This is my review of Himalya International Products after I tried them first hand. Hope it helps all fellows. Had connected with the marketing team and they put me in touch with Delhi whole-seller. The gentleman disclosed that they have started to stock the products in Modern Bazaar, an upmarket natural cum organic store. Went to the Saket Mall, New Delhi Outlet and the products were available in the frozen section.
It was stocked against the biggest player in the market - MCain. They were a new arrival and the sales boy told me that they hit the shelf only two to three weeks ago.
A 450grms pack of Himalya and McCain french fries cost 90 and 95 INR respectively. I’d say this is not a good enough difference as McCain enjoys patronage among customers being a market leader in western markets.
McCain in my humble opinion had a better packaging and presentation though Himalya is not far behind. The baking instructions on McCain were accurate and fries got cooked in line with instructions. Himalaya Fries required some improvisation and I was not satisfied with the instructions provided. I assume frying is a better representation of the customer preference, and there, the product should fair neck to neck with McCain. Both fires were similar in aesthetics but Mccain came out crispier but I will attribute it to the precision of instructions according to the product and only in relation to baking.
However, where Himalya has a clear edge is diversity. I also bought a pack of mix veg Mix Vegetable Nuggets (Price 135 for 400 grms; Pack of 24). There was a veg Manchurian ball pack and some other ready to eat/semi cooked items as well. They will find resonance with late nighters, single occupants and students who look for quick bites and sumptuous options. I have lived in hostels and students jump on these options because they do not have adequate apparatus to cook. Same is true for those living in PGs and rented accommodations. French fries are a regular snack and will sell everywhere albeit they beat the competition. However, in the best of my opinion, they (all products) need to be stocked in local stores and 24X7s as well. The Vegetable nuggets are very tasty and I have heard that other products too have gained acceptance.
One concern is that the sodium level in many of the products is very high. I discovered this because after eating the nuggets my energy levels shot up. I checked the nutrition facts and found my observation to be correct for much of the product range (for reference, I do not have any blood sugar or pressure issues). This is not a major challenge but might just keep a segment of customer away, though that may not happen initially.
The products are good and with changing lifestyle are bound to become popular. The market of frozen semi cooked products it a nascent stage but growing due to changing living patterns, nuclear families, etc.