California-based food and Beverages Company Del Monte plans to enter the Indian snacks market with a range of fruit-based packaged snacks over the next six to 12 months.
In the Indian market, the company would take on the likes of PepsiCo, ITC, Haldirams, Britannia and Parle. Currently, India’s health snack market accounts for only about five per cent of the estimated Rs 10,000-crore snack food market.
Del Monte’s health snack products would include packaged fruits (apricot, mango and papaya), dried fruits and dried fruit prunes. “We are not in competition with the normal snacks players. We are trying to develop a completely new segment in the Indian snack market,” Bellani said.
He added entry into the health snack market was expected to double the company’s revenue in the packaged fruits segment, which currently accounts for about 15 per cent. About 30 per cent of the company’s revenue comes from beverages, 30 per cent from culinary and about 25 per cent from the Italian range.
Initially, the health snack products would be sold at school, college and office canteens, cafes and railway canteens. “We will not invest in developing an entirely new distribution network. Instead, we will leverage our existing ones,” he said. Since these canteens and cafes already sold other Del Monte products, adding some more would be an easy call for the company, he added.
“We are not planning to cater to roadside retailing stores at the moment. There’s a lot to cover in the B-to-B and B-to-C segments,” he said. “Aluminium can packaging gives us enough scope to experiment with products, and localisation is a key factor,” Bellani said, adding the company would continue to focus on cities with populations of about a million. “There’s a lot to be covered,” he said.
The company also plans to launch at least five products in existing categories. In culinary, it would introduce mayonnaise and a range of salad dressings and toppings, Belani said.
While PepsiCo has been selling ‘Aliva’ and the Lays Baked as health snack products, Britannia offers NutriChoice and Parle offers the Monaco smart chips.
FieldFresh sells fresh and canned fruit, penne pasta, snack dressing, mango pulp, tomato paste, jalapeno, fruit cocktail and whole corn kernels to more than 2,000 hotels, restaurants and bakeries in India.