Chukde Spices: A brand promise of purity
Starting as a retail shop in Khari Baoli, Chukde Spices now is a manufacturer cum merchant exporter with a diverse and ever expanding portfolio of Whole Spices, Powdered Spices, Blended Spices, and Ready-to-Eat Spice Mixes, Instant Dessert Mixes and Edible Seeds. Its focus on stringent quality standards has made Chukde a preferred brand for the hospitality sector, online retail platforms, and end consumers.
In 2006, under the vision and guidance of Deepak Luthra, founder of Unique Fragrances, the seeds of Chukde Spices were sown. Back then, he started with a shop at Khari Baoli, well known as Asia’s largest wholesale spice market. Today, the brand prides itself in being a manufacturer of the ‘safest spices in India’.
A graduate from Delhi University, Deepak Luthra worked for State Bank of India and Televista in the initial phase of his career. He always had a keen interest in entrepreneurship, and delved into various business opportunities including waste paper business, katha manufacturing and exports of groceries. The company Unique Fragrances started with merchant exports of Indian groceries.
Just a year after setting up the shop in Khari Baoli, Chukde Spices commenced spice manufacturing in 2007. In 2009, it established the first automatic cleaning plant. Later in 2012, they established the first ETO sterilization unit in the spice industry. As the brand expanded over the years, they set up a new factory in Nagaur, Rajasthan in 2019, & a 90,000 sq ft facility in Sonipat, Haryana in 2021, which has an installed capacity of 10,000 metric tonnes.
During these years, Deepak Luthra’s son Rajat Luthra, Director, Life Style Foods Pvt. Ltd., which is a family-owned and operated business, played a crucial role as the anchor behind Chukde Spices. Commenting on some of the initial challenges that he faced, he says:
Initially, when we approached our clients with these premium spices, our prices were way too high in comparison with prices of other exporters. The second big challenge was procuring good quality clear packaging as the packaging industries in India were still developing. Thirdly, talking to these foreign buyers was difficult as the internet had not penetrated so much. Hence, finding a good buyer was a big task for us. Lastly, in spices, the major competitor countries are Vietnam, Sri Lanka and Indonesia. But in packed spices, Pakistan & UAE are also making their mark due to tax benefits and subsidies given by their respective governments.
He insists that what has contributed to the brand’s success is its commitment to quality. Chukde Spices specializes in exporting handpicked, clean, and sifted spices in consumer packs as per the requirement of its customers. State-of-the-art machinery is deployed at their factories for properly sorting and cleaning the spices. The brand also makes it a point to ensure that proper safety standards are adhered to throughout the process right from selection of the spices to processing and packaging them.
Chukde Spices now has a very diverse and ever expanding portfolio that includes Whole Spices, Powdered Spices, Blended Spices, and Ready-to-Eat Spice Mixes, Instant Dessert Mixes and Edible Seeds. Every Chukde spice is subjected to Fumigation, 27 rigorous Quality Tests, and ETO Sterilization, today, ensuring the purest and safest products. This strong orientation for quality has made Chukde Spices a preferred brand for the hospitality sector, online retail platforms, and end consumers.
The company has also received accolades over the last 15 years for its performance. In 2017, it was honoured with the National Award – for Manufacturing and Entrepreneurship; and in 2020, it won the Second National Award for Manufacturing and Export Excellence. Going forward, the brand is planning to expand its existing portfolio of spices and expand its reach globally with ready-to-use spice mixes (hydrated and de-hydrated forms) a major focus for diversification.
Rajat Luthra is confident that India’s diverse climatic conditions provide it an advantage when it comes to servicing the needs of the global food industry. The company looks forward to further leveraging the vast intellectual knowledge in Indian agriculture to produce high-quality foods that will meet international quality standards & regulations. In the larger interest, as companies like Unique Fragrances build a reputation for themselves as quality international brands, it would also help boost the brand equity of the larger Indian F&B and food processing industry.
This article is a part of TPCI’s Connect initiative.