The company to explore newer markets and milk procurement from Bengal is ramped-up as part of its expansion plans.
FMCG major, ITC Ltd will look to strengthen the presence of fresh dairy offerings under the “Aashirvaad Svasti” brand across the eastern region. Post consolidating presence in the existing 25-odd markets, and upcoming ones of Bihar and West Bengal, over the “next few years”, it will tap other states of the east.
According to Sanjay Singal, Chief Operating Officer – Dairy and Beverages, ITC has a presence in 24 markets including Patna in Bihar; while in West Bengal it is present primarily in Kolkata and the suburbs in the fresh dairy category. New markets in Bengal are being explored, and procurement of milk from farmers in the state is being ramped-up as part of its expansion plans.
The company has three facilities in these states, one each in Munger, Patna and Howrah.
ITC entered the dairy segment in 2018, beginning with pouched milk offerings in Bihar. Subsequently, it expanded into Kolkata. The product portfolio was expanded into the value-added segment to include curds, paneer and lassi. New offerings and tetra packs (for milk) are being explored too.
“At least for the next few years, we will tap new markets of Bihar and Bengal and consolidate presence in existing ones. For instance, we are looking at the other suburban markets around Kolkata,” he said post the launch of the ‘Aashirvaad Svasti Select’ milk. The premium offering comes with an option where consumers can track online the nutritional and health parameters of the product.
New distribution channels that include direct to home delivery of milk have been set up apart from the existing ones for its FMCG offerings. Doorstep delivery is done in at least 20-30 per cent of the households; while the company’s e-store has been ramped up to sell its entire range of FMCG offerings (apart from cigarettes).
“Once we are through with Bihar and Bengal, we will explore other markets of the East,” Singal told BusinessLine adding that in the fresh milk category ITC enjoys an 8-10 per cent market share; while in the value-added categories “market share will be higher”.
Procurement of fresh milk and difficulty in its transportation beyond 200 kms is a challenge which is why the company has taken a regional first approach.
According to Singal, select offerings like ghee (under Aashirvaad Svasti brand) and milkshakes (sold under Sunfeast Wonderz) are already pan-India. Apart from e-commerce presence, ghee is sold in six states; while milkshakes under the Sunfeast Wonderz brand has now been extended to South Indian states.
Agri Food & Dairy Bureau