For modern men and women, food is increasingly becoming the ultimate medicine. Eat healthy, stay healthy. You are what you eat. Over the past few years, public awareness of food safety and healthy food has reached a new height. It has created new challenges for business. Similarly, like any other challenge in business, it has created new opportunities as well.
Several estimates said that the global market for organic and healthy food is expected to reach US$321 billion by 2025. The consumer demand for safe and pure healthy food has grown steadily over the last few years.
This reality reflects on a sudden influx in the number of companies that are offering safe and healthy food. Companies are now making active effort to communicate that they maintain safety standard in their manufacturing process. The food safety-related lawsuits have increased. Products like mango juice and drinks suffered in the market due to negative word of mouth. A small but growing social movement around safe food has already begun. It indicates a strong trend. All indications suggest that this trend is just getting started and it is here to stay. A certain segment of the population is already willing to pay extra for safe and healthy food. And this segment (of the population) is growing as the middle class expands in the country.
Shwapno, the leading retail brand in Bangladesh, identifies itself with this changing reality of the food business across the world in general and Bangladesh in particular. Between 2017 and 2018, it made a decisive move to incorporate safe and healthy food and make it a central piece of its long term growth strategy. Shuddho, a new safe food brand, was born.
As a part of its safe food push, it entered into a collaboration with Global Gap. It has started working with 72 farmers. Sabbir Hasan Nasir, Shwapo Executive Director notes in an interview that this (move) is going to change how Shwapno operates as a company. “This is a new and bold step. Through this initiative, we’ve started our mission of transparency from the field to shelf,” he says in an interview with FS. “It means what goes inside the soil and crops before harvesting is also important for consumers to know and retailers to know.” Shwapno says its ambition is to sell only Shuddho produce in Shawpno in the next couple of years.