Godrej Consumer ex-MD’s start-up plans FMCG push

Godrej Consumer will be competing with heavyweights such as Mars, Nestle India, Mondelez International, ITC and Dabur India.

Packaged food start-up Global Consumer Products is planning a bigger play in the FMCG market, especially in the confectionery and beverages segments. The company, founded by ex-MD of Godrej Consumer Product, A Mahendran, was conceptualised a year ago with a capital of  Rs 315 crore from Goldman Sachs and Mitsui Ventures.

As part of the FMCG foray, the company on Tuesday launched its first product, Livit brand of chocolates, initially in the southern market. Chairman & MD Mahendran told reporters here that the company, which he calls a synthetic start-up, will foray into the snacks and beverages segment in 3-4 months for which technology will be brought in from Spain.

“We will launch snacks and beveages, including fruit juice, in the existing common categories or even create new categories,” he said.

The company acquired a local water packaging brand Cherio in Chennai some four months ago and would use this platform to develop the beverages vertical. The company will be competing with heavyweights such as Mars, Nestle India, Mondelez International, ITC and Dabur India.

Mahendran said the company would adopt a asset-light model of manufacturing.

Livit brand of chocolate products are being launched in the Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Kerala markets, with Tamil Nadu and Puducherry going live today. Karnataka will follow next week. The company has come out with nine variants of LuvIt in different chocolate formats like moulded chocolates, enrobed wafers, panned chocolates and caramel-nougat bars at price points ranging between Rs 5 and Rs 45.

Anuradha Narasimhan, executive vice-president, sales & mareketing, Global CP,  said the company is targeting the youth segment in the age bracket 15-30 years for its chocolates.

On the overall chocolate industry she said the domestic market size is around Rs 7,000 crore and is growing at 25% annually. “There is high scope for differentiation and growth. The southern markets accounts for around 30%  of the national market of which Tamil Nadu is the largest,” Narasimhan said.

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First published on: 29-04-2015 at 00:18 IST