Did you know that most of the generic packaged processed foods have chemical-preservatives, additives, flavours and colour? Thankfully concepts around sustainability, safe and healthy eating has been gaining momentum for the last decade or so in India. And taking this opportunity, quite a few brands have taken root to provide organic and natural packaged foods that are free of chemicals. One such brand is Fouziya’s Cooking, based in Chennai, that has been gaining the love of new-gen safe food consumers.
Fouziya’s Cooking is a “safe food” venture conceived and run by wife and husband duo; Fouziya Kutty and Sheik Taher. Completely self-taught, with a sprinkling of cooking tips from various ‘aunties’ and grandmothers, Fouziya Kutty heads the production, research and development of safe packaged foods, while, Sheik is a branding and advertising professional who helps out with marketing and public awareness around safe eating habits.
Proponents of the Safe/Clean food movement, Kutty and Taher have focussed on creating a line of 100% natural-chemical free products like high fruit content spreads, nut butters, sauces and pickles that are hand crafted in small batches in a 100% vegetarian facility.
This was around the year 2013, when their son’s school; to promote healthy eating habits among kids sent them an advisory note, asking them to avoid store bought jams, sauces and the likes for their children’s’ dabba. As they say “ necessity is the mother of invention”– Fouziya Kutty started to experiment and cookup jams and sauces.
But the real fun was when, a friend with a large harvest of organic lemons decided to drop off a big heap with them. Fouziya decided to make a date-and-lime pickled chutney, a family heirloom recipe. “In fact, we ended up distributing some 12 kilograms to family and friends. Friends could not get enough of the sweet-and-sour condiment, and to us an idea was born. Why not venture into the all natural, organic jams and condiments segment”.
Growing awareness around safe, clean foods in India
The standard narrative of food technology has basically been to process and preserve food so that it can be stored for long periods. Important things such as the health impact of using chemical-based additives and preservatives took the back seat. But now, there is a growing awareness and discerning consumers are beginning to appreciate issues around safe food habits. What’s more, there are now options for consumers who want to shift to healthier food options that are organic and 100% natural. Sheik informs, “our mission is to provide 100% chemical free healthy alternative to generic processed foods that use preservatives and chemical additives.”
Small is beautiful
Fouziya’s Cooking has a “women-only unit” based in Chennai, that provides safe, comfortable and empowering place for women to work. Fouziya says, “Our endeavour has always been to look at ways that we can contribute positively to all the stake holders in our journey — our environment, our consumers and our people who work with us.”
Certainly looks like the couple are on a sustainable path to provide “good health” in every bottle.