Organic growth: Indian children’s food firm Slurrp Farm highlights retail focus for UAE
Slurrp Farm specialises in making organic food products for toddlers and children, encompassing many categories from cereals to noodles to baked goods, with a focus on using nutrient dense superfoods such as millet, oats, amaranth, ragi and more.
Having achieved initial national success in home turf India, the firm has also moved to focus on the UAE as a major growth market, citing demographic and consumer trends are very much propelling the children’s products sector along.
“The UAE is an extremely exciting market for children’s products, largely due to the presence of a melting pot of people from different cultures that are very health conscious and knowledgeable, thus looking for the best possible products for their children,” Slurrp Farm Co-Founder Shauravi Malik told FoodNavigator-Asia.
“In addition, the retail sector here is growing very fast with many stores interested in [these products], and the urban population is growing also.
“Specific to the UAE is that there exists a large concentration of young families within small geographic radius – which means it is easy for us to access [these consumers as well as the necessary supply chain necessities] within a shorter distance here where we would need to traverse large distances in other countries.”
When entering the UAE, Slurrp Farm initially wanted to focus more attention on the school canteen network, but the arrival f the COVID-19 pandemic hit these plans badly and the firm had to quickly pivot its business strategy.
“The pandemic meant that school canteens had to shut down, many of which are actually still closed until now – so in terms of our retail channels we had to re-evaluate our growth strategy and went towards traditional retail channel,” Malik said.
“The main initial focus for us was on growing online first due to the capital constraints and upfront investments required to enter offline stores [and now] we are in leading online and offline stores including Kibsons, Waitrose, BiOrganic, Amazon and more.
“[This has been a good turn of events in a way] because since the pandemic hit until now, we have grown significantly in revenue and are now looking to bring more products from our local India portfolio over to the UAE to meet consumer demands.”
At present, the store has 16 products widely available in the UAE, but according to Malik demand for more variations is on the rise given the many ‘cross-links’ between consumers in India and the UAE due to the presence of a large Indian population there, so the firm is looking to make its entire portfolio of 10-plus products available in the UAE.
Clean label and taste
In the UAE, Slurrp Farm’s best-selling product is its flavoured puffs range for kids, made with ragi and jowar.
“The reason the puffs are so popular here is because apart from the quality matching all global standards and us using extremely clean label flavourings, the shorter distance between India and the UAE [enables us to be far more] competitively priced than perhaps imported British products that are essentially the same thing,” she said.
“The absolute key factor for all our products though, is that everything goes through extremely picky taste tests – we are fully aware of the importance of these foods being yummy in order to get the children to eat healthier.
“If any of the products are not delicious off the bat, all parents know what will happen to it – it will end up at the back of your shelf for ages and not be eaten even if placed in front of the child, so the importance of this cannot be overstated.”
Moving forward, Slurrp Farm has its eye on several more Middle Eastern markets, aiming to eventually be present in every single one.
“Our likely possible next natural expansions should be to Oman and Saudi Arabia, as we have been receiving a lot of incoming queries from these markets – all we need now is to find the right partners to work with there,” said Malik.