By Chokkapan S (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Mumbai: Every one of us has a guilty pleasure. Of all, ice cream might as well top the list. Many with a sweet tooth can never forbid their craving for the frozen joy, notwithstanding their New Year resolutions. Here’s some sweet news for such people.
A new ice cream brand, Get-a-Whey from Mumbai, promises ultimate nutrition whipped up with exotic taste. “At Get-A-Whey, we believe in no compromises. That is why we make premium ice creams that are outrageously healthy, yet tasty. With whey protein added to them, they are high in protein with no added sugar,” claims the company. This apart, the products are apparently made with real ingredients and contain zero artificial flavours, thereby assuring a ‘guilt-free binge’ experience.
The healthy ice cream brand is the brainchild of Jash Shah and Pashmi Shah, siblings who share an engineering and management background. “I have always followed in the footsteps of my elder sister since childhood, and we both studied in the same schools and colleges. We are into fitness as well, so we decided to launch our healthy ice cream together, naturally,” says Jash.
The inspiration behind the brother-sister duo was the mother, Jimmy Shah, though. It was Jimmy who added whey proteins to a bowl of ice cream at her home kitchen, when her health-conscious children Jash and Pashmi wanted something delicious, yet nourishing.
“My mom has rich experience working in various industries. She is also a great cook, who has been on several cookery shows, including that of Sanjeev Kapoor. So, she has been a source of strength and motivation,” beams Jash, adding, “Our ice creams are protein-rich, thanks to the whey protein in them. Most people don’t prefer whey as a part of their regular diet, but it makes a difference when added to ice cream.”
By October 2018, they had pooled in a capital of around Rs 10 lakh from their friends and family members. “Initially, I used to deliver the orders personally to Bandra and other areas in Mumbai as we had limited resources. Although we considered venture capitalist funding and other external investment modes, we remain bootstrapped till now,” divulges Jash.
But why such a name for an ice cream brand? “It’s been termed Get-A-Whey, thanks to all of the calories, fat and sugars you’re ‘getting away’ with. Health and indulgence finally unified!” declares the brand website.
“Nobody thought ice creams and desserts could be healthy. Most of the ice cream brands in the market have products that are either not tasty or healthy enough. After we tried out and experienced everything, we launched our brand. Within a month after the launch, we started getting bulk orders for Diwali,” explains Jash.
So, what began as a pet project acquired a business dimension soon. “Initially, we started off as an Instagram- and Facebook-friendly brand and connected with our potential customers personally. In two months, we tied up with an ice cream manufacturer with 30 years of experience. We also got a food consultant and nutritionist on board.”
Get-A-Whey is made using fresh skimmed milk from organic dairy farms across Maharashtra and whey protein isolate sourced from New Zealand. A unique differentiator in their ingredient list is Erythritol – an organic sweetener with zero calories and sugars. According to Jash, “Erythritol is a plant-based natural sweetener found in melons and grapes, which is safe for diabetics. We don’t use any sugar or refined ingredients. We also put raw whey protein while making the ice creams.”
“We’ve swapped traditional ice cream and dessert ingredients for healthy and natural ingredients you normally don’t find in ice cream or desserts. This makes Get-A-Whey very low in both sugars and calories due to the sweeteners and low fat skimmed milk used. Our packaging is transparent, incorporating the ingredient list and nutritional value. We have positioned our brand in the same premium space as Amul, London Dairy and Häagen-Dazs.”
Get-A-Whey’s Belgian Chocolate, French Vanilla, Alphonso Mango and Strawberry Banana flavours are claimed to be nut-free. “Our Chocolate Brownie Fudge, Salted Caramel, Coffee Roasted Almond and Sicilian Pistachio flavours contain nuts. All of our ice creams are manufactured in a factory, which does handle nuts. This means we cannot guarantee that our ice cream is nut-free as traces may be present.”
Jash says, “Among our 10 variants, seven are low-calorie ones and the remaining three comply with the Ketogenic diet. We currently offer Keto-friendly Belgian Chocolate, Keto-friendly Tender Coconut, Keto-friendly Very Berry. Soon, we are planning to introduce two more Keto variants.”
The products come in 125 ml (single serving) and a larger family pack of 520 ml tubs (ideal for four persons) at Rs 135 and Rs 500, respectively. The ice cream variants are touted to contain 12 gm of protein per 100 gm serving and just 7 gm of fat per 100 gm. Depending on flavour, Get-A-Whey is promoted as a product with 30-35 per cent fewer calories and, at least, 70 per cent fewer sugars than regular ice cream.
As of now, the brand enjoys a good presence across Mumbai and Pune. “We have our own distribution network and cold chain logistics in Mumbai. We sell through over 100 Category A stores in Mumbai, which include chains like Godrej Nature’s Basket, Noble Plus, FLAX Foods, Society Stores, etc. Our products are available at six gourmet outlets and supermarkets in Hyderabad as well,” states Jash, further telling, “We plan to foray into Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai and Delhi NCR (Gurgaon) through other distribution networks over the next 5-6 months.” The company also sells through aggregators like Swiggy and Zomato, besides their own website and network, across Mumbai in five locations.
There are some challenges before the brand extends its footprint to other zones, though. “Cold chain is the most difficult thing to manage and achieving the ideal consistency of a variant takes up to even six months,” laments Jash.
Yet, if the ice cream’s retail journey that began in February 2019 has come this far – also braving Covid times – it is only fair to expect that the brand will go all the ‘whey’.
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