India’s Aadvik Foods looks beyond camel milk; to boost portfolio with new verticals

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Agri-startup Aadvik Foods, known for selling camel milk commercially in India, plans to add new verticals to its product portfolio as it readies to test new innovations in a market recovering from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic., the founder and chief executive said in an interview.

Hitesh Rathi told indoasiancommodities.com that the company was preparing to launch a new product line based on other niche milk categories.

“While we are known as the country’s first camel milk company, last year we had added goat milk and its variants to our product line. Now we are getting ready to launch two more new categories – offering products made out of coconut milk and soymilk. They will be ready for commercial sales soon,” Rathi said without giving details.

Aadvik Foods is today known for its powder milk offerings, and Rathi said the focus will continue to be that even in its new product lines.

Hitesh Rathi, Founder & CEO, Aadvik Foods

“Selling milk products in powder form has certainly evolved as our strength, accounting for nearly 70 percent of our revenue,” Rathi added. At the end of the last fiscal, Aadvik had reported a revenue of around Rs 4.5 crore.

Established in 2016, Aadvik offers a wide range of products in the camel milk category ,which includes milk powder in three flavours, frozen milk and chocolates. Building on its camel milk portfolio, the company has also introduced soaps and creams.

“Our camel milk products are becoming popular because high-end consumers are realizing its health benefits.  Our procurement level went up from around 1,000 litres per month about two years back to close to 2,000 litres per day before the Covid-19 disruption struck,” Rathi said.

The company directly procures camel milk from over 500 breeders in Rajasthan and Gujarat and has a pasteurisation plant in Baroda. According to Rathi, the company has mainly focused on metro markets for offline sales while its products are now also available on online platforms like Amazon, Flipkart and eBay.

Momentum to return

Admitting that Covid-19 had thrown a spanner in the company’s fast growth witnessed during the last three years, Rathi said that the momentum in camel milk-based products will come back quickly as consumers are increasingly realizing its health benefits.

“Globally it has become an over $10 billion annual business, and this is primarily because the awareness about its health benefits is growing. It is especially useful for consumers with diabetes, lactose intolerant, children suffering from autism, etc. In India, it is in an extremely nascent stage and it is bound to grow at a rapid pace in normal times,” Rathi emphasised.

Premium camel milk is a high-margin business as it is estimated to be at least five times costlier than cow milk. The packaged powder commands a much higher premium.

For instance, Aadvik’s 150-gm chocolate flavour camel milk powder is priced at Rs 650 while the normal milk powder offered by Nestle weighing 400 gm is available in the sub-Rs 200 price band on a popular online sales platform.

Considering its growing popularity and high-margin, dairy giant Amul last year also started offering camel milk in 500 ml and 200 ml PET bottles. Another Rajasthan-based company, Camel Charisma, has also joined the fray.

Rathi is unfazed by the growing competition.

“A player like Amul is trying to offer mass camel milk products, while we are focusing on products with longer shelf-life and very high nutritional benefits. Our next camel milk specific product – skimmed milk powder — to be launched later this year would further consolidate our portfolio,” he said.    

Click here to watch the interview on our YouTube channel

Ritwik Sinha is a Delhi-based business journalist and has covered key policy ministries and has been associated with various television platforms. He is also the founding editor of Logistics Times.

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