ITC Foods to focus more on regional markets and flavours

Launches ready-to-drink juices in the South

January 14, 2015 12:53 am | Updated 12:53 am IST - BENGALURU:

ITC's 'B Natural' range of products.

ITC's 'B Natural' range of products.

ITC Foods, the food division of Kolkata-headquartered conglomerate ITC, is planning to look at more regional markets and regional-flavoured foods to increase the market share.

The move to look at a regional focus is part of the company's vision to generate revenue of Rs.1 lakh crore from FMCG businesses alone by 2030.

In a move to increase the share in the food category, the company on Monday launched its branded ready-to-drink juices under the brand B Natural in the South. In May last, the company had acquired city-based Balan Natural Food Pvt. Ltd.’s B Natural brand.

With this launch, ITC is planning to compete in a market that is dominated by major players such as Dabur and PepsiCo India.“In India, juice is considered as a snacking item. Generally, juices are seen as healthy, but people are looking at the taste also. We are new to this business, and we are competing with many major players. We want to create a good market share in the business,” said Foods Division Chief Executive Chitranjan Dar.

As part of the initial roll-out, ITC will take its branded juices in the southern market. The juices, which are available in seven variants, will be made available pan-India by March. The company aims to garner around 10-11 per cent of the country's branded ready-to-drink juice market within a year of the pan-India launch. The juices and nectars category in India is estimated to be Rs.2,400 crore, with an annual growth of over 20 per cent. “We see a good business opportunity in the South. In the South, we believe that there is unfulfilled needs and demand for juice. We want to garner a market share of 20-25 per cent in the South,” added Mr. Dar.

Apart from the juice business, the company is aiming to enter the dairy business soon. The company is setting up a dairy plant in Munger in Bihar, which is expected to be functional within a couple of months. In the initial phase, ITC plans to launch dairy products such as milk powder and ghee. Eventually, it will launch tetra packed milk, yogurt, among others.

“We are setting up a dairy plant in Munger. We aim to be a comprehensive food company, and the new products are part of the move,” said Mr. Dar.

In 2013-14, the branded packaged food business, which is part of the ITC non-cigarette FMCG segment, had a revenue of Rs.5,700 crore.

Under the branded packaged food business, the company sells biscuits, snacks, confectionery, atta, ready-to-eat food, and instant noodles, among others.

ITC Foods is also planning to focus on the ready-to-eat segment with its Ashirvad brand and Kitchensofindia. At present, the ready-to-eat business is primarily focused on the export market.

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