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Wednesday, May 15, 2002

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Pomsy promises new dimension to biscuits

Vinson Kurian


THE Kerala-based Pomsy Food Products Pvt Ltd, the newest entrant to the bustling biscuits and snack foods market, promises to "bake more interesting biscuits''.

"Right now, biscuits are not perceived as an interesting product. The reason is that nobody has looked at them as an anytime food. They are taken either as breakfast or at teatime. We want to make biscuits an anytime product. That can be done only if you expand the range,'' Mr P. Rajendra Prasad, the Dubai-based Managing Director, and Mr A.G. Rajan, CEO, told Business Line.

"In India, you don't see even a tenth of the range available in developed markets,'' Mr Prasad said. Therefore, Pomsy's first target is to launch basic flavours so that the trade gets used to it.

"We will then provide add-ons like digestive biscuits, high-fibre biscuits, biscuits for diabetics and so on. At a time when health consciousness is very strong, we are assured of a market for our products,'' he added.

Mr Rajan said: "We are proud to say that ours will be the most hygienic product in the country, given the conscious effort we have put in to ensure quality and cleanliness on the shopfloor."

Pomsy has tied up with the Mysore-based Central Food Technology Research Institute (CFTRI) to develop speciality biscuits. "We are going in for the high fibre-oriented stuff along the lines of those available in the Far East. The tie-up with CFTRI is major boost for us because it has the best baking technology in Asia,'' Mr Prasad said.

According to Mr Rajan, the company will give equal preference to the organised and unorganised markets.

"The organised sector itself allows scope for somebody who offers quality. We are initially targeting the Kerala market, which is our home base."

Pomsy is also clear about not going to take established leaders head-on. "We do not intend to launch a blitzkrieg to give senior players the feeling that we are out to create anything big that displaces them from their pedestal," Mr Rajan said.

In a multinational plant of comparable size, the per head output is 175-200 kg of biscuits per person per day. But at Pomsy, it will be 480 kg.

On speciality biscuits, Mr Rajan admitted that they will require awareness campaign and trials.

"But we don't want to go to the mass media for creating the awareness. We will instead be doing a lot of work at the marketplace itself. For example, we are planning on week-long familiarisation campaign at established shopping malls frequented by housewives along with their children.''

The Pomsy plant is also being touted as one of the most hygienic such plants in the country.

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