Shraddha Desai, Founder and CEO - Aayudhara Agro Foods has been recognized as Under 40 Promising Entrepreneurs by Business Mint
Shraddha Desai, Founder and CEO - Aayudhara Agro Foods
Aayudhara: Committed to Manufacturing Adulterant-free Cold-Pressed Oils to Promote a Healthy Lifestyle
The value of the international market for cold-pressed oils is predicted to reach US$ 25.2 billion in 2023, and it is projected to increase at a CAGR of 4.8 percent from 2023 to 2033, as per report by Future Market Insights. By 2033, growing demand for cold-pressed foods is anticipated to reach US$ 37.3 billion. Due to its low manufacturing costs and the high saturation of advantageous substances including essential fatty acids, phenols, carotenoids, tocopherols, and phytosterols in the oil, cold pressing has become one of the most popular processes among manufacturers & consumers. Since it is physically extracted using a compression machine or screw press and without the use of heating, solvents, or harsh chemicals, the demand for cold-pressed oil is projected to increase. This method is both safe for human consumption and the environment, and it produces oil that is in high demand.
With a projected CAGR of 5.2 percent throughout the forecast timeframe, India is predicted to develop at a rate that would dominate the South Asian cold-pressed oil market, having a market share of around 36 percent in 2023. Growth in the Indian cold-pressed oil market is being driven by rising demand for specialty oils. Since a few years ago, the demand for cold-pressed oil in Indian retail markets has increased due to the popularity of a number of specialty oils, including Sunflower, Safflower, Groundnut, almond, flaxseed, Sesame and others. This has created a significant possibility for expansion. An oil concept called Aayudhara was developed in response to the demand for healthier cooking methods. To support a natural healthy lifestyle, the brand is dedicated to producing 100 percent natural, wood churned, cold-pressed oils.
The Brand Genesis
Aayudhara was born during the aftermath of the COVID pandemic. As everyone was becoming more health conscious, the market for healthy alternatives to easily available items like oil, which is a daily use product, grew. At the same time, the founder of Aayudhara, was diagnosed with high cholesterol, needing her to find healthier alternatives. Researching about the many options, she found an opportunity to build a business from scratch, providing completely natural cold-pressed oils, free from adulterants and chemicals of any form. Completing a diploma in Cold-Press Oils Manufacturing, she set up a business, and within one short year, the brand grew into a PAN India phenomenon, offering a range of clean and pure oils, and other products. Starting out from Pune, the brand has now extended its footprint across the length and breadth of India. From Leh, Ladakh to Kanyakumari, Aayudhara Oils can now be found in over 5000+ homes.
Unique Range of Products
Aayudhara manufactures in-house a range of cold pressed oils under very controlled conditions. All products manufactured by them undergo a number of quality checks at various stages to ensure purity of product in every single pack. The brand offers a wide range of cold-pressed oils including Coconut Oil, Almond Oil, Groundnut Oil, Safflower Oil, Sunflower Oil, Mustard Oil, Sesame Oil, and Deepam Oil as well. Aayudhara also offers 100 percent organically manufactured Pure Cow’s Ghee, a staple of the Indian Household. In addition to the various types of Cold-Pressed oils, the brand also offers amazing stone ground spices, which not only make food delectable, but also ensure purity, and promote a healthy lifestyle. Staple spices including Coriander Powder, Turmeric Powder, and Chilli Powder are currently offered by Aayudhara.
What sets Aayudhara apart from its competitors is the knowledge of the founders, which is reflected in the products that are made. “While conducting my research, I read that cold pressed oils were distinguished by their thick consistency, pure color, a special aroma and a different texture. I also found out that it has a specific viscosity. However, what I got in the market was not the same thing. The texture, aroma, and even thickness were nowhere close to how it should be, leading me to wonder if it was pure. It appeared like any refined oil”, shares Shradda Desai (Founder Aayudhara) . This led her to believe that many people must be facing a similar issue, and that there is a major gap in the market for what is in demand versus what is being supplied. As such, she committed herself and her brand to only provide what is absolutely pure.
Aayudhara was formed out of necessity, but has transformed into a purpose-driven brand. While the brand initially set to target women as its primary audience, it evolved to include everyone across the map of India. “We are a trusted brand by 5000 plus families which are associated with us. People are liking our products, as we are not doing any kind of adulteration, not adding any flavor, and also not adding any color to whatever we extract. Consumers can clearly feel a difference in the quality of our product against competitors. We only use good quality oil seed to produce what is poured into the bottle”, speaks Shradda Desai (Founder Aayudhara) .
Since the brand focuses on the quality of products right from the kind of seeds which are being used for the end product which is sent out to the masses, Aayudhara is a little more expensive than its competitors. However, the rigorous production method and 100 percent pure quality justify the slight premium. “The first quality check is the quality of seeds that we get. In the market, you will mostly find dry seeds that are not useful for cold-press oil production. We source our seeds directly from the farmers, but if we do not get the grade the quality that we require, then we buy it from the market”, adds Shraddha Desai. The business brings in the seed to its facilities after first doing a quality check that includes measuring the moisture content of the seeds, evaluating their quality, determining their weight, and more. It then lets the seeds dry under direct sunlight for a while if there is an excess of moisture in them which needs to be removed. Following that, the seeds are fed into the cold-press machine, which operates at a precise speed of 45 RPM, that is perfect for extracting oil of the finest quality. One batch of oil is extracted in one to one and a half hours. Thus, the process is a long and drawn out one. Following boiler extraction, the oil goes through, it and is sent to get lab-tested at Aayudhara's facilities for one final quality check wherein various aspects including nutritional content, including the amount of protein, carbohydrates, and quality are checked before being put into the bottles.
Aayudhara is an FSSAI certified brand that does not use any preservatives, or techniques which can hamper the quality of its products. “If you want to extract one kg of groundnut oil, you would have to add four kg of Groundnut seeds, so that you will get one kg of groundnut Oil. We do not add any kind of preservatives which would expand the shelf life of the products at the cost of cutting its purity”, says Shraddha Desai .
Currently, Aayudhara is available through its website and through its physical store. However, in the near future, the brand hopes to become more accessible through B2C platforms like Amazon and Flipkart. The vision for the future is to make Aayudhara the only preferred brand for pure cold-pressed oils and other products in India.
Aayudhara is an FSSAI certified brand that does not use any preservatives, or techniques which can hamper the quality of its products