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On a diet? This Mumbai-based startup offers customised meals

Raise your hand if you’ve ever begun a weight loss journey, meticulously planned meals, but gave up the idea after a few days because preparing food tailored to your goals became too time-consuming. 

Mumbai-based startup Food Darzee aims to take the hassle out of healthy eating– by sending tailored meals to customers’ doorsteps. 

In 2017, Dr Siddhant Bhargava, a food and nutritional scientist, Anirudh Ganeriwal, Devaj Jhunjhunwala, Anik Bhandari, from the food space realised that few startups were offering calorie counted and goal-oriented nutritional meals. 

The Beginning 

“The idea of Food Darzee was born when I was suffering from a rare debilitating disease Lupus in college. During that time, I met these people who are also my schoolmates and wanted to do something in the food and nutrition space. As all of us were food enthusiasts, we knew that combining these two genres of health and fitness would be quite fruitful and provide value to the customers.,” says Siddhant. 

Food Darzee is a health and nutrition startup that aims at providing customised diet plans. The company says it helps users achieve fitness goals through nutrition-related consultations and personalised meals. 

“Amid the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, our choices and lifestyle have changed. Food Darzee is catering to the new needs of people by keeping them healthy through our subscription-based meals. After two years living in a pandemic, our meals, in addition to achieving physical fitness, have evolved to boost immunity along with keeping postbiotics in check,” says Siddhant. 

A hearty meal

At Food Darzee, once an individual comes on board, the nutritionists chalk out a meal plan that could be vegan, low carb, high protein, or a tailored diet programme. The platform keeps a tab of daily progress and gives suggestions on what to retain and what to change as customers make progress on their goals. 

“With a team of 50 nutritionists, we have served more than 50,000 customers and delivered over 2.5 million meals across India,” says Siddhant. 

Starting from a small kitchen in the suburbs of Mumbai with the help of family and friends, the startup has grown to deliver about 1,20,000 meals a month in cities such as Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Pune, Hyderabad, Chennai, Jaipur, and Chandigarh.

“Today, by establishing a market fit over the last five years, when it comes to goal-oriented nutrition, we sit at the top of the industry. There is no stopping from here on. We are constantly innovating and designing newer products,” says Siddhant. 

Health food is a Rs 10,352 crore market in India, according to a report by Nielsen. And, it is growing at 10 percent each year. 

As per other reports, the health-conscious segment in India caters to around 50 lakh people in Delhi, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad and Chennai, and is growing at 10-15 percent annually with market size of Rs 12,500 crore. Ripsey and Yustrength are two other startups catering to the healthy meals market in India.

Differentiator and future 

“The one thing that sets us apart from others in the market is the way we personalise, customise, and give end-to-end nutritional guidance to our customers. As it is important to consume healthy and nutritious meals for a prolonged period, our model provides four subscription-based meals in a day,” says Siddhant

In addition to this, the nutritionists help customers along the journey. From planning the diets to solving all the nutrition and health-related queries, we do everything to help the individual meet their health ambitions, the co-founder says. 

As far as the revenue model is concerned, it is solely online. People connect with the team through the website and social media platforms. 

“For offering four meals a month we charge Rs. 29,700. Food Darzee’s key clients are famous Bollywood personalities including other prominent figures from multiple fields,” the co-founder adds.

Food Darzee aspires to become one of the leading health and nutrition companies across the globe. 

“We aim to reach every individual and move them towards a healthy lifestyle. I am also very excited about being involved in another start-up ‘FeetWings’, which has created a new revolutionary device that changes the way diabetes management and diagnosis is carried out. Lastly, as a content creator on social media, I want to reach out to more people and motivate them to achieve their goals by providing accurate health and nutritional information,” says Siddhant. 

Edited by Affirunisa Kankudti

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