Sequoia Capital funded Home-made dips maker, Wingreens Farms, is increasing its digital marketing efforts with aim of expanding its product portfolio, scaling up sales and entering new markets …
Ten years ago, we wouldn’t have thought of fresh dips as a category in India. Today, fresh dips are almost a Rs. 50 crore category.
Wingreens Farms was conceptualized by Anju Srivastava as an organization focused on sustainability in agriculture. In 2011, Wingreens was selling potted herbs and plants in super markets. The story began with basil growing in excess at their farm in Gurgaon and, Srivastava and her team could only do so many potted herb plants. The Spencer’s store in M.G. Road, Gurgaon gave them a two-day window to sell basil pesto and that is how India’s first handmade fresh basil pesto dip was born.
Srivastava soon realized that if they could create dips even close to what people were making at home, they would decide to enter the market. Initially, it grew as a need based product with people approaching Srivastava for fresh dips for their house parties. Today, Wingreens is available in 600 stores across 12 cities in India.
“I saw a gap for fresh products but I didn’t anticipate such a huge gap. Our fresh dips resulted in the creation of a category and when you don’t have precedence it is difficult to judge the market,” explains Srivastava.
Farm to retail model
Wingreens engages with farmers on a rent-based model to grow herbs and vegetables for its gourmet products. Through their collaborations with farmers, the company has access to fresh peppermint, thyme, basil, peanut, garlic, lemon grass and oregano to name a few. The launch of a new product is dependent on what a farmer can grow – for new products like chilly, basil, chickpeas, dil based dips they needed to first figure out supply. Wingreens has, in the past, also grown tomatoes for retailers such as Walmart.
Its products range from signature dips to spreads, butters and bakery goods to even tea. Wingreens makes fresh dips such as garlic dip, periperi salsa, diltzatziki, moroccanharisa and spicy peanut butter among a host of other products.
Currently, the company gets a lot of leads and a growing demand from farmers to grow high value crops. “The fiery desert mustard dip was named so because it comes from farms in the desert at our borders. Our ideas come from farms across India,” explains Srivastava.
With international companies like Sabra (which is expected to enter India), recalling all of their 57 varieties of hummus late last year due to Listeria contamination concerns, industry-leading food safety procedures and consumer safety is now more important than ever before.
Commenting about competition, she says, “Many (competitors) have come and gone. We’ve had 6 years in the market with our fresh dips and no one understands the market like we do. Our priority has been sticking to the farm and keeping our produce fresh.” The company was the first to set up a cold chiller chain from farm to table – and, understand that they need to be very careful about the temperature in which these products are transported and stored.
Many (competitors) have come and gone. We’ve had 6 years in the market with our fresh dips and no one understands the market like we do
Growing the taste buds!
Wingreens has for a while now been offering sampling trays at leading stores across the country. “Although marketing is a top priority for Wingreens, if we don’t have enough distribution there’s no point in doing mass-market marketing,” adds Srivastava.
Now that distribution has increased, Wingreens is focusing on digital marketing efforts along with using TV and radio as marketing routes. Having recently raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Sequoia Capital as part of Series A round, Wingreens has plans underway of expanding its product portfolio, scaling up sales and logistics and expanding to new markets. “We haven’t hit Punjab, Gujarat, South India and North East India yet and plan to go into these markets sensibly by ensuring our food quality isn’t compromised,” adds Srivastava.
With a turnover of Rs. 30 crore, the founder is confident the company will triple or quadruple its earnings this year. Their fresh dips have a life span of 30 days and sell at an average of Rs. 200. “The market is evolving and growing very naturally for us. People trust us and we want to go beyond expectations,” says Srivastava on a concluding note.
Snapshot: Wingreens Farms
Year of incorporation: 2011
Founder: Anju Srivastava
Revenue target: Rs. 30 crore currently and aims to triple or quadruple their earnings this year.
Product reach: Available in 600 across 12 cities in India
The Entrepreneurial Know-How
Sustainability Approach: While the focus is on growing their business across the country and capturing more market share, the brand’s philosophy centers on environment sustainability with high profitability in the field of agriculture. The brand is focused on negating the use of pesticides, other intensive agriculture practices and removing middlemen. The other cornerstone of the organization is the empowerment of women and youth by providing them with an array of employment opportunities at Wingreens.
Marketing Approach: From its initial days, the brand was confident that if people tried their products they would like it. Wingreens started keeping sampling trays across India’s leading stores. Sure enough, once people tried the product, they liked it and that’s how they targeted their initial target audience.
Distribution Approach: The brand ensures that the freshness of the product isn’t compromised when it is being transported to 12 cities in India. It uses railways, trucks and airlines to transport products in a cold chiller and is careful about the temperature of the products.
For the love of sustainability and empowerment
Wingreens has a central kitchen in Gurgaon and works with women workers. The WIN in Wingreens stands for ‘Women’s Initiative Network’ and forms a cornerstone of the organization focused on empowering women as well as youth financially. “All our products are made by underprivileged women who are given certified training in food processing and hygiene. These are women who have never stepped out of their ghoonghats (veil or headscarf) and they make the best fresh dips in the country,” explains Srivastava.