ID’s coffee decoction hopes to take on Nestle, Bru


Connoisseurs feel South Indian filter coffee can be authentic only with decoction. ID Fresh Food, which has become quite a household name with idli, dosa and most recently vada batter, is trying to enter that market with readymade coffee decoction.

It will compete with coffee decoction brands like Bayars, TrueSouth and Madcaf. But ID hopes to also wean consumers away from coffee powder makers like Nescafe and Bru.

“Just like vadas, filter coffee has nearly disappeared from our homes. Today, instant coffee has become the norm. No one has the time to select graded Arabica and Robusta coffee beans, chicory; get them roasted, ground and then left to steep in boiling water the previous night. We are hoping our filter decoction will have the taste of grandma’s hand. We’ve done two years of research,” said PC Musthafa, cofounder & CEO of ID Fresh.

When ID Fresh started making idli batter in 2005, one of their first hurdles was scaling up. Grinders commercially available had a capacity to grind only between 3 litres and 10 litres of batter. ID needed a grinder with a capacity to grind 1,000 litres or more. There was nothing like this in the world. So they designed and built their own grinders.

It was the same with vada. ID created a vada maker whose nozzle design took months of research before it could make the perfect round vada with a hole in the centre.

“Now, with coffee, it’s the same thing. South Indians are very fussy and particular about the taste of their filter coffee. We wanted to stick with our 100% natural tagline. So in lieu of using additives to extending shelf life, we came up with a unique vacuum-sealing technology for our packs. Our shelf life, just because of our uniquely designed 3D pack, is three months. Home made filter coffee decoction, depending on the weather, has a shelf life of just 1-2 days,” Musthafa said.

The product has been launched in individual (20 ml) and family pack (150 ml) sachets. ID Fresh expects vada and coffee to become their biggest revenue spinners next year. “Both items are difficult to make to perfection, unless one is an expert, so we are betting on them. Last year, we saw total revenue of Rs 186 crore and this year we expect to do Rs 250 crore, of which we hope coffee would be 20%,” said Musthafa.