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Marico Expands Footprint In Healthy Foods Segment, Picks Up 54% Stake In D2C Brand True Elements

Marico Expands Footprint In Healthy Foods Segment, Picks Up 54% Stake In D2C Brand True Elements

True Elements is a clean label, digital-first brand operating in the healthy breakfast and snacks segment

As part of the deal, True Elements’ existing leadership will continue to run the brand independently

True Elements clocked sales of INR 54.3 Cr in FY22, up from INR 36.3 Cr in FY21

Consumer goods company Marico has picked up a 53.98% stake in HW Wellness Solutions, the parent company of omnichannel healthy snacks startup True Elements, for an undisclosed amount. 

The equity stake was acquired through primary infusion and secondary buyouts, Marico said in a release. As part of the deal, True Elements’ existing leadership will continue to run the brand independently. 

The acquisition will enable Marico to expand its footprint in the healthy foods segment and diversify its digital portfolio. On the other hand, the move will enable True Elements to leverage Marico’s retail distribution channel to fuel its offline expansion. 

Founded in 2013 by Puru Gupta and Sreejith Moolayil, Pune-based True Elements is a clean label, digital-first brand operating in the healthy breakfast and snacks segment. Its offerings include western breakfast such as oats, quinoa, muesli, granola, flakes as well as Indian breakfast options including poha, upma and dosa among others.

“True Elements is another step towards expanding our total addressable market in the healthy foods segment…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,” Marico managing director and CEO Saugata Gupta said.

HW Wellness Solutions CEO Puru Gupta said that the startup would focus on long-term brand building and accelerating entry into newer households in the next phase.

The Pune-based D2C health food brand last closed a funding round of INR 10 Cr from the Maharashtra State Social Venture Fund in January last year. According to Crunchbase, True Elements has so far raised $3.6 Mn across various funding rounds since 2013.

The startup clocked sales of INR 54.3 Cr in FY22, up from INR 36.3 Cr in FY21. True Element currently operates across 13 categories with more than 70 products and 200+ stock keeping units (SKUs). Over 75% of its revenue comes from online channels. The startup claims that its products are also available at more than 12,000 retail outlets. 

The startup competes directly with the likes of Slurrp Farm, The Whole Truth, Tata Soulfull, among several other D2C startups. 

The Indian snack food segment is expected to grow to $56.30 Bn in terms of revenue in 2022 at a CAGR of 9.21%. According to another  report by ET, the organised Indian packaged snacks market is pegged at around INR 45,000 Cr.

Consequently, the space has been witnessing an intense competition for funding. Earlier this month, Bengaluru-based healthy food startup Nutty Yogi raised INR 5 Cr in its seed funding round led by Multiply Ventures. In April, Sequoia-backed packaged food startup Wingreens Farms acquired another snacks startup Postcard for an undisclosed amount.

Prior to that in February, Slurrp Farm secured $7 Mn in funding from a clutch of institutional investors. Another D2C healthy snacking brand Happilo also raised $25 Mn in funding from Motilal Oswal Private Equity in February.

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