Zissto, a brand owned by VinZillion Edibles, is unique to the cooking sauce category in the domestic market serving authentic Indian cuisines / regional ethnic dishes. Its product portfolio comprises 14 variants. Zissto offers fresh sauces direct from farm ingredients with no artificial flavours or colours, minimal preservatives. These sauces prove to be a boon to the cooks as it eliminates 65% of the time that one needs to spend in pre-prep in the kitchen. They also started lockdown services amidst the pandemic, providing home delivery pan-India with multi-layer product packaging for hygiene and safety. They also donated a certain amount from every product sold to the PM CARES fund.
In a conversation with ChefBharath.com, Founder & MD of VinZillion Edibles Kanhai Porecha, shares about the product, changes, and changing trends in eating habits.
During the lockdown, what ways a consumer’s eating pattern has changed and what are the challenges ahead for chefs?
The lockdown has had an enormous impact on consumers’ eating and buying pattern. It has compelled people to cook and eat at home, giving people more time to explore new things/products in the market and online. So I feel this is the right time for new start-ups like us to promote our products in the market and people who don’t want to spend much time in the kitchen cooking are given a simple solution in the form of Zissto.
From a Chef perspective, other than saving preparation time, in what way he/she can utilise time & resources to build a reputation?
So from what I can see, they can either become consultants or do web shows in the form of webinars, online cooking classes or more. A very important task a chef can do right now is to be famous online. The digital marketing space is booming now. So I’ll suggest it would be the best way for someone to build a reputation in this period.
How many variants you have and minimum how many recipes can be done from each SKU?
Our widespread product range currently has 14 variants hailing from different parts of India including Jain and Italian sauces such as:
• North – Chole, Hariyali, Handi, Makhani,
• South – Malabari, Chettinad,
• West – Pav Bhaji, Malvani,
• East – Bengali, Bhuna Masala,
• Jain – Chole, Pav Bhaji, Makhani,
• Continental – Pizza-Pasta.
Our products are a multi-utility type of products. Along with giving you the authentic Indian flavours sitting at home, one can cook up any traditional Indian dish in a jiffy and give it their own twist. The sauces can also be used as a dip, spread, gravy, marination, fondue etc. Being such a ‘flexible-use’ sauce, it is up to one’s own creative self to explore and experiment with the sauces as much as they want. You can check our website, social media handles, and especially our YouTube channel for recipe videos by our expert in-house chef using Zissto sauces. We are also open to creative suggestions from consumers on new recipes they’ve tried using our sauces.
How is your Distribution (supply chain) good enough to ensure flawless supply for the kitchens?
Our supply chain is very well managed, thanks to our devoted staff. So anyone who orders products from our website will get them delivered to their doorstep pan-India. Our delivery and logistics partner has a pan-India reach and even the remotest locations can be tapped.
For commercial kitchens wanting a 1kg sauce packet, they can place their order by letting us know what type of sauce they want. We even provide customized sauce to their needs and also develop the new product for them and set the minimum order quantity and place the order accordingly.
Even amidst the lockdown, we are doing home deliveries for those ordering from our website. Our delivery and logistics partner has a pan-India reach and even the remotest locations can be tapped. During the nationwide lockdown, we supplied to Kolkata, West Bengal, Telangana, Bihar, and more. Earlier, the majority of our focus market was in Chennai, Mumbai, Bangalore, and Pune but now along with these, we are also getting orders from places we’ve never heard about or expected from. For example, in Maharashtra, we have recently got orders from places such as Ulhasnagar and Sangli and other small towns. Our logistics has a strong hold and successfully delivered orders within 3-15 days without a single complaint so far and in turn, we’ve seen a huge jump in demand. People are bored of cooking the same old dishes every day and are willing to explore and experiment so for example, before the lockdown, we used to get 15-20 orders a month whereas now we get 15-20 orders a day through our online services including repeat buys.
Your product has an attraction towards working professionals, people who expect food in minutes. This will work in a QSR. How about the traditional stand-alone restaurants?
With today’s fast-paced generation, ‘instant’ has become the new normal. No one has spare time to sit and think about ‘what to cook for dinner tonight?’ From coffee and noodles to poha, upma, gravies, rice and roti, everything has become instant, thanks to the ready-to-eat and ready-to-cook segment. But what we need to think here is all these are in either frozen or dehydrated forms hence how nutritive or healthy are they for daily consumption? QSR’s work on the ‘instant food’ principal where you would get your food in minutes but your health and hygiene are at stake here. This is where Zissto comes in the picture since all our products are made directly from fresh farm ingredients with no or negligible preservatives and artificial colours or flavours.
In terms of traditional restaurants, we are looking at tie-ups and partnerships where we can invest in or start a new restaurant with a partner and supply our products with a new theme since we believe that Zissto is the future of cooking and will definitely change the way we look at traditional Indian cooking these days where you can get healthy authentic dishes made within no time. Zissto functions for giving you the best of both worlds – restaurant-style food with the touch of home. Therefore, how about a traditional restaurant giving you that same authentic taste while keeping one’s health and nutrition value in mind along with the time-benefit factor from a QSR.
How affordable is your product when it comes to the institutional sale and how much food wastage it can avoid?
Food wastage is a very important factor that needs to be considered not just while cooking at home but especially in the large-scale institutional cooking scenario. How much food is wasted after cooking is one thing but what is more important is how much is wasted during or before the cook itself. Using raw materials blindly just because you have access to them, only to realise later that it was excess and would end up in the bin is highly unacceptable and therefore, efficient use and storage of raw materials is crucial. Keeping the same in mind, our products were designed in such a way that reduced not just time but wastage as well.
The products are available with 2 types of packaging:
1) 250gms glass containers: with a 12-months shelf life and can be consumed within 30 days after opening. Therefore, you can use only the quantity you want and can store the rest in the jar itself. Added advantage: the glass bottles can be reused and recycled!
2) 1kg aluminium foil pack: one can easily tear-open the pack and use the entire contents of the pack at once or can store the rest in the pack itself for future use. The packs are reusable and can be resealed easily using a sealing machine. Helps especially in institutional or commercial kitchens where the chef needs to cook and store bulk quantities of raw materials. Hence he/she can only open as many packets as they require for that particular cook ensuring they don’t open excess packets.
Being a multi-utility packaged food product/ready-to-cook gravy, food wastage doesn’t really come in the picture. It is very different from other raw materials such as vegetables or meats where there are some parts of it that cannot be used and need to be chopped away or other masalas and spices that need to be used only in their required/specified quantities and cannot be consumed raw. Food wastage is a chef’s prerogative and needs to be handled responsibly.
What are your products’ shelf-life and how are you ensuring safety guidelines for your products?
These sauces are undeniably a boon to the millennials due to their vast set of advantages such as:
1) Freshness – Made direct from farm ingredients, no artificial colours or flavours, minimal preservatives
2) Home-cooked – Gives home-cooked aroma & freshness
3) Convenience – Cooking in just 3 easy steps: sauté your meats or veggies in a pan; add Zissto sauce & water; simmer with the lid on for 10 minutes and your dish is ready
4) Nutritious – Right balance of all nutrients
5) Time saver – Eliminates 65% of the pre-preparation time in the kitchen
6) Hygienic – Eliminates the possibility of the kitchen getting messy & spoilt
7) Customization – You can give your own touch to the final dish
8) Multiple applications – Can be used as a dip/spread in addition to gravies.
Our products have a 12-months shelf life and can be consumed within 30 days after opening and are available/dispatched with multi-layer product packaging for utmost hygiene and safety.
Our safety guidelines are FSSAI approved. We follow very strict SOPs developed by FSSAI and our own QC team on all fronts – production, manufacturing, packaging, delivering and more.