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Modern Foods to re-claim lost geographies, introduce new categories

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In 2017, Enterprises relaunched its iconic Modern brand, with a new positioning; new identity; fresh, vibrant and contemporary packaging; and an enhanced portfolio of superior and healthier products to strengthen its appeal to multiple consumer segments.

Modern Foods to re-claim lost geographies, introduce new categories
The brand has already started tasting the success in the cake portfolio, which was launched recently

The new portfolio features smarter choices for consumers seeking more nutritious options such as Milk Plus bread enriched with calcium; Hi-Fibre Brown bread reinforced with premium wheat fibre; 100 percent whole-wheat bread; and other new innovations such as Multigrain Superseed Bread which has superseed sprinkles on top and flour made of seven grains, along with being rich in Omega 3.

Talking about how the revamped brand is catering to evolved consumer choices, , CEO, Modern Foods told Indiaretailing Bureau on the sidelines on India Food Forum 2019, “Over the years a lot has happened in the category. Consumers have evolved and they are looking for niche options to consume on a daily basis. Since we needed to re-energise our brand, we decided to ask directly ask consumers what they wanted, what were their likes and preferences. We carried out multiple surveys over 2-3 years and finally zeroed in on a new portfolio. This bread portfolio caters to very sharp concepts in bread from a 100 percent whole-wheat to wheat bread, high-fibre brown bread, brown bread.”

Key Growth Areas

The brand is planning to scale new heights since it figures there is scope to expand and explore new categories. “Our growth will come from multiple areas and we are keen on going back to some of the geographies and territories we had vacated earlier,” Soni stated.

“The growth will also come from other verticals. Apart from bread, there are other categories to get into which are full of innovations like cakes and even the cookies space where there is a lot of opportunity to play in the premium segment,” he added.

Exploring New Categories

The brand has already started tasting the success in the cake portfolio, which was launched recently.

“Out cakes portfolio has found great success among younger consumers who didn’t actually know a lot about us because the brand has not invested in media and communication for the last 10 years. Consumers between 25-35 years age have now started to accept and recognise us,” explained Soni.

“We have just acquired a Chennai-based cookie brand, Cookie Man, and it comes with a lot of knowledge and technical expertise in cookies. We are evaluating on how we can leverage this brand acquisition and make a strong presence in the cookies segment in the country,” he added.

Future Plans

Modern Foods, which was established in 1965 by the Government of India, was the first branded bread in the country.

Global private equity player Everstone acquired Modern Food – which had exited several markets, including Delhi – from FMCG major Hindustan Unilever in 2015.

“At present, we have a strong presence in South India. We are also present in Mumbai, Kolkata and 12 other large cities like Bareilly, Gwalior, Lucknow, Pune and Jaipur. I think the only space which is left is the North of India. By the end of this calendar year, we should be back in the biggest bread and bakery market in the country which is NCR. We are looking at the central and northern parts of India where we are not present the way we should be,” he said.

The company is targeting revenue of Rs 1,000 crore by 2021 and also planning to enhance its non-bread portfolio, which it expects would contribute one-third of the revenue by then.