India’s leading biscuits and confectionery maker, Parle Products, is looking forward to consolidating its position in the Indian market.
In an interview with Indiaretailing Bureau on the sidelines of India Food Forum 2018, Mayank Shah, Category Head, Parle Products said, “If you look at Parle as a company, we have always been known for biscuits and confectionery. But we have got into quite a few categories over the last two years. We have entered into the bakery items segment like cakes and rusk, high-end chocolates, snacks and of late into pulses. So, I think now is the time to consolidate before we move forward and get into new categories.”
He further added, “Quite a few categories are moving over from unorganised to organised segments since consumers have started moving from unorganised to organised segments. One category which has seen conversion is bakery items. Then there are categories like gluten-free products, which have small and niche markets. However, we are at least a decade away from getting into those kind of specialised offerings. These categories are too small for big players like us to cater to.”
Going further, the company aims to be a total food company by filling in the gaps in its offerings.
“Eventually, we are looking at several other categories and whenever and wherever there are opportunities, we would grow into a total food company,” he further said.
Another category which Parle is hoping will move from unorganised to organised is pulses. The pulses market is estimated at 27 million tonnes per annum and India’s projected demand for pulses is set to grow up to 35 million tonnes by 2020.
Parle Products had forayed into the pulses category last year with the launch of its brand, Fresh Harvest. The Fresh Harvest collection includes Toor, Moong, Urad, Channa and Masoor dals sourced from the best farms in Maharashtra and Karnataka.
The brand was launched across class-A outlets, self service outlets and local retail chains across over 5 lakh towns in Maharashtra.
Shah said that with the trend of buying packed / branded items picking up in the with consumers have become sensitive towards quality and take adulteration seriously, he’s confident that the brand will take off, especially since Parle is committed to giving consumers the option of buying relatively safe, hygienic and processed dals.
“We are still not present across India and we have only rolled out the brand in two geographical areas – Maharashtra and parts of Karnataka. We are in it for the long term thing. The growth of this brand will not happen overnight because Indian consumers have a habit of buying pulses as a commodity and in the past, most commodities have taken time to be branded. It will take time before consumers warm up to branded pulses. We are in for a long haul and over the next decade or so you will see consumers moving from unbranded to branded varieties,” asserted Shah.
He further added, “Over a period of two years, Fresh Harvest will be present across India, but currently we are focusing only on Karnataka and Maharashtra. We need to achieve a critical scale in these two areas before moving ahead.”
Parle Products is aiming to double its turnover and cross Rs 20,000 crore in the next five years. The company also expects staples and snacks segments to be its growth drivers in the coming years.
“Parle Products, which is a privately held company, has a present turnover of Rs 10,000 crore . By 2023-24, we are looking to double our turnover, with most of this growth coming from the snacks and staples category,” said Shah.
He added that this growth would be mostly be organic, rather than through acquisitions.
In the biscuits category, Parle Products is now tapping both retail as well as institutional markets (such as hotels, which buy in bulk) through its innovative offerings like Zeera Jeffs. The company is also expecting contribution from its Platina range of premium biscuit products to go up by 25 percent in the next three years.
Currently, Platina contributes 65 percent of the total revenue in the biscuit category. It includes four premium brands including Hide & Seek, Milano, Mexitos and Simply Good.