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'Sofit' for the unfits

11-February-2004
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'Sofit' for the unfits

Godrej Industries-Foods Division, a part of the Godrej Group and one of the major players in the processed food market has set its foot into the Rs 300 crore health foods market with it’s new health beverage ‘Godrej Sofit. The product is a combination of Soy milk and natural fruit juices.

Positioned in the market as, ‘The New Taste of Health’ it is an attempt on the part of the company to offer innovative health solutions.

“The Foods division is moving towards positioning itself on the health platform. We felt that the Soy market was virtually untapped in India and with the Indian consumers getting more health conscious and the increasing popularity of Soya Worldwide, the entry into the Soy foods market was a natural choice,” said Mohan Pusalkar, executive director and president, GIL-Foods Division.

A recently held detailed perception study of the Indian Soy market by the American Soybean Association revealed that the Indian consumer has limited knowledge of the benefit of Soy.

Citing the benefits of the Soybeans Suresh Itapu, technical director-Soy Food Marketing, American Soybean Association-Asia subcontinent explained “Soybean reduces the risk of coronary heart diseases, lowers cholesterol levels and despite these benefits of soy, its usage in India is quite limited. This initiative by Godrej to launch Soymilk in India is indeed a much needed one for the health of the Indian consumer”.

According to M Y Varma, executive vice president-sales and marketing GIL-Foods Division, Sofit is targeted at the health conscious consumer and offers all the benefits of the Soybeans and more. “In the numerous research carried out, we found that it’s the beany taste conscious consumer away from soya. Our R&D has been able to mask the beany taste and we added the real fruit as opposed to artificial flavours to better the taste profile,” Varma added.

Currently, the value of the soya market is Rs 20 crore and the capacity is 80 lac litres. The company expects to capture 15 per cent in terms of volume and 30 per cent in terms of value by the end of December 2004. The foods division during the year 2002-03 clocked a turnover of Rs 176 crore. During the nine months ended December 31, the company is estimated to have clocked a turnover of Rs 156 crore and contributes approximately 30 per cent to the total turnover of GIL.

The current ratio between the edible fats business and processed foods business to the total foods division is 80:20 respectively. With the entry into the soya market, the company expects to change this ratio in the coming years.

Godrej- Food Division is focusing on the metros for Sofit. It is also targeting the fitness and health centres and promoting it amongst the medical fraternity. The product has already been launched in Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad to name a few cities and is available in three flavours namely Mango, Apple and Malt. It is available in in 200ml and costs Rs 12 per pack and a 1000ml tetrapack costs Rs 45 per pack as an introductory offer. In the future, the company officials said that they plan to launch more health products under the Sofit umbrella. The company is also launching a full fledged promoting the product in pres and outdoor media in select metors.

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