which has 83 per cent cleic content, which is higher than olive oil. High oleic oil is known to help reduce bad cholesterol and lower the risk of heart diseases. The herb such as yerba mate, passion flower, lemon balm, which are believed to be highly beneficial to the body and mind, are sourced from different countries.

What are the company’s marketing strategies and who are your target consumers?

RiteBite is the market leader in the entire granola bar/ nutrition bar market. For taking the brand equity further, some of our marketing efforts to be put in for promoting the brand are as follows: consumer awareness, approaching the influencers – like gym trainers, dieticians, one-to-one approach with social media and website. Online consumer programmes – Facebook, Blogs, Youtube, BTL activity, PR activity, events and promotions.

Our marketing strategy mainly revolves around awareness programmes and events where we also have a lot of sampling sessions. Our major target consumers for these nutrition bars are working professionals, weight watchers, fitness freaks, gym goers, people with busy lifestyle, people on diet, in short people who are health conscious.

Elaborate more on the company’s vision.

Rising obesity levels, awareness about the advantage of leading a healthy life, rising demand for products boosting health benefits, rising exercise participation, wide appeal for nutrition/sports and herbal products are major contributors for widening the weight management industry. Green tea is very popular for weight management, it’s first time in India that green tea herb will be added in a nutrition bar. In addition to the benefits of green tea, this bar contains 14g protein, 8g fibre, low carbs, prebiotic, non-GMO, low glycemic with no added sugar.

PM Narendra Modi is encouraging preventive healthcare methods. Are you working in line with it?

PM Narendra Modi talked about the changing nature in the health sector including the importance of specialisation in the sector. Naturell India is working in line with this vision of providing the finest nature-based products that will help Indian consumers adopt a healthier lifestyle. With the recently launched innovative products, we are reaching to the specific Indian market segments with special products for special health needs, these products are a blend of nature (Indian traditional herbs) and nutrition. In addition to this vision, we are proud to be the first healthy lifestyle company manufacturing nutrition bars in our mother land, promoting health, wellness and fitness nutrition in India.

Do you have any tie-ups with nutritional institutes and dieticians?

Why there is a need to reach out to the influencers in this industry will be the right question to ask. Reaching out to the influencers like dieticians, nutritionists, fitness gurus and association with nutritional institutes is vital for our business. Consumers trust recommendations from a third party more often than a brand itself.

If we talk about dieticians, they have good networks. Dieticians also referred to as clinical or therapeutic dieticians, these titles vary across the workplace. To name some of the weight management/ slimming centres, we are associated with Pretti slim clinics in Mumbai, Qua Nutrition at various locations across recommending our products. We also do various activities/ seminars with IDA – Indian dietetic association and other various institutes and clinics.

There are many new players venturing into these segments who provides diabetic-friendly cookies and bars. Who are your competitors and what signifies your company from the rest of them?

There are many products in markets which caters to diabetic segments, the key to a diabetic diet is eating in moderation, sticking to regular mealtime and most importantly having a complete balanced meal which is high in nutrients, high in protein, high in fibre, low on fats, low or no sugar and moderate in calories.

Regarding competition with other brands, we have got the first mover advantage, Naturell India was the first company to introduce the concept of granola bars in the country in 2006 and has cracked the market quite successfully under the brand Rite Bite. Today, there are many competitors who have entered the market including Nature Valley and other local players in related markets. However, Rite Bite still holds major market share of the entire granola bar market in India, we are the market leaders. Naturell India have an edge over others in terms of quality – ISO 22000: 2005, wide range of nutritional bars in variety of flavours catering to different market segments, taste, availability and price.

How many new products do you plan to launch in the Indian market and by when?

Leveraging on the popularity of Ritebite Max Protein, we have planned to come up with brand extension, this bar will be launched as Ritebite Max Protein – Professional, a 100g bar will have 30g protein, 10g fibre, 2g glutamine, 5.5g BCAA – branched chain amino acids which helps in more muscle mass retained, and a greater percentage of lost body fat. Seeing the great potential in protein and weight management markets, our focus is now hitting the tapered niche target market segments rather than going in for masses.

What are the company’s corporate plans?

Naturell India has grown by approximately 25 per cent this financial year 2014-2015 as compared with previous year. The market share for Naturell India is 55 + per cent in 2014-2015. It is expected that the market will continue to grow at 35 per cent to reach Rs 150 crores in 2018-19. The key to maintain the market leadership position is innovation and introduction of new products for specific segments. Naturell has maintained the market leadership position even after seeing new product launches in the same segment by few of the local players, they were unable to dent into our market share. With the recent launches – Eazy Herbal Bars – Eazy Slim – Weight Management Bar, Eazy Immune – Immunity Management Bar, and Eazy Calm – Stress Management Bar, Naturell is currently looking at the weight management market in India. The company has horizontally diversified the RiteBite variant portfolio with many flavours, variants catering to unique taste and specific health requirements for Indian consumers. In addition to this, we are expanding our sales channel from traditionally selling it in A-class retail outlets to reaching out to dieticians, slimming centres, nutritionists, gym trainers, supplement stores, chemists, online platforms and many more.