Organic India looks beyond Tulsi to strengthen its herbs & infusion portfolio

Subramani Ra Mancombu | | Updated on: Jun 27, 2022

Firm begins selling chamomile and moringa hibiscus, plans six more products by year-end

Organic India, which is under the management of FabIndia, is looking beyond  Tulsi (Holy Basil) in its herbs and infusion portfolio. It plans to launch products without it, says its Group Managing Director Subrata Dutta. 

“We have introduced ‘Simply chamomile’ without  Tulsi. This is a growing segment where chamomile is consumed for good sleep. We are securing supply from farmers and selling it,” Dutta told  BusinessLine.

First mover advantage 

Organic India’s foray into chamomile follows its success with  Tulsi. The firm had built a category of herbs and infusions using the Holy Basi like tea leaves. It was the first to use organic  Tulsi. “We gained an advantage as the first mover. It accounts for 90 per cent of organic  Tulsi consumed in the segment,” he said.  

Chamomile is a daisy-like plant of the Asteraceae family which is used as herbal infusions for traditional medicine. It was promoted by Organic India, which cultivated it on an experimental basis on its environmentally-controlled farms, as it was imported from abroad, particularly in Latin America.

Chamomile is organically grown in Rahat in Uttar Pradesh and its cultivation in India has changed the total complexion of trade. “It has grown well and is a win-win situation for all. Farmers will get reasonable prices, while consumers will have to pay less as it is not being imported,” he said.

In November last year, Dutta said Organic India had experimented with chamomile to see how it grows on Indian farms. Then, the firm went and told the farmers that if they grew chamomile, it would buy it and help them raise their income by 50 per cent. Organic India also helped them to grow it.

He had then said farmers who grew chamomile were getting better returns and yield compared to wheat or other foodgrains they cultivated earlier.

More in the pipeline

Organic India has also launched Moringa Hibiscus, which can boost anti-oxidants. “It is doing well and is consumed as an iced drink. Six more such non- Tulsi products and in the pipeline and these will be coming to the market before December,” Dutta said. 

Organic India is also having in its lab pipeline a combination of herbs with special purposes such as guava-chilli that can provide Vitamin C and is equivalent to lemon. It has also launched its second superfood — Spirulina tablets. 

The firm, which has pioneered the marketing of organic herbs and foods, has also added quinoa to its organic staple foods category. Organic India, which works with 12,300 farmers, directly and indirectly, entered the staples category last year as part of its expansion plans and it is doing well.

“Our products are moving pretty fast. We are now focussing on the width and presence of our staple food offers,” the group managing director said. 

Silver Jubilee celebrations

The company has launched a range of millets, besides selling flax seeds. “Our organic millets are doing well in the export market, particularly in the Middle East,” Dutta said. It also sells organic cold-pressed oils such as mustard oil, coconut oil, sesame (til/gingelly) and groundnut oils. It has now added cold-pressed sunflower oil to its portfolio. 

The company has expanded its presence to all regions of the country from the northern, western and southern parts it was present earlier. The firm is seeing good traction for its palm jaggery, which is low on the glycemic index and thus good for those suffering from diabetes. 

Organic India picked the five best organic farmers through an independent jury to encourage them for their good work as part of its Silver Jubilee Celebrations. The five were picked from among 100 applicants and were given the “Dhart Mitr Award” at the Dadasahel Phalke International Film Festival in February this year in Mumbai. The farmers received their awards from Lt Col YK Joshi, a hero of the Kargil War who led the 13th battalion.

Published on June 26, 2022
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