Amrit Agro Shuts Down Snack Foods Biz

New Delhi: | Updated: Nov 29 2002, 05:30am hrs
Once a market leader in the snacks business, Amrit Agro Industriesthe company that had the Uncle Chipps brandhas finally brought down the shutters on its entire snack foods business. The company is currently exploring other business opportunities including processing of fruits and vegetables.

It doesnt help to get emotional in business, Amrit Banaspati Co Ltd joint managing director Ashwini K Bajaj told The Financial Express while looking back on why it exited the snacks business. The company first quit the market in 2000 when it sold the Uncle Chipps brand to Frito Lay India, PepsiCos snack foods arm. However, it continued to have a token presence in the market through its ethnic snacks and savoury brand Yumkeenz which was retained by the company.

While the chips brand had clocked sales of Rs 30 crore, when it changed hands, the namkeens had clocked sales of Rs 3 crore. Last year, the company had even tried to penetrate the markets through a reinforced distribution network. However, stiff competition from the unorganised sector put pressure on the brand, and finally early this year, the company decided to exit the snacks business altogether. The market for ethnic snacks is under tremendous pressure from the unorganised sector and in any case we were not very aggressive in advertising our snacks line last year, Mr Bajaj said.

Its Yumkeenz product portfolio comprised seven variantsPudina Aloo Bhujiya, Bikaneri Bhujiya, Masala Aloo Bhujiya, Khatta Meetha mixture, Moong Dal, Roasted Peanut and Mungfali Masala Mazedar.

An arm of the Rs 600-crore Amrit Banaspati Co Ltd, Amrit Agro is now exploring alternate business opportunities. Among others, it is currently studying the market of raw fruits and vegetables.