No slowdown bites for gourmet chain Nature’s Basket

Bindu D. Menon New Delhi | Updated on October 19, 2013 Published on October 19, 2013

Despite challenges like rupee volatility, there is no slowdown in the gourmet retailing business as it caters to the higher socio-economic strata, according to Godrej Nature’s Basket, a gourmet food chain.

The company has doubled its products to nearly 6,000 to serve the growing number of consumers experimenting with their food habits, it said.

“Consumers who buy gourmet products are well travelled and open to experimenting with food. Additionally, the segment we cater to is not impacted by the rupee fluctuation and macro-economic conditions,” said Mohit Khattar, Managing Director.

The Godrej Group’s retail venture has 29 company-owned and -operated stores. Khattar said footfalls had been growing at 20 per cent annually and the average ticket size was Rs 750. In India, Italian, Chinese and Thai products are highly in demand, he added.

Khattar, however, did not divulge the revenue and investment numbers of the company.

According to a Technopak report, the gourmet foods industry in India is estimated at Rs 6,000 crore, a small fraction of the total food and grocery market, which is pegged at Rs 13.5 lakh crore. Analysts say 60 per cent of the market is in the top 10 cities. Gourmet retailing caters to 2-5 per cent of consumers.

Khattar said the company had tweaked it stores to enhance the shopping experience. “Our flagship stores are between 2,500 and 5,000 sq ft. We want to stick to a format, which is neither too small nor too big,” he said, adding the company would continue with its premium positioning.

Nature’s Basket works with around 350 distributors and importers, who directly supply to the store, helping keep costs and pilferages low. The company said 85 per cent of the chain’s shelf space was dominated by imported foods, including cheese, pasta, noodles, fresh meat, cold cuts and syrups.

Khattar said the company had started its online channel and was working to scale up the model.

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Published on October 19, 2013
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