As if an indicator of what the future has in store, the last three years have seen brands gaining in their market share in commodities like atta, basmati rice, and edible oil.
According to a Food and Beverages survey by Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, the branded atta market is growing at 12 per cent annually.
Atta consumption stands at 20 million tonne a year. The large players in the segment are Hindustan Lever (Annapurna), Godrej Pillsbury (Pillsbury), Cargill Foods (Nature Fresh) and ITC (Aashirvaad).
As for branded basmati, its percentage share in the basmati market stands at 35 per cent, with a growth rate of 15 per cent. India Gate, the brand owned by KRBL, has a market share of 25 per cent. “Consumers prefer branded basmati for rice foods like biryani etc,” said N C Gupta, vice-president of LT Overseas that sells Daawat brand basmati. Kohinoor Foods comes out with its Kohinoor brand.
In the edible oil segment, about 40 per cent of the 120 lakh tonne consumed annually is packaged. “Different segments have different priorities. In cities, health enjoys a premium, whereas in rural areas people want value for money,” said Ruchi Soya Managing Director Dinesh Shahra.
The oil industry is witnessing a 6 per cent compounded annual growth rate (CAGR), while the branded sector is growing at about 15-20 per cent.
Marico Industries’ Saffola is seeing a CAGR of 13 per cent, while its Sweekar has a CAGR of eight per cent.
Mother Dairy’s Dhara has a growth rate of six per cent. Adani Wilmar’s Fortune has a CAGR of 24 per cent.
“We are improving retail penetration by highlighting the benefits of quality oil,” says an analyst with Adani Wilmar.
In sugar, however, brands have yet to make an impact since Mawana Sugars launched the first branded product, Mawana, in 1992. Triveni, Dhampur Sugar, and Simbhaoli Sugars have brands by the names of Shagun, Dhampure and Trust, respectively.
Bajaj Hindusthan has stayed out of this segment as the market size is “not large enough.” Balrampur Chini Mills had launched three brands — Pyaar, Dulaar and Sanskaar — in 2003. However, having failed to generate volumes, it withdrew.