Variety is the spice snack makers adding in good measure

Written by Lalitha Srinivasan | Mumbai | Updated: Mar 23 2014, 06:39am hrs
PWith Pringles coming soon to Indian market, FMCG cos are gearing up for competition with more products.
Even as FMCG major Kellogg India is initiating the distribution process of its global premium snack brand, Pringles, in India, ITC Foods, Parle Agro and CavinKare (maker of Garden snacks) are gearing up in equal measure to fight the competition.

While ITC Foods is looking to foray into the premium snacking category, CavinKare is planning to launch snack variants on the lines of PepsiCo Indias Kurkure. As Parle Agro, maker of Hippo, is increasing investments in its R&D projects by 30%, Parle Products (Full Toss) is planning to extend its distribution by 20% to reach out to a wider audience.

With Kellogg Indias foray, the R11,000-crore branded wafers and salty snacks sector in India, which is growing annually at a rate of 25%, promises to see a lot of action this year.

On Kelloggs strategic plans, Sangeeta Pendurkar, managing director of Kellogg India, said, We acquired Pringles two years ago to bolster our snacks portfolio globally and are now integrating it with our distribution system in India.

Leveraging its strong distribution network in supermarkets, the company intends to strengthen the presence of Pringles in top 35 cities across the country and enter 15,000 leading food stores with its snack brand.

Kelloggs, which operates globally in snacks besides breakfast cereals, bought Pringles from Procter & Gamble (P&G) in a

$2.7-billion (R13,000-crore) deal in February 2012. Till now, Pringles (priced around R100 a container) was imported and sold by a number of distributors in India.

To fight the competition, CavinKare is developing a snack variant of Garden on the lines of Kurkure. We are getting into the Indian snack sector. Our brand Garden will go national within a year, said CK Ranganathan, chairman of CavinKare.

After going national, the companys goal is to double the brand value of Garden, which now stands at R100 crore. Like CavinKare, ITC Foods, maker of Bingo, is ready with a fresh strategy to fight multinational competition. We have recently introduced Galata snacks with a south Indian flavour. Its on the lines of Teda Meda. Our recently launched region-specific variants are gaining traction with consumers, said Chittaranjan Dhar, CEO of ITC Foods.

After establishing it brand Bingo in mass markets, ITC is

also looking at premium products in this category. We are looking at differentiation in this sector. We plan to target a large number of retail networks this year, added Dhar.

Meanwhile, PepsiCo India, market leader in this sector, is betting big on Kurkures Indian flavours such as Kurkure Green Chutney Rajasthani Style and Chaska Maska. To combat local players, the company already has small packs of Kurkure priced at R5 in the market.

With its brand Hippo, Parle Agro is venturing into the multiple foods category with new launches this year. We have stepped up our investments by 20-30% in R&D to create stronger platforms for the launch of differentiated products in new categories. We are investing in developing infrastructure and increasing sales and distribution system of our snack division, said

Nadia Chauhan, joint managing director of Parle Agro.

Praveen Kularni, general manager of Parle Products, maker of Full Toss, says the companys prime focus is on increasing its distribution and visibility at retail outlets. We plan to increase our retail by 20%. At present, we have over seven-eight lakh retail outlets in India. To increase visibility, we plan to give incentives to dealers and motivate wholesale marketeers to sell more, he added.