Priya Singhal, Founder & CEO of WeMixx, recounts her entrepreneurial journey from India to America describing how WeMixx was born from the marrying of these two cultures and experiences. DeliveryRank finds out more about her delectable nationally sold South Asian plant-based premixes.
I have more than eight years of consulting experience, with a specialization in data analysis and consumer research for global brands such as MTV, the United Nations and GroupM to mention a few. During this journey of enabling brands to incorporate a multicultural tone of voice in their marketing strategies and campaigns, I founded WeMixx. WeMixx offers a unique range of plant-based premixed blends sourced ethically from India and ease the cooking experience for any time of the day.
WeMixx has products across breakfast, spices and superfood snack categories. Our one of a kind, low calorie blends are a mix of 4 to 20 ingredients eliminates the need to purchase multiple products to cook a recipe and are free of any preservatives.
Although we commercially launched in 2020 right at the onset of the pandemic, the concept behind Wemixx dates back to 2012, when I first arrived in the US as a student at NYU. Being the first person in my extended family and friends to come to America, I was not well-versed with the food scene here. Additionally, I wasn't much of a cook back home in India and was looking for convenient and budget-friendly options. Each time I visited mainstream supermarkets like Trader Joe’s or a Target I enjoyed discovering newer ingredients. While I was loving the new additions to my taste buds, I missed home like flavors which weren’t always visible in these mainstream aisles.
So, I would have to visit South Asian Grocery chains located in high density Asian neighborhoods. I eventually started experimenting using my grandmother's and mother's recipes as a foundation and then blending in ingredients that I had grown to love in America. I knew what I was putting in, and I could customize the blends based on my taste preferences, and store them for easy meal preps. For example, I was introduced to oats, muesli, and sweet potatoes, which were not common breakfast ingredients in India back in 2012, but I loved adding them to my meals.
Even at that time, I wasn't thinking about turning WeMixx into a business; it was more about making my life as a student more convenient.
However, in 2019, after having worked on some major CPG accounts, I realized that there was a scarcity of Indian packaged food especially in top selling aisles such as breakfast and snacks. Traditionally, South Asian brands are either found in the Asian or Indian aisle or in specific South Asian grocery stores. I saw an opportunity to introduce a new range of South Asian origin plant-based products that could easily fit in the popular breakfast and snack categories.
Furthermore, the whole plant-based movement had already begun, and people had started experimenting with more plant-based diets. That's how WeMixx evolved from a premix in my pantry to now a nationally sold brand in the USA..
As a data analytics professional, my process always begins with the consumer. This involves Understanding trends, motivations for purchase shopping behavior, and grocery carts by leveraging research tools. For example, in 2021, I wanted to launch a millets breakfast mix. Millets are a highly nutritious, gluten-free, naturally plant-based grain I grew up eating as a regular breakfast item in India, (the largest producer of millets in the world). However, I realized that millets were not as well-known in the United States, so I looked at data points that reflected an uptick in awareness of sorghum, lentils, bajra or pearl millet.
To create the breakfast blend, I then worked with my team of co-packers and food scientists to develop a shelf-stable, clean label dosa mix that comprised of lentils, organic sorghum- Jowar (a type of millet), and other nutrient-rich ingredients. 2023 has been declared as the International Year of Millets by the UN, further indicating the rising potential for ethnic ingredients in our diets.
One important aspect of my process when conceptualizing a product is to consider what crops are being harvested and to stay in constant communication with our farm partners. We emphasize on sourcing pure, high grade raw ingredients, lab testing them to ensure superior taste in every bite.
Our biggest differentiating factor is the uniqueness of our product. We often hear from customers that they have either never heard of a product like ours or have tried similar products but don’t match up to our flavors. Today the narrative around the billion-dollar plant-based industry mainly revolves around plant-based milk and meat alternatives. While this has been great for propelling the movement, there are subcategories beyond these. WeMixx blends fall into one such nascent plant-based premix category that is offering natural, preservatives free blends which are not heavily processed, rank high on taste and offer something refreshingly new in the permanence of ongoing plant-based market shift. Our natural superfood Foxnuts trail mix snack can be eaten as is or replace sugar loaded cereals, high on sodium chips and other mid-meal snacks.
Transparent business practices: WeMixx is a trademarked, South Asian Women of color business supporting fair trade sourcing of ingredients and guaranteeing preservatives free products. We pride ourselves on carefully monitoring the nutritional health value in each of its blends by promising low calories in each serving (70-110 cals) , high protein and low sodium levels (0-2%) , substituting refined sugar with natural date, palm or jaggery and packaging it in 100% recyclable -bio based sustainable pouches.
The third differentiating factor for us is educating our audiences about South Asian cuisine. In our packaging we deliberately introduce traditional Indian words such as ‘ladoo, bharwa, chilla’. For example, we use the word "dosa" in our packaging instead of "crepe" because that's what we call it. We want to break cultural stereotypes that exist, especially for South Asian brands, by deliberately using words to describe the recipes as they are called in India.
The high costs and delays associated with a global supply chain model really eat into our revenue margins. This operational overhead expense has only increased due to the pandemic but because we source our ingredients from fair trade suppliers in India it has been challenging to find a way around this.
The second biggest challenge we faced was getting into retail. It is a challenge to get retailers to place WeMixx products across the breakfast or snack aisle as they are adamant on putting all our products in the Indian or Asian food aisles. Also we are often asked to update packaging to call ‘dosa’ a ‘crepe’ or ‘chilla’ to a ‘pancake’ even though we have English translations on the packaging. has been a challenge and has limited our growth on the retail side, but our online presence has made up for it more than we could anticipate.
Right now, we are focused on expanding our online presence to others in the UK and Mexico. We've noticed a significant demand in these markets, not just from consumers of South Asian origin, but people across all ethnicities and races.
Besides we have begun selling our products especially our spice blends in bulk packaging to industrial buyers who are mixing our blends into their traditional recipes. Our bestseller Master Spice blend is made of 19 ingredients so it eliminates the need to buy multiple ingredients simplifying processes on their end.
Additionally, we are working towards launching a sugar free mouth freshener mix or a Mukhwas as it’s called in India. We're excited about this category because we offer one of a kind blends for anyone seeking to introduce more plant-based ingredients in their diet due to health and/or environmental reasons and are prioritizing taste.
If you would like to find out more about WeMixx, visit https://www.wemixxstore.com/ or follow on https://www.facebook.com/WeMixx or https://www.instagram.com/wemixxco/?igshid=xus3s0fivmnd