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Rasna, ITC Foods eye bigger bite overseas

12-October-2004
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Rasna, ITC Foods eye bigger bite overseas

Even as Rasna Pvt Ltd is planning to introduce its ethnic foods range in the ready-to-eat (RTE) category in France, ITC Ltd Foods Division is gearing up to export its flagship brand ‘Kitchens of India’ to the US and UK in the next few months. Competition seems to be hotting up in the ready-to-eat food category.

For starters, ITC Foods is chalking out an ambitious gameplan to gain a competitive edge in this overcrowded RTE category. On the company’s plans, says ITC Foods divisional chief executive Ravi Naware: “We are developing a new gameplan to retain our leadership in this category. RTE is growing fast in India—at about 35% a year.”

Incidentally, the company is getting ready to export the entire range of its RTE brand Kitchens Of India to the US and UK soon. Mr Naware was, however, reluctant to divulge further details on the company’s new initiatives. In the RTE segment, Kitchens Of India is positioned as a premium range of canned ready-to-eat Indian food.

Meanwhile, Rasna Ltd is getting ready to launch the entire range of its ‘ethnic foods’ in France next week. Says Rasna Pvt Ltd chairman & managing director Piruz Khambatta: “Our ethnic foods range is specially crafted for NRIs. We are exporting our product to countries which include Australia, Singapore and the US. Now, we are taking it to France.”

Rasna’s ‘ethnic foods’ range includes curry pastes, pickles and fruit syrups among others.

A few months ago, Rasna was planning to foray into the ‘ready-to-drink’ segment in India. However, the company has now put these plans on hold for a while. “Our main focus will be on ‘soft drink powder concentrates’ for some time. We have put our plans for the ETD segment on the backburner for the time being,” says Mr Khambatta.

According to Mr Khambatta, Rasna has no plans to launch its ethnic foods range in India. Also, the company is not planning to enter the iced tea segment like other soft drink majors in the country.

“In 1992, I saw how lead players struggled to promote their RTE brands like Chicken Paste. In India, our main focus is mass market products like Rasna soft drink concentrates,” he adds.

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