This nutrition and snacks brand has added vit B12 jaggery to its daily dose of Lil’ Goodness

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Read full article By Rekha Balakrishnan@ Woman Entrepreneur Photo Credit: Lil’ Goodness

Gone are the days when the term “healthy snacking” was considered an oxymoron. With “immunity building” and “healthy eating” becoming the new buzzwords amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, a large number of consumers are turning towards nutritious snacks and eatables. India is seeing traditional grains like ragi, millets, oats, and others make their way into healthy snacks. According to the Polaris Market Research Report, the healthy snacks market would reach around $40,699 million by 2026. Research firm Euromonitor pegs India’s savoury snacks business at Rs 33,500 crore. With “a healthy dose of goodness” as its peg, Lil’ Goodness, founded by Harshavardhan, an IIM Calcutta alumnus and Pariksha Rao, a nutritionist in 2018, finds itself at the top of the “healthy snacks” market. The packaged food brand, designed to build immunity in children, offers cereals, puffed snacks, prebiotic chocolates, crackers, porridges, and yoghurts. Its latest product launch is the Lil’ Goodness B12 jaggery sachets, which aim to address the problem of vitamin B12 deficiency among the Indian population. “Seventy-four percent of Indians have insufficient vitamin B12, which is alarming. B12 is very important for the production of haemoglobin, and the precious vitamin has a correlation with diabetes and iron deficiency. Finding a good source of B12 in the Indian diet is very difficult as most of the sources are from animals. Hence, most of India depends on tablets, etc. for the same,” Pariksha tells HerStory. The brand has sought a simple way to address this issue – replacing table sugar with a natural and vegan source like B12 jaggery. In this, vitamin B12 is entrapped in a thin layer around the palmyra jaggery particles to retain its natural properties and nutrients. As a clinical nutritionist, Pariksha says she believes one cannot entirely depend on supplementation. “In my experience, I have seen that no matter what, I cannot meet a patient’s or consumer’s requirement only through diet. What is available is a therapeutic dose for B12, which may cause problems if the person has a weak tummy. For a person with a clinical deficiency of vitamin B12, after the mega dose to bring it down, they can go in for this source – the B12 jaggery,” she says. She explains that palmyra jaggery is low in glycemic index, high in antioxidants, and very high in flavonoids. The micro-encapsulated B12 is added in the exact amount that a body needs on a particular day. According to Harsha, the aim of Lil’ Goodness to look at major nutritional deficiencies present in the Indian population and try and use natural foods to bridge this gap via healthy snacks. “We will be focusing on protein, vitamin B12, vitamin C, iron, and zinc, because these are very difficult to meet on a daily basis, especially when it comes to Indian children and adults,” Pariksha says. She dispels the notion that a parent packing a bowl of colourful brinjal rice might think they are giving a child a complete nutritious meal, but that’s not the case. “It’s only carbs. We need to address deficiencies individually. For example, we are incorporating Vitamin C in our chocolates; also, our Teff puffs are a good source of Vitamin C. For iron, we are working on a snack bar and so on,” she adds. Lil’ Goodness also offers protein boxes in line with a child’s requirements. “If my kid is predisposed to a certain type of deficiency, how do I make up for that? So, we came up with a wonderful concept where we take basic information from a parent – the child’s eating habits (how many fruits, veggies in a day), what they enjoy, age, BMI, etc. Based on these inputs, a protein box or immunity box is recommended,” Pariksha says.

Posted on

June 7, 2021

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