WhiteCub - D2C Vegan Brand for Dairy Free Food Products

Preeti Karna Preeti Karna
Mar 22, 2022 10 min read
WhiteCub - D2C Vegan Brand for Dairy Free Food Products

Company Profile is an initiative by StartupTalky to publish verified information on different startups and organizations. The content in this post has been approved by WhiteCub.

Veganism is the way of living with a practice of declining the use of animal products in diet. It focusses on loving and saving animals and species. Veganism also has the potential to save natural resources like water, forests, grains, and more.

Practicing veganism, one can show love to nature and stay equally healthy as plant-based food items can provide all the required nutrients. Whitecub is a startup in FMCG industry to provide dairy free products. Their intention is to create a harmonious environment where people, animals and nature co-exists.

Read to know about Whitecub, founder, business model, products, and its startup story.

WhiteCub - Company Highlights

Startup Name WhiteCub
Headquarters Gurugram
Industry FMCG
Founder Ms Sonal
Founded 2013
Website whitecub.in

WhiteCub - About
WhiteCub - Industry
WhiteCub - Founder
WhiteCub - Startup Story
WhiteCub - Name, Tagline, and Logo
WhiteCub - Products
WhiteCub - USP
WhiteCub - Business and Revenue Model
WhiteCub - Customer Acquisition
WhiteCub - Challenges Faced
WhiteCub - Competitors
WhiteCub - Recognition and Achievements
WhiteCub - Future Plans

About Whitecub

WhiteCub - About

Whitecub is a D2C vegan brand with an Omni channel presence. It is a vegan, dairy free brand and our product offerings includes vegan ice cream, butter, curd, fruit yogurt, cookies, and Hazelnut-Cashew Spread.

Our mission is to make dairy free products accessible across India and take it to the masses. Whitecub want to be the brand of choice for people looking for a dairy free products. Our mission is to make dairy free, plant based products affordable and accessible in India so that everybody can enjoy it. We started with vegan ice-cream back in 2013 and we operate in a niche category currently and want to expand our offering and products to serve all consumers in India. We want to be the vegan brand people trust and opt for. We are also looking at expanding our footprint globally in different markets apart from India. We hope very soon we will be present in other countries via export of our products.

Our long term vision is to create a planet where people, animals and nature co-exists harmoniously. We want to contribute our bit to create a world devoid of exploitation of animals for food. Animal derived food are not only high on carbon footprint but are also often the cause of health complications as well. We are in the middle of a climate crisis and environmentalist are making us aware that we need to act now.  White Cub by promoting and making plant based foods accessible to the masses is doing its bit to reduce carbon footprint and contribute towards a better environment. Our vision is to create a future where eating healthy, plant based foods becomes a norm in India and a future where we give animals the respect they deserve and their own space of freedom.

WhiteCub - Industry

We are a D2C brand in the vegan, dairy alternatives industry. We cater to all people who are looking for dairy free or dairy alternative, plant based, healthy products.

Since our inception back in 2013, we have come a long way. In next 5 years we want to be the leader in the vegan, dairy alternatives market by expanding our product portfolio and coming up with more dairy free products like milk, cheese etc. We also plan to expand our offline presence and increase our parlours in cities like Mumbai, Bangalore and other metropolitan cities. We want to take our products to every corner of India through retail chains and parlours. We are also planning to expand our footprints in other markets globally via exports.

WhiteCub - Founder

Sonal - WhiteCub Founder
Sonal - WhiteCub Founder

A health enthusiast, a dedicated vegan, a fierce activist, and an entrepreneur at heart, Sonal is the founder and CEO of WhiteCub - an up-and-coming brand in the F&B industry dedicated to serving vegan alternatives for dairy products.

She holds an MSc in Anthropology and has been working in the vegan industry for more than 10 years. She enjoys cooking, practicing yoga, and reading classics in her free time. She also enjoys gardening and interacting with people. She is an expert cook and possesses wizard-like marketing skills, that have contributed to the growth of her brainchild - WhiteCub.

Sonal and her twins became vegans while they were living in London. She had observed the presence of several dairy and meat alternatives in London’s supermarkets and correspondingly a higher number of vegans there. She could infer that the presence of vegan products encouraged the Londoners to go vegan.

They often used to indulge in the Swedish Glace brand of vegan ice creams while they lived there. On her return to India, though, she found the complete absence of vegan products quite glaring. After all, it was India - a land bathed in dairy milk. As destiny would have it, she took it upon herself to take up the cause of veganism in India by starting a vegan ice cream parlor.

Two factors contributed to it. Firstly, she started indulging in vegan activism in the form of lectures at colleges, presentation of the concept of ‘veganism ‘ at different forums and even volunteering as a vegan coach to assist the few doctors back then who had already started incorporating plant-based diets in the prescription that they gave to their patients.

During this phase, she observed a certain degree of willingness on the part of the masses to adopt a plant-based diet. She noticed that they were willing to give up dairy and meat but only under the conditions of being offered dairy and meat alternatives. The addiction to the taste is biochemical in nature after all and so can’t go away easily.

At this juncture, she started brainstorming with some fellow vegans to start some type of vegan food business. They were willing to donate money to vegetarianism or veganism spreading Not for profit or to an animal shelter but did not consider it wise to invest in a business based on these principles.

Indians were too obsessed with dairy to consider switching to compassionate mylk choices. While Sonal accepted their stance, she remained uncomfortable in this acceptance. She knew she would have to address this issue of a total absence of vegan yummies in the market herself. But ‘how‘ remained a question mark until she got that moment of inspiration.

The family was in Goa on a vacation. They were able to have some vegan ice creams there locally made at a café. They did not have the typical dairy replacements. They were great at a local level but couldn’t have got taken up as a brand. However, this certainly didn’t stop the family from fully enjoying the experience. While they stepped out of the café, Sonal’s eight-year-old son asked whether they can get it in Delhi. This proved to be the spark of sorts for Sonal. What had already been brewing in the background couldn’t be contained any longer. Already, she had encountered hundreds of Indians by then willing to make a switch in the presence of suitable alternatives and now her own little son was questioning her on similar lines.

Before long, she started a vegan ice cream parlor in her city. Ingredient procurements, recipe trials, smaller machines, and then bigger plant purchase – everything followed over a period of a year or so. Then the first parlor opened in 2013.

WhiteCub - Startup Story

Sonal - Founder of WhiteCub
Sonal - Founder of WhiteCub

The inspiration for this company has always been the compassion for animals and the care for the environment. Sonal was already a vegan at that point and did some vegan advocacy in terms of lectures, seminars and my association with various organisation.

Her first exposure to vegan products in the form of ice-creams came in my visit to London. Back in India, when she was travelling to Goa with her kids, her son tried vegan ice-cream for the first time and loved it. Her son loved it so much that he asked why can’t they get it in Delhi? It was then that it hit me that India doesn't' have a vegan ice-cream brand and she decided to do something about it and decided to start a vegan ice-cream brand.

Sonal did some research on market trends, the ingredients required to make the products and different methods and recipes to make the products. Sonal got her idea validated from her friends and fellow vegans and people who are into healthy eating who became my first customers too. She came up with her own recipe, started experimenting with ingredients at home until she came up with a product that people were delighted with.

Initially, she opened her own parlour with minimal packaging and started delivering to customers directly. Her friends and fellow vegans and neighbours became the first customers and they loved the product. Ingredient procurements, recipe trials, smaller machines, and then bigger plant purchase - everything followed over a period of a year.

Whitecub Logo
Whitecub Logo

Whitcub is named for the love and protection of White Lions and their Cubs, as an extension of support for the initiative of Linda Tucker. She has been involved in the protection of white cubs and their families, from the cruel practices of ‘canned hunting’, in East Africa. Thus, all the products carry an emblem of White Cub on Whitecub's logo.

Whitecub's Tagline is: ‘Proud to be Dairy Free’ which communicates our USP effectively and how we are proudly marking our footsteps in the industry.

WhiteCub - Products

Whitecub Products
Whitecub Products

Whitecub products are a vegan, dairy alternatives brand. Its products are completely dairy free. Their products are healthier option for people who are looking for a vegan, dairy alternative products in the market.

WhiteCub - USP

Whitecub Products
Whitecub Products

All the Whitecub products are dairy Free, Vegan, Trans Fats Free, Palm Oil Free and a healthier choice for people. They started when veganism and plant based products were still relatively a new concept in India. Thus over a period of almost a decade they grew, and today we understand the vegan market in India like no other.

WhiteCub - Business and Revenue Model

We are a D2C brand with an Omni channel presence. We operate through both E-Commerce and Retail chains. We receive the bulk of our order through our official website and have our own delivery network for delivery across Delhi NCR. We are present across major e-commerce channels like Big Basket, Godrej Nature Basket and our retail products are available in major metropolitan cities like Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata and other metropolitan cities. We also have Zomato and Swiggy as our delivery partner.  We also cater for institutional needs like in hotels, marriages, birthday celebration and events.

WhiteCub - Customer Acquisition

We faced a lot of hurdles and challenges in the beginning and it taught us a lot. Initially, I reached out to my friends, community and fellow vegans during potlucks and other activism events. We used to talk about our shared passion for plant based foods, recipes and I used to share samples of our products with them. Once they loved the product, they talked about it to their friend and before long through word of mouth, the demand of our products grew.

Since I was already active in the community, advocating for veganism, White Cub became an extension of that association and helped me to spread the message of the brand through my various association in the initial phase.

WhiteCub - Challenges Faced

Their initial challenge when they were starting the brand was to make people aware and shift to dairy free ice-creams and products. India being a milk loving nation, the idea of dairy free ice-cream or products was relatively new in the Indian market.

With time, the Whitecub team overcame that road block. The biggest challenge was to differentiate themselves in the market:, to find their footing and differentiate their brand from others emerging players and keep the products unique, healthy and delightful that would be loved by the customers.

Another challenge that they faced while developing their Ice Cream was to give it a similar texture and feel in the mouth just as the dairy based products. Instead of dairy we use coconut, soy, and almond milk and so it was initially difficult to give it the same feel as dairy.

Whitecub's motto is to delight the customer with delicious and healthy vegan offering. So they didn't use any unhealthy ingredients in their products to give the same feel as dairy which was a challenge. It raised the cost of manufacturing but they didn't want to compromise on their ethics.

The team conducted local survey in Delhi NCR and Gurgaon and with their customers to rate the products which worked for them. It helped the startup to gather feedback and a lot of data points which eventually helped them to improve the product offerings.

WhiteCub - Competitors

Some of our competitors includes:

  • Nomou
  • Vegan Heart
  • The Vegan Bowl
  • Papacream

WhiteCub - Recognition and Achievements

Some of the Whitecub achievements are:

  • White Cub has been awarded with the PETA Vegan Food Awards in 2013 and 2014, two years in a row.
  • They have been by awarded by the Government of India's Department of Science & Tech’s Award of excellence.
  • As a business, they are a proud alumni of Nexus, an Innovation Hub and Business Incubator powered by the US Embassy, ACIR.
  • They have also appeared in news channels like ‘India Ahead News’ and in various webinars on the topic of entrepreneurship in the vegan foods industry.
  • Whitecub was featured in ‘Conde Nast’, a French Magazine.

WhiteCub - Future Plans

We plan to keep our present momentum of growth, keep increasing our reach and sales every month and expand our footprints to new markets. Our future plan is to expand our product portfolio to fill the void in the market of dairy-free products. We are working to come up with a dairy free cheese. We are working to come up with dairy free milk that we are confident will revolutionize the market. We are already experimenting with new flavours and will launch soon. The launch of sprinkler parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese, cheddar cheese and milk are on the anvil.

We also working to open our delivery operations in major metro cities like Bangalore, Mumbai and Kolkata soon. In the future, we want to expand our presence globally and export our products to international markets as well.  Our vision is to spread awareness about veganism so that increasingly more number of people opt for vegan dairy alternatives.

FAQs

When was Whitecub founded?

Whitecub was founded in 2013 at Gurugram.

Who is the founder of Whitecub?

Sonal is the founder and CEO of Whitecub.

Are WhiteCub Ice Cream dairy free?

Yes, Whitecub is a dairy free brand. Whitecub ice cream are dairy free.

What are the products offered by Whitecub?

Whitecub product offerings includes:

  • Vegan ice cream
  • Vegan butter
  • Vegan curd
  • Fruit yogurt
  • Cookies
  • Hazelnut-Cashew Spread

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