KOCHI: The fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) sector is traditionally dominated by big global behemoths, with huge capital expenditure and bulky business models. Bringing fresh energy into the segment is PLiNG, with its asset-light and streamlined model. The Kochi-based startup sells PLiNG brand of banana and cassava crisps, which recently raised 1.3 crores in equity funding.
PLiNG, started in 2016 by serial entrepreneur Andrine Mendez, is the first FMCG startup in Kerala to receive angel-funding. “We started out with three flavours of crisps, and now we have five different flavours of banana and cassava crisps, and in another month it will be 10 flavours.”, says Mendez.
Commenting on the journey, Andrine says, “We ran into roadblocks with our initial plan to focus on modern retail outlets, supermarkets, only. We launched Rs. 50 crisp packets and were working with megastores in Kerala, Bangalore and Guwahati. The strategy did not pay up as expected. We shifted to general trade stores too, with the Rs 10 crisp packets, in December 2017. This seemed to work, with a monthly sale of more than 50,000 packets and more than 3000 retailers across South India.”
PLiNG aims to be India’s favourite homegrown brand that provides alternate snacking options. It also targets being the first global food brand from Kerala, with plans to venture into the European and Gulf-food markets in this year itself.
Their focus is also towards investing in R&D to keep innovating with new products. “If all goes well, PLiNG gets to take our very own banana and cassava into the global sphere of food brands.”, concludes an optimistic Andrine.