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Apr, 20 2017

ITC aims to become the leader of India's packaged-foods industry

ITC is said to be evaluating staples and edible oil, health foods, and value-added dairy products as categories it might enter.

ITC aims to outrun Nestle and Britannia as the leader of India’s packaged-foods industry in the next two-three years, crowning the two-decade transformation of the century old tobacco giant into a diversified consumer-goods company.

Hemant Malik, Divisional Chief Executive, Food Business, said that the formula for dominance in the increasingly competitive packaged foods industry would be accelerated introduction of new products, and entry into seven-eight newer categories.

He said, "We are constantly evaluating different categories, and our R&D team is working on multiple products that would be superior and differentiated. A lot of back-end exploratory work is going on."

ITC is said to be evaluating staples and edible oil, health foods, and value-added dairy products as categories it might enter.

The maker of Sunfeast biscuits and Bingo chips is now the third-largest player in the packaged foods market, with Rs 7,097 crore sales in 2015-16.

By contrast, Nestle had Rs 8,175 crore sales in calendar 2015, and Britannia reported Rs 7,947 crore revenue in 2015-16.

ITC plans to introduce about 40 new food products in the next year – a record for ITC – and sell premium chocolates and coffee through retail chains and online stores.

Malik said the 40 new differentiated products will not only be variants, but also new products. ITC’s foods business is expected to be the majority contributor to its goal of achieving a turnover of Rs 1 lakh crore from its non-cigarette FMCG businesses by 2030. The company is expecting Rs 60,000 crore to Rs 65,000 crore will be generated from the foods business by then.

Malik said, "We can achieve our goal, given the huge opportunities that lie in every segment, and the GDP growth rate that India will be witnessing over the years. ITC has forayed into multiple categories and we are constantly expanding our portfolio of offerings."

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