Dabur set to spice up food business

Dabur set to spice up food business

Author | Source: The Economic Times | Saturday, Dec 02,2006 8:42 AM

Dabur set to spice up food business

Dabur is scripting a strategy to give a better play to the food business in its portfolio. Its wholly owned subsidiary - Dabur Foods - is planning an entry into the ready-to-eat packaged foods market under the brand, Hommade.

According to sources, the brand with a strong culinary association, sells cooking pastes such as garlic and ginger and is highly underleveraged. "There are discussions underway, but when we do it, Dabur would stay clear of regular packaged food, which can be prepared at home. Instead, we would look at cuisine-based preparations such as Chinese and Thai food, which are increasingly getting popular," Dabur Foods CEO Amit Burman said.

Sources say Dabur doesn't want to threaten the housewives' space as most regular packaged food preparations tend to do. The thinking within the company is to identify cuisines with exotic recipes. The FMCG major is well aware of the big challenge in the ready-to-eat market - the popular consumer scepticism about the freshness of food in aspectic packaging. "It's going to be a slow adaptability for the consumers in India and we waited for a certain degree of awareness to come about," Mr Burman said.

Dabur Foods, whose portfolio is heavily skewed towards fruit beverages, is now looking to broad base its business in terms of new products and penetrating new consumer constituencies. The company has intensified its foray into food services and the highly competitive institutional segment. The company supplies packaged fruit, sauces and condiments to some 1,700 institutional customers including, Domino's, BPOs and a slew of hotels.

"Thus far we had been plucking low hanging fruit in the juice market through our brands Real and Active, but we are now also looking at food services and exports in a big way," Mr Burman said. The company has lined up quite a few new launches in the next three months, which include snack dressings, fruit pulp and some others under Real and Active brands for the retail market.

Dabur which sells juices, pulp and fruit slices under the brand Real in Australia through an arrangement with Australian retail major - Woolworth and Coles - is now eyeing markets in the West.

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