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FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Thursday, March 15, 2012
Parinaz Driver

Calorie Care co-founded in September 2005 by Cyrus and Parinaz Driver is India's finest healthy meals service.

Over 100 different food plan options delivered - low calorie meals, medium calorie meals, high protein meals, diabetic meals, soup & salad meals, international cuisine meals etc. Freshly cooked and calorie-counted meals are delivered daily to customers. Delivery is done three times in the day - for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

The price varies from Rs.100 to Rs.250 depending on the diet requirements, but the most popular meals cost around Rs. 125.

Where did the idea of starting a tiffin service begin from? An Epiphany, a personal need or how?
A personal need. One of our co-founders was working long hours in an investment banking role. Even though, he was health conscious and keen to eat right, he just could not stick to a healthy diet because the office cafeteria and neighboring restaurants offered nothing healthy. That's when he first thought of the idea. Then a team of dieticians and chefs joined the co-founders and spent a year in R&D, before launching Calorie Care. That co-founder has been a paying customer from the first day till today.

What kind of market research did you undertake for this project?
Contracted a market research agency to conduct 250 interviews with target market respondents in Mumbai to validate the latent need for such a service. When we started, there was no calorie-counted meal service around so the concept was completely unproven.

What went into converting the idea into a full-fledged project?
A lot of research and planning went into execution of the idea. There were two phases:
Phase 1: Prior to incorporating the company, we had to validate that such a service would satisfy an unmet need of the modern, Indian consumer. To do that, we spoken with dozens of dieticians, gym trainers and doctors. Then, we contracted a market research company to validate our instinct about the latent demand and the price points people were willing to pay for such a service.

Phase 2: After incorporating the company, we spend a year in R&D with a team of chefs and dieticians. During that period, we did the following:
1. Tested thousands of recipes to create India’s largest library of tested, calorie counted recipes
2. Created proprietary software system that run our entire central kitchen and allow us to delivery genuinely calorie counted meals
3. Set up India’s first calorie counted kitchen, a 200 sq.ft. modern kitchen that we built from scratch
4. Then, on September 7, 2005, we delivered our first meal to a paying customer.

What is the exact service you offer?
We deliver a range of calorie-counted, dietician-designed healthy meals to our customers’ doorsteps on a daily basis. Customers can customize their order by mixing and matching over a hundred diet plans. Each meal is individual calorie-counted and designed to be a wholesome and nutritious meal.

How did you price the food?
The food is priced on a cost plus basis. However, our cost base is high because in addition to the costs a regular restaurant would incur, we also bear costs for dieticians, for software operators, for extra staff related to the calorie-counting process etc.

What is the regular subscription for your services?
We do not deliver one-off meals. All customers have to subscribe for at least ten meals at a time. Hence, our entire service is for regular subscribers only.
To know more about us log on to www.caloriecare.com or call on us 022-24122100.
Refer page No. 38 last column

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