SoFood- Solar Dried Food

Feeding the Unfed

Sofood uses solar conduction drying to preserve green leafy vegetables,and converts them into value added nutritious soups and shakes.

Use Case

We have bifurcated our user scenarios: 1.Technology Users: Local community farmers under the threat of price volatility of fresh commodities and uncontrollable post harvest losses,( leading to socio-economic causes like farmer debts and suicides), Empowering them with solar conduction dryers ensured prevention of both the problems, as pilot tested with 264 installations across India and Kenya. 2.Product Users:  The plight of high cost, poor nutrition and low shelf life of foods like fruits, vegetables and fish has increased the risk of malnutrition, women and children being most prone. The access and availability of nutritious concentrated food becomes imperial.

Potential

The global dried and preserved vegetable is expanding due to increasing demand, for convenient nutrition solutions. By venturing into this market potential, Sofood endeavors to change the world as follows: 1.Reduce food wastage and their associated carbon footprint. 2.Enhance value of fresh produce by increasing shelf life 3.Increase access to nutrient rich foods, in easily consumable form. Thus, combat malnutrition 4.Reduce farmer debts  and suicide by providing additional yearly income of $250 per farmer. 5.Provide Employment opportunities from creation of business units with economy of scale, by presence in multiple points of the food chain from manufacturing, technology lease and operation to marketing. And ultimately reach the goal of feeding 9 billion before 2050.

Business Case

Our Business model is aimed to empower small and marginal farmers across the nation : - We directly sell the equipment (solar conduction dryer) to Farmers with 10% commission via the farmers club - We act as an aggregator and buy back the processed - dehydrated food from the farmers and sell  to B2B and B2C markets - We tie up with hospitals and various Nutrition Rehabilitation Centers to include our soup and shakes in their meal plan - We tie up with Non profits who distribute nutritional food items and work with Acute Malnourished kids - We also cater to various Ayurveda companies where our dehydrated produce act as raw material to their products ( moringa powder ) - We also have a few clients from the HORECA segment where spinach powders are used 

Objectives:

  1. Reduce food wastage by increasing shelf life of perishable agri-produce to one year without the requirement of electricity or cold storage. 
  2. Ensure Food Security by increasing access and availability of nutrient rich foods like green leafy vegetables to combat malnutrition. 
  3. Empower farmers with sustainable business models to generate additional income as well as employment opportunities through dried products.

Team SoFood

Mumbai, India

Our Team

Business Plan / Published January 15, 2017 by Pearl Ray

Business Plan

Presenting you our months and years of efforts in a nutshell, a promising model for creating our mission of a food secure infrastructure.
We plan to create with this model a resilient system, not failing to feed even in times of turbulence or natural calamities. Join us in the revolution towards feeding 9 billion by 2050.

<Way to Go> / Published January 15, 2017 by Pearl Ray

<Way to Go>

We are just a few hours from the ultimate decision we all, as future food-entrepreneurs are eagerly counting our stars on and eagerly awaiting. Our team at SoFood, after a number of brainstorming sessions, literature surveys, prototype and user testing, expert feedbacks have arrived back to our creative space, the white board!

The above picture traces our iterations and reiterations as we clearly define the input, activity, output, outcome and impact of the concept and project we have undertaken, throughout the path.

Input: Resources used- solar energy, vegetables rejected from being transported to market as fresh produce, and solar conduction dryer
Activity: Solar Conduction Dryer converts the perishable vegetables into value added dried powder products.
Output: These products are in the form of soups and shakes, which cater to deficiency prone age groups, women and children.
Outcome: This overall activity has led to the reduced food wastage and converted into a food security infrastructure, and provided farmers job and income stability.
Impact: Our Global goal of eliminating malnutrition from the face of earth, we have reached the target before 2050.

Our Key Priorities are
1. Convince local farmers the benefits of this technology, and set up full fledged business models
2. Packaging Infrastructure
3. Product re-iterations for consumer experience.
4. Scale from 264 present dryers to 1000 by end of 2017, to expand the dried food market and curb malnutrition step by step.

<Live Testing> Video / Published January 15, 2017 by Pearl Ray

<Live Testing> Video

https://youtu.be/prQBccWMRjw?list=PLsYkbUPpBm1__mxGjeMR9u15yFxzjudsg

It was a privilege for our team, rather a learning experience for us, as we surveyed our potential product users, and served them with specific products for each groups: Women-Green Tea, Children-Moringa Shake and so on. We spent a lot of time with them, understanding the flairs and flaws of our product, confronting our shortcomings and realizing our strengths. After two rounds of user experience, expert feedbacks and inputs, we finally arrived at final results which had the potential for market absorbance. The spinach soup and sprouts became an instant hit and a preferred choice of families weary of their health. Moringa Masti and Slim Tea showed the potential of add-ons to boost overall meals.

<Trailer Video> User Reach out Initiative / Published January 15, 2017 by Pearl Ray

<Trailer Video> User Reach out Initiative

https://youtu.be/QmCeoa6fAa0

A number of sessions later, our team decided to present our solution to feed 9 billion by 2050, by a short trailer video. No, No, this is not our pitch or concept video, this is a trailer, we have made to reach out to our potential users, while breaking the stereotype of the seller-buyer relation, and establishing a connect in interest of their heath and nutrition, and all of this at a multitude level. Follow the link, to experience how we reached out to our 50 odd users.

<Expert Feedback 3> Product Confrontation / Published January 14, 2017 by Pearl Ray

<Expert Feedback 3> Product Confrontation

The great confrontation about our product successes and failures led us to call up our Food technologist Expert, and friend, Ms.Youthika Chauhan. Ms.Youthika Chauhan, is a food technologist by profession and practice.
We explained to her, our product strengths and shortcomings, admitting the major drawback in terms of taste, as our users and user survey pointed out that quite clearly. Ms. Youthika had the following to suggest:
The nutritional values of products like spinach, kale, moringa and green gram like sprouts, need no re-iteration. However, even for consumption of the fresh cut forms of these vegetables, there is a common agreement of their peculiar bitter taste. Hence, even in normal meals, they are easily avoided by children, saying their taste buds don’t accommodate it. The powder form has made this dilemma extremely less, given that the same food can be consumed as a drink or a soup, thus avoiding the long chewing and constant bitter taste. Even as a drink or soup, it becomes essential that the taste is polarized towards general consensus.
The sprouts had no problem, being a hit among consumers, because it had a mild taste, easily blend-able with condiments. For the spinach soup, kale juice and moringa shake, the flavor required re-iterations. So we went to our lab, to try out the usual taste enhancers, without diluting the overall nutrition of the products. The options, I suggested where Jaggery (which is a nutritional sweetner, rich in antioxidants and minerals like Zinc, Selenium), Sugar, Salt or any add on masala. We had a rejuvenated success with Moringa juice and spinach soup, while the Kale shake, wasn’t blending well. Team Sofood’s constant re-iteration with improvement of their products was something worth noticing as they gave immense importance to the users and their benefaction.

We are extremely grateful to Ms.Youthika for her indispensable input, as we pursued our re-iteration phase of our product.

Our Mission

Imagine a world, where the hands that feed rightfully meet the hands that need- a world of self-sufficiency , food security and where hunger is a word of the past. We envision in creating a world of this sort, one foot at a time. By integrating self sufficiency in agriculture, we aim at successive, serial revolutions: curb food wastage, increase efficacy, enrich food habits and ultimately feed 9 Billion people by 2050. A milestone which our team strongly invests in, everyday from the last few years. By empowering local farmers with our technology, we are constructing a strong infrastructure for food supply and sustenance, a set up which will feed, nourish and nurture the unprivileged- especially nursing mothers and developing children. Let us create this world, let us take this leap, let us make hunger a thing of the past.

Our Background

We are a squad of technologists and engineers who have majors as different as chalk and cheese, but are anchored by the common desire and passion to make a difference. Sumit and Rishabh are Post graduate doctoral researchers, Nidhi is a dynamic development professional, Indranil is a serial innovator and Pearl is a final year undergraduate student. Oddly compatible and compatibly odd. Although, it would be a misnomer to say that our team is limited to 5 members. Our team extends beyond to the local farmers, and villagers who are making this mission even more possible, every single day. Because, Together Everyone Achieves More (TEAM).

Business Plan / Published January 15, 2017 by Pearl Ray

Business Plan

Presenting you our months and years of efforts in a nutshell, a promising model for creating our mission of a food secure infrastructure.
We plan to create with this model a resilient system, not failing to feed even in times of turbulence or natural calamities. Join us in the revolution towards feeding 9 billion by 2050.

<Way to Go> / Published January 15, 2017 by Pearl Ray

<Way to Go>

We are just a few hours from the ultimate decision we all, as future food-entrepreneurs are eagerly counting our stars on and eagerly awaiting. Our team at SoFood, after a number of brainstorming sessions, literature surveys, prototype and user testing, expert feedbacks have arrived back to our creative space, the white board!

The above picture traces our iterations and reiterations as we clearly define the input, activity, output, outcome and impact of the concept and project we have undertaken, throughout the path.

Input: Resources used- solar energy, vegetables rejected from being transported to market as fresh produce, and solar conduction dryer
Activity: Solar Conduction Dryer converts the perishable vegetables into value added dried powder products.
Output: These products are in the form of soups and shakes, which cater to deficiency prone age groups, women and children.
Outcome: This overall activity has led to the reduced food wastage and converted into a food security infrastructure, and provided farmers job and income stability.
Impact: Our Global goal of eliminating malnutrition from the face of earth, we have reached the target before 2050.

Our Key Priorities are
1. Convince local farmers the benefits of this technology, and set up full fledged business models
2. Packaging Infrastructure
3. Product re-iterations for consumer experience.
4. Scale from 264 present dryers to 1000 by end of 2017, to expand the dried food market and curb malnutrition step by step.

<Live Testing> Video / Published January 15, 2017 by Pearl Ray

<Live Testing> Video

https://youtu.be/prQBccWMRjw?list=PLsYkbUPpBm1__mxGjeMR9u15yFxzjudsg

It was a privilege for our team, rather a learning experience for us, as we surveyed our potential product users, and served them with specific products for each groups: Women-Green Tea, Children-Moringa Shake and so on. We spent a lot of time with them, understanding the flairs and flaws of our product, confronting our shortcomings and realizing our strengths. After two rounds of user experience, expert feedbacks and inputs, we finally arrived at final results which had the potential for market absorbance. The spinach soup and sprouts became an instant hit and a preferred choice of families weary of their health. Moringa Masti and Slim Tea showed the potential of add-ons to boost overall meals.

<Trailer Video> User Reach out Initiative / Published January 15, 2017 by Pearl Ray

<Trailer Video> User Reach out Initiative

https://youtu.be/QmCeoa6fAa0

A number of sessions later, our team decided to present our solution to feed 9 billion by 2050, by a short trailer video. No, No, this is not our pitch or concept video, this is a trailer, we have made to reach out to our potential users, while breaking the stereotype of the seller-buyer relation, and establishing a connect in interest of their heath and nutrition, and all of this at a multitude level. Follow the link, to experience how we reached out to our 50 odd users.

<Expert Feedback 3> Product Confrontation / Published January 14, 2017 by Pearl Ray

<Expert Feedback 3> Product Confrontation

The great confrontation about our product successes and failures led us to call up our Food technologist Expert, and friend, Ms.Youthika Chauhan. Ms.Youthika Chauhan, is a food technologist by profession and practice.
We explained to her, our product strengths and shortcomings, admitting the major drawback in terms of taste, as our users and user survey pointed out that quite clearly. Ms. Youthika had the following to suggest:
The nutritional values of products like spinach, kale, moringa and green gram like sprouts, need no re-iteration. However, even for consumption of the fresh cut forms of these vegetables, there is a common agreement of their peculiar bitter taste. Hence, even in normal meals, they are easily avoided by children, saying their taste buds don’t accommodate it. The powder form has made this dilemma extremely less, given that the same food can be consumed as a drink or a soup, thus avoiding the long chewing and constant bitter taste. Even as a drink or soup, it becomes essential that the taste is polarized towards general consensus.
The sprouts had no problem, being a hit among consumers, because it had a mild taste, easily blend-able with condiments. For the spinach soup, kale juice and moringa shake, the flavor required re-iterations. So we went to our lab, to try out the usual taste enhancers, without diluting the overall nutrition of the products. The options, I suggested where Jaggery (which is a nutritional sweetner, rich in antioxidants and minerals like Zinc, Selenium), Sugar, Salt or any add on masala. We had a rejuvenated success with Moringa juice and spinach soup, while the Kale shake, wasn’t blending well. Team Sofood’s constant re-iteration with improvement of their products was something worth noticing as they gave immense importance to the users and their benefaction.

We are extremely grateful to Ms.Youthika for her indispensable input, as we pursued our re-iteration phase of our product.

Our Team

Our Mission

Imagine a world, where the hands that feed rightfully meet the hands that need- a world of self-sufficiency , food security and where hunger is a word of ...Read More

Our Background

We are a squad of technologists and engineers who have majors as different as chalk and cheese, but are anchored by the common desire and passion to make ...Read More

The information contained here represents student project ideas developed as the result of brainstorming activities during Round 1 of the TFF Challenge. It does not represent any final business plans or commercial products.