Snapshots of Food Industry News
Ruchi Soya sells stake in Ruchi Kagome Foods India
The FMCG firm, Ruchi Soya has sold their entire stake in the joint venture that was composed of various companies for Rs.63 crore. They have already entered into a Termination Agreement and Share Purchase Agreement with Kagome Co and others which composed the joint venture Ruchi Kagome Foods India. It was in 2013 only that Ruchi Soya had decided to partner with various firms in a Joint Venture that included Japanese firms Kagome Co (a Japanese tomato company), as well as Mitsui &Co (an investment and trading firm).
The Joint Venture was to launch premium tomato puree, sauces, ketchup and various other products in India. At the same time Ruchi Soya had also tied up with J- Oil Mills and Toyota Tsusho Corporation to launch innovative products like healthy cooking oils. DJ Hendrick, the Canadian Research firm, was to offer high yielding non-GM soya seed varieties to farmers in India. Ruchi is a leading manufacturer of edible oils, soy foods like Nutrela, premium table spreads, bakery fats and owns brands like Mahakosh, Sunrich and Ruchi Gold.
Coke unveils packaged drinking water BonAqua
The market for bottled drinking water is getting competitive with the launch of Coca-Cola’s BonAqua. The soft drink maker has priced BonAqua at par with its Kinley so as to be able to retain customers though BonAqua is a premium mineral water brand in other countries. Coca Cola has relaunched Kinley and priced it at Rs.13 to 15 a bottle and BonAqua has been priced at is Rs.13 as well. Earlier the company had planned to have a brand that was slightly lower than their Shweppes but a little better than Kinley but changed their minds as they wanted to retain marketing focus on Kinley, their best known brand. BonAqua has been launched in select markets and is still at the testing stage.
India’s packaged water market is estimated at Rs.1, 500 crore and is growing by 25 percent a year. The premium water market that fetches a higher margin is a mere 2 percent of the entire market. The premium segment is dominated by Tata’s Mount Everest Mineral Water (MEMW) with about 85 percent of market share. Coca Cola could introduce more changes in BonAqua by introducing flavoured water extensions as these as well as carbonated versions are sold in 30 countries in flavours such as apple, cranberry, lime etc. In the European market it has a premium position as compared to regular packaged water. In comparison Kinley is sold only in India, Bangladesh, Bulgaria, Maldives and Nigeria.
Starbucks to launch mobile app and loyalty app in India
Starbucks entered India in 2012 and has already set ip 80 stores and planning to hit the century mark by year end. The company has also been working to launch its mobile app and loyalty app in India. Through the app Starbucks coffee will allow customers to make payment and participate in ‘My Starbucks Rewards’ programme. Through the app customers will be able to locate the nearest outlet and menu availability. This app will convenience customers who will be able to pre-order before they reach the stores and will prevent wait time. Using the app to pre-order will fetch them loyalty stars which they can encash free drinks later at any store. In 2014 Starbuck had launched its mobile payment app in the US which it is now planning to bring to other countries as well.
How will the CSE report on use of potassium bromate affect Quick Service Restaurants?
Shares of quick service restaurants like Domino’s and McDonald’s fell after reports that the burger buns and pizza breads at their food outlets contained carcinogenic chemicals like potassium bromate and potassium iodate. The Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) tested a number of breads in Delhi and a vast majority of packaged breads were found to have residues of these chemicals. CSE said that it found potassium bromate or potassium iodate in the range of 1.15 to 22.54ppm in sandwich bread, pav, bun and white brands. While these additives are permitted by FSSAI in India they have been banned in a number of countries. The World Health Organisation has termed potassium bromate as a possible carcinogen but it has been found in most Indian bread.
Out of bakery products tested, only the various breads from Defence Bakery showed no residues of these additives. Perfect Bread was the only manufacturer that showed the use of potassium bromate on their label. KFC, Pizza Hut, Domino’s, Subway, and McDonald’s that sell pizzas and burgers were found to have residues of these in their burger and pizza bread. McDonald’s India said that they do not use potassium bromate or potassium iodate in flour or other ingredients that goes into their buns and called the CSE claims baseless. Britannia Industries has also denied use of these chemicals and so have Pizza Hut, Green House, Subway and Hardcastle Restaurants. In view of the CSE report the Health Minister, JP Nadda has said that there is no need to panic and has asked FSSAI to present a report at the earliest. In the meantime FSSAI has delisted potassium bromate as a permissible additive and is examining potassium iodate more closely before taking a decision.