Snapshots of Food Industry News
MTR expands its breakfast portfolio with ‘Cup’ breakfasts
The packaged food company, MTR, is to expand its breakfast portfolio with the introduction of its new range ‘Breakfast in a Cup.’ This range of products will include upma and poha and will be available in 80gm cups. Priced at Rs.45 a cup MTR is looking to launch these products with a loud media campaign matched with strong sampling. MTR’s breakfasts have become quite popular with youth and office goers as they save time but provide a wholesome meal. The company has been carrying out extensive research into breakfast habits and have come to the conclusion that even though breakfast is an important meal a number of people skip it because of lack of time. MTR has been working on products that are wholesome and also provide the right taste of an Indian breakfast and which will find a ready market for the youth.
Kerala to benefit from 100 percent FDI for Marketing of Products
Kerala produces a large number of pineapples, bananas, and jackfruit which is normally neither used fully nor processed. Therefore the news of hundred percent FDI through FIBP for marketing products has brought a lot of cheer to the food processing industry in Kerala. Pineapple is grown along with rubber trees. Since rubber prices have presently crashed plantation owners now have a hope of an alternative income. Presently only 7000 tonnes of the 3.25 lakh tonnes is processed outside the state but with 100 percent FDI almost 50,000 tonnes of pineapples can be processed.
Bananas are also going waste even though they are made into the famous Kerala banana chips. However, most of the chips are manufactured in the unorganized sector. With the arrival of international players through FDI, banana farmers could stand to gain even though the small banana chip manufacturers could see a downturn. The state produces more than 3 lakh tonnes of bananas and companies like Tierra Foods are in talks with Lays for supplying bananas for manufacturing and marketing banana chips. Once the big players enter the field it will definitely have a positive impact on the farm sector.
Bisleri International is back in the soft drinks business with Bisleri Pop
Bisleri International has re-entered the soft drinks arena with Bisleri Pop. The company has launched four fizzy drinks Bisleri Limonata, Bisleri Fonzo, Bisleri Pina Coloada and Bisleri Spyci. These drinks have been formulated keeping in mind the fact that the customers are no longer interested in carbonated drinks. Bisleri intends to take advantage of its huge market reach and reputation to market its range of Bisleri Pop, which has a distinctive flavor from other soft drinks in the market. The four flavors have been launched after having been developed and tested for one year. They will be priced at Rs.10 and Rs.15 for a 200ml and 300ml bottle respectively while the 250ml can, will cost Rs.20. With the launch of the new drinks, the company has also begun a marketing campaign in a mix of BTL and digital format.
Central Vigilance Commission to probe Cadbury for alleged excise duty evasion
The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) is probing into an alleged evasion of excise duty of Rs.580crore by confectioner Mondalez the makers of Cadbury chocolate. The demand of Rs.580crore was raised last year against Mondalez Foods Pvt. Ltd for evading excise duty as an exemption for one of its ‘non-existing’ production units in Baddi, Himachal Pradesh. Anti-corruption officials have said that some government officials could be involved in the facilitating Cadbury with the alleged evasion and investigations are being undertaken. The CVC has also asked for some documents from the company.
Mondalez India has stated that they will cooperate fully with the authorities as they believe in an “ethical and compliant corporate culture” and believe in adhering to the law. The company at the same time states, that the decision to claim excise tax benefit was valid and within the law as applicable to their plant in Baddi. This is the second such case that involves a foreign company the first one is Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart is under the scanner for giving bribes to government officials for customs clearance and obtaining permits to set up stores in India.