Snapshots of Food Industry News
Mars Foods all set to acquire Tasty Bite
Mars Foods has signed an agreement to acquire Tasty Bite brand owned by Preferred Brands International. Preferred is a US-based fully integrated manufacturer of ready-to-eat Indian and Asian products. Tasty Bites has a wide range of vegetarian offerings like spice and simmer meal kits, organic rice and lentils besides Asian and Indian entrees. Most of the products already have a ready market in North America, UK and Australia and in India sales are generated through food services. Tasty Bite manufactures products in Pune which are exported to the United States. They also have a significant foodservice business under which they supply food products to leading food manufacturers and QSR in India.
Mars Foods, which is a segment of Mars Incorporated, already has a wide portfolio of popular brands like Uncle Ben, Masterfoods, and Seeds of Change to name a few. The product portfolio includes ready-to-eat and dry rice and grains, sauces, meal kits and helpers and spices. Seeing how they already offer food products, Mars Foods feels that the acquisition of Tasty Bites will complement their existing portfolio of Indian/ Asian dinnertime brand. The acquisition will enable Mars Foods to expand their all natural vegetarian offerings in the US. They will also leverage Tasty Bite’s strong product development, flavor expertise and sourcing of quality ingredients across their portfolio. Mars Foods is well positioned to take Tasty Bite to the next level with its strong brand portfolio and global infrastructure.
Heritage Foods Announce Joint Venture with Novandie
Dairy firm Heritage Foods has announced 50:50 Joint Venture with French dairy company Novandie. The JV will set up a Greenfield plant for the manufacture of flavored yogurt and desserts and will have a capacity of 20 tons per day. The first plant will be operational by 2018 at the cost of Rs.16 crore. Heritage Foods was founded by Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu Naidu and they have been in discussion with the leading French Yoghurt player for quite some time. The tie-up with Novandie is being seen as a positive step that will take Heritage Foods to their target of achieving Rs.6, 000 crore revenues by 2022. Heritage Foods had also acquired Reliance’s dairy business about two months back.
Britannia looking for a partner for dairy business
Biscuit giant Britannia Industries would like to focus on their dairy business and are looking to rope in a partner. As part of their strategy, they would like to discontinue a few of their dairy brands and instead lean towards higher margin products. Their dairy project is in the final stages and will be based in Pune’s Ranjangaon Food Park which is in the center of the high cow milk producing districts. This will be Britannia’s third attempt at a Joint venture in dairy.
In 2002 they had a JV with New Zealand’s Fonterra Dairy to sell milk and milk products under the Milkman brand. However, since the brand recorded losses Fonterra exited and sold its 49 percent stake to Britannia. Britannia had at the same time also ended its 10-year long association with Groupe DANONE SA. Their dairy sector has been dragging down their overall growth but in the quarter ending June, Britannia has reported a jump in sales by 7.4 percent year on year basis despite destocking due to GST. The Indian dairy market is controlled by giant cooperatives like Amul and Mother Dairy.
Hershey has Learnt how to Strengthen Business in India
Confectionery maker Hershey has evolved their portfolio to include value-added products and shift to higher margins from India. They are likely to take the strengthened business model to other international markets like China. The Hershey Company will share their learning in India with China for products like syrups, spreads and fortified milk. The range of products in the portfolio grew by 40 percent from India, which included besides syrups and spreads, products like Brookside premium chocolates and Sofit soy milk, confectionery brand Nutrine and Jumpin Juices. Hershey is smaller than rival companies Nestle and Amul that have similar categories of products but they have shown significant marketplace gains. They have termed India as a core market like Mexico and Brazil and will hope to continue to improve their operating income trends.