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"By mid this year, we see offline being at 40 per cent of our overall business": Kabita's Kitchen's Kabita Singh

Singh has more than 13 million subscribers on her Youtube channel.

Mumbai: Food is definitely the way to a man’s heart, or even a woman’s too! In many cases, it is a woman leading the way and the heart, and for Kabita Singh, it is no different.

Singh has a popular YouTube channel Kabita’s Kitchen, and recently ventured into the spice category. She launched an assortment of spices under Kabita’s Kitchen Masala Mix and has collaborated with India Food Network for the same. In a chat with, Singh talks about her journey, the brand, the trends and innovations in the spices industry and more.

A lot of content creators and social media influencers are looking at launching and building their own brands. One such case is the story of Singh. Kabita’s Kitchen is turning out to be one of the most popular YouTube creators in the food space - Singh has more than 13 million subscribers on her Youtube channel, and is one of the first 15 channels in India to get a million subscribers. She is also amongst the few Indians to receive a Diamond Play Button from YouTube. Her channel has gained popularity with over 2.38 billion views a month.

As per an IMARC report, the India spices market size reached Rs 160,676 crore in 2022. Looking forward, the market is expected to reach Rs 298,909 crore by 2028, exhibiting a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.8 per cent during 2023-2028.

Talking about what prompted her to launch her own brand of spices and the market gap that she is looking to fill, Singh mentions, “During COVID, I was primarily concerned with content creation, but I was also eager to establish a brand to cater to my audience and provide them with something that would add value to their cooking. A hidden ace of sorts that could be added to their cooking giving them a delicious winning edge.”   

She goes on, “I would also receive a lot of comments on my videos, especially during the pandemic about the unavailability of certain spices and requests for substitutes.  This got me thinking about creating an 'all in one masala', and how it could simplify shopping and cooking. Our masala mixes are self-sufficient and don't require any other spices or supplements. We started the research and development for this in 2020 and cut to November 2022, this vision has become a reality, thanks to our collaboration with India Food Network.”

Kabita's Kitchen is a brand of Happy Eating LLP which is a joint venture of Kabita's Kitchen Pvt. Ltd and Ping Digital Broadcast Pvt. Ltd owns and runs a leading digital food media brand - India Food Network. Co-founder of Ping Digital Broadcast Pvt. Ltd, Rajeshree Naik is a seasoned media and communications professional with over 20 years of industry experience.

Talking about the idea and product range, Singh mentions, “Taking my vision ahead to make cooking easy for everyone we hit upon the idea of blended spices. The idea grew very quickly into an actual brand with the support of Ping Network with whom I have created a joint venture to launch the range: Kabita's Kitchen Masala Mix. Our brand currently has three variants: Sabzi Masala, Pav Bhaji Masala, and Chicken Masala. These are all-in-one masalas that are self-sufficient and do not require any additional spices or supplements. Just mix, add salt, cook and eat along with collecting accolades for a lip-smacking meal.”

She adds, “The USP of the brand is that Kabita's Kitchen Masala Mix is made with rich flavours, aromas, and high-quality ingredients, with no preservatives or additives, to make cooking more simple and authentic, just like my easy recipes. We have also packaged spices in an air-tight container to ensure they remain fresh and fungus-free.”

Her view and vision for Kabita’s Kitchen is that she wants to make cooking easier for everyone so everyone can cook.  

Edited excerpts:

On the journey from a creator to an entrepreneur

I have always been passionate about cooking, but like any good Indian student my career and education took precedence over my passion. I wanted to give my first love some space when I moved to the UK after my wedding and started experimenting with cooking even more. When I moved back to India in 2014 and my child started going to school I decided to take the leap of faith and start my own YouTube channel – ‘Kabita's Kitchen’.  Little did I know that what I started as a passion project on YouTube will amass a massive subscriber count of 12.9 million and make me the handful of people who have won the Diamond Play Button by YouTube in India. It amazes me every day and I am grateful for all the love showered on me.  

My motto has always been ‘everyone can cook’ so the idea was simple – to create a step-by-step guide that anyone can copy and create delicious food. Initially, my primary focus was to create recipes for an audience that does not know much about cooking which included people staying away from home, hostelers, young working professionals, newlyweds etc. As I continued to create recipes my content evolved, and I expanded my video content to include recipes for people of all ages and cooking expertise levels.  

When I started out the production quality was also kept very simple so as not to scare the viewer from trying out the dish. Over time, I have also picked up a few good editing tricks and have now upgraded the quality. However, the relatability factor still remains.  

I have always believed in making cooking straightforward, simple and creating recipes that people can easily make with ingredients found in their kitchen.  

On collaborating with India Food Network

A collaboration only works if you find like-minded partners who are keen on working with you towards realizing the same vision. I found a great partner in the Ping team that worked with me on every challenge that we faced as we worked to bring alive the product from conception to production to launch.  

On you making a place for yourself in the highly cluttered market

Yes, the blended spices market is a hotly contested one. Having said that there is still space for more, especially in the high-quality segment.  

To make our mark in the masala market, we have created a brand identity and offer superior quality of products, unique flavours and have a robust online presence. We aim to create a strong brand image that stands for all the above along with leveraging my YouTube channel to show the viewers how to use the masalas as well making it even simpler.  

On new age brands disrupting the spices industry  

A new generation of masala brands are revolutionizing the industry with modern packaging, flavours, and marketing strategies. I am proud to be a part of this revolution. While we offer a wider variety of blended masalas where some are new and some overlap with the traditional ones in the market, what sets us apart are the key elements we focus on. These include a strong focus on organic/natural ingredients, smart use of digital platforms to reach more customers and build brand recognition, streamlining the production/supply chain to deliver items faster all aid in giving us an edge.  

On expanding the range of spices and innovating with the current range of products

We are working on a few more ideas that include innovative cooking and ready-to-eat products with the aim of simplifying cooking so that everyone can cook. In the coming months, you will see new spice mixes in addition to what we already have and a few more exciting products across ready-to-eat, kitchen-related products and cooking solutions. If things go according to plan, you will definitely see novel and fresh, cooking and kitchen commodities in the market from Kabita’s Kitchen.  

On the brand’s retail expansion strategy in India and international markets

Our masala mixes are currently available on Amazon, but by March, they will be accessible on speedy commerce sites and other digital delivery services.   

I am also excited about the partnership we have with Reliance Smart Bazaar.  We will be available in select stores in Mumbai, Pune and Lucknow. We see this expanding further and by mid-this year, we see offline being at 40 per cent of our overall business.   

International expansion is already a work in progress. People in the US and in UAE will be able to buy our range by mid this year.

On collaborations and campaigns

We will use the draw of recipes and my reach to help establish the brand.  We strongly believe if we do this well, brand loyalty and word of mouth will in itself help us achieve our own vision of being part of as many homes as possible.

We are focused on distribution at this moment - when we reach a critical mass of availability - offline and online, we will then supplement the content strategy we have with a brand campaign on digital, to begin with.  We will also look at constantly innovating on point-of-purchase collaterals and we hope our community plays a huge role in helping us grow.   

Even if we get less than 10 per cent of the people who follow me to buy my product, I am looking at well over 1 million unique sales! That’s my immediate focus and when that happens, I know that word of mouth and loyalty will greatly enhance our sales.

On the spices industry evolving with the needs of the consumers

The spices industry has adapted to the changing demands of its customers by introducing ready-to-cook masalas, masala sachets, online stores, and delivery services. These initiatives have enabled the industry to stay up-to-date and meet the needs of its consumers by providing convenience.  

On the trends and innovations in the spices industry

  •     Organic Spices: Customers increasingly seek natural spices with few additives or preservatives.
  •     Different Spice Blends for Different Cuisines: Customers want masala blends tailored to specific cuisines. Garam masala, for example, is an Indian spice blend commonly used in Indian cuisine, whereas Baharat is a Middle Eastern spice blend used to flavour meat dishes.
  •     Ready-to-Use Spice Blends: The convenience of ready-to-use blends has increased in popularity. Customers no longer need to buy and mix individual spices; instead, they can buy a pre-mixed blend.

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