Last Updated on December 10, 2020 by Novotaste
Rage Coffee, the brainchild of Bharat Sethi, may have been named keeping in mind millennial parlance, but there’s more that lies beneath.
In 2018, Sethi, a veteran marketer and brand strategist, was frustrated. “I wanted to start a native FMCG brand, with a strong digital presence, and so was trying to figure out what category we could get into,” recalls the 30-year-old Delhiite.
Worse still, after having gotten his caffeine kick in over 20 countries, Sethi was back home in India, where classic is about as exciting as regular coffee gets.
“It was annoying to see even the supermarket brands that are present in India have only one variant, but have dozens of offerings abroad. And let’s not even get started on the stuff served at QSR café brands or those office machines,” he grates.
Something clicked (probably his French Press), and Sethi got into researching the Indian coffee market. Sethi found the market lacking in not just one, but several parameters. “Blue Tokai had just started operations, but the homegrown gourmet Indian coffee market was practically non-existent, and is still very nascent,” says Sethi, of a tea-dominated domestic market in which, some studies show only 14 per cent have even a nodding acquaintance with coffee.
“We boiled down to Indian coffee consumers’ main concerns to two factors: aroma/taste; and the kick it gives you,” explains Sethi, adding that, after several blind tastings and group reviews, his team had the former on lock, but, because they didn’t want to spike their product with additives needed to improve the latter. “After a lot of research, we identified, and fortified our product with, six plant derivatives, which enriches it with vitamins and give it that kick you need, without the bitterness. We also have our own patent-pending process of ‘small batch crystallisation’ that no one else in the world is doing, which enhances the coffee’s intensity,” says Sethi, pointing out that the brand is vegan-friendly, gluten-free, and nature-considerate.
“We are especially proud of our in-house designed, proprietary, ready-to-mix coffee vials/shots that are easy to carry to work or to the gym, and which means you can enjoy a great cup of coffee anywhere without having to fork out hundreds of bucks for it,” asserts Sethi adding, “The best thing is that the vials are biodegradable in their entirety, not even the stickers have even a trace of plastic.”
Rage, which began to boil over in earnest in 2019, has close to 200,000 people now drinking Sethi’s coffee. “It would be hard to quantify at this point, but we have easily sent out more than 5L products, and only about a 100 people have taken advantage of our ‘no questions asked’ refund policy so far,” says Sethi, adding that the brand has increased business five-fold since the pandemic began.
The brand has five flavours: ‘Rage Coffee: Original’, ‘Irish Hazelnut’, ‘Créme Caramel’, ‘Sparky Orange’, and ‘Dark Chocolate,’ with Sethi noting that the Hazelnut has become their best-seller. This month, Rage will launch four new flavours, an unprecedented move for a brand in times of financial crises, but also testament to the confidence Sethi has in its product.
Source: Reaching the boiling point