Last years deficit monsoon led to rise in milk production costs

Written by Neha Pal | Neha Pal | Updated: Jul 7 2010, 06:57am hrs
Mother Dairy has been in news for hiking milk prices. The company expects to sell 1 lakh litre of ice-creams on the back of schemes like one-plus-one and 25% free. In an interview with FEs Neha Pal, Sanjay Sinha, head, milk and dairy products business, talks about its strategy. Excerpts

Why were milk prices hiked

We raised prices of two milk variants in Delhi and NCR, effective July 4. Last year's deficit monsoon led to rise in the prices of feed and fodder, a major part of cost of milk production. So, there was a significant increase in rates for procurement of fresh milk. Other input costs towards packaging material, transportation and salary revision due to Pay Commissions have also increased. So, price revision was necessary.

How do you decide on flavours

The first phase is the consumer household panel. In this, we keep meeting housewives and other shortlisted consumers. In the second phase, our dedicated marketing team decides on taste and flavoring .

The final call is taken by an expert panel, which also includes the top-level people of the company. The panel decides on new flavours. We also conduct surveys to gauge consumer response. We have created an innovation centre in Parparganj for our dairy range.

What is your market share in ice-cream What is its per capita consumption in India

We have 50% of the market share in ice-creams. Indias per capital ice-cream consumption is the lowest in the world at 399 ml. The per-capita consumption in the US is 12 litre. In Europe, it is 7-8 litre.

What is your geographic presence Give us an idea of popular products

We are present in 30 towns in North India and in Mumbai and Kolkata. Sales are high for milk, lassi, butter-milk, ice-creams, bio-active curd.

Any plans for new product launches

We plan to bring in two new flavours; zeera raita and kali mirch raita. These will be available in 90 gm, 200 gm and 400 gm packs for individual and family consumption.

The company is also going to rename Mishti Doi to Meetha Dahi in certain markets such as Delhi to make the product more popular.

Mishti doi, meaning sweet dahi, is a Bengali name and many people are not able to understand its meaning. The company has decided to change it to Meetha Dahi.

Which are the schemes in ice-creams that you plan to offer

We target sales of 1 lakh litres of ice-cream in a day. We have come out with some exciting offers such as 50% free on vanilla and Shahi-Nazrana, 25% free with Choco-chip, strawberry and butterscotch. We are also giving one-plus-one offers certain flavours and packs of ice-creams.