Secret to Success: Gourmet Brand Nuts ‘N' Spices Records 18% Growth In Pandemic Times
Progressive Grocer|July 2020
Secret to Success: Gourmet Brand Nuts ‘N' Spices Records 18% Growth In Pandemic Times
IN A FREEWHEELING CHAT WITH PROGRESSIVE GROCER, SUNIL SANKLECHA, OWNER NUTS ‘N’ SPICES, TALKS ABOUT THE KEY LEARNINGS FROM HIS BRAND, AND HOW HE AND HIS BRAND ARE COPING UP WITH CHANGING TRENDS IN THE FACE OF THE PANDEMIC…
Charu Lamba

Nuts ‘n’ Spices was founded in June 1999 with its first store measuring 600 sq.ft. in Nungambakkam, Chennai. With over three generations of experience in the food and grocery business, the retailer currently operates a chain of 33 outlets.

The current owner of Nuts ‘n’ Spices, Sunil Sanklecha, had envisioned a store that had a lucrative business in the country considering the evolving consumer behaviour. Though he had thought of the idea of a specialty store during the early 1990s, his vision only became reality by 1999. Once he knew what he wanted to do, Sanklecha launched a specialty store, choosing to move away from the traditional grocery business model established by his ancestors.

The Inventory

Besides nuts, dry fruits and seeds, Nuts ‘N’ Spices also offers a range of herbs and seasonings such as oregano, basil, thyme, parsley, mixed herbs, etc. The varieties of spice powders and condiments include Kashmir chilli powder, coriander seeds powder, cardamom, clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, among others. The store also stocks syrups and juices from International and Indian brands. From Pringles to Doritos to Mumbai’s sukhi bhel, low calorie namkeens, oil-free papads, mixtures and other diet snacks for the fitness freaks, the store serves as a one-stop destination for a whole lot of snacking ideas.

Nuts ‘N’ Spices also sources and blends the very best orthodox tea. Oolong, black, green, white and black pearls from Darjeeling, Nilgiri and Assam are available in their in-house label, Cup ‘n’ Saucer. These are available in attractive gift packs in velvet bags, wooden boxes and zardosi pouches. Similarly, their variety of areca nuts, mouth fresheners and churans add attraction to the entire range. Apart from all this, the store’s value addition comes from its gourmet range of imported food products – pastas, noodles, sauces, fruit spreads, juices & syrup, frozen foods and ice creams. Also, the exotic range of imported biscuits, chocolates and confectionery tempts people from all age groups to visit the store again and again.

“By the end of the day there are statistics to help us, take a call on whether to chase any of the products on sourcing, or whether we need to upgrade certain categories. 99 percent of our products have a long shelf life. We do not deal with groceries at all or any fresh products. The only short shelf life categories that we have are curd, ice-cream, etc.,” explains Sanklecha.

All products are sourced from across the country from Kashmir to Kerala, and also through various importers in the country.

The Location

“As a premium brand, we always prefer to be located in places with a cosmopolitan character and with a mix of residential & commercial establishments,” he says.

In a freewheeling chat with Progressive Grocer, Sanklecha talks about the key learnings from his brand, and how he and his brand are coping up with changing trends in the face of the pandemic.

Excerpts from the interview:

Tell us about your brand in detail and its journey so far.

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July 2020