Chocolate maker Mars sees India as a key accelerate market

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US-based chocolate maker Mars sees India as a key ‘accelerate’ market and is ramping up its distribution network in the country to tap the high growth potential, a senior company official said.

According to a PTI report: The company, which has brands such as Snickers, Mars, Bounty, M&M, Double Mint, Boomer, Orbit, Galaxy and Twix in India, also plans to introduce one more brand in the next six to eight weeks to enhance its presence here.

“India is a key ‘accelerate’ market in Mars Wrigley Confectionery Asia, Australia, Middle East and Africa (AMEA),” Andrew Leakey, Mars Wrigley Confectionery General Manager – India told PTI.

The company is investing to strengthen its distribution network and is building a sustainable supply chain here to expand its reach beyond metros and some key cities. The company has stronger growth ambitions and is taking a long-term view on the Indian market, he said.

Presently, Mars Wrigley products are distributed through around 3,00,000 outlets and it is eyeing to take the number to over 5,00,000.

“With our continued focus on growth in the India market through our expanding distribution network, flexibility to scale as per demand, ongoing efforts to build sustainable supply chain and strong market potential, we anticipate one-fourth of our growth contribution for AMEA region, coming from India, over the next few years,” he further told PTI.

However, he declined to share revenue or other financial details.

Last year, Mars Inc integrated its Mars Chocolate and Wrigley segments in India, creating Mars Wrigley Confectionery (MWC) to tap high growth potential here.

“We are taking a long term view over the business in India and the company is less concerned about the immediate paybacks,” he was quoted by PTI as saying.

Leakey told PTI that the company looks to introduce “products which are more relevant to the Indian market”.

The company has an innovation centre in Bengaluru which is helping it to localise some of the flavours here.

Asked about growth, he told PTI, “Confectionary market is growing with CAGR of 9 percent in last 5 years and we are growing double than that and we would continue to grow at that rate.”

To expand its reach in the mass market, Mars has introduced a small Rs 10 pack of Snickers as in India around 80 percent chocolates are sold in the Rs 10 price segment, he added.

“Since we have launched it, we have doubled our distribution of Snickers,” he was further quoted by PTI as saying.

Mars has manufacturing plants in Pune, Baddi (Himachal Pradesh), Hyderabad and Bengaluru and has plans to expand capacity when the demand increases.

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