As good as homemade

Tata Sampann’s range of all-natural chutneys — spicy tomato, date tamarind and Chinese — combine the taste and richness you find in homemade versions with the convenience of buying a packaged food. They are completely free of preservatives and artificial colours.

“We wanted to make Tata Sampann chutneys as tasty as homemade ones,” says Jyoti Patankar (pictured below), assistant general manager, spices category, Consumer Products Business.

“Getting the taste right involved visiting homes of women who are experts in traditional cooking and who can provide deep insights into the regional palettes of India. The quality of ingredients used is “top-notch”, and natural sources were identified to substitute flavouring agents and colours.

The factor responsible for keeping the chutneys chemical-free is Retort technology. In Retort packaging, food is subjected to extremely high pressure and temperatures, thereby killing all microbes and pathogens. “This technology is used in a lot of foods that are exported. What we did was apply it to chutney, which nobody had done before.”

Even pilot testing the chutneys involved an out-of-the-box approach. The team visited homes of potential customers, where the chutneys were sampled with an accompaniment food — tamarind chutney with pani puri or bhel, or tomato chutney with samosas.
The chutneys are the first liquid product in the company’s consumer products business and have a six-month shelf life.  They could be a game-changer in the market. Jyoti says they potentially represent an alternative to the sauces and spreads category, which is low on health quotient, and full of preservatives, chemicals and artificial ingredients.