GoodDot India is not just a company but an initiative that helps save the planet as some people’s eating habits have changed as a result of their changing and fast-paced lifestyle. Many people prefer to eat meat at least 4-5 times per day, which has a direct impact not only on their bodies but also on our planet. It is an endless discussion about how non-vegetarian food is slowly killing our planet and will soon lead to deforestation, overgrazing of lands, soil erosion, and other problems.
It is one such company that wants to attract people’s attention to vegan products that taste like meat but are made entirely of plant-based ingredients. This alternative is healthier, less expensive, tastier, more ethical, and better for your plant and body. Let’s take a look at this environmentally friendly brand.
In 2016, Abhishek Sinha and Deepak Parihar founded a food tech company that became one of India’s leading plant-based meat companies. In a country where beef is forbidden for religious reasons, and animal protein is rarely consumed, India may appear to be an unlikely market for plant-based meat products. They say, Packaged foods in India are labelled with a green dot for vegetarian foods and a red dot for non-vegetarian foods.
GoodDot is working to elevate the green dot by producing and selling textured vegetable protein made from plant-based ingredients and a variety of vegetarian alternatives for mutton, chicken, fish, eggs, and other meat.
According to Euromonitor International, the global plant-based meat sector’s retail sales reached $18.6 billion in 2019 and are expected to grow at a 6.7% annual rate through 2024. This phenomenal growth has gotten a lot of attention in the food industry press, with major players like Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods grabbing many headlines, especially as they expand into Asian markets.
Birth of GoodDot
In 2013, the founder, with a couple of friends, researched the plant-based market worldwide. They bought products from North America, Europe and Southeast Asia also. There was no company manufacturing anything like that in India, and the team felt that the potential for these products in India was enormous. They lined up some investors, recruited some protein chemists, food technologists, and flavouring experts, and began testing the available products, preparing dishes from various cuisines and ranking them.
They discovered three gaps in their research that needed to be filled if plant-based food was to succeed in India.
First, They discovered that some products performed well in Oriental cooking, while others performed well in Continental cuisine, but very few performed well in Indian-style cooking. Meat is cooked for a longer period in India. And these products did not last.
Second, the majority of the products were quite costly, and India is a price-sensitive market.
Third, these products were either frozen or required refrigeration. There are many areas in India, particularly rural and semi-urban areas, where a frozen supply chain would present significant logistical challenges.
So they realised they needed something that worked well in Indian cuisine, was inexpensive, and could be stored at room temperature. They then concentrated on creating a product that filled those gaps, and three and a half years later, They had something they were pleased with. The first product was a plant-based substitute for mutton (goat meat). Finally, GoodDot was founded in 2016, and They went commercial at the end of 2017.
Ingredients Used In Making GoodDot Products
They have a wide range of products with various formulation mixes. Some of our products contain pea protein. Pulse flours are also used. On the research and development front, they’re working with moong and other lentil proteins, but it’s challenging to find extracted proteins from these pulses in India. Even Though, we are seeing some encouraging results and are conducting extensive research on these proteins.
From Udaipur To World
GoodDot was initially founded before receiving funding from a few high-net-worth individuals in 2016. It began selling its products in 2017 after establishing a manufacturing facility on the outskirts of Udaipur. Concerned about being unable to operate from a metro, Abhishek claims that Udaipur, located in the middle of the highway connecting Delhi and Mumbai, has easy access to both markets. Soy, a key ingredient in its products, is also widely available in the Indore-Kota belt, which is not far from the city. The startup also had no trouble finding qualified employees in the city.
GoodDot initially reached out to customers through the direct-selling company RCM Business, which has its headquarters in Bhilwara, another town in eastern Rajasthan. “We could easily send our products to Bhilwara, and they handle logistics from their office,” Abhishek adds. GoodDot gained access to nearly 10 million people and 8,000-10,000 physical stores through RCM. At the time, most of its customers came from Tier II and III cities in Uttar Pradesh, such as Mughalsarai and Maharajganj.
GoodDot sold 3,000 units daily in 2017, according to the co-founder, who claims to have grown by 100 per cent yearly. It now sells nearly 50,000 units per day. Furthermore, its direct-to-consumer (D2C) sales increased last year after it began marketing and promoting online, allowing it to gain customers in major cities.
Before 2020, direct selling accounted for approximately 95 per cent of its sales. Direct selling currently accounts for 55-60% of its revenue, while D2C and modern trade (including channels such as DMart, Reliance, and others) account for 12-15% each. The remainder comes from exports. GoodDot reported revenue from operations of Rs 18.6 crore in FY 2020, according to its most recent available financials filed with the Registrar of Companies.
GoodDot’s Funding & Survival
According to Crunchbase, GoodDot raised $4.6 million from SixthSense Ventures in July 2021. According to a June 2022 report by Future Market Insights and India’s Plant-Based Food Industry Association, the Indian plant-based market is expected to reach $400-450 million in the next five years. Furthermore, GoodDot and other Indian brands in the sector, such as Wakao Foods and Blue Tribe Foods, have recently received funding. Some have also received endorsements from celebrities such as Anushka Sharma, Virat Kohli, and Riteish Deshmukh. Indeed, GoodDot hired sportsman Neeraj Chopra as its brand ambassador last year, which increased its D2C sales.
GoodDot In Pandemic
Surprisingly, GoodDot, as a manufacturer, has seen an increase in sales compared to pre-coronavirus times. They have a 50-60% increase month after month. More people are interested in plant-based options during covid, which is reflected in their distribution channels. Overall, even though their online sales have been affected, increasing sales in their distribution channels have allowed them to record a significant increase. Their GoodDo locations, like any other food service business in India, have been closed due to the lockdown.
GoodDot’s Best-Selling Products
Vegetarian Bytz and Protein are their most popular products. Vegetarian Bytz, a vegan mutton/lamb substitute, is a shelf-stable product that costs less than mutton in India. The second is Protein, a dehydrated chunk that can be used instead of chicken in Asian cuisine. Unmutton Keema, Vegicken Curry, and Eggless Bhurji are some other products. They will be releasing a premium chicken substitute very soon.
Their sister company is GoodDO. It happened because when they first released their base products, vegetarian mutton and dehydrated chunks, they received 70 to 75% highly positive reviews and 20 to 25% negative reviews. They were taken aback. People either loved or despised it, and they reasoned that there had to be a lesson somewhere. They dug deeper with focus groups of people who didn’t like their products and discovered that the issue was that they weren’t cooking them correctly. That inspired us to create a platform to serve customers ready-to-eat plant-based meat products. Wraps, burgers, curries, rice dishes like biryani, and so on were among them.
GoodDO began as a food truck with a menu composed entirely of GoodDot products. Udaipur is a popular tourist destination that attracts people from all over the world. The food truck increased the number of positive reviews from 70% to 100%! Lonely Planet even named it the world’s second-best vegan food truck.
Suddenly, they received franchisee requests from 18 cities in India and five cities outside India. They realised they had something special on their hands, so they launched the GoodDO chain, which includes kiosks, small food outlets and food trucks. A dedicated team leads this venture with food service experience.
Abhishek is hopeful. “We will expand our capacity, as well as go aggressive on our marketing and branding efforts,” he says. The startup aims to clock annual revenue of Rs 250-300 crore in the next two years. According to the co-founder, the next step is to expand and diversify through supermarkets and launch GoodDot in the US and UK markets.