Aradhana Bhandari, founder of Kacchi London, describes her startup experience and how the brand was influenced by the Ayurvedic diet.
The Ayurvedic diet is an eating pattern that has been part of Asian culture for thousands of years. It is a component of Ayurveda, a form of holistic medicine that is focused on promoting balance within the body and mind.
Certain aspects of the Ayurvedic diet have become more commonplace in Europe over the past few years, with many brands including key ingredients within their products. Ingredients such as turmeric have grown in popularity, with an increase in demand for supplements, shots and teas.
I built Kacchi London around elements of the Ayurvedic diet, having personally reaped the benefits of regularly consuming turmeric, curry leaf and flaxseed.
I saw a gap in the market for raw turmeric and curry leaf meal accompaniments, especially as many health and wellbeing brands are incorporating the ingredients in low percentages, meaning consumers are unable to experience the full benefits of the natural ingredients in their raw state.
Just before the pandemic, my grandfather developed an immunocompromised condition, and as a result, the whole family became far more health-conscious, as we all wanted to ensure our grandfather remained safe and well.
We decided to bring out an old family recipe, which is rooted in Ayurveda. What initially started as a way of boosting immunity also helped in other aspects of my health. I have suffered from sensitive digestion for some time, and following an Ayurvedic diet has eased my digestive symptoms. As I read further into the link between digestion and immunity, I realised I could use Ayurveda to improve my health in a variety of ways — if it helped me, it could help other people, too.
As Indians, our diets, and lives in general, are deeply entangled in Ayurvedic knowledge and ingredients. However, a fully Ayurvedic diet can be hard to maintain, and it is often not attainable for everyone to include Ayurveda in their meals every day.
I wanted to create a form of accessible Ayurveda so others can experience the health benefits of ingredients such as turmeric, curry leaf and flax seeds, whilst adding a new dimension to their meals.
Of course, the pandemic was another reason why I believed now was a good time to bring the Kacchi London products to market, as consumers have become even more focused on their health and wellbeing, especially when it comes to boosting immunity.
My goal was always to create a product that made Ayurveda more accessible to people who are leading busy lives. We have created a variety of products that mean consumers can do just that. We pride ourselves on using fresh, vegan, unprocessed ingredients that contain no artificial preservatives or flavours.
It’s also extremely important that all our packaging is eco-friendly. Our products come in glass jars that can be reused or recycled once the consumer has finished their meal accompaniments. We also use recyclable stickers for the labels, recycled paper for our thank-you cards, and hive paper for packaging.
Launching a new brand is daunting at the best of times and starting a venture in the middle of a pandemic brings even more challenges. When deciding to bring Kacchi London to market, coronavirus had hit full force and I had no way of telling whether my business would stand a chance. However, I knew that in any climate, if you don’t take the leap, your desired goals may never be achieved.
I had to learn to adapt and be flexible in my approach. Many business owners want to have a clear plan in the buildup to a launch, and deviating from this plan can be hard, as it’s taking a risk against something you’ve envisioned for a long time.
With necessary considerations, there is potential in deviating from your original plan as it can lead to greater brand growth, development, creativity, and resilience.
I have so many ideas for Kacchi London, and there is a lot of potential in creating new powders, snacks and other vegan meal accompaniments. I would like to extend the line to include other blends from different parts of India.
I am always looking for new ways to reduce waste and make Kacchi London a more sustainable business. Offering our customers different sizes of our products, such as single-use sachets made from recyclable material, would be a great way to help reduce waste and provide an even more flexible approach to the Ayurvedic diet.