Homegrown Snack Brands That Pack A Punch With Variety And Flavours

The traditional murukku, banana chips, potato salli and chikki are being reimagined in modern ways. And there’s a lot more on the way.

Published On Apr 08, 2024 | Updated On Apr 10, 2024


For the Indian consumer, there has never been a dearth of snacking options. Feeling peckish? Munch on anything from chips to biscuits, various types of farsaan, spicy mixtures and more - Indians take their snacking quite seriously. 

There has also been a strong tradition of making snacks at home. Potato chips being dried on the terrace, the smell of frying chivda to which peanuts and spices would be added, the laughter and cheerful jokes being passed around by the women as they went about making these delicious treats are memories that many of us associate growing up in joint families. 

Post liberalisation in the ‘90s, international brands started making a beeline for Indian aisles, filling them up with on-the-go snacks with flavours we had only heard of but never actually tasted. However, it is in the last few years that there has been an emergence of a new category of snacks – desi at heart but with flavours and packaging that can compete with the best of international brands. As I sit to write this piece, there’s a bowl of Baked Peanuts in Lime & Chilli flavour from an Ahmedabad-based brand called Rewynd on my table. There had been some confusion earlier when I was trying to choose between the flavours. Should I have opted for the Chilli Garlic, Cheese Tomato or Hing Jeera

A peripheral glance at the snacks shelf in the supermarket throws up plenty of options for those looking for a quick pick-me-up – indulgent as well as healthy. Jostling for space with nachos and tortilla chips are peanut chikki bites, banana chips, Madras mixture murukku sticks, tapioca chips from Sweet Karam Coffee, pepper murukku, banana chips, peanut chikki and karela chips from VS Mani & Co, tangy chickpea, ripe jackfruit chips, sweet potato chips, beetroot chips and okra chips from To Be Honest, multigrain mixtures in cheesy cheese and lemony mint flavours from Fit & Flex among others. 

When the Bombay Sweet Shop opened in Mumbai, its focus was to bring back the magic of mithai. However, in the last three years, they have expanded their product portfolio to include Chilli Cheese Bhujia, Peri Peri Potato Salli, Chatpata Kairi Mixture and Jughead’s Sour Cream and Onion Potato Salli among other savouries. The diversification, says Sameer Seth, founder and CEO of Hunger Inc Hospitality, was always part of the plan. “In a traditional sense, a sweet shop would offer both sweet and savoury, so that was always the intention,” he says. They launched this category with the Bombay Bhel Chikki, which offered the sweetness, saltiness and crunchiness of a bhelpuri in the form of a chikki


Like everything else they do at Bombay Sweet Shop, the savouries are rooted in tradition as well. “We reimagine the traditional for today’s generation. So, a traditional potato salli is available in flavours such as Peri Peri and sour cream and onion. We took a traditional bhujiya and added a chilli cheese flavour to it which has nostalgia written all over it,” he says. 

With a country as diverse as India where languages, dialects and cuisines change every few hundred kilometres, how can its snacks remain the same? 

Founded in 2009, Adukale’s ready-to-eat foods and blended spices take their customers on a culinary journey that reflects the rich heritage of the Sankethi community. Encompassing the unique tastes from Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, Adukale’s snacks include different types of Kodabale fried to golden perfection or a variety of crunchy murukku seasoned with cumin, sesame seeds and spices, and zesty Congress Kadlekai, these snacks not only satisfy hunger but becomes an irresistible indulgence for mid-meal snacks. 

Bharat Kaushik, director and CEO, says that during their R&D phase, they witnessed a lack of traditional Karnataka snacks readily available for consumers. “There was an untapped market for snacks that went beyond chips and spice-laden savoury range of products,” he shares one of the key reasons they ventured into the snacks category. 


For years, we have not known banana chips to be available in any other flavour except for, well, as banana chips. However, unlike other snack brands, Kerala-based Beyond Snack aims to stand out with their focus on banana chips—a niche they excel in. Their flavours? Everything from a Peri Peri to sour cream onion & parsley to hot & sweet chilli to desi masala! “Our goal is to make our banana chips a household name globally, aligning with our vision of promoting healthier, cleaner snacking options,” says Manas Madhu, co-founder of Beyond Snack. 


According to the recently-published Godrej Food Trends Report 2023, Indians have always viewed snacks as relatively guilt-free, attributed perhaps because of their notionally smaller portion size as compared to a meal. 

“No surprise then that the snack aisle, both online and offline, has hit peak innovation and customisation, with something for every requirement, be it convenience, health, or diet-specific options. From vegan and sugar-free ice creams, to high-protein khakhra, millet pops, makhana and baked chips in every flavour imaginable, gluten-free snacks and millet cookies, FMCGs, small businesses, and home chefs are all converting health into convenience,” states the report. 

Mindful munching has its fans, as it should. With consumers making healthier eating choices, snack brands too are using quality ingredients combined with enhanced cooking techniques to deliver on the health factor. 

Beyond Snack, for instance, sources its Nendran bananas directly from farmers in Kerala and its neighbours, blending tradition with innovation in our processing to minimise human touch. “Our cooking process is a game-changer, cutting down traditional cooking times drastically and producing chips with 20 per cent less fat. But our hallmark is freshness—bananas become chips within 24 hours of harvest, locking in the fresh flavour and ensuring a lighter, uniformly crisp snack,” says Madhu. Their most recent offering - Kerala Banana Chips in Coconut Oil is specially designed for health-conscious snackers. 

No matter how in-depth the research and delicious the snacks, if the packaging screams ‘BORING’ in capital letters, then the consumer’s eyes are bound to stray towards a more attractive-looking brand. 

“Packaging plays a crucial role for us, as it is often the first point of contact between our brand and the consumer,” says Kaushik, adding that their attractive and informative packaging not only grabs the attention of consumers but also conveys quality and authenticity of their products. Madhu couldn’t agree more. “It's about creating a visual and tactile appeal that stands out on the shelves, making our products instantly recognizable and enticing to potential buyers. Moreover, we focus on packaging that is eco-friendly and practical, aligning with the growing consumer preference for sustainability,” he says. 

Over the years, Bombay Sweet Shop’s colourful packaging has stood out for its innovative designs and element of fun. “There is a lot of storytelling that happens through our packaging; even in the way we combine our sweets and savouries in hampers, there is always a story behind the design and that’s something which is critical to our way of thinking,” adds Seth. 

Suffice to say that the Indian snack consumer has never had it so good. On that happy note, pass me some murukku!  

Photo: Sweet Karam Coffee; Featured Brands