Dabur Foods is looking at expanding its packaged food portfolio. Sanjay Sharma, general manager- sales and marketing, Dabur Foods, said the company was evaluating various options in the category.
“Ready-to-cook is one area we are looking at with products like basic gravies etc. Marinades and basic cooking ingredients are other are products we would consider,” he said.
The company already has some similar ingredients like tomato puree, soups and cooking pastes under the Hommade brand.
Explaining why ready-to-eat foods would not feature in the company’s plans, Sharma said they were focussed on providing offerings which would reduce the negative labour involved in cooking like making purees even gravies.
The Indian market is still not totally accepting ready-to-eat foods with the emphasis still being on freshness and taste.
The company had bifurcated its business into retail and food services, which caters to the institutional buyers to better focus on both emerging areas.
Discussing the plans for the food services segment, Sharma said the company would soon start customising products as per the specific needs of the client.
This would mean changing their products to an extent as per their requirements before moving to the next level where they would also make special products for the larger customers.
On acquisitions, Sharma pointed out that there were hardly any well established brands in the food business and so the focus would be on product development over acquisitions.
“There are opportunities to acquire plants as and when we need to expand our capacity, which we did last year in Jaipur, but not too many brands,” said Sharma.
He said that for the next few years, the company would continue to focus on their beverages business over the foods.
The company has just introduced a range of summer drinks under the Coolers sub-brands, which provide a value add to the drinks one would make at home like aam panna and watermelon juice.
Dabur Foods ended the previous financial year with sales of Rs 191 crore with an operating profit of Rs 12 crore.