This Woman-Led Snack Brand Shoulders Legacy with A Modern Twist

This Woman-Led Snack Brand Shoulders Legacy with A Modern Twist

By: WE Staff

Bhagat Halwai has been in the market since 1795. Eight generations down the line, the sweet shop has launched Binge On Baked a healthy snack brand. Riddhi Bhagat, Co-Founder & Concept Leader is the one behind the brand. A trained Corporate Legal Consultant, this is her entrepreneurial journey.

We Indians love our snacks. Each region or state in India has its unique snacks that people devotedly eat. For years, these snacks were manufactured and distributed locally. Every Indian city or town has its localized brands that rule the snack market.

But of late, the Indian snack market has been disrupted through innovation in manufacturing, branding, and distribution. As a consequence, the industry has grown exponentially.

Reports suggest that the total Indian snacks market was worth INR 38,603 crore in 2022 which is expected to reach INR 70,731 crore by 2028. Market reports also suggest that it will grow at a CAGR of 9.01 percent between 2023 and 2028.

Today, it is not unlikely to see a local or regional brand foraying into the pan-Indian market space. Bhagat Halwai (a legacy sweet shop in the city of Agra since 1795) is no exception and has launched Binge On Baked (BOB), a new-age snack brand.

The snack brand is being led by Riddhi Bhagat. Although she is a trained Corporate Legal Consultant, however, she is an entrepreneur by heart. Having a knack for playing entrepreneurial roles with diverse skills and interests, she envisioned herself as the right fit in her husband's legacy business with a vision to expand the portfolio of Bhagat Halwai, creating a new brand, BOB. The brand has created products that deliver on taste while also being healthy.  

In a candid conversation with Women Entrepreneur India, Riddhi takes us through her professional journey and the idea behind BOB. We also delve deep into the nitty-gritty of taking a legacy brand name forward while also discussing Riddhi’s inspirations as a businesswoman.

The world of corporate legal consulting and entrepreneurship is vastly different. What led you to leap into the world of entrepreneurship?

The decision to transition from the world of corporate legal consulting to entrepreneurship was driven by a deep-seated passion for making a positive impact on the food industry. At BOB, our inspiration to venture into the snacks market stemmed from our desire to enhance the snacking experience. We noticed a growing concern that many snacks in the market lacked taste and nutritional value. We aimed to change that narrative by creating snacks that are not only delicious but also wholesome. In today's market, where misleading advertisements and unhealthy ingredients are prevalent, we wanted to provide consumers with a genuine, tasty, and nutritious snacking option, addressing the gap we observed in the industry.

Did you always envision being an entrepreneur? Give us a glimpse of what your life was like while growing up. Who or what was an early inspiration for you?

I've always had a strong desire to be an entrepreneur, to create something of my own where I could work independently and foster a culture of perfection. My upbringing was marked by this drive for independence. I'm not particularly inspired by any single person, rather, the diverse and vibrant world of humanity itself serves as my biggest inspiration. Seeing the variety of human experiences and interactions has fueled my entrepreneurial spirit and vision.

The Indian snack industry has seen a flurry of activity in the past couple of years with a host of new-age brands foraying into the field. In your opinion how big of a market opportunity does India hold for new-age snack brands? What are some of the key driving market forces for this segment?

The Indian snack industry presents a substantial market opportunity for new-age snack brands. This sector has been evolving rapidly to cater to shifting consumer preferences, emphasizing product quality, and innovation, and addressing health and sustainability concerns. As co-founder of BOB (Binge on Baked), I believe that the key driving market forces in this segment include the growing demand for healthier and sustainable snack options, a diverse consumer base seeking unique and innovative flavors, and the ever-increasing need for convenience. We are dedicated to staying at the forefront of these changes, offering snacks that not only satiate cravings but also resonate with consumers' evolving values and expectations. This dynamic landscape in India offers immense potential for brands like ours to make a significant impact and grow in this exciting industry.

Building a brand from scratch that has a legacy name attached to it must come with its own set of challenges. What are your thoughts on the same? Can you tell you tell us about the challenges you face in taking a legacy brand name forward?

Building a brand from scratch with a legacy name attached does indeed present a unique set of challenges. In our case, at BOB (Binge on Baked), one significant challenge revolves around positioning our preservative-free products. Our unwavering commitment to using natural ingredients can sometimes result in slight color changes in our products overtime on the shelves. While this might be perceived as a hurdle, it's precisely this dedication to authenticity and health-conscious choices that resonates with our target audience. Striking the right balance between maintaining product integrity and meeting customer expectations remains an ongoing challenge. However, we firmly believe in the value of transparency and providing genuinely healthy snacks, making the effort to overcome these hurdles worth it for the satisfaction of our customers.

Can you throw some light on your plans about taking Binge On Baked to the whole of India? Throw some light on your expansion plans.

We're extremely excited about taking Binge On Baked to every corner of India. Our expansion plans involve introducing a range of savory products that will complement our existing product range. We firmly believe that this expansion will not only diversify our product line but also cater to the diverse tastes and preferences of our cherished customers. We are committed to continued innovation and growth in the market, and we encourage our customers to stay tuned for more delightful surprises on our journey to becoming a household name across the country.

What serves as an inspiration for you as an individual and as an entrepreneur?

As an individual and entrepreneur, my inspiration is drawn from the ever-evolving health and wellness trends in the food industry. Staying attuned to these trends allows me to continuously explore and innovate, ensuring that our company, BOB (Binge on Baked), offers a diverse selection of snacks crafted from nutritious ingredients. I am inspired by the opportunity to provide our customers with a variety of healthy and delicious options that align with the latest industry developments, making it possible for them to make better food choices and improve their overall well-being. This commitment to innovation and health consciousness drives me to excel in my entrepreneurial journey.