Diversified conglomerate ITC on Thursday forayed into the fresh fruit and vegetables market with a new brand Farmland. Beginning its journey in the highly untapped packaged fresh vegetables market in India with four variants of potatoes, the company plans to come up with more such offerings every quarter in line with its new-found focus on branded fresh and processed food and beverage market. According to S Sivakumar, head of agri business, ITC, the product category is currently the largest among all fresh fruit and vegetables in India, seeing a total business of Rs 70,000 crore. The new products will be priced at up to 15 per cent premium to unorganised market prices. And their retailers will be allowed to adjust prices depending on retail market prices. Initially, seven metros, including Delhi, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Mumbai, will be covered over the next 12 months. The firm is exploring other products like leafy vegetables and several forms of apple.
It is also working on several other vegetables like onions in processed and dehydrated forms, to be launched later under a separate brand, he said.ITC’s interest in packaged food in fresh and processed forms is expected to play a crucial role in its future growth plans. The cigarettes-to-hotels major has set an ambitious target of generating 65 per cent of the targeted Rs 1,00,000-crore non-cigarettes revenue from its packaged foods business by 2030. The packaged foods division now clocks up over Rs 8,000 crore in sales annually. Four months ago ITC had entered the consumer market with fresh prawns under Master Chef, its seafood brand. It also plans to strengthen its juices business under B Natural continuously.