In an exclusive interview to Restaurant India, Lisa Suwal, CGO at Prasuma Momos talks about the growth of frozen momo as a category in India and how the brand has grown in last 18 months.
Being no. 1 street food in India, Momo is estimated to be close to a $2.7 billion market. While 97% of this market is unorganized, we are seeing a shift post the COVID outbreak, thanks to a greater focus on health and hygiene. The Indian consumer is coming of age very quickly, and will soon demand higher quality products made available to them at affordable price points. And, there’s no denying that gone are the days when a simple instant solution would suffice. And, to tap on this fast growing market, brands are expanding themselves into a newer segment. From QSR brands like Wow! Momo and Momo King launching frozen momo to old age delicatessen brand like Prasuma entering into the business and enticing customers with the freshest, juiciest momo delivered at the comfort of home. Read what Lisa Suwal, CGO at Prasuma Momos has to share on this exciting journey:
While I was at boarding school, I spent the best moments snacking with my friends. And while my family has been in the food business for over 3 decades, all my friends were big fans of our homemade momos. In fact, we wanted to launch Prasuma Momos all of 10 years ago, and have been working towards this ever since. Two distinct factors led to the inception of Prasuma Momos. Coming from a Himalayan family, momos were always central to our family nights and all occasions. Then, about a decade ago, my father came across amazing frozen stuffed Ravioli while he was in Italy. These tasted as good as fresh ravioli even after cooking and this sowed the seeds for frozen momos. Seeing how dumplings, in different renditions, are popular across the globe, I never understood why brands have not tapped into its vast potential as a ready-to-eat snack in India. And so, we innovated our much-loved family recipe, and Prasuma Momos were born in 2019.
Do you see any competition from brands like Wow! Momo that has entered into the frozen momo segment?
Sure, there’s loads of competition that has entered the market after we launched frozen momos in November 2019, many local players and some (potentially) national players like Wow Momo!. We look at this as a great sign that these brands together will help us establish a Frozen Momo category. We are happy to welcome them to this segment. It means the Indian consumer is willing to open their minds to frozen foods to realize that if done well, frozen foods can be better if not just as good as fresh food. Also, food is a category where the consumer will always appreciate having choices, ultimately they will choose the option which gives them the tastiest Momo, with the best quality ingredients and the best experience at an affordable price.
Selling on variety
Our customers love our momos with fresh, juicy fillings and the thinnest possible wrappers. Our product portfolio consists of Original Chicken, Spicy Chicken, Pork, Original Prawn, and Veg Momos. Given the burgeoning demand, we recently launched Classic Mutton and Desi Chicken Momos. Going further, we are planning to introduce more Veg momos, adding to our list of momos that are bursting with flavor. Our pricing is higher than your street momo vendor and lower than brands/restaurants that home deliver momos.
Also, is there any halal certification?
While we are not Halal certified our chicken and mutton vendors are Halal certified.
What’s your expansion plan catering to the HORECA segment?
Our HORECA business has picked up completely organically, we have not reached out to anyone. We have restaurateurs and resort owners around the country reaching out to us for our momos and we are more than happy to supply them.
Catering to the well groomed audience
We cater to India’s well-traveled, exposed, and educated new-age consumers who have access to information about nutrition, and focus greatly on freshness and quality standards of food products. We never take customers for granted and understand the importance of quality when it comes to frozen food for the entire family.
What’s the shelf life of your momos?
Our momos can be used till 9 months from the date of packaging when stored at or below -18 Degree C.
What’s your expansion plan?
Prasuma products are currently available across 70 cities, with major traction coming from the top 12 metro cities. However, we are also seeing incremental demand arising from Tier 2 and Tier 3 markets. We are gearing up to expand our presence to 140 cities by March 2022 and then to 200 cities by the end of next year. We have also partnered with several DTC platforms including Meatigo.com, Nature’s Basket, Walmart, and Bigbasket to name a few to reach our target audience across key geographies.