Global firms to spice up Indian processed food space

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SummaryAfter acquiring UK-based Cadbury in February this year, Kraft Foods is now turning its attention to the Indian markets.

After acquiring UK-based Cadbury in February this year, Kraft Foods is now turning its attention to the Indian markets. To start with, Kraft Foods is planning to introduce its global brands, such as Oreo Cookies and Talebreno, in domestic markets in the next few months.

On the other hand, Godrej Hershey’s, a joint venture between the Hershey's and the Godrej Group, is gearing up to launch Hershey's select brands, including Hershey’s chocolates, in India. In essence, the Indian packaged processed foods industry will soon witness a major tussle between two global giants—Kraft Foods and The Hershey's Company.

On the company's strategy, Vivek Mathur, CEO of Godrej Hershey's, said, “We are currently doing a significant amount of consumer work for many products across categories. We are building up our capabilities both in modern retail as well as premium general channels. We have recently integrated teams for marketing products from Godrej Sara Lee, GCPL and Hershey's in modern retail formats.”

After test marketing its brand Hershey's Milk Mix (developed in India) in the southern states, Godrej Hershey's has withdrawn the product for strategic reasons. “Our core focus is on our global brand Godrej Hershey's Chocolate Syrup. We have just completed the national rollout of this brand in India. We will be launching Hershey's global brands in India in a few months,” said Mathur. At present, Hershey's global portfolio includes Hershey’s Milk Chocolate, Reese’s, Hershey’s Kisses, Kit Kat, Twizzlers and Ice Breakers, among others.

Across the road, Kraft Foods is getting ready to launch its flagship biscuit brand Oreo in select cities in India, informed industry sources. “The company is planning introduce Oreo in Mumbai to start with. Recently, the company began test marketing it in Mumbai,”added sources. When contacted by FE, Cadbury India declined to comment on the company's new initiatives. US-based Kraft’s $19.7-billion acquisition of Cadbury now pits the world’s second-largest food company against global rivals such as Nestle and Hershey’s in the Indian market too. According to industry analysts, Kraft Foods will utilise Cadbury’s existing distribution network to push its own allied products such as Kraft cheese in India. Currently, Kraft Foods markets its brands in 155 countries across the globe.

The Rs 50,000-crore processed foods industry in India is currently growing at the rate of 15%. The major players in this sector include Nestle, Amul, Britannia and GlaxoSmithKine. To take on multinational rivals

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