See significant growth potential with increasing demand
With `everything healthy' being the toast of the season and `eating healthy' the current culinary trend, the mention of curd/yoghurt cannot be far behind.
In fact, with the oncoming summer both Amul and Nestle, producers and marketers of branded and flavoured curd/yoghurt, are betting big on the segment to keep the cash registers ringing.
Amul's Assistant General Manager, Marketing, Mr Jayen S. Mehta said, "Amul doesn't only sell cup curd. In fact a major share of our every day curd sales comes from pouched curd, since pouches are cheaper and better for daily consumption. We sell a total of 50,000 kg of curd per day, which includes sales from both our cups (Masti Dahi) and pouches. In fact, as far as curd-based drinks are concerned, our Masti Spiced Buttermilk is a big grosser pan India, and sells almost 3 lakh litres per day in Gujarat alone."
Amul, which also markets brands such as Amul Lassee in two flavours, rose and kevda, is all set to strengthen its reach in the flavoured curd/yoghurt category.
"We are in the process of launching a flavoured curd brand, Yogi, in four variants — pineapple, mixed fruit, strawberry and mango — in the next couple of months.
"In fact, the products are already being piloted in Mumbai," he added.
The company is also examining options of introducing a pro-biotic range of curd with hopes to turn its curd/yoghurt business into a Rs 100-crore segment by the summer of 2008. Meanwhile, Nestle, the other big branded curd/yoghurt retailer has aggressive plans for its brands, Nestle Fresh `n' Dahi, Fresh `n' Natural Raita, Fruit `n' Dahi and Mishti Doi.
"The dairy industry benchmark suggests that the packaged dahi market in India could be about 60,000 tonnes, while the indigenous market comprising curd sold in loose pouches by local dairies may be about 140,000 tonnes.
"Having said that, the branded yoghurt market in India has significant growth potential with consumers increasingly demanding greater hygiene and quality, resulting in the growth of sales of our Fresh `n' Natural range," said a company official.
On the company's future plans for its curd/yoghurt category, the official said, "Nestle India's dairy business is working closely with the R&D facilities of the Nestle Group to enhance the nutritional, health and wellness dimensions of its products." However, the company refused to divulge further information.