After foraying into segments such as snacks, beverages and ready-to-cook, Bangalore-based Britannia Industries believes it’s time to nurture these products.
According to Anuradha Narasimhan, category director, health & wellness, the focus of the firm will be on growing its presence in these segments, rather expanding into new areas. “The priority for us will be to consolidate in the segments we are in,” she said.
At a time, when competition in packaged foods is growing, analysts say Britannia’s move to focus on existing categories is aimed at avoiding the pitfalls of rapid diversification. In recent years, the Rs 4,605-crore company has concentrated on delivering good-for-you products in innovative formats. Health & wellness, said Narasimhan, was a key part of the firm’s growth strategy. “We are clear we would like to play there,” she said.
From biscuits to beverages and snacks to allied products, Britannia had attempted to deliver all of these on a healthy platform, she said. Its recent launch of savouries, for instance, is a case in point. Narasimhan said what was missing in the company’s portfolio was a salty product. At the same time, the firm, whose key business remains biscuits, was conscious of the fact that this had to be delivered on a healthy format. “We came up with multi-grain roasties and chips, which are healthy snacking options,” she said.
Given the thrust on innovation, simply launching new products could be dangerous, say market experts. “You need time to nurture products already in your portfolio,” said a Mumbai-based fast moving consumer goods analyst.
The need to take a pause in new launches is also linked to another reason. Britannia, said Narasimhan, remained serious about driving health & wellness not only among kids, but also among adults. “Unlike the kids’ health category, which is fairly large at about Rs 15,000 crore, the adult health segment is half of that. But the growth rates that the latter show are much more than the kids’. Which is why we remain committed to this segment,” she said.
Britannia is using two brands, NutriChoice and Healthy Start, to target adult health. NutriChoice products include cookies for diabetics, digestive and five-grain biscuits, healthy cream crackers and snacks. Healthy Start, on the other hand, includes a range of ready-to-cook products, aimed at consumption during breakfast time.