Dry fruit major Gourima’s Director Ritesh Bajaj spoke to Progressive Grocer about leveraging the company’s expertise and knowledge to create another organised sector brand with a premium positioning for discerning consumers
How was Gourmia conceived? What is unique about the concept and why do think the idea would sell in India.
KBB Nuts is among the largest dry fruits and nuts players in India and has its flagship brand, Tulsi, which sells through the prevalent unorganized sector. The brand was already doing quite well in the market. The idea was to leverage our expertise and knowledge to create another organized sector brand with a premium positioning for discerning consumers. That’s how Gourmia was formed. It’s about creating an exclusive experience with the product that makes it premium yet nutritious.
The dry fruits industry has been dominated by many organised and unorganised players, so what encouraged you to venture in this segment. How do you plan to position Gourmia as a brand?
There are not too many organised players in the market. Having roots in the same business for decades, motivated us to step into organised dry fruits sector with a premium brand. Gourmia will be positioned as a world class quality product that creates a fine dining experience with healthy and flavourful snacks.
Our consistent high quality, marketing support, distribution network and premium yet value for money pricing, will be the positioning planks for Gourmia.
Which are the major markets for Gourmia and its products in terms of volume and sales?
Gourmia is available throughout India. We are currently catering to metros followed by mini-metros and also in the high per capita income district HQs. Gourmia’s premium range of dry fruits can be easily availed at Reliance, Walmart, etc., besides the selected stand-alone stores.
What made you venture into the the industry and what is it that makes you confident of your product’s success?
KBB Nuts has been a leader in the industry. We are already catering to renowned brands such as Haldiram, Pepsico, Britannia, Cadbury’s, MTR and other renowned retail marts. Overhead distribution and growing consumer preferences for such products encouraged us to venture into Gourmia. Previous success in the category, name and quality of the product has made us confident for the success of Gourmia too.
Tell us about the brands current range of offerings in progress?
Gourmia has a vast range of products to offer. We have procured the best ingredients from around the world along with premium selection of nuts and created flavours such as Jalapeno, Tangy Masala, Black Pepper to supplement the Pure salted options.
We have launched 8 SKU’s in Roasted Nuts and 5 SKU’s in Dehydrated Fruits by now. Many supermarkets like Reliance and Walmart have already listed the product. There has been a selective launch in Traditional Trade in Delhi/ NCR, Mumbai and Pune so far.
How many orders are you getting currently?
Till now we have got a very encouraging response from the consumers. We are also tying up with several corporates for bulk purchases.
What product assortments do you offer to your consumers?
We are currently dealing in the above mentioned products only. We are planning to launch another range during this year and will be sharing details regarding the same soon.
Talk to us about your marketing and promotional strategies?
Offering our customers the finest quality has been our top strategy always. We are not into advertising much but are trying to promote the product through in-store samplings via our niche distribution network. We are also working on a more robust communication and social media strategy that we will implement soon.
Technology is integral to modern retail, more so for online retailers like you. How are you leveraging technology at Gourmia?
We all are a part of digital era and there is no doubt that the medium has been continuously expanding. Digital marketing and e-commerce has a big hand in increasing sales for Gourmia as well. The products are already available at some popular online e-commerce websites such as Amazon, Paytm, etc.
Who are your competitors in the industry and what are your strategies to compete with them?
Few imported products such as Tong Garden, Blue Diamond are some other brands in this sector.
Regular supply, manpower support and marketing will be key differentiators besides quality of course.
Many companies have been using smart packaging strategies to woo consumers. What is your strategy on packaging?
We launched the brand with smart mono cartons (nuts) and stand up re-sealable pouches (fruits), both in shelf display-cum-dispensers. Our packaging is of the highest quality and the mono-cartons are also reusable which is something that customers prefer. We are currently focusing on attracting consumers through the product range and quality and ensure that our packaging continues to maintain the freshness and flavours of the products.
Do you think major online players enjoy an upper hand with consumers when it comes to ordering, gift packs on account of the convenience factor and organised delivery?
Internet is a medium and every major online player is currently providing other brands a platform to compete in the national market. There are consumers of all types some like online and others prefer brick & mortar stores. Gifting is highly seasonal but there is definitely a higher demand during the festivals for gift packs/ hampers through the online medium.
What are your expansion and growth plans? Which new places and locations do you have on the radar?
Our motto is to make Gourmia available in the national market. Thus, we are currently targeting for placement across all modern trade and key stand-alone stores in metros (Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai) and mini metros such as Gurgaon, Chandigarh, Pune, Goa by end of December 2016.