How about a laddu that goes well with scotch or wine? Or a nutritious laddu for the health freak in you? Or maybe a protein-packed laddu as an after-school snack for your kids?
Now, you can pick these up from a vending machine or order them on Amazon.com.
Chennai-based food start-up WOW Laddus is overhauling the traditional sweet to suit modern-day tastes.
As many as 120 ingredients can go into the ubiquitous laddus, says WOW.
A hit abroad
Its dry fruit laddu, positioned as a premium product, is already a hit in the US. It’s not just Indians who are placing orders on Amazon.
“More than 36 per cent of the orders on Amazon in the US market are from non-Indians,” said Murali Cherat, founder and Managing Director of WWO.
The company currently sells four varieties, both in India and abroad.
The ‘nutritious’ laddu, and the one that goes well with wine and scotch, will be rolled out shortly. ‘Organic, millet-driven and non-preservative ingredients’ are among the strengths of the products, says the company.
The dry fruit laddus are sold through 500 stores across nine cities in India; WOW plans to ramp up the presence to 2,000 outlets.
“We have innovated to make this product nutritious. We have also built strong execution capabilities. We have 99.9 per cent on-time delivery records. We have leveraged technology to a great extent,” explained Cherat, who is an engineer and owns nine patents.
The laddus have a shelf life of about 120 days, and they can be stored at room temperature. The prices vary according to the ingredients. A pack of six dry fruit laddus cost ₹375, while a pack of 12 costs ₹690.
“Our laddus have no preservatives, just natural ingredients,” said co-founder and CEO Ramakrishnan Dhamodaran, also an engineer, who has spent over 25 years in companies like IBM and Cisco.
After tasting success in the US market, WOW is now eyeing West Asia and Europe.
It is developing products to suit local tastes abroad, and has a dedicated R&D facility in North Carolina for this.
WOW is also in the final stages of developing a vending machine for laddus that will incorporate new technologies such as AI, IoT and ML.
From a few crores now, it is looking at a turnover of ₹100 crore in four years. It has four production units in India, with plans to add five more this year.