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This Chennai-based snacking brand is providing a range of authentic South Indian sweets

Sumit Vishwakarma
New Update
sweet karam coffee

In today's fast-paced world, the cherished culinary traditions of South India face a significant challenge. The profound connection to heritage recipes, passed down through generations and celebrated in every bite of Aval Pori Urundai, Nendran banana chips, and Kai Murukku, is at risk of fading into memory. 

Families like that of Anand Bharadwaj and Nalini Parthiban find themselves caught in a dilemma, yearning for the authentic flavors of their grandmother's kitchen yet constrained by the demands of modern life that leave little room for the time-consuming preparation these traditional dishes require. 

This struggle is not theirs alone but resonates with many who seek to preserve the rich tapestry of South Indian culinary heritage while navigating the complexities of contemporary lifestyles. Compounding this issue is the market's shift towards Western snacking options, often laden with preservatives and lacking the nutritional value and authenticity of traditional South Indian snacks. 

The availability of genuinely authentic, preservative-free South Indian sweets and snacks is dwindling, making it increasingly difficult for those who wish to maintain a connection to their cultural roots to find suitable alternatives. This gap in the market highlights a broader problem: a growing disconnection from traditional culinary roots, exacerbated by modern constraints and the prevailing dominance of less nutritious, mass-produced snack options.


Offering authentic South Indian sweets

Sweet Karam Coffee, a Chennai-based direct-to-consumer (D2C) brand, has carved a niche for itself in the Indian snacking market by offering a range of authentic South Indian sweets, snacks, in-house filter coffee blends, and ready-to-eat meal mixes. 

Founded in 2015 by Anand Bharadwaj and Nalini Parthiban, the brand is a tribute to the cherished culinary traditions of South India, aiming to bring the flavors of grandmother's cooking into modern households. 

The journey

The inception of Sweet Karam Coffee was inspired by the founders' personal experiences and the realization of a gap in the market for authentic, preservative-free South Indian snacks that could be enjoyed by people across the globe. The journey of Sweet Karam Coffee began with a profound appreciation for traditional South Indian recipes that were slowly fading from the daily lives of busy modern families.

Anand and Nalini, driven by nostalgia and a passion for authentic South Indian cuisine, embarked on a mission to revive these traditional recipes. They recognized the challenge that many individuals faced in finding the time to prepare traditional snacks in the authentic manner they deserved. 

This realization led them to establish Sweet Karam Coffee, with the goal of offering snacks that are as close to homemade as possible, without the use of palm oil or preservatives. 

From the crunchy delights of Madras Mixture and Ribbon Pakoda to the sweet indulgence of Peanut Chikki, the brand has managed to capture the essence of South Indian snacking. 

The use of traditional ingredients and cooking methods ensures that each product retains the authentic taste and quality that one would find in a South Indian home. 

Utilizing Modified Atmosphere Packaging

The brand's commitment to authenticity extends to its packaging as well, utilizing Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP) and nitrogen-flushed packaging to extend the shelf life of its products without compromising on freshness. 

One of the key differentiators for Sweet Karam Coffee is its focus on health and sustainability. By avoiding palm oil and preservatives, the brand caters to a growing consumer base that is conscious about the ingredients in their food. This approach not only appeals to health-conscious individuals but also resonates with those looking to enjoy traditional snacks without the guilt. 

Furthermore, Sweet Karam Coffee has been at the forefront of incorporating millet-based snacks and sugar-free options into its product range, aligning with current health trends and dietary preferences. Empowering local farmers and homepreneurs is at the heart of Sweet Karam Coffee's business model. The brand has established direct connections with farmers, particularly for sourcing millet products, ensuring that the snacks are more organic and sustainable. 

Direct sourcing model

This direct sourcing model benefits small-scale farmers by providing them with a reliable market for their produce. Additionally, Sweet Karam Coffee collaborates with skilled home chefs, enabling them to scale their operations and reach a wider audience. 

This symbiotic relationship not only supports the livelihoods of these entrepreneurs but also helps preserve traditional cooking methods and recipes. Sweet Karam Coffee's growth trajectory has been remarkable, with the brand achieving significant milestones since its inception. 

With over 100,000 customers and a presence in 32 major countries, including the US, UK, Canada, Singapore, and the UAE, Sweet Karam Coffee has successfully taken the flavours of South India to a global audience. The brand's success can be attributed to its strong online presence, leveraging its website and app to reach consumers directly. 

This D2C model has allowed Sweet Karam Coffee to maintain control over its brand experience, ensuring that customers receive the highest quality products and services. 

It is now focused on expansion both within India and internationally. The recent $1.5 million pre-Series A funding round from Fireside Ventures will help the brand fuel its growth, enabling it to explore offline retail opportunities and expand its product portfolio. 

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