Food startup Karkli looks to automate growth

Posted on 9 Sep 2013 by The Manufacturer

Food startup Karkli, a manufacturer of Indian themed bar snacks, has said it may have to look to India as it attempts to automate its way to further success.

The snack, which is made from lentils and is marketed as a healthier bar food alternative to crisps and salted peanuts, has already won business with microbreweries including Thornbridge and Buxton following a showcasing of its product at last month’s Craft Beer Festival in the capital.

Its founder, Kumar Kolar, who developed the idea from a popular Indian food that he currently produces from Sheffield with his family, said the next stage is to automate its product in order to enhance production volume.

“That’s the big challenge at the moment because there’s lots of steps to making it, but if there is the wrong balance or temperature, then the product comes out wrong,” he said.

“While myself and my mother are still producing it by hand in Sheffield, it is very time consuming so the next step is commission a machine to automate the process as it is really taking off.”

Mr Kolar said that while he would ideally look for UK automation, he doesn’t believe the technology or machinery expertise exists in this country, due to the product’s scarceness in the UK market.

Having only set up earlier this year but with customers already including the Thornbridge and Buxton microbreweries, Mr Kolar said he may have to look for India in order to meet demands.

“It’d be nice to work with someone over here, but there are lots of companies in India that make the machinery, so it may be a case of importing it.”