True Elements’ Ved Agarwal shares the recipe for healthy food marketing

True Elements’ Ved Agarwal

True Elements’ Ved Agarwal talks to Social Samosa about the healthy food market, connecting with today’s consumers through marketing, and how the brand hopes to scale big in the offline market.

There has been a noticeable change in the eating habits of urban Indian consumers, which has been highly influenced by the Western world. After the pandemic, especially, consumers are paying close attention to disclaimers and ingredients that FMCG giants put in their products and are looking for healthier alternatives. 

According to a report by Avendus Capital, Indian households are likely to double their spends on health-focused foods and beverages in the next five years, followed by this gradual shift in consumer behaviour. 

The report further stated that it is expected that there will be a 2x increase in per capita spending on healthy foods by 2026. The segment will assume a market size of $30 billion in the next five years. 

Social Samosa, in conversation with Ved Agarwal Head of Marketing, at True Elements, talks about the brand’s journey, marketing milestones, communicating healthy snacking habits with consumers and its growth story and more. 

Healthy can be Tasty

True Elements’ communication has always revolved around healthy ingredients and their importance in consumers’ daily eating habits. The brand has been vocal about this from its inception.

Agarwal says, “After COVID, people have become more mindful. They are actively looking out for the ingredients. The consumer is asking questions related to the ingredients and this has opened a space for brands to come and be more clear about their ingredients.”  

Initially, the brand started off by introducing products in the breakfast range. Then it expanded into seeds and snacks as well. Very recently the brand dived into the pantry section by introducing gluten-free and healthier flour options. 

Talking about the brand’s distribution channels, Agarwal states that though the brand is available both online as well as offline, a large part of the brand’s share comes from online, which is close to 80-85%. 

A major channel where the brand actively connects with the audience is its Instagram account. With the increase in the hunger for healthy food, social media platforms have seen an increase in content revolving around healthy recipes and diets as well. 

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The brand’s social media page actively promotes healthy recipes using its own products on a daily basis. The brand has made sure to push the narrative that healthy can be tasty as well with these videos. 

Apart from this, the brand has also made sure to list the benefits of all its products right on its social media page.

Speaking of how brands can be more transparent with their ingredients, Agarwal says,

“Makers should be mindful of what the consumer wants and rather than just stating what the regulatory boards want, brands should go beyond and give a clearer view of the ingredients to their consumers.”

Digital Gets a Bigger Piece of the Pie

Like many start-ups, True Elements started off by largely focusing on the bottom funnel while laying out its marketing strategies. 

Agarwal points out that in the initial days, the brand focused on gaining customers by reaching out to them where the buyers were purchasing, which meant not advertising on big channels. Slowly, the brand shifted to social media by communicating through nano and micro-influencers. 

Today, apart from doing top-funnel advertising, the brand is slowly building a network of people who resonate well with the brand on the digital front. 

The brand does regular collaborations with influencers like dieticians, fitness coaches, chefs and more.

Additionally, True Elements also collaborates with other brands on their social media pages which include giveaways, fusion recipes and more. These collaborations open a wider set of audience for the brands.

Increasing hunger for the future

With a vast online presence, the brand has created a niche for consumers on the digital front. Agarwal states that in the coming future, the brand aims at entering close to 20 lakh households across India. 

To reach this customer base, the brand has recently dived into top funnel advertising channels and launched a TVC titled ‘Truing Truing what you doing’

Agarwal further states, “Currently, the brand’s larger audience base comes from the top 8-9 cities, with them contributing almost 80-90% to the sales. In the next three years, the brand aims to dig deep and beyond the metros by reaching the smaller cities by having a larger offline presence.”

This year, True Elements would focus on increasing its market reach by targeting smaller cities and continue using its marketing channels to convey that healthy snacking can be tasty too.