Let’s hear from Shauravi Malik and Meghana Narayan, co-founders of Slurrp Farm, a brand which makes nutritious foods and is changing the way we feed our children.
Slurrp Farm, the name itself is unique. What’s the story behind it?
Umang (the person behind the Slurrp Farm branding), Meghana and I were sitting around a table and we were just being silly and writing down words that we felt were evocative and memorable. Suddenly Umang made a very loud SLURRRRPPPPING sound, and we all had a silly grin on our faces – We just knew we had the word we all loved!
Also, at the time we were planning to launch with wet fruit and vegetable purees in a squeezy pouch. Luckily Slurrp has an overall satisfying sound to it (not just associated with only a puree pouch).
And then we added Farm to it (for a few simple reasons) – the Slurrp Farm Family of animals are what brings the brand alive for children! They are not farm animals, but Indian animals that we all love – A Monkey, An Elephant, A Rhino, A Crocodile, A Tiger, A Bear and A Parrot. And their stories are going to enchant your kids!
How did you get together to create this idea of a children focused food brand ?
Before we started Slurrp Farm together, Meghana used to lead the public health practise at McKinsey India. She has an MBA from Harvard Business School, was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University and has a Computer Science Engineering degree from Bangalore University. Shauravi used to work for Sir Richard Branson’s Group Holding entity at the Virgin Group in London, and in the Consumer, Healthcare and Retail Investment Banking team, as well as the Leveraged Finance and Restructuring Advisory team at JP Morgan in London. She has studied Economics at Cambridge University and at St. Stephen’s College in Delhi University.
How we met each other was serendipitous. A mutual friend asked Shauravi to go for Meghana’s Diwali dinner. Needless to say, the food was yum! This led to much more cooking, eating, laughter and fun business ideas. When we had our own children, we felt an acute need for food options where we could just understand the ingredients at the back of the label and trust them to not be junk food. And so Slurrp Farm was born from the kitchen of two mothers who love to cook.
We are passionate about raising awareness of healthy eating for children and giving busy parents like us, the convenience needed in terms of being able to find food options which are as good as what we would make at home. Slurrp Farm is now a leading young Indian food brand attempting to change the way young kids are eating around India. We currently make cereals and cookies for kids, but we have a whole lot of other fun food ideas brewing in the Slurrp Farm kitchen for a much wider range of audience! Breakfast and snack options for children; Prenatal, postnatal and getting back in shape for mothers and Nutrition options for elderly people.
In the long term, we want to drive an inflexion, or a REAL change in the health food market: Our intention is to be market-makers who create a bottom-up market for this. The contamination at every level is having frightening repercussions on societal health outcomes. Not little tweaks which are about replacing ingredient X with ingredient Y. But the fundamental notion that drives us is that we need to eat like our grandparents did. The food options that we make available on a shelf, are the same as what it would be if we were to make it at home. As consumers, we are all poor on time, but that doesn’t mean we should compromise on food ingredient quality. There have been tremendous improvements in packaging which we have used and will use to support us in this endeavor.
How do you create these products and ensure that children will like them?
We truly believe that healthy food, tasty food and attractive food need not exist on different planets! While the basis of the recipes came from our families, we have worked out the right proportion for our audience by consulting indusrty specialists, nutritionists and pediatricians.
Also, we have been very conscientious about getting the nutritional component right – Once children get used to eating well from the start, they carry that forward on their own. We have been able to start with a clean slate – No transfat– ie no dalda or edible vegetable oils or hydrogenated fats, no palm oil, no invert syrup or golden syrup, no high fructose corn syrup, little to no maida.
The owner and Chef of Smitten Bakery, Mandakini Gupta worked on the Slurrp Farm cookie recipes and narrowed them down to seven flavours. We then decided to let their customers take the final call, so we wrote a letter to 200 parents in a play school asking permission for their children to try SlurrpFarm cookies. We all had our personal favorites in those seven versions. The kids were honest about the ones they liked, and they chose the three flavours you see on the website today. In fact, one of our favourite was not on that final list. 🙂
What about your brand makes you most proud?
We want to engage with kids and families by communicating with them through our unique (and if we may say so ourselves – beautiful!) brand identity, which we have worked SO very hard on. When a customer holds a Slurrp Farm product in their hand – we want them to feel tremendous pride at holding a beautiful Made in India product in their hands. We don’t need to import food for our children from elsewhere. To incorporate Indian food traditions into the recipes, use the best possible ingredients, create a global identity, and still be priced at an Indian price point.
What do you do for me time to relax and recharge the batteries?
Meghana: Hiking in the hills when I can. Handloom obsession and saris! Watch Masterchef, get inspired and cook elaborate meals for friends and family – I genuinely find that energizesme! Wine, laughter and good food is what always makes my day.
Shauravi: Seeing Contemporary Art and Handmade Textiles. I love reading but work is so all consuming nowadays that I read to my son when I can instead and its really fun at this age! Eating, with family and friends. Meghana and I have a firm foodie friendship, before a work partnership.