Consumer food brand ‘Yu’ raises US $ 1 million from Asian paint promoters, HNIs
NEW DELHI, 22 October 2021 / PRNewswire / – Yu, a consumer brand that is reinventing consumer packaged foods with its 100% natural instant meal bowls, has been awarded $ 1 million in his pre-series round. The round saw the participation of Manish Choksi and Varun Vakil, a member of the Asian Paints promoter group, of the Lalvani family, a UK-based food and hotel group; Nikhil Srivastava, boss of India at PAG Private Equity; Vishal Sampat, Founder, Convonix, among others.
Founded by Bharat Bhalla and Varun Kapur, Yu has designed a line of delicious instant meal bowls that contain ZERO preservatives, additives, artificial flavors or colors. Developed using highly advanced freeze-drying technology, chef-prepared recipes and 100% natural ingredients, Yu’s meal bowls retain their original taste and aroma while enjoying long shelf life. 12 month unrefrigerated. All of its products can be made in under 4 minutes by simply adding hot water with zero cooking and hassle-free prep.
Inspired by the Nasa SpaceX 2020 mission, Yu uses advanced biochemical processes that prevent denaturation caused by conventional dehydration and allow foods to retain their original taste, aroma and texture upon rehydration. It’s important to note that not using direct heat in the process helps the food retain its nutrients, making the product line healthier than conventional packaged foods. All products are prepared and packaged in Yu’s state-of-the-art, state-of-the-art, commercial-scale fully integrated food lab in Gurgaon. India.
Bharat Bhalla, Founder and Executive Director, Yu Foodlabs, noted, “We have combined the most advanced food science technology with the culinary arts to re-imagine the future of packaged food. Our instant meal bowls packed with gourmet flavors and nutrients while using ZERO preservatives or artofficial ingredients. The use of proprietary processes has allowed us to launch our products at an attractive price of 75-100 INR per bowl. We are adopting an omnichannel sales strategy and will eventually be present in offline and online stores pan-India. “
Varun Kapur, founder and executive director, Yu Foodlabs, shared his enthusiasm for securing the seed funding, “It was encouraging to receive a very tangible vote of confidence from a set of prominent investors in our pre-launch phase. We have partnered with high-profile investors with experience in consumer brands, private equity, hospitality, technology and digital marketing. We will use the funds to increase our production capacity to over 5 lake meal bowls per month while expanding our distribution network to key markets across India. ”
Yu introduced 6 SKUs in 2 unique product categories to get started:
a) Healthy Pasta Bowls – Chunky Tomato, Three Cheese, Peri Peri
b) Bowls of whole oats – Apple Cinnamon Berries, Banana Caramel, Peanut Berries
The product portfolio will soon see multiple additions with the introduction of Dessert Bowls, Vegetarian / Non-Vegetarian Asian Noodle Bowls and Superfood Breakfast Bowls.
Yu’s products are available at over 100 outlets across Delhi NCR, including Reliance, Spencers, SPAR, Modern Bazar, Needs Supermarket with an online presence on Large Basket and Swiggy. Yu’s products can also be purchased by pan-customers.India through Amazon, Flipkart, Cora Health as well as the brand’s website (www.yufoodlabs.com).
The brand aims to establish an offline presence in Mumbai MMR, East / North East by Jan 2022 followed by all other metropolitan cities in 9 to 12 months.
About Yu Foodlabs
Ikayu Foodlabs Pvt. Ltd. (brand name “Yu“) has designed a wide range of delicious instant meal bowls that contain ZERO preservatives, additives, artificial flavors or colors. Developed using advanced freeze-drying technology, artisan recipes and natural ingredients only, Yu’s meal bowls retain their original taste and aroma. The culinary team of Yu uses only the freshest ingredients to create healthy, nutritious meals with unbeatable flavor. All products have an unrefrigerated shelf life of 12 months and may be consumed by anyone, anytime, anywhere! The founders (Bharat Bhalla and Varun Kapur) incubated Ikayu Foodlabs as part of 3015 Adventure Studio, their entrepreneurship hub that designs, finances and launches disruptive consumer businesses.