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Godrej Nature’s Basket to strengthen supply chain, explore farm sourcing

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Earlier, Godrej Nature’s Basket was a world food store but two years ago, changed its strategy and started focusing on fresh food and became a neighbourhood store from a destination store…

Incepted in 2005, Avani Davda’s Godrej Nature’s Basket went through an overhaul two years ago. The brand which was earlier known for its gourmet offerings re-invented its experience and offerings to become a neighbourhood store.

In an interaction with Indiaretailing Bureau, on the sidelines of India Food Forum 2019, Avinash Tripathi, Buying and Merchandising Head at Godrej Natures Basket spoke about the brand’s innovative new strategy which helped it regain consumers, rake in the revenue.

Tell us about the journey of the brand.

Earlier, Godrej Nature’s Basket was a world food store but two years ago, we changed our strategy and started focusing on fresh food. We changed from being a destination store to a neighbourhood store.

At present, we are focusing on bakery products, meat and fresh fruits and vegetables. These categories are also giving us high bill penetration along with raising the frequency of the customers. Earlier, fresh food was contributing 25 percent to the overall business but now 45-50 percent of the overall sales is coming from fresh food.

How did consumer respond to these changes?

Earlier, high frequency consumers used to contribute 12-13 percent of the sales and now they contribute 25 percent of the overall sales. Earlier, bill penetration for fruit and vegetable used to be around 25-30 percent but now it is 45 percent plus. It has similarly increased for meat and seafood from 30 percent to 50 percent. We have observed the strongest growth in bakery category. All these new categories are bringing in customers to our stores more frequently.

How are the private label brands performing?

At present, we have three in-house brands:

– Healthy Alternatives – Healthy Alternatives, the fastest growing brand in our kitty, offers complete solutions for healthy foods. It is growing at the rate of 80-90 percent year-on-year. Organic segment is growing at a high-speed under this brand and organic grocery is the fastest growing segment for us.

– Nature’s – Nature’s offers high-quality staples. For this brand, we have re-worked on our packing strategy and have received a fantastic response from consumers.

– L’Exclusif – This brand offers indulging delicacies and it has also shown a good growth.

As of now, we have no plans to add any new private label brands. However, we will certainly extend the range under these brands.

Apart from organic fresh food and FMCG, which are the other categories you are present in?

We are now focusing on an organic portfolio because we have observed that earlier organic food was contributing only 3-4 percent of the total sales whereas now it has more than doubled to 8-10 percent. Earlier, the major focus was on fruits and vegetables followed by groceries. Organic fresh foods and groceries put together is almost 80 percent of the overall business.

For dairy and cheese, which is another big category under organic, we have partnered with local players in different cities.

How many SKU’s do you have currently under organic portfolio and how can we expect it growing?

At present, we have around 500 SKUs in our portfolio on the organic front and we are targeting to reach around 1,200.

Any plans to explore new categories under the organic portfolio?

Organic chocolate is one big category which is contributing 13-15 percent to the overall sales. We are planning to expand it further.

Another category that we are planning to bet big on under organic portfolio is snacking. It triggers impulse buying which will further helps us to build on cuisines.

What are your plans for the future?

First, we want to consolidate our position and as a brand we are looking forward to increasing our like-to-like sales growth within the cities where we are present.

Despite having 19 stores in Mumbai and 2 stores in Pune, we feel that we have not explored these cities completely. There is still scope for us to expand. The expansion plan of the brand is to focus on the cities where we are already present so that we can utilise the full potential.

Going ahead, we are also planning to strengthen our supply chain and explore farm sourcing.

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