Launched in early 2000, Frugurt is a brand of fresh stirred fruit yogurt by Dsouza Biotech established in the same year. The product idea was conceived by Joseph and Alina D’Souza on a trip to Europe which they undertook in the late 1990s. Sold at select stores in Europe, it was a niche market product which offered unique health benefits. After their return home, the promoters carried out extensive research and arrived at the conclusion that although yogurt brands were present in the Indian market, none of them were fresh stirred yogurt with Live Active Culture (LAC); usually prepared with added stabilizers. This market gap coupled with the desire of value addition to their existing dairy farm saw the Dsouza couple setting up a small scale unit, Dsouza Biotech in Karaswada, Mapusa.
Tried and tested by industry experts and prospective customers, it initially made its way into local Goan shops. Subsequently it made its way into other states in the country as the product gradually established its niche factor and grew in popularity. Today, besides being available in stores across South India, it is also sourced by some of the leading hotel chains, airline operators and retail biggies like Taj Hotels, Taj Sats Cateres, Hyper city, Nature Baskets and Star Bazar. India’s only natural stirred fruit yogurt’s reach has been restricted by its required storage conditions to some extent as the product must be stored in controlled temperature because it contains no added preservatives, additives or gelling agents. This may have limited the company to a certain market share but with the concept of health food catching up, Frugurt is set to go places.
Frugurt, available in six variants: strawberry, mango, banana, apricot and black current; all of which contain fresh fruit pulp, besides plain is suited for every age group right from the age of three months to an aged person. Its pro-biotic properties aid in balancing acid levels. Another distinguishing quality is that of its compatibility with lactose intolerant people. Thereby, people who cannot stomach milk directly can safely consume Frugurt and enjoy its taste and benefits since the bacterial strain counters the lactose intolerance. The fruit flavored yogurt which can be eaten by itself or as an accompaniment, is religiously consumed by many of its consumers as it takes care of acidity and indigestion. For others, it’s a taste enhancer when combined with fruit or cereal, a smoothie when blended or a dessert which replaces ice cream.
Over the decade gone by, experience with chefs, dieticians, big format stores and retailers have strengthened the brand name. Dsouza Biotech which started off by taking small batches of 50-60 litres of milk from their private dairy has now tied up with local farmers around the factory to source the milk required to cater to the ever growing demand. Its processes are ISO 22000 certified and follow strict quality norms. The quality control personnel receive training from faculty in India and Europe wherein a vast amount of knowledge is imparted to them, increasing their potential for research and development. Besides well maintained facilities and resourceful employees, Dsouza Biotech also boasts of the title ‘Best growth in the Dairy Sector’ awarded by Hyper City India in 2009.
With an experience of a decade and favorable market environmental conditions, Dsouza Biotech is now working on introducing more variants of Frugurt. And we hear that the brand Frugurt may just have its extensions in the form of breakfast and frozen yogurt!