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Food for thought, thought for food

The 2020 gave us food for thought – about how fragile human health is. 2021 is now making us give some thought to the food we consume and hence the sudden rise in healthy food.

Published: 07th January 2021 08:21 AM  |   Last Updated: 07th January 2021 08:21 AM   |  A+A-

The product is handmade and hand-packed in small batches with fresh ingredients with all essential oils intact in a hygiene environment.

Express News Service

HYDERABAD:  The 2020 gave us food for thought – about how fragile human health is. 2021 is now making us give some thought to the food we consume and hence the sudden rise in healthy food. Words such as gluten-free, low-cal, baked-not-fried, diabetes-friendly are words even the urban middle class are searching for, while ordering their groceries online. According to India Organic Food Market Forecast and Opportunities, 2020, the market for organic and healthy food in India was estimated to grow at a CAGR of over 25% during 2015-20. 

Sattviko, a brand present in five countries with operations in Hyderabad, for example, has recently put together a hamper full of healthy food ranging from Chickpea Supershots, Water Lily Super Pops, Ready to Eat Tapioca Supermeal, Whole Wheat Khakhra Chips and Amaranth Superchips, Cashew Raisin Superbars etc. “We call it Food Yoga and every product is baked, not fried,” says Pavan Govind, the authorised growth partner of the brand which caters to a million customers every month across 30 cities in India.

The six-year-old firm founded by IIT Alumnus has joined the Fit India movement launched by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2019. “When my wife was due with our second child, I searched across many health products to get for her. Even during the pandemic, my focus was on eating healthy. I remember my grandmother feeding me healthy snacks such as jaggery, chana and sabudana. Today our product line comprises foods that are low-cal, baked and healthy.

Gur Chana has been in demand as it also boosts immunity. Many gynaecologists are recommending it to pregnant women as they need immunity. Gur chana is also useful for people having PCOS problem,” adds Pavan. The brand is available in many retails stores and in e-commerce sites. Revathy Parthsarathy from Miyapur recently ventured into creating a healthy food product herself. Pureda Naturals Ojas Immunity Booster Drink is an all-natural Indian spices based aromatic mix made from organic ingredients directly sourced from small farmers.

The product is handmade and hand-packed in small batches with fresh ingredients with all essential oils intact in a hygiene environment. “It is my grandma’s recipe, which we missed for the last 14 years. When news of Covid-19 started doing the rounds in early February and we had some travel plans in order, I revived this recipe of my granny from my old diary. We have been having this on a regular basis every day since then. I have sinusitis issues and my mum is a diabetic – so it was imperative for us to keep us safe from Covid-19.

This beverage helps me stay away from severe infections of all sorts. At the peak of Covid19, there were many brands that brought in their own kadha or herbal recipe. I found them either laborious – source, cut, grate, boil, filter, etc or the taste was not something that would suit all palates, including kids – some were bitter and some spicy. That is what sparked the idea of launching Pureda Ojas in the market – it’s easy to make (just add to warm water or hot milk) and tasty too – even kids will like it. It has natural sweeteners like cardamom, fennel and cinnamon that are great for overall health.

This powder can also be added to curries and gravies if you don’t like to drink it directly or with milk,” she adds. Sujeeth Bhalerao, CEO and co-founder of Ratan Singh Namkeenwala in Hyderabad, says that he felt that traditional Indian foods like murukku;is an ideal snack for the Indian palate. As they are hard and crunchy, one does not tend to overeat. And since it also can be stored, one doesn’t eat to finish it the same day. He was struck by the idea of giving it a modern touch with flavours such as Peri Peri and jalapenos. “Adding new flavours can make us embrace our traditional foods which are far better than the modern-day ones,” he adds.

Dr Narasimha Reddy, MD Pediatrics and Fellowship in Neonatology, Founder & CEO Roligt foods Pvt Ltd which retails Cocoworks in Hyderabad and Secunderabad was launched to create sustainable, healthy and tasty products. Besides their coconut-based products, they are also into cold-pressed melanges with no chemicals, additives, preservatives, or sugar. “We use organic honey in select recipes,” he adds. 

Meanwhile, Cravery, a three-year-old eatery in Jubilee Hills, is one of the new entrants to the healthy food section in online food ordering apps such as Swiggy. Krishnapriya, the owner of Cravery, says that there has been a steady increase in orders for healthy food both in the cafe and online. Swiggy and Zomato both have new sections for healthy food lovers.

“We have recently added healthy continental salads using hydroponic food in Swiggy Health Hub which caters to those who are conscious of the food they eat. For example, even our chicken wings are baked and everything from the dips to the sauces is homemade and fresh. Nothing is frozen. With more and more folks taking to workouts, they realise that they need to eat healthy to achieve their fitness goals and hence the need for such food.”

Hyderabad’s ‘stay healthy ecosystem’ seems to have got some new players in the form of eateries, brands and food outlets that are into bringing healthy, low-cal food which is also gluten-free, chemical-free and diabetic-friendly to ensure that eating out or ordering in is as healthy as cooking at home. We look at this new trend

— Manju Latha Kalanidhi  kalanidhi@newindianexpress.com  @mkalanidhi



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