Crossing the pineapple business, Brotani Ventures (Brotani) on Instagram, I imagined trying to attract a younger segment of Malaysia for its vibrant, contemporary brand.
“Contemporary and vibrancy are where we want to be, because we want to make the idea of healthy eating fun,” his team told Vulcan Post.
But healthy eating is not all that Brotani addresses, as it also aims to contribute to one of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through sustainable farming methods.
Turn products into products
Brotani is the brainchild of high school classmates, Aizat, Hakim, Izz and Burhan, who promote the benefits of MD2 pineapples. The MD2 breed is said to be rich in vitamin C, among other types of nutrients.
To their advantage, these pineapples are of a breed that is easy to plant and can produce more yield compared to normal pineapples. This is because they are naturally immune to disease and support twice as many pacifiers compared to other pineapple breeds.
Dictionary time: Suckers or young are small seedlings that grow between the leaves of the ripe pineapple. When they are removed, more pineapples will come out.
MD2 pineapples also do not require an irrigation system and can depend solely on rainwater as a water source. An irrigation system is where crops are artificially irrigated through artificial canals, ditches, etc.
To implement sustainable agricultural practices in your business, the team guarantees to limit food waste to the maximum. They can do it completely optimizing the use of the fruit, turning it into other forms of products like his juices pressed in cold, pineapple files to increase its use.
If the pineapples are too ripe and cannot be used in a product, they are fed to the computer village hens which are sold under a different brand called Boys & Chicks.
The range of products from the beginning consists of MD2 pineapples sold as whole fruits that cost between RM8-RM15 depending on their weight and sliced pineapples (for the convenience of consumers) to RM10. Cold-pressed juices, which are Brotani’s best-seller, cost € 14.
Navigation for travel restrictions
Although the idea of starting a pineapple business began in July 2020, Brotani was only launched in February 2021. It began its beginnings as a simple pineapple supplier for customers, with the concept of farm in table.
“One of the ways we collected the orders was through agents in the offices. But when MCO 2.0 passed, this inevitably disrupted our distribution there, as most offices had to operate almost entirely from home, ”the team shared.
From this hiccup, Brotani’s team thought it could diversify by supplying its products to stores, as pineapples fall into the needs that could be sold through essential services. Therefore, in addition to selling pineapples online, Brotani also distributes to more than 20 local independent supermarkets, including OlaMart, Buah, Olive Grocer and Durianba.
His team has reported an average monthly sales of about 6 tonnes of pineapples and they now have a farm in Bukit Cerakah.
Over the next 2 years, Brotani aims to incorporate sustainable practices into its operations of at least 60%, contributing to one of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The reason their goal is set at 60% first is that they currently do not have access to affordable sustainable practices such as farming methods, commercial packaging and waste management.
While it may increase the cost of their products, perhaps the team could look for more sustainable packaging by changing plastic juice bottles to glass. In doing so, they could initiate an initiative to collect these empty bottles and provide discounts / rebates to customers on the next purchase.
However, as the company is still in its infancy and trying to penetrate the market, it suggests that keeping costs low for end users can help build a brand presence. Once they have earned customers ’trust in the quality of their products, loyalists may be more willing to pay higher prices for more sustainable packaging.
“As short-term players, we should build slowly. In doing so, we would inadvertently cross some checkpoints, such as selling in commercial supermarkets and expanding the business overseas, ”the Brotani team hopefully shared.
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The pineapple juice market is by no means a blue ocean; it is an extremely popular market full of different players. No wonder Malaysia is abundant with pineapples, to the point that we have found more sustainable and creative ways to handle waste, such as turning pineapple leaves into drones.
At the same time, social enterprises have jumped into the pineapple market as a way to benefit the less privileged in Malaysia through entrepreneurship programs, indicating how easy it is to enter the market with fruit products.
With COVID-19 and growing concerns about maintaining health, pineapple juice has also become a popular healthy drink option, with MarketResearch showing hopeful growth projection for the juice market.
This points to a higher consumption of juice in general, so that with proper marketing in the right channels, Brotani will not be difficult to attract more customers. Their strong leverage on Instagram as a way to reach their crowd and their matching brand to attract the younger, health-conscious market are already a good start.
- You can find more information about Brotani Ventures here.
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Featured Image Credit: Brotani Ventures Team