India has been a land of tea, but like most things, even tea is evolving and is transforming into an Indian millennial. Brew House is one such start-up that today offers India’s first certified bottled Ice Tea. Part of the Positive Food Ventures, F&B start-up founded in 2017, the company is a collaborative effort of Food Empire Holdings of Singapore and Siddharth Jain, who is also the Founder Brew House Ice Tea.
Siddharth Jain wanted to do something in the space from a very early stage, with the personal experience of consuming ice teas, both sweetened and unsweetened, he realised that ice teas had actually become a huge beverage category globally, amounting to US$65bn, and growing on the back of rising health concerns. He said, “I believed that the trend would inevitably hit India, but it needed to be done the right way to be meaningful, meaning that it had to be real tea, with no artificial ingredients and less sugar, which had never been done in India before.”
Siddharth mentioned that the core team was built brick by brick over time, with people who believe in the product and vision. “I put in 50 lakhs of my own money to get this off the ground. That included developing the first batches of perfect-tasting ice teas, starting to build a brand, and eventually creating the first real stock of inventory. After that, we had help from an angel investor, and eventually, larger institutional investors.”
Brew House currently has investments from Dheeraj Jain (Angel Investor) and the Food Empire Group of Singapore. Brew House is presently closing a new round of investment that they hope to announce soon. Brewhouse started with an initial investment of $600,000 from Singapore Exchange-listed global FMCG company Food Empire. In September 2018, they raised an additional $2 million in funding.
Jain said that in the initial when India became aware of COVID-19, Brew House’s sales took a hit and they had to rationalise some of the workforces. “Around mid-March, we had already started asking our employees to work from home, that is continuing, and we are keeping their safety as our number one priority,” Jain shared. He highlighted that then there was an improvement an uptick as new channels opened up, especially online. The founder believes the pandemic has ensured that customers are much more health-conscious and looking for healthier products, which is an excellent opportunity for Brew House.
Brew House now set to launch new ice tea products – ginger turmeric lemonade and strawberry hibiscus lemonade. The start-up promises the new products to be both highly innovative and taste great, and most importantly, a great immunity booster. The start-up will also be launching low-calorie ice teas.
Brew House has been aggressively working with both smaller cloud kitchens, and hospitality brands such as Taj Palace Mumbai and the ITC Grand Bharat apart from direct online sales through their platforms. With a space of needing an organic beverage brand that offers people cleaner, healthier products, Brew House now has a huge opportunity to sell in a space where the consumer post-COVID-19 has become very conscious about health and what they consume.
“We have seen a 10x growth from the start of the lockdown to now, in August and we are hopeful that this will continue to rise as people become more aware of what they are eating and drinking,” Jain revealed. “The antioxidant properties of organic and real-brewed tea helps to maintain a strong immune system and as a result, can help people fight off illnesses. We hope more and more people see the benefit of this and choose to not switch back to regular drinking over-sweetened sugary drinks.”