Packaged food start-up Kottaram Agro Food has forayed in the salty snacks segment for kids.

The company, known for the brand Soulfull, focuses on ragi and millet-based packaged food products. The new launch, under the brand Soulfull Ragi Bites, will help the Bengaluru-based start-up to widen its kids’ product portfolio, which includes breakfast cereals and sweet snacks.

Prashant Parameswaran, MD, Kottaram Agro Foods said the company fast-tracked the new launch in line with evolving consumption trends. "As the country is grappling with the pandemic, children are confined at home, taking online classes and unable to go out and play. In-home consumption and frequency of snacking has therefore gone up significantly. Mothers are looking for healthy snacks and we believe with the launch of the new salty baked snacks range we are offering them a solution,” he added.

The company has also collaborated with Tinkle Comics to design a quirky packaging for the baked salty snacks range. The packs come with a QR code through which kids can access entertainment and educational content. The company said that the baked salt snacks range are made of ragi, pulses and mult-grains. Launched in Bengaluru, the new range will hit retail shelves in other key cities in the coming weeks.

"The salty snacks business is a well-established category and we are not trying to be a me-too product. Instead as a challenger brand, we are trying to create a white space by leveraging on ancient Indian grains and sharply focusing on the kids' snacks space," Parameswaran added. Currently, nearly 50-55 per cent of the company's sales come from kids portfolio.

"With growing focus on healthy and immunity-boosting products, we are also in the process of developing a range of products for adults with health-benefits . These will be launched in the next 4-6 weeks " Parameswaran added.

As lockdown lifts the company will focus on deepening the brands’ distribution in the top 28 cities."Besides the modern trade channel, we are strengthening the brands’ distribution on e-commerce channel and through our our own site. We have also tied up with alternate channel partners such as Swiggy, Zomato and Dunzo," he added.