Surbhi spoke has the best target audience in the world: dogs. And one would think that it would be an easy group to serve, but the truth, in fact, is quite the opposite.
In fact, he says he has a very critical and very hard-to-please cohort of quality testers who have extremely high standards: 90 stray dogs outside his home in Indore, Madhya Pradesh, with whom he regularly tests his products. (and this is the ONLY animal testing we’re willing to endorse).
A biomechanical engineer who returned home from the US just before the pandemic hit, Surbhi is the co-founder and CEO of lick and crunchan Instagram base Dog food startup that makes innovative and delicious species-appropriate treats. He runs the operation from his own kitchen at home, along with his mother and co-founder, Ritu Hablani.
What sets Licks & Crunch apart from others in the space are its innovative recipes that, in addition to being species-appropriate and using carefully researched ingredients, use Indian herbs and spices to provide some medicinal value to the treats.
Just like Indian cuisine, which employs the use of a variety of spices and herbs to not only make the food delicious, but also nutritiousSurbhi says that the idea behind Licks & Crunch was to create something that could heal as well as satiate.
“I stumbled upon the idea when one of the stray dogs I used to feed during the pandemic gave birth to a litter and one of the puppies became seriously ill. I took the pup to the vet, and he kept giving me kibble after prescribing medication, instead of educating me on natural foods he could use to make her better,” says Surbhi. Your history.
After doing some independent research, she realized there were a few small businesses in India dealing with holistic pet nutrition, and soon realized she wanted to be in the space too, and not just as a consumer.
Licks & Crunch currently does business in Instagram, where pet treat menus are launched every month, featuring specialty treats, in various flavor profiles. Their hemp line has been quite popular with pet owners who have become aware of the many ways the plant can help their dogs, especially with age-related issues like arthritis, as well as medical conditions like arthritis. epilepsy (although the latter requires a specific diet as well).
Surbhi says the business has been growing steadily since it launched in November 2020. Orders average around 50-55 per day, and the cart value is around 1,100-2,000 rupees. Sales during the months of lockdown saw a surge as more people spent more time online and came across the concept of “species-appropriate” eating on social media.
All the money invested in the business, so far, comes from Surbhi’s personal savings. She now focuses on throwing her website soon, it will add novelty meat-based treats to the product line and have all of its products lab-tested so it can begin putting nutritional panels on them.
Surbhi says he is also planning to do a round of funding from friends and family soon so he can expand the business.
Packaged dog food, including kibble, has been shown to do more harm than good to animals, multiple clinical studies have shown. In fact, there’s a documentary on YouTube called ‘Pet Fooled’ that talks about how roadkill, dead, and decomposing animals, and even filler grains like corn husks, etc., are used to make pet food, and how that has caused the death of loved ones. pets, all over the world.
In India, there has been an increase in the number of startups and small brands making species-appropriate pet foods, treats and chews in recent times. India’s largest pet brand,in fact, he started his own line of preservative-free dehydrated meats, taking a cue from more conscientious pet parents in India who are actively swapping unnatural treats for natural ones.
canine indianHouse of Canis, Magic Paws Co, Canine Craving and Georgina’s Kitchen, Among many others, there are some small businesses that create a huge impact when it comes to pet health and nutrition in India. All of these small businesses sell pet treats, food, and treats that source their meats and ingredients locally, and do not contain any harmful chemicals or ingredients that can irritate or harm them.
The pet food industry, which includes kibble, jerky, canned food, and treats, is a $38.6 billion industry dominated by giant companies that own multiple brands under one umbrella organization. These giants, like the pharmaceutical industry, fund and operate thousands of pet clinics around the world where veterinarians are incentivized when they help sell these brands.
But animal-conscious, quality-controlled, species-appropriate homemade treats and foods are fast becoming the norm among pet owners around the world.