Dalmia to launch blended olive oil

Purvita Chatterjee Mumbai | Updated on November 23, 2017

The company is already a market leader with its ten-year-old brand Leonardo.

Move to hedge against costly imports

Leading olive oil major Dalmia Continental plans to launch a blended olive oil variant using rice bran oil. This is to offset rising cost of imports due to the depreciating rupee.

Oliryze, the new blend, would be launched under the economy brand of Marco Polo. It will contain 30 per cent olive oil, the balance will be rice brand oil, which will be locally sourced.

Chairman V. N. Dalmia said, “There has been a 60 per cent rise in olive oil prices due to the rupee depreciation and the increase in raw material price of olives, which is a double whammy. This has led to flat growth rates for olive oil imports, currently at 12,000 tonnes. We would locally blendit with rice bran, which would lead to it being offered nearly 50 per cent cheaper than regular olive oil.”

Oliryze would be priced at Rs 250 for a litre. The company is already a market leader with its ten-year-old brand Leonardo, which owns a 30 per cent market share at the premium-end of the olive oil category. The price of Leonardo Pomace olive oil has increased from Rs 495 to Rs 799 a litre in the past year. It launched Marco Polo last year to drive volumes in the Rs 350-crore olive oil category and has managed to garner a 5-7 per cent market share.

Of late, the olive oil category has been getting crowded with new players such as Cargill India and Agrotech Foods. In fact, blended olive oils have also been tried out by Agrotech Foods’ with its Sundrop Olivea oil, which is a blend with sunflower oil. Modi Naturals also has blend of olive and rice bran oil under Oleev Active.

Incidentally, its joint venture (JV) partner Nicola Pantaleo, an Italian producer of olive oil, is also looking to increase stake from the current 27 per cent to become a majority shareholder with a 51 per cent stake in Dalmia Continental. Last year, the company forged a JV with the Italian firm which had been its souring partner for almost a decade.

In the recent past, Dalmia Continental has also offloaded a 12 per cent stake to Bennett, Coleman & Company (BCCL) and is now looking at offloading more stake to private equity funds. “We do not mind more PE partners and are willing to sell stake up to 22 per cent of the expanded capital as we want to get more investors. Even international edible oil majors have evinced interest in our company,” he added. The company is targeting revenue of Rs 85 crore and expects to break even this year.

Published on November 20, 2013

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