This Diwali I was searching for alternate options to sweets i.e. products that do not have white sugar in them and I could not find anything except fruits and dry fruits. There were many Mithai shops in the city selling sugar free sweets but not only did they have unhealthy alternative but they tasted pathetic. I finally picked up some pieces of jaggery from the grocery store with an intention to make something out of it. Then I was reminded of a high end restaurant that served beautifully cut pieces of raw jaggery after the meals and this idea was born. Products directly made of jaggery – a healthier option to eat sweets. Some of the products I could think of:
- Cut jaggery in a toffee shape and pack them in paper like toffees – simple, nothing to be added to it. You can then experiment with various flavors like saumf and rose petals that can be added to it. You can also have variations of different types of jaggery like palm, sugarcane etc.
- Chiki that is essentially jaggery + something can be packaged as toffees – easy to eat small bites rather than big bites that are usually sold
- Like Hershey’s, that have a almond or a nut wrapped in chocolate, you can have the same wrapped in jaggery. This may need some formulation or design research, but it is do-able.
- Use your creativity & imagination for more options
Build a brand around healthier confectionary options and make them popular. The cost of product should not be very high, if you can keep the marketing cost in check, this can be a killer product range. If course, replication is very easy and that is where branding will make all the difference. You can start by marketing it to organic products companies and portals. In villages women’s self help groups can easily be engaged in this activity, the only thing one would need to ensure is the hygiene and the quality check.