Protein foods brand Gladful raises funding from Antler India

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Antler India has provided pre-seed money to Gladful, an online protein meals business for kids and families.

Gladful develops a variety of food and snacking products that blend formulation innovation, great taste, and nutritional value.

Gladful intends to become the country’s largest healthy food and snacking brand for kids and families, powered by a network of dedicated parents, in a country where more than 73 percent of the urban population is protein deficient.

 Gladful’s mission is to tackle India’s protein and other nutritional deficits by producing functional foods and snacks.

Gladful was formed by Parul Sharma, a CPG veteran who worked for Mondelez International for 14 years, overseeing some of India’s most well-known brands, including Cadbury. She was in charge of the company’s Modern Trade sales in India, as well as brands like Cadbury Silk, Gems, 5 stars, and Cadbury Dairy Milk.

Manu Sharma, a co-founder and former member of the Instacash founding team, joins her. Parul’s own experience of being urged to dramatically increase protein content in her 9-year-old child’s diet led to the creation of Gladful.

 She created her protein calculator after realizing that fulfilling the daily protein RDA for active pre-teens is difficult in an Indian family, and it’s much more difficult when the items that do exist aren’t kid-friendly or difficult to fit into a child’s routine.

“Protein is the most underutilized macronutrient in Indian cooking, with many misconceptions about its application. Surprisingly, the situation in non-vegetarian households is not very different. Protein deficiency affects 73 percent of the metropolitan elite, including children. We’re collaborating with Gladful to find a solution.

We’re working with dietitians and mothers throughout the country to figure out how to incorporate protein into regular diets and lunchboxes. Instead of pushing our beliefs on children, we want them to seek out our products.

 We want this to be the entry point since youngsters snack frequently during the day. Protein malnutrition is a real but underreported issue in India, and we’re attempting to alleviate it by finding novel remedies.” Parul, Gladful’s co-founder and chief mom, says

The Gladful creators got feedback from over 1,000 parents around the country as they prepared for product launch, sharing their eating habits, categories, occasions, and issues in motivating their children to eat healthily.

Gladful introduced its first product, 100 percent vegetarian micro-baked cookie bites fortified with rice, pea, and milk protein, in December after doing extensive research and consulting with nutritionists and food specialists.

These products are made with unprocessed cane sugar and do not contain maida (white flour), trans fats, or cholesterol. Each serving provides at least 20% of the daily protein requirement. Baked cookie bites are a delightful snack that may be included in any child’s daily tiffin. 

Huddle Accelerator, Shiprocket via their program RocketfuelXHuddle, and angel investors such as Ankita Vashistha of StrongHer Ventures & Encubay Angel Network, and Paavan Nanda, co-founder of WinZO Games, are among the round’s co-investors. The money will go toward improving the innovation funnel and increasing marketing activities.

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