Simbhaoli Sugar Mills has entered the speciality sugar market with the launch of 'Trust' packaged refined sugar, which will be available in packs of 1kg and 5kg in the consumer retail format. It will be launched, in the first phase, in Delhi and NCR with subsequent launches in select cities of Punjab and UP. The company will offer a 50kg pack targeted to the bulk market.
The company has embarked on an ambitious campaign to promote 'Trust'. "We will be advertising in regional publications, on Radio Mirchi and through below-the-line promotional activities," said A V Surender, Head (Sales & Marketing), Simbhaoli Sugar Mills. Although he declined to comment on the ad spend, he indicated that it is in the region of Rs 3 crore.
'Trust' registers 99.95% purity, making it the purest sugar available. The refining process employed obviates the need to add sulphur, making trust practically sulphur-free. Trust is also virtually potassium free making it moisture-resistant while enhancing shelf life. In contrast to the color retention capacity of only 4 months with traditional sugars, like any other refined sugar, 'Trust' retains its colour and composition for more than 4 years. The ultra-violet treatment deployed at the pre-packing stage further enhances the purity of the final product.
Is there a market for speciality sugar? "Sugar consumption trends in India are evolving to match global preferences. Refined sugar is healthier, purer, whiter and is, in effect, the sugar of the future. Simbhaoli is ready today to cater to this demand," said Gurpal Singh, Deputy Managing Director, Simbhaoli Sugar Mills.
The Indian sugar industry is the largest in the world with an annual production of 20 million metric tones. The industry is, however, plagued with excess production with the average annual carryover stock in the beginning of 2003-04 season at 11 million metric tones (or 56% of annual production). While exports to a growing global sugar market is the most desirable opportunity available, Indian sugar commands a paltry 3% share in this market, the core issue being a the availability of internationally unacceptable sulphitation sugar against the global demand for refined sugar.
"As much as 42% of sugar traded worldwide is refined sugar while demand for traditional sulphitation sugar is virtually negligible. With our capability to produce world class refined sugar, Simbhaoli is now positioned to become a significant player in the global market," said Surender. "In fact, with the first export order to Sri Lanka already delivered, we are well on our way to achieve this goal", he added.
"Simbhaoli Sugar Mills continues to front innovations in the sugar industry. We were one of the firsts to launch packaged branded sugar in the country, an achievement we replicate today with refined sugar," said Singh. "With plans to expand our range into value added sugars, we are determined to retain our leadership position in innovation in this industry," he added.
For Simbhaoli Sugar Mills, the 99.95% pure refined sugar 'Trust' is the starting point for speciality sugars. The company has plans firmly drawn up to expand into further variants of value added sugars. On the anvil are plans to manufacture as many as 5-6 varieties of speciality sugars in the coming year, with variants such as flavored sugar, coffee sugar, pharma-grade sugar, breakfast sugar and confectionary sugars.