Sugar & Spice India Pvt. Ltd. is a 28-year-old company in the business of manufacturing and retailing bakery and confectionery products. Currently, Sugar & Spice has nine outlets running across NCR. While six of the outlets are take-away joints, the other three have their roots in bakery and confectionery but have also branched out into casual dining. Over the next three years, the company is looking to open 40 new outlets across NCR. Progressive Grocer spoke to promoter, Mini Yadav, who has spawned a successful business empire, about her brand’s current focus and its future plans.
What is the customer proposition of your Sugar & Spice stores?
Our stores aim to give people across Delhi-NCR the taste of authentic bakery products at affordable prices. The stores cater to people from all age groups and across all income levels. Currently, we are focusing on running our stores in high footfall malls and high-street markets. This way, we aim to capture the trendsetters first for our bakery and confectionery products. The next stage will be to rope in the early adopters and the masses eventually. We are looking to strategically place our outlets across Delhi/ NCR so that we are able to capture as many customers as possible across all income groups.
Are you doing anything to attract the young generation – the Millennial shopper?
Yes, we have launched many new products and flavors apart from reinventing our existing products so as to make these products especially attractive for Millennials. As Millennials love to travel and shop, the location strategy of our stores is marked by a strong preference for high footfall areas so that we can offer our products to as many customers as possible. Young shoppers today are well travelled and they have a good knowledge of the products. Through our choice offering of products, our stores strive to bridge the gap in the bakery segment by giving our customers the best of bakery and confectionery products that they can get anywhere.
Tell us about the product range available in your store.
Our product range varies from traditional cakes and pastries to fancy cakes and pastries, breads, muffins, doughnuts, croissants, cookies, chocolates, sandwiches, salads, burgers and a large variety of breads. We have recently launched our café format under which we have introduced shakes, smoothies, tea and coffee. At our outlet in Vasant Vihar, we have introduced pizza, pasta, burgers and antipasti.
What are you doing to promote your products and increase brand awareness?
We are always experimenting across various categories and products. We also do a lot of sampling and product demos to collect suggestions and feedback from our customers. Apart from conducting in-store sampling activities from time to time, we keep organizing online contests through which we give hampers to our enthusiastic and knowledgeable customers, which also helps to educate our patrons about the products. Besides that, we also undertake mix-and-match bundling and cross-promotion activities within our stores. We cross-promote our products within our group companies, which include brands in the salon and hospitality industries.
We have gone for extensive digital adoption by way of mobile innovations, apps, Omnichannel strategies and other forms of digital engagement with our customers such as collaborations with online influencers. We are exploring exciting opportunities such as these and should be executing them in the next 3 months.
Apart from online social media platforms, we have tied up with online delivery portals such as Swiggy and we are about to launch our website by the end of this month.
Have you introduced customer loyalty programs to widen your reach and strengthen your consumer base?
Currently, we do not have a loyalty program but in certain outlets we do have combo offers and special discounts for specific genres of people based on the location of our stores. For example, we offer a student discount at our SDA market outlet in IIT Delhi.
How do you look at the use of technology as a tool for ramping up business?
We believe that technology is the way forward and thus, have invested heavily in tools such as ERP, a website, online delivery platforms and social media pages among other things. We are also using technology for minimizing operating costs, securing customer loyalty and for offering unique shopping experiences. The use of technology and its applications to our business is helping us understand the needs of our customers and is allowing us to cater to them in a better and more efficient way.
What initiatives have you taken to strengthen your supply chain – both at the back-end and front-end?
We have tied up with delivery partners and have developed our own ecosystem of managing deliveries as well. We ensure that all supplies reach on time so that our customers get the freshest product possible.
Tell us about the emerging trends in this segment as seen in your stores?
As Delhi is the food capital with a very diverse population, it is hard to match up to everyone’s expectations and customers are always looking for innovative products. As we love to experiment with new products, we keep introducing novelties to our existing range that help to satisfy the ever widening palate of our customers. We keep in touch with some of the best food consultants and chefs in the world who keep guiding us from time to time about the latest trends and technology in bakery.
How would you describe the strengths of your brand?
We are a 28-year-old brand with a very loyal customer base. Our bakery products have been able to reach and cut across all consumer demographics.