Interview With Joseph Jose, Partner, Meron Group

-B Swaminathan (publisher@chefbharath.com)

Kochi based Marine Hydrocolloids is a leading exporter and market leader of quality Agar Agar in India. The company is the exclusive supplier of Agar to many MNC’S and also to 90% of the commercial tissue culture laboratories in India and several leading laboratories across the world. The parent company Meron group exports products to South America, Europe, CIS & Russia, Africa, Middle East, South East Asia, USA, Far East, and Australia.  The product is available in retail stores,  restaurants, and individual caterers. Joseph Jose, Partner, Meron Group, carries out the operations of the company with care, giving special focus in developing systems. He is the management representative for the quality systems of the group and in a quick chat with ChefBharath.com, he speaks on his expansion plans.

What are the key products you have and what are the key pain points of chefs you solve?

The key products we offer is Agar-Agar, Spreadable Agar-Agar – WONDER GEL, Carrageenan & Sealife (Seaweed Powder)
which includes vegetarian gelling, stabilizing & thickening agents. The pain points that the chefs had were that these were all chemicals earlier and we are offering a plant-based solution that is safe for human consumption. All our products make it easier for chefs to make products suitable for vegetarian, vegan and for all religious communities for making desserts, bakery products, confectioneries as well as dairy (yogurts, chocolate milk etc.)

What are the key USPs of your product and how is it different from others?

The key USPs of our products is that it is all plant-based products suitable for vegan, vegetarian, and all religious communities, and we also have all certifications such as Halal, Kosher, GMP, HACCP & Vegan. We also follow good manufacturing practices in our production unit and we are approved suppliers to several multinational food and pharma companies.

What are the key trends you notice among Indian bakers and how your products can meet their expectations?

The key trends that we noticed with Indian bakers are that they are all on the lookout for natural and plant-based stabilizers having high fiber content and all our products meet the above criteria. Indian bakers are averse to chemical alternatives, keeping in mind the health of the community.

How affordable are your products and what are the measures you take on not compromising the quality?

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Our products are reasonably priced and we do not compromise on the quality of our products as we follow good manufacturing practices since our products go to hotels, restaurants, caterers, plant tissue culture labs, microbiology as well as pharma application. A compromise on quality is detrimental to us. Over the years we have earned the trust of customers.

Post this COVID-19 crisis, many will be looking forward to having products that give importance to physical and personal hygiene. How are you maintaining through your solutions?

We follow all the protocols as advised by WHO as well as state and central government with regard to the physical and personal hygiene of our employees, factory and office premises. We are practicing minimal employees on the factory floor, staff attendance in rotation, periodic sanitization as per Govt guidelines and other stringent measures to ensure the safety of our employees and products.

 What are the expansion plans of your organization?

We are entering into the retail segments and all our products are available online through our website www.indiaagar.com and other portals like Amazon. Meron Agar Agar is available in the following link  https://amzn.to/2Lk410g We have set up a food lab where we help customers in product development, testing, and making new recipes. This lab was a need of the hour as customers want to test the actual product. We work hand in hand with them to realize their output.

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