Hardik Pandya Invests in Consumer Foods Brand Yu

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Business Wire India
Chef Crafted Instant Foods brand Yu announced Hardik Pandya as investor and brand ambassador today. Hardik and Yu have entered into a long-term association to promote the brand in India as well as overseas.
 
Founded by Bharat Bhalla and Varun Kapur, Yu is making packaged foods healthier by providing consumers easy meals that are made using 100% natural ingredients and contain absolutely ZERO preservatives. The brand offers 14 SKUs across Pasta, Cup Noodles, Hakka Noodles, Oats and Halwa categories that can be made in 5 minutes by simply using boiling water. The homegrown brand recently closed its Series A fundraise, led by Ashish Kacholia and Asian Paints Family in October 2022.
 
Yu will launch its maiden brand campaign during the IPL 2023 season. The campaign will be spearheaded by ace Indian cricketer Hardik Pandya and will focus on highlighting Yu’s brand proposition – packaged foods that are CHEF Crafted made using ZERO Preservatives that allow young and aspiring Indians to not compromise on Health, Quality, Taste or Convenience. Yu offers healthier EASY Meals that are not only 100% Natural but also retain their aroma, taste and nutrition despite being packaged. 
 
Hardik Pandya said, “What Bharat and Varun have done at Yu is truly exceptional! To make packaged foods without any chemicals or preservatives that still taste as good as fresh is remarkable. Yu is a highly purpose driven brand that is bringing a revolution in the packaged food space through its diversified product categories. I am extremely pleased to associate with Yu and spread awareness around its wholesome and nutritious easy meals that are healthy as well. Proud to be part of this 100% Homegrown Brand – MAKE In INDIA for the World!”
 
Yu has successfully penetrated multiple distribution channels including offline stores (4,000+ stores), online (all e-Com and Q-Com servicing pan India), 100+ institutional campuses, exports (South Africa, US, Singapore) in a short span of 18 months. Owing to its unique product offering, Yu is also among the youngest brands to be onboarded by airlines SpiceJet and Akasa Air. Yu is seeing significant customer traction and has more than doubled its revenue in the last 6 months and is on track to sell close to 2 million bowls in Q1-FY24.
 
Sharing their excitement, Founders Bharat Bhalla and Varun Kapur jointly expressed, “We are excited to partner with Hardik in our endeavour to build a disruptive consumer brand in the instant food category. Hardik is a youth icon, and as the face of Yu, he will help drive awareness among consumers enabling a switch in consumption patterns from currently available products that contain chemicals and preservatives. Hardik Pandya’s passion for health and wellness aligns perfectly with our brand’s core values and mission. We are confident that Hardik’s association will allow Yu to significantly scale its business across all channels and target groups.”
 
Yu operates a 24,000 sq. ft. integrated facility in Gurugram that is UK FSSC 22000 and US-FDA certified. The brand has expanded its team to over 100 employees across functions like production, operations, sales, marketing and finance. After successfully launching Ready to Eat pastas, noodles, oats, halwa in veg and non-veg variants, the company recently ventured into Ready to Cook products with the launch of Instant 5 mins Hakka Noodles that come with steamed noodles, vegetables, sauce and chilli oil. The brand is looking to launch 8-10 more unique products over the next 12 months to complement its existing product portfolio.
 
Yu has several prominent investors on its cap-table, including Ashish Kacholia (renowned public market investor), Manish Choksi (Asian Paints Promoter Group), DPIITs Start Up India Seed Fund (Government of India) and Capitar (SEBI registered AIF), among others. It has recently doubled its production capacity and continues to expand its omni-channel distribution network pan-India.