Snapshots of Food Industry News
Pepsi Black – Zero Sugar Cola to be Launched by PepsiCo
PepsiCo, the beverages, and snacks giant will soon be launching Pepsi Black, which contains zero sugar and is especially suited to the tastes of the health conscious. Initially, this product will be available only in cans and may later be expanded into other packaging formats. PepsiCo believes that their product will provide stiff competition to Coke Zero. Recent trends have shown that consumer preferences are shifting towards sugar-free beverages in India. The company has made a conscious decision to offer its consumer base a variety of choices of drinks to choose from, including the new Pepsi Black. PepsiCo has carried out a test run of Pepsi Black with Subway, the sandwich specialist, and plans to launch a new product every quarter.
Elior – The French Food Services Giant Enters India
Elior, the France-based food services giant has entered the Indian market with the acquisition of Megabite Food Services and C. Ramachandran Catering Ltd. (CRCL), both leaders in the contract catering industry. Elior has fully acquired Megabite and has a major stake in CRCL. The company now has over 3,500 employees and provides 1.35 lakh meals a day to the employees of companies like Godrej, Cisco, Visa, Microsoft, MRF, Daimler, Pfizer, and Shell. The company’s newly appointed CEO Sanjay Kumar hopes to generate an annual revenue to the tune of $100 million by 2020, through its acquisitions. Elior aims to create a footprint in India through its acquisition-driven consolidations, while at the same time focusing on quality, safety, and strengths of the acquisitions. It will compete with other major global players in a bid to gain market share in the largely unorganized and fragmented catering sector in India, which is currently worth $2.7 – 3.3 billion, with a growth at a CAGR exceeding 15%.
Kamats to Open 30 more Restaurants in 2017
Kamats Restaurants, the Mumbai-based restaurant chain, which currently has 50 outlets, is aiming for expansion by opening 30 more this year. Restaurants under the Kamats chain will open in Delhi, Gujarat, and Rajasthan, serving pure vegetarian food suited for the Indian palate. Kamats started its business in November 2013, and currently serves hygienic vegetarian food at various outlets on national highways, state highways and well as various cities. The company has since expanded its operations and has focused on standardizing its products and services through a system of centralized purchasing and training. Vikram Kamat, the company MD has high hopes for the Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill, coming into effect from July 1, 2017, and feels that this will be very beneficial for the restaurant industry. He opines that the way of doing business has changed dramatically over the past few years, with respect to engaging staff and attracting customers. However, Kamats’ traditional Indian cuisine has remained at the same high-quality standards, without any change.
Walmart Planning Expansions in India
Walmart, the global retail giant is planning to open 50 new stores across India over the next 3-4 years. Ten of these will be in Telangana, as per a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by the company with the Telangana government. The company currently has 21 stores in India, including one in Hyderabad. Incidentally, of the 10 stores coming-up in Telangana, 4 of these will be in Hyderabad alone. It will invest $10-12 million for each store which is likely to generate employment for 2,000 people, both directly and indirectly. Each of these stores is spread over 50,000 to 60,000 square feet and serves a staggering 300,000 consumer base and over 30,000 Kirana stores, which are small family-owned shops selling groceries and other sundries.
Walmart, with its presence in 28 countries, is committed to expanding its business in India, which has a vibrant economy to attract foreign investments. It plans to invest more in local communities, training of manpower, building business and developing suppliers. It also has plans to train farmers and empower women. The company is also looking out for Tier-II cities such as Nizamabad, Warangal, and Karimnagar to open its new stores. Walmart will work with establishments like hotels, offices, restaurants, caterers and kirana shops by offering highest quality products at low prices. The company currently sources 97% of its products within India. It is currently focusing on Telangana and Andhra Pradesh for its business expansion and has already signed a MoU with the latter. Later, it is considering expanding to other states like Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, and Maharashtra. It has already signed MoUs with Punjab and Haryana.
BigBasket to Supply and Procure Organic Produce
BigBasket, the online grocery store is looking to cooperate with two organic farmer’s federations to supply and procure organic produce. The company has agreed to the supply and procurement of millets of approximately 800 metric tonnes, valued at Rs. 14.5 crores from the Davangere and Chitradurga District Organic Farmers Federations. Additionally, the Uttara Kannada District Organic Farmers Federation has expressed interest to link-up with Big Basket for supply and procurement of 300 metric tonnes of organic spices valued at Rs. 12 crores. These tie-ups will benefit farmers who will get approximately 15-20% above the prevailing market prices. Big Basket aims to impart training to farmers with regard to grading, packaging and quality control.
This initiative will enable farmers to directly sell their produce to the consumers i.e. a “from-farmers-to-consumers” direct linkage will be set-up. This will be a win-win situation for both sides and may enable co-branding as well. This will expose marginal and small farmers to National level markets, which will be highly beneficial and uplifting for them. The government is also trying to rope-in Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) companies into investing in organic produce. The FMGC majors ITC and MTR have shown a keen interest in this regard, with a particular interest in millets.
New Flavoured Table Spreads Launched by Nutralite
Nutralite, India’s largest table spread brand has recently launched two varieties of spreads in delicious Garlic & Oregano and Pudina & Coriander flavors. These are made from natural herbs and spices and will be available at Rs. 42 (100 g pack) and Rs. 85 (200 g pack) respectively. Market research has indicated that consumers are preferring newer flavors while wanting to maintain a healthy diet. These findings have inspired Nutralite to come-up with the new flavors. The company already has a strong presence in the health sector with cholesterol-free products. Now, with its foray into producing a variety of flavors, is likely to woo the consumers. Nutralite, while expanding its variety of products, has also given a face-lift by way of introducing new and contemporary packaging formats. This will be coupled with new advertisement campaigns, both in the print and electronic media, which will feature star chef Sanjeev Kapoor, the brand ambassador for Nutralite.
The company asserts that its products are not only tasty but also healthy, with zero cholesterol and added omega-3 fatty acids, which an essential for maintaining optimal health. It further added that these products will be welcomed by busy urban women who need a quick solution for preparing more tasty and healthy lunch items. Importantly, these new-age home-makers choose to be innovative and open to experimentation with smart and healthy solutions for fixing meals that are time-saving as well as nutritious.