In an exclusive interview with Restaurant India, Kunal Gangwani and Varun Madan, Founders of Salad Days shares the journey of healthy food.
From the endeavours in western countries, Salad Days felt that freshly sourced raw ingredients have a great taste of their own and salads do make for great tasting, healthy meal options. But in India, culturally, salads have always been treated as mere sides in mainstream diet and no one name was serving actual salads, exclusively. So they embraced these challenges as opportunities and Salad Days was born to address the big white space of serving real healthy, filling, tasty and satisfying food in a quick format at reasonable prices. Here are the excerpts from the interview.
We started off as a bootstrapped garage start-up, working from a tiny kitchen and vegetable garden without any knowledge of running a food business or the industry. We encountered multiple challenges, from basics such as choosing the best lettuce to complex ones like package design and delivery management. Learning from experiences along the way we worked our way to bigger and better facilities, got into tie-ups with the likes of Taj Mansingh, Oberoi Gurgaon-Delhi, Godrej Nature’s basket and so on. Today we have two state of the art cold kitchens, one in Gurgaon and one in Delhi, serving hundreds of customers every day.
More than anyone can imagine! We have always stayed true to our vision of creating the best brand and providing the best product possible. For that we have gone to great extents in order to perfect every aspect of our offerings. Like, for designing and branding we worked with two designers from two different continents. For packaging we approached vendors from China and different cities of India. We searched for the best ingredients and established supply chains from Western Europe, US and different states of India.
We wish to be healthy food experts in India. Our vision is to be top-of-mind recall brand whenever anyone thinks of eating healthy.
We are an honest brand. We do our best no matter what it is, from ingredients, to packaging, delivery and even the order placing experience. All these efforts reflect in the response from our customers. That is what we think makes us stand out from the rest.
The Changing Market Segments
Food industry is probably the most sensitive to change in the whole country. To remain relevant is a huge challenge. But changes like increasing preference for new and healthier cuisines works in our favour as does the impetus on food deliveries. As the young and middle age working professionals’ start becoming the major segment we should see a greater stress on technology and innovative cuisine.
Yes, any food joint is a competition when you look at it. But yes we are now seeing competition in the health food segment and that’s the fun of running a business like ours.
The Marketing Plans
We have always focussed on presenting the true aspects of our brand through all marketing initiatives and plan to take it further on the same lines. Ours is an honest brand that stays true to itself without pretence or false imagery. We collaborate with renowned photographers, advertising professionals along with our own marketing team to run digital marketing campaigns. We aim to place our customers as brand ambassadors, encouraging them to talk about us on digital media platforms, mainly Instagram, Facebook and Zomato.
It looks bright. Contrary to popular belief salads are not just sides or a very limited cuisine. With exposure and globalization people have started looking at salads as a meal option. They are searching for better quality and innovation. And that is what we are striving to provide.
The Supply Chains
Knowledge, scale and relationships are the key factors behind our supply chains. Through extensive research, trials and scale we are now at a position where we are able to build relations with very good and upcoming vendors. This helps us a lot as we have to maintain a supply of fresh and premium ingredients from different parts of the country in different seasons.
The Expansion Plans
We plan to further expand in Delhi NCR and subsequently to other metros and tier 1 cities.