INDIA – FMCG major Marico Limited has announced its acquisition of 54 per cent stake in the healthy breakfast and snacks brand, True Elements, expanding its footprint in the healthy foods segment and diversifying its digital portfolio.

On the other hand, the move will enable True Elements to leverage Marico’s retail distribution channel to fuel its offline expansion.

The equity stake was acquired through primary infusion and secondary buyouts, Marico said in a release. As part of the deal, True Elements’ existing leadership will continue to run the brand independently. 

Co-founded by Puru Gupta and Sreejith Moolayil, HW Wellness Solutions Private Limited owns True Elements, a clean label, digital-first brand operating in the healthy breakfast and snacks segment.

Its offerings include western breakfast such as oats, quinoa, muesli, granola, flakes as well as Indian breakfast options including poha, upma and dosa among others

Although, In the country’s snacking market, especially breakfast options, Indians still prefer traditional or savoury ready-to-eat corn flakes and muesli alternatives.

Sreejith Moolayil, COO and Co-founder, True Elements, said, “In addition to value systems, we see strong synergies with Marico in terms of our aspirations for the brand and are confident that this partnership will only make our promise of providing clean, healthy & no-nonsense food much stronger.”

Over the past few years, companies including MTR, ID Fresh, PepsiCo and Marico have driven the market as consumers switch to healthier options such as oats and whole-grain meals.

Saugata Gupta, MD and CEO, Marico Limited, noted that the acquisition of True Elements is another step towards expanding the company’s total addressable market in the healthy foods segment.

Analysts feel direct-to-consumer brands are focused on healthy foods with the possibility of hyper customization, threatening mainstream companies in such niche and premium segments.

This marks Marico’s third investment in a direct-to-consumer startup. Earlier, it had acquired majority stakes in two new-age brands—an ayurvedic beauty brand Just Herbs and male grooming startup Beardo

Gupta had said, “We are looking for categories, which primarily can be sold through urban food go-to-market, modern trade and e-commerce. We will not get into something which is rural.

Adding that the company would continue to aggressively invest in digital brands. With its digital play mostly focused on premium products.

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