National Foods Ltd (NFL) has probably become the first Pakistani foods brand to introduce its range of products in the country. The company will retail recipe masalas and pickles under the brand name National through a distribution network in metros and other major cities.
“We decided to introduce ourselves to India as the trade is relaxed and the restrictions are removed. We’ve been coming to India through various exhibitions and looking at the consumers’ response, we decided to get into serious business,” Zahid Majeed, corporate marketing director, NFL, told Indiaretailing.
“We also conducted a consumer survey to know the taste preferences and perspectives of consumers. The response motivated us, as the ‘made in Pakistan’ stamp was liked and appreciated by all,” added Majeed. The brand is already selling informally through 300 retail outlets for test-marketing.
The company has partnered Rai & Sons Pvt. Ltd for its India operations.
“We have been in business for 10-12 years now and have been handling certain foreign brands of processed cheese, olive oil, herbal cosmetics, etc., and have a good retail network. What we have offered to National Foods is the credibility that we have in the trade, and skills and experience in import logistics. Also, the business philosophies of the companies match,” said Saswata Sengupta, chief executive, Rai & Sons.
Founded in 1970, National Foods Ltd started as a spice company and later diversified into a versatile foods company with 300 products and over 165 SKUs (stock-keeping units) for the domestic market and more than 100 different products for the international markets.
The company has 50 per cent of the recipe market share in Pakistan and sells through more than 85,000 retail outlets. It has six manufacturing units in Pakistan.
– Ranjan Kaplish