Mumbai-based Fruzzanté, a brainchild of Priyanka Save and her husband, Nagesh Pai is the world’s first and only producer of cider-style alco-bev made from chikoo (sapodilla). Under their leadership, Fruzzanté has produced over 25,000 bottles since the wine’s launch on New Year’s Eve of 2017. The brewery is a part of their family’s Hill Zill Resort in Bordi, 25 km from Dahanu in Maharashtra. It is instrumentally aided by Dominic Rivard, an award-winning winemaker, and cider specialist, from Nova Scotia in Canada.
Priyanka Save, the founder of Fruzzanté, says, “It all started with the desire to explore local fruit, coupled with the enthusiasm for entrepreneurship. Noting the trend of healthy choices in alcohol consumption by millennials, our penchant took shape in Fruzzanté, the first-of-its-kind homegrown range of 100% sparkling fruit alcoholic beverages.”
Sparkling alcoholic beverage from farm-fresh fruits
According to Save, Fruzzanté is the only brand in the Indian market, producing 100% fruit-base, vegan, and gluten-free drinks catering to the conscious choice of young drinkers, who are always willing to explore something new. Thus Fruzzanté presents a sparkling alcoholic beverage, which is carefully distilled and uniquely crafted with farm-fresh local fruit like pineapple, strawberry, star fruit, mango, and chikoo with a mere 7% alcohol. Fruzzanté has plans to launch Orange Fruzzanté soon.
She also reveals Fruzzanté’s Spice Garden series, a combination of cinnamon, ginger, and honey, along with Arka (Honey mead) in the alcoholic beverage range. According to her, Fruzzanté products are well received in the market, with excellent customer feedback.
R&D and innovation at Fruzzanté
Save states, “Our USP lies in varied flavors from farm-fresh fruit like Chikoo to start with and then going to mango, starfruit, strawberry, pineapple, and orange. The products are brewed using advanced technologies, mingled with the traditional method of wine-making. This unique crafting ensures proper ripening of fruit, maintaining their rich nutrients and fiber, resulting in the finest aroma, quality as well as taste.”
Save says that before launching Fruzzanté, the team performed extensive research of the liquor industry, its needs, market trends, and consumption patterns. The study helped them to innovate their products and evolve in terms of new offerings and manufacturing qualities.
On the other hand, she also admits that brewing the Chikoo based drink has been the company’s first unique offering in the world. “The idea was to process Chikoo into a packaged form, but Chikoo, which is highly perishable, easy to ferment and is itself sufficient to make alcohol, we opted to go ahead with a cider-style beverage.” She also recalls, “To retain the original flavor of the fruit without adding any external flavor and doing justice to the original composition itself took a lot of time. However, we can proudly say today that we have managed to deliver our best.”
Farm to bottle
To help farmers and support regional agro-economy, the company procures fruit directly from farmers. At Fruzzante, the brewing process takes place in technologically advanced chambers that control the natural ripening of fruit and solve issues of uneven ripening, retaining the right PH levels, and the uniform ripening and shelf-life of the fresh fruit. Furthermore, the impeller pumps and fermentation tanks installed at the production plant have the least sun exposure, which in turn helps to save power.
Save admits that food safety is an integral part of their business. At Fruzzanté, food safety in terms of sterile conditions and hygiene is taken care of by implementing automatic temperature-controlled systems, cooling jackets, and ozonation.
Started from Mumbai, the company now has a presence in Pune, Nagpur, Satara, Solapur, and other centers. “Our philosophy will remain from farm to bottle, and we are slowly planning to add more fruit and variants to the range we offer. In the coming five years, we plan to reach out to all the major metro cities, and hopefully, we will start with exports too,” she concludes.