Marico News: Marico picks up 54% stake in D2C food brand True Elements

New Delhi: Ltd has picked up a 54% stake in HW Wellness Solutions that owns the True Elements brand of healthy breakfast and snacks, marking the group’s entry into one of the fastest growing segments in the country.

The deal includes primary infusion and secondary buyouts of equity in the clean label, digital first brand, the company said in a release.

In January 2021, the Pune-based direct-to-consumer or D2C brand had raised Rs 10 crore ($1.36 million) in funding from Maharashtra State Social Venture Fund (MSSVF), managed by Sidbi Venture Capital, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Small Industries Development Bank of India.

Founded in 2015 by Puru Gupta and Sreejith Moolayil, True Elements sells products spanning across categories of Western breakfast (oats, museli, granola flakes), Indian breakfast (poha, dosa), roasted seeds, among others.

It sells through more than 90 online platforms and in over 12,000 retail outlets. “The company plans to significantly ramp up its offline presence over the next few years,” the release said. “As of June 2021, the company’s annualised revenue run rate (ARR) stood at Rs 70 crore.

“True Elements is another step towards expanding our total addressable market in the healthy foods segment. We believe the ethos of the brand complements the purpose that drives Marico. This adds another digital-first brand in our portfolio, which not only has a distinct proposition but also exhibits strong fundamentals along with a growing digital and offline presence,” said Saugata Gupta, MD and CEO, Marico Ltd.

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“True Elements built its first phase of growth behind a portfolio of innovative clean food and building high consumer trust- while we continue to push the bar on those, our next phase will be focused on long term brand building and accelerating our entry into newer households,” said Puru Gupta, CEO and Co-founder, True Elements.

According to a report by Avendus Capital, there will be a two-fold increase in per capita spending on healthy foods by 2026. The segment will grow to $30 billion in the next five years, it said. The report shows that India is the fastest-growing health food market expanding at 20% CAGR, as per Avendus Capital, the investment banking arm of Avendus Group.

In calendar year 2020, health-focused foods and beverages were 11% of the $88 billion packaged foods and beverages market in India. This share is expected to move up to 16% or $30 billion by calendar year 2026.

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