Dr. Oetker scouts for food companies down South

Purvita Chatterjee Mumbai | Updated on September 28, 2011 Published on September 28, 2011

Mr. Oliver Mirza, MD, Dr. Oetker India & Fun Foods Pvt. Ltd. - Photo: Kamal Narang   -  Business Line

After acquiring a North-based Indian company, Fun Foods, German company Dr. Oetker is now scouting for more food companies, down South. “Having scanned northern India, we are looking for food companies in South India. These should typically be small, family-owned companies making non-Indian foodstuffs in categories such as spreads, sauces, dessert powders or even breakfast cereals such as muesli, and do not export their offerings. “Ideally, we would like to fully own companies rather than pick up stakes in them,'' said Mr Oliver Mirza, Managing Director, Dr. Oetker India, and Fun Foods.

Staying away from the typical Indian food categories, Dr. Oetker wants to expand its presence in India with the distribution foothold it has got by acquiring Fun Foods.

With a turnover of Rs 83 crore, Dr. Oetker Fun Foods is slowly launching its international offerings such as muesli. Having acquired Fun Foods for Rs 110 crore last year, it has made the dressings and sauces brand a sub-brand, with Dr. Oetker acting as the mother brand.

“Whenever we acquire companies, we will retain the local brand and go in for co-branding initially and then make it a sub-brand in our foods portfolio. Fun Foods has been the closest to our portfolio and we are looking for more food brands that can be the right fit, added Mr Mirza.

Dr. Oetker currently has the onus of establishing its muesli brand in the breakfast cereals market. “Muesli is a Rs 70-crore category in India and comes after cornflakes which is a Rs 400-crore category. People are now moving away from consuming cornflakes as it has a high glycemic index and getting into healthier options such as muesli, claims Mr Mirza, targeting sales of Rs 50 crore from the muesli category in the next three-five years.

Besides, Dr. Oetker is looking forward to launching its frozen heat-and-serve pizzas. “We are already the leading pizza brand in Italy, in spite of being a German company, and are looking at getting into the frozen pizza market in India too,” added Mr Mirza.

Published on September 28, 2011
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