Mars International India, the wholly-owned arm of US-based global leading chocolate maker Mars Inc, is likely to set up a production unit for chocolates in India in next two to three years.
“We are evaluating the possibilities and are in process of identifying a suitable place to set up a local sourcing unit in the medium term,” said MV Natarajan, general manager (chocolates), Mars International India Pvt Ltd.
Mars International India, which has chocolate brands like Mars, Snickers, Twix and Bounty among its global portfolio of 23 brands, on Thursday, launched Galaxy, a tablet shaped chocolate in India. At present, it sells Snickers chocolates in India. Snickers chocolate was launched about three years back.
The estimated $1.5 billion (about Rs 9,384 crore) Galaxy is the third largest chocolate brand globally.
“India is one of the fastest growing chocolate markets globally, with more than 20 per cent annual growth,” said Raghav Rekhi, Marketing Director, Mars International India. The company is also evaluating options to bring more chocolate brands to India, but not very soon, he added.
Indian chocolate industry is estimates at Rs 5,000 crore, of which about 50 per cent is tablet shaped category. Per capita chocolate consumption in India is just about 100 gram. Cadbury leads the market with about 70 per cent share, followed by Nestle and Amul.
The $33-billion Mars International operates in six business areas — Petcare, Chocolate, Wrigley, Food, Drinks, Symbioscience. In India, it currently operates in only Chocolates and Pet Care segments. Its pet care brands — Pedigree and Whiskas are manufactured at Hyderabad.
Galaxy chocolates will be available across top 100 cities in India in 19 gram bar for Rs 15 and a 43 gram bar for Rs 40.