Talking to IANS, Mother Dairy Fruit & Vegetable’s Managing Director Sangram Chaudhary not only disclosed an upbeat sense of demand revival but also cited the company’s plans to launch new health-based products.
“With the unlock phases, things are gradually coming back in place and we are positive to see a revival in the business as well as consumer sentiments across the areas where we operate in,” Chaudhary said.
“The overall volumes in the household segments are well in-line with the pre-COVID levels. We are certainly optimistic for the future given the positive strides being made towards revival.”
The dairy segment, he elaborated, saw a limited impact in the initial phases of the lockdown, however, it sailed through due to the fact of it being in the essential commodities category.
“Operations of many general retail and modern trade outlets were con fined during this time, however, our existing infrastructure of owned exclusive outlets catered to the consumers throughout the lockdown period,” he explained.
“In addition, we further expanded our sales infrastructure with around 100 exclusive touch-points. These outlets played a crucial role in reaching out to maximum consumers, supplying milk and necessary food options even in the containment zones.”
However, the last 6-7 months witnessed a decline in demand from the institutions due to the restrictions and regulations put in place.
Nonetheless, with in-house consumption picking up, the company has focused synergies towards catering to the consumers at their homes with consistent supplies.
It initiated home delivery of ice creams through orders being placed on its website.
“We also tied up with an e-commerce channel to supply fresh fruits and vegetables from our horticulture brand – Safal at consumers’ doorsteps,” he said.
Resultantly, the company has witnessed over 100 per cent increase in sales via online platforms.
According to Chaudhary, consumer preference has shifted to essential food options, with focus towards nutritional offerings.
“The lockdown period gave rise to the demand for convenient and immunity-related food products,” he said.
“With the growing concern over health and safety, consumers were resorting to packaged food options across varied categories.”
Besides, he pointed out an increase in preference of packaged food over loose products as safety has become the new norm.
In terms of the company’s newest bakery business, Chaudhary said: “Consumers response towards our newly introduced breads has been really positive and encouraging.”
Going ahead, Chaudhary revealed that company is looking at launching health- based products such as “whole wheat and multi-grain bread and value- added products like burger buns, kulchas… the entire product portfolio is being worked upon.”
On the QSR front, the company plans to study market response to its standalone outlet in NCR, before expanding any further in the segment.
“Since this is a completely new segment for us and different from the categories that we operate in, assessing the consumer response, trend and feedback is of utmost importance to us,” he added.
“With the lockdown being imposed in March 2020, there was little time to assess the response. The future course of our action is directly linked to these facets.”
The company had forayed into the QSR segment in January 2020.