General Mills Plans Fresh Branding Initiatives

Mumbai | Updated: Jul 27 2004, 07:24am hrs
General Mills India Pvt Ltdpart of the US-based General Mills Incis planning to enhance brand visibility of its entire product range by setting up The House of Brand Dispensers within key supermarkets across major cities soon.

The objective behind the move is to showcase General Mills productsfrom the mass-market Pillsbury atta, cake mixes, custard powder, semiya and pizzas to niche premium products like Green Giant canned corn.

Said General Mills India director (marketing) Gayatri Yadav: The emphasis is on bringing global brands and technology and adapting it to local market requirements.

As part of the distribution strategy, General Mills is now planning to beef up the distribution network of its national distributors by an additional 20 per cent to reach a wider target audience and spur more volumes.

With the move, the company hopes to garner a double-digit volume growth in the branded atta segment. For the purpose, we have recently launched a new scheme whereby 10 kg Godrej Pillsburry Atta is available for Rs 150. This scheme has taken off well and will continue for a month, she added.

This is part of the companys strategy to transform the Pillsbury atta brand from one built on a platform of softness to wellness. Recently, Pillsbury Chakki Fresh Atta was relaunched with the benefit of Whole Wheat Atta being good for the familys health.

As part of the ground activation and education programme, General Mills is now planning to spread the message and educate customers at the store level.

As for export thrust, General Mills is planning to implement exports to countries such as Australia and South Africa, among others. Given the global appeal of Indian food, our frozen flat breads and spring onion parathas are a fast-growing business which is helping us drive export volumes targeting 20 million NRIs. At present, we are exporting our products to countries such as Singapore, Middle-East, Canada, the Maldives and the UK, she said.

In the Rs 800-crore branded atta market, Pillsbury has garnered a national market share of 8.3 per cent, with leaders in southern region at 23.7 per cent share, according to AC Neilson (urban share for June 2004).

According to Ms Yadav, with the new initiatives, General Mills hopes to achieve a double-digit sales growth within a year in a fragmented market which has a clutch of four to five national brands accounting for a third of the market. The balance two-thirds is dominated by regional or local brands.