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Pandemic Proves to Be a Blessing in Disguise for What the Froot, a Manipal Student-Run Start-Up

Nupur Lanjekar

11th October 2020

Founded by Chakshu Masagali, a second-year engineering student from Manipal Institute of Technology, What the Frootis a student-run FMCG food start-up, introducing Manipal's student population to freeze-dried fruits.

What the Froot’s Crispy Mango (Source: What the Froot)

Freeze-drying is a process where 95 per cent of the fruit's moisture is removed to give you a dry, crispy version. Talking to AM Plus about his latest venture, Masagali said, "People are unaware of the process of freeze-drying, and we have been working on educating them about the same. What the Froot aims to provide its consumers with an extremely healthy and guilt-free Froot (fruit) snack which they could munch anytime and any day without worrying about consuming chemicals."

Masagali had always been interested in food and always knew that it had to be related to the field if he had a start-up. He started formulating the idea for this start-up way back in grade 9. Talking about how he came up with the idea, he said, "I live in Chikmagalur and having to grow up in a family specialising in manufacturing instant coffee using the freeze-drying method, I often wondered if this process could be used for other items as well. My experiments with meat didn't go well. Being a fruit lover, my next experiment was with fruits, which turned out to be a huge success".

The pandemic has proved to be a challenging phase for most businesses and has forced them to shut. What the Froot, however, discovered its way into growing as a start-up even in times of difficulty".This pandemic proved that the world is progressing towards a digital future and a healthy lifestyle. This allowed us to reach out to our customers through e-commerce, which turned out to be a more accessible platform to start the venture. Social media has additionally helped us build confidence in our customers that we are not just any other player in the food industry trying to make money, that too by compromising their health", says Chakshu.

What the Froot - just fruit, no-nonsense does not include any additional ingredients like sugar, preservatives, gluten, or added flavours and aims to provide its customer with the whole fruit experience. Currently selling freeze-dried mangoes, What the Froot is working on bringing a wider variety of fruit selection and launching a new product line for its consumers.

News Sources: Chakshu Masagali (Founder & CEO of What the Froot), What the Froot's website, social media platforms.

Edited by: Sanskriti Airon

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