Published: 12th January 2021
Jowar puffs or sorghum sticks — take your pick from a variety of yummy and healthy snacks Hyderabad's Mego offers
Love snacking but want to be healthy too? Then, check out Mego's millet-based snacks. We bite into one to tell you why they are tasty, nutritious and can compete with any chips or wafers on any day
Ignoring the glossy and alluring packets of chips and wafers gets much easier when an equally glossy and fun-looking packet of jowar puffs is on the rack in the supermarket. Among its less-healthier counterparts, it sits tall and proud as it is sans preservatives, GMOs or sugar. It's from experience that this writer says so because it is at a store that she came across Mego, the healthy millet-based snack. Upon picking it up and noting that their registered office is in Hyderabad, it took a few minutes to get in touch with one of the four founders Radha Vangipurapu who initiated Mego along with Madhavi Potta, Rohit Didige and Karun Bojja.
The founders | (Pic: Mego)
It was back in 2016, now referred to as the pre-pandemic era, that Mego started its pilot project. "Our motto is to make healthy millets as tasty and appealing as junk food," says Radha. In as many as 30 schools like Johnson Grammar School, Sri Sai Grammar High School and others, they started serving millet khichdi, sprouts and fruits, which the children relished during their break time. Why during the break though? "Because children get healthy home-made food for lunch, but it is during snack time that they binge on chips, biscuits and other unhealthy stuff," says the 27-year-old. But whipping up these perishable preparations proved to be exhausting, both in terms of time and finance. Thus, it was Plan B time — switching to dry snacks. With the literal blessings of WeHub (an incubation centre), an official sanction order from Minister KT Rama Rao, this Indian Institute of Millets Research (IIMR)-incubated start-up was ready to roll out brand new products.
Their snacks | (Pic: Mego)
First came the shift from an 800 square feet 1BHK in Saroornagar to a 10,000 square feet unit in Nacharam. Millet crispies, healthy bars, fried snacks and more, there is a lot that Mego is offering. And their recipes are backed by food technologists and scientists who, we hear, come up with new and natural flavours every month. And oh, what flavours! (Trigger warning for your salivary glands) Cheddar cheese, tangy tomato, peri peri, mint and lemon and so many more! "I must give a huge shout out to the farmers from Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka from whom we source our millets. They have been supplying it to us at the same rate since we began," says the MBA holder from Sreenidhi Institute of Science & Technology.
They have also supplied their snacks to the offices of Deloitte and Facebook, and Telangana Social Welfare Residential Educational Institutions
And yet, the team never forgot the schools. They started flexible subscription plans for various schools they were present in. And this is where they want to expand, only when the schools open, of course. A quick word about the packaging that is sure to give any snack packet out there some tough competition. It took them a whole six month to zero in on it and yet, they are planning to change it again to make it even better.
Their facility | (Pic: Mego)
If you are craving Mego's snacks already and are in Hyderabad or Vijayawada, the good news is that they are available in about 100 stores like Polimeraas, Q-Mart and more. "In schools, we had a monopoly, but it is the retail market that is a tough cookie," says Radha. Yet, they believe that they will conquer it too.
Happy children | (Pic: Mego)
What gives Mego the upper hand?
- Grains like ragi and jowar are used
- GMO, gluten, chemical and preservative-free
- All-natural flavours
- Five-ingredient healthy bars
They also offer sorghum sticks, laddus, flakes mix, wheat puffs and more
For more on them, check out megoindia.com