Ever wonder how we decide on our menu? Who makes that decision? How many hands and heads are responsible for creating perfect dishes?
Well, we have a dedicated R&D team whose big aim is to come up with recipes that are not only healthy, but will also keep you coming back for more. This team of chefs and nutrition experts puts their heads together for everything from innovating dishes and figuring out the right balance of nutrients to ensure that only the perfect recipe makes it to the menu. They are responsible for making sure that you can eat your favourite indulgent foods without any guilt.
How, you ask? The eat.fit philosophy is simple. We switch out some ingredients for their healthier counterparts, add some superfoods, remove processed ingredients, and make sure that your meal is balanced at a macro and micro level.
We’re able to help you dodge all those bad calories by avoiding the use of maida, refined sugar, hydrogenated oils, processed foods, or deep frying in our meals.
What’s next on the menu?
There’s a whole bunch of factors R&D considers before picking the next dish on the menu. We are fraught with diverse cultures, food preparation styles, taste preferences, local delicacies and more. Now layer that with the complexity of population migration from different states — migration of regional cuisines, cultures, and even food habits, all of which influence our food choices & demands. Take street food for example — it has seen an influx of fusion foods and innovation, with cheese Maggi, Schezwan dosa & Mexican chaat etc.
The R&D team thus studies buying behaviours, regional expectations and more before picking the next item on the menu. Once they’ve finalised an item, the R&D team puts together a great recipe that follows our food philosophy.
Let’s walk you through the entire journey of a crowd favourite — Nutty Dates Pudding! It all started back in 2017 when we were getting great feedback about the sweet little Superfoods Of The Day. Slowly, the fondness for this pseudo-dessert turned into a demand for our very own dessert line.
The R&D team picked an indulgent regional dessert, popularly known as ‘lapsi’ in Rajasthan, made from wheat flour, sugar, jaggery, milk and pure desi ghee. Their challenge was to create an eat.fit version of this sweet while ensuring the taste & calorie count were not compromised.
They started with cutting out the desi ghee, using whole wheat flour and choosing jaggery over sugar. But this still didn’t fit the ideal calorie range we were aiming for. They then replaced milk with coconut milk, because it has a natural creaminess & sweetness, which allowed them to make up for the lack of ghee and also to cut down on the jaggery. The recipe was further optimised by replacing a part of the jaggery with pureed dates. This added texture and sweetness while reducing total calorie count. The way the recipe evolved, eat.fit ended up with a whole new dessert they decided to call the Nutty Dates Pudding! They now had what they believed was a winning recipe.
Like our Head Chef Anjan says, “We love developing healthy, high quality and appealing recipes as per our consumers’ desires. All our products in the menu are well-positioned to cater to health-conscious people. We do this by incorporating healthier, cleaner, zero-processed and chemical free food. We do not restrict our products to just so called ‘healthy options’. Rather, we try to innovate on India’s favourite dishes like Biryani, Dal Makhni, etc.“
The Taste Test
Once the R&D team has figured out the recipe begins the real test. Oh yes, these dishes don’t just make it to the menu without being tried, tested and critiqued; over and over again. The first and the most brutal test is one where all of us at the Bengaluru HQ taste these meals. These tasting sessions bring out our inner Gordon Ramsay and we won’t shy away from giving honest feedback.
Based on our detailed feedback, the R&D folks go back to the drawing board and make corrections to textures, flavours or any other major feedback points. This cycle continues until the HQ determines the winning recipe. And sometimes, these recipes don’t even get to cross that stage.
To give you an idea, on average, about 70 recipe innovations are undertaken every quarter. Out of these, only about 15 -18 dishes actually make it to the menu.
The case was no different for the nutty dates pudding. It went through 13 tasting cycles and tweaks as opposed to the average 7 cycles before we closed in on the final recipe.
The market test
Next, we launch these dishes in specific areas for a few days. We gauge the market by recording customer ratings and feedback. We then incorporate these insights into the final dish, before launching it in wider markets.
Our customer team keeps a vigilant eye out for common customer inputs and grievances. All insights and suggestions are passed on to the R&D team, and the whole process repeats itself until we get to the perfect recipe.
Once we have 100% confidence in the recipe, it gets launched to a wider market and more of you see these new items on your menu.
The Nutty Dates Pudding, for example, started receiving feedback about its texture being a little chalky and that the dessert was not sweet enough. We quickly realised that this chalkiness was caused by the texture of pureed dates. To address this feedback, we cut down the puree to 50% and used the remaining dates for garnish. These garnishes made every bite sweeter without compromising on calorie count! We rolled out the new version of this recipe and all the feedback was positive! We finally had the perfect recipe.
Get set. Reset!
Now that we’ve rolled out a few good dishes, we take it easy, right? WRONG. We start all over again — onto our next mission of bringing you healthier versions of your favourite indulgent foods.
How does the idea of mac & cheese sound to you?
Written by Esha Savla. Edited by Nrithya Randhir.