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How The Butternut Company revolutionised nut butter perceptions in India

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The company retails at over 25 major online retailers and over 300 stores across metro cities

Nut butter is a popular food category the world over. In India, it is still at an early stage and consistently gaining popularity. The Butternut Company understood the importance of this segment and entered the market in 2016 to revolutionise the way consumers perceived nut butter in India.

Story from the start

When The Butternut Company entered the category in 2016, they were the only one making Almond butter in India, and one amongst only two or three nut butter companies. They were the first major D2C consumer brand to be listed and sold on Amazon in this category. Now, there are multiple other brands in the market, collectively spreading awareness and contributing to the rapid growth of the nut butter category. A certified nutritionist with an MSc in Human Nutrition, Ankita M Kukreja came together with Sahil Kukreja, and Suhail Pansare, to lay the foundation of The Butternut Company. The Co-founders understood the need gap in the market when it came to the supply of good quality nut butter and entered the market to disrupt and spread awareness regarding the product.

Nut butter is one of the best sources of vegetarian protein. One spoonful of nut butter can provide up to 5g of protein, which is roughly the same as one whole egg. This is a basic awareness aspect, of which the consumer is mostly unaware, the Co-founders understood and with their unique offering began to reinvent the category.

A pioneer in the peanut butter category. They were the first to retail Unsweetened Peanut Butter – one of the brand’s major bestsellers today. They were the first to introduce other nut butters such as cashew, hazelnut, and fruit-flavoured nut butter. The unique aspect of the products is that they are built on the premise – of health meets taste. Therefore, great taste is a major driving factor. The peanut butter market reached $97.2 million in India in FY22. It has grown at a CAGR of 8.02% over the past 5 years. Irrespective of this, the domestic demand is still limited and is sized at $9.81 million. The Butternut Company team looks to tread this landscape by making the consumer aware of the benefits of butternut.

Crafting a difference

The Butternut Co was born out of experiments in the kitchen. The lack of clean, high-protein, and satiating foods on the supermarket shelf was the primary inspiration for developing this product. Initially, the acceptance of a product from a small home-grown company on supermarket shelves was a big challenge. The team had to persistently keep trying to convince store owners to make the initial order. Once that was made, it was a breeze as the repeat orders would keep coming in.

However, a lot of the brand’s customer base was built through pop-ups and farmers’ markets. The marketing in the early days was word of mouth and they had to keep at it, trying to get people to sample the product and spread awareness. The brand has always taken a customer-centric approach, modeling the operations to serve the customer the best. They have dedicated warehouses across the country, to stock, store, and ship the products. This steady warehouse strength helps the brand keep its logistics and fulfillment very smooth for the customers. And they are able to ship faster and on time all across the country.

Setting the trend right

The team is constantly innovating to find more and more fits and uses for nuts in our daily diet. Nuts are one of the most powerful natural foods out there. The freshest products, good taste, and better-for-you products make the brand a trendsetter in this category. They also have the maximum number of nut butter flavours in the market, with more always in the pipeline.

Another factor that sets them apart is that they have always had full control over their manufacturing processes thus, ensuring the highest amount of quality control. They have always manufactured their products in-house in a boutique-like setup for this reason and in order to have a grip on the quality. A laser-focused customer-centric approach is the brand’s strength and they continue to invest in building this approach with strength.

Brownie Points

  • Started from a 100 sq. ft. kitchen and is currently produced in 35,000 sq ft automated production facility.
  • Number 1 seller of Almond Butter on Amazon in the first few months of being listed Product growth – from 3 SKUs to over 80 SKUs.
  • Retailing at over 25 major online retailers and over 300 stores across major metro cities.

First appeared in The India D2C Yearbook 2022

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