Del Monte hopes olive oil can smoke out ghee, butter
With Del Monte olive oil making inroads into Punjab, a region known for its penchant for ghee and butter, and Kashmir, one of its biggest markets for canned juices, the company now plans to spread its wings into smaller cities.
At present, Del Monte sells packaged juices, fruits, ketchups and sauces, pastas, olives and olive oils in the country. “Unlike Chinese food, which is largely eaten outside, Italian food is being increasingly cooked in Indian homes. This is because of the increase in disposable incomes and growing exposure to alternative cuisine. We are bullish on the Indian consumption story,” said Yogesh Bellani, COO, FieldFresh Foods and Business Head of Del Monte in India. Del Monte entered India in 2007 through a joint venture between Bharti Enterprises and Del Monte Pacific Ltd, called FieldFresh Foods Pvt Ltd.
The brand, which earns nearly 50 per cent of its revenues through sales to bakeries, hotels and eateries, claims its B2B (business-to-business) vertical has a well established distribution route for its products, through which more consumers are now sampling its products, especially in the smaller cities. The company is also using modern retail to push its products.
“We, for instance, sell nearly five crore ketchup sachets a month through touch points of our B2B clients. Our products are increasingly being used by bakeries and eateries even in smaller cities. As far as our B2C (business-to-consumer) is concerned, we are present in 50-55 key cities across modern retail stores. Now, in nearly 30-40 cities we have started intensive relationship programmes through which we educate traders and shopkeepers at kirana stores about our products,” he said.
The company plans to expand its range of condiments, dips and spreads. “There is a launch being planned every quarter as we plan to expand our Italian range of pasta sauces, sauces, dips, salad dressing and spreads,” Bellani said.
Asked about the impact of currency fluctuation on the business, Bellani said the company was closely watching the situation would take a decision on any price increase in the next few weeks.