Amul Looks to Expand in East India
Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF) that makes Amul milk will invest Rs.250crore to set up the biggest processing plant near Kolkata. The plant will serve Kolkata and its vicinity and will produce milk and lassi and have a capacity of 10lakh litres of milk a day. They will also make processed products like yoghurt, ice cream and butter for the whole of East India. FMCG analysts see this as a move to counter ITC Ltd. which is to begin its dairy business in Munger, Bihar. ITC’s move to capture the dairy market space in the East involves making products similar to what Amul makes.
GCMMF has been sourcing milk form West Bengal and Bihar since the past 3 years and have found the quality of milk to be better than that of Gujarat. They say that the perception that WB milk lacks protein is false. Apart from Gujarat, GCMMF procures and processes milk at Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Bengal. GCMMF’s plans to invest Rs 5,000 crore over the next three years to expand its capacity and includes a similar plan for Faridabad. With a turnover of Rs.18,000crore in 2013-14 GCMMF hopes to make a turnover of Rs 50,000crore by 2020.
PizzaExpress Launches First Restaurant in Delhi
New Delhi’s Ambience Mall gets the first PizzaExpress restaurant in India and another restaurant is slated to be opened in Ambience Mall, Gurgaon. In the next 5 years, the QSR premium casual dining chain is likely to open another 50 restaurants. Atrium Restaurants India has brought the global restaurant chain into the country and is looking to become a benchmark in the pizza sector.
PizzaExpress had opened its first restaurant in India in 2012 in Mumbai which grew to six restaurants . Since Italian cuisine is the third most preferred cuisine after Indian and Chinese foods, the restaurant chain is planning to take advantage of this high demand for Italian foods and expand swiftly. CAGR estimates that casual dining is growing at over 18% in the organised food chain segment.
AB InBev and RJ Corp part Ways
Anheuser-Busch InBev and joint venture partner RJ Corp. are parting ways. Presently the Belgian brewing and beverages company sells Budweiser and Corona beer but is planning for long term expansion in India and hope to increase their portfolio of brands once they begin independent operations. Market experts suggest that going alone is likely to raise the profile of Anheuser-Busch InBev in the beer market in India, which is estimated at 270-280 million cases per annum.
The partnership between AB InBev and RJ Corp began in 2007 when RJ Corp agreed to bottle and distribute AB InBev’s popular beer brand Budweiser and also import beer brands like Stella Artois, Leffe and Hoegaarden. Ravi Jaipuria-owned RJ Corp will get between $100 million and $150 million after the split. The split is mutual and is mainly due to RJ Corp.’s concentration on its PepsiCo bottling business and fast food ventures.
Centre Asks State Governments to Lift Restrictions on Ethanol
The Centre had modified the Ethanol Blending Policy (EBP) some time back to allow 5% blending of ethanol in petrol. In order to improve the finances of the sugar industry the Food and Consumer Affairs Minister, Ram Vilas Paswan has urged state governments to lift the restrictions on supply of ethanol. This move will come as a respite for sugarcane farmers and they would also be able to get arrears due to them if the sugar industry is able to sell ethanol easily.
Various restrictions on the interstate movement of ethanol work as barriers. Suppliers have to get NOC from the state excise authorities along with permits from dispatching and receiving states. There is a levy on molasses and non-levy molasses are also regulated. Octroi duty is imposed at the boundaries of states when ethanol enters or leaves a state and even in municipal limits. Mr. Paswan has asked the state governments to remove these barriers so that the sugar sector can work towards better financial health.
Fortified Oils Serve no Advantage in Indian Cooking
FSSAI has had to defer the issue of compulsory fortification of vegetable oils with vitamins after the oil industry opposed the move. The Solvent Extractors Association (SEA) of India is of the opinion that in India edible oil is mostly used for cooking and frying. Vitamins are lost or they disintegrate and so oil has no value addition with fortified vitamins. Added vitamins only make the oil more expensive and burdensome for the consumer.
Also there are many medium and small scale millers who do not have the equipment to carry out the compulsory fortification suggested by FSSAI. The SEA is of the opinion that proper research needs to be carried out in this matter before vitamins can be added to Indian edible oils.