By Rebati Adhikari
Organic food is the current buzzword in the world food market. It is not just a Western craze anymore; the Nepali market is also increasingly becoming health conscious. And joining the game is a new entrant called Falfull.
Falfull is a 100% pure fruit juice manufactured by Margo Nepal. Ripened fruit is pressed and the juice is extracted and supplied in beautiful clear glass bottles in the market, with no preservatives or added water. Literally like having a fruit.
Nishchal Hirachan, Co-founder of Falfull, is a native of Mustang, who grew up seeing apples largely going waste due to lack of market. To utilise the apple produce, Germans had established a factory, provided training on how to turn wasted apple into juice. They had also taught how to make dried apples, Marpha brandy and apple pie. All these refined items were basically targeted at locals and foreigners.
Hirachan zoned into the idea, created a sample and tested it among friends in Kathmandu. The reviews were exceptional. He knew he was onto something that was business worthy. He started by partnering with Aama Samuha in Mustang and set up a manufacturing plant. Apricot and apple juice were supplied in beer bottles and served in glasses in restaurants initially.
Three years later, all this has changed. Margo Nepal rebranded the juice calling it Falfull and amped up the technology and work methodology to get the most out of the fruits. Harvesting at the right time of ripening allowed 80-90% juice of the fruit to be extracted. “We sell what we preach,” says Hirachan. Margo Nepal doesn’t use plastic bottle because it releases harmful chemicals and the quality of the content deteriorates. Compared to other drinks, Falfull just has a shelf-life of one year. It is based on seasonal production.
Falfull is today available at 40 outlets and has yet to go retail. It is currently catching a niche market but getting rave reviews. So what’s stopping them from scaling their business? “If we go retail, the demand may go much higher that we can meet. We can’t supply through the year. And we have yet to scale into mass production. For now, our target customers are selective. Once we scale up, we will go retail,” says Hirachan.
Hirachan elaborates on his product, “We plan to stick to organic even in bad times of harvest. We don’t allow any body to use pesticides, it’s our implicit law”. He is of the view that people should gradually shift their eating habits. If the eating mass is bigger, production cost will also decline. Falfull is coming with different campaigns to make consumers aware of the benefits of organic products.
Hirachan shares,” It is widely known that Mustang is known for apples. Like Mustang, there are 10 other places in the country we want to capitalize on. We want to tap Junar from Sinduli, oranges from Gorkha, mangoes from Biratnagar. We are tying up with different fruit companies.”
He thinks this is the right time for organic product market to reach its potential and he is trying to set a culture. Margo Nepal is set for its next phase of growth provided they get the right partnerships and investments in place.