Friday, August 12, 2016

Britannia focuses on distribution centres, new products to counter weak demand

Britannia is increasing its distribution centres across the country and working on newer products to offset a sluggish demand in the consumer sector which it believes will continue for the rest of the year.

The maker of Good Day and Bourbon biscuits said it added 60,000 direct distribution outlets in the last three months, more in the north Indian states were it has a weaker presence compared to its competitors such as Parle and ITC. As of July, the company has 1.32 million outlets, up from 1.26 million.

"Those numbers give us a pretty good reach. Growth for us in states such as Gujarat, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, except Uttar Pradesh, has been higher than the rest of the country and we are seeing the momentum we want," managing director Varun Berry told TOI. Including the direct outlets and wholesalers, Britannia is present in 4.7 million outlets.

Berry said the company is exploring other segments where it can venture, such as ready-to-eat, breakfast and snacks as part of its innovation. "The R&D centre in Bengaluru is working on this and we will hopefully hit the sweet spot next year," he said.

Berry, who was roped in from PepsiCo three years ago, said he does not expect demand to gather momentum during the rest of the year. That has been evident as a majority of FMCG companies reported low single growth in the recently concluded quarter.

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