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Godrej to extend Nutrine brand to gums, chocolates

Godrej to extend Nutrine brand to gums, chocolates

Author | Source: Business Line | Wednesday, Mar 07,2007 9:08 AM

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Godrej to extend Nutrine brand to gums, chocolates

Godrej Beverages & Foods is planning to stretch the Nutrine brand into new categories such as gums, lozenges, fruit bars and even chocolates at a later stage. Creating USPs and making value additions in the new categories, Godrej is trying to differentiate its offerings in the confectionery segment.

Scouts for regional tea brands to take over

New categories

* Nutrine lozenges are expected to have micronutrients with therapeutic benefits and be positioned as tobacco cessation products.

* Nutrine fruit bars, made from pure fruit pulp, would come as the first brand from an organised player.

Godrej Beverages & Foods is planning to stretch the Nutrine brand into new categories such as gums, lozenges, fruit bars and even chocolates at a later stage. Creating USPs and making value additions in the new categories, Godrej is trying to differentiate its offerings in the confectionery segment.

For instance, its Nutrine lozenges are expected to have micronutrients with therapeutic benefits and be positioned as tobacco cessation products in the market.

Mr A. Mahendran, Managing Director, Godrej Beverages & Foods, told Business Line, "We are doing research to come out with products which have some social benefit. These would be products with micronutrients to wean people from products such as paan masalas and cigarettes.'' The Nutrine lozenges would be primarily targeted at smokers and paan chewers.

To Woo the right segment

Adds Mr Mahendran, "Our marketing efforts would be towards attracting the right segment to use these tobacco cessation products. The purpose behind launching the lozenges would be to link it with a social problem in the FMCG category.''

Meanwhile, the foods and beverages company is entering a new category through its fruit bars. An unorganised market, lacking a national player, would have Nutrine fruit bars made from pure fruit pulp as the first brand from an organised player. "Fruit bars such as aam papads are made by the cottage industry. There is no organised national player which makes natural fruit pulp-based bars currently,'' says Mr Mahendran. The Nutrine fruit bars would be pegged at Rs 5 for 25 gm.

An entry into the gums category with bubble and chewing gums is also envisaged in the future which would include the sugar-free segment as well.

Besides, the company's big bang entry into chocolates with the help of a joint venture partner is also an imminent possibility. With America's largest chocolate and confectionery maker Hershey looking for an Indian partner, the likelihood of Godrej being the chosen one has been gaining ground.

According to sources, the American company is likely to pick up a 51 per cent stake with an Indian company and while Godrej would be ready to offload its venture capital — IL&FS's stake of 40 per cent, the balance stake held by Godrej Industries and Mr Mahendran himself would be staggered, if the deal were to happen.

Domestic buys

At the same time, the Rs 375-crore Godrej Beverages & Foods continues to scout for acquisitions in the domestic market after its Nutrine buyout last year.

"Our appetite for acquisitions is high and we are interested in some of the regional tea brands,'' hints Mr Mahendran.

Considering Godrej's tea brands haven't made a significant mark in the market and continue to get distributed through Jyothi Labs, growing inorganically may prove to be easier for the FMCG Company.

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