Amul to expand ‘dark chocolate’ capacity

Rutam Vora Ahmedabad | Updated on January 20, 2018 Published on April 25, 2016

AMUL   -  Business Line

GCMMF sees a 20-25 per cent growth in its chocolate business this fiscal.

Even as Cadbury-makers, on Monday, inaugurated its 60,000 tons per annum (TPA) manufacturing plant in Andhra Pradesh, Amul said it is expanding chocolate making capacity from 7,600 TPA to 20,000 TPA by the end of 2016-17, apparently in a bid to enter competition in a big way.

According to market observers, an indigenous Amul is currently the fourth largest selling chocolate brand in India after the imported ones like Cadbury, Nestle and Ferrero.

The Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF), which markets milk and dairy products under the Amul brand, is all set to milk the response it got for its range of “Dark Chocolates”. From being harbingers of the White Revolution, GCMMF may be riding a 'Dark' Revolution this time.

Driven by the success of its 150-gram bars of Dark Chocolates among the urban consumers, the world’s largest milk cooperative is expanding its chocolate-making capacity from 7,200 TPA to about 20,000 TPA by end of this fiscal at its existing manufacturing facility near Anand in Gujarat.

R S Sodhi, Managing Director, GCMMF, told BusinessLine that Amul has discovered its niche chocolate consumer segment. "We have redefined chocolate business through a range of Amul Dark Chocolates. We have been successful in tapping the consumers with our 150-grams bars. This category is growing fast, and in order to meet the growing demand, we have planned this expansion.”

On Monday, market leader and Cadbury-maker Mondelēz International inaugurated its latest manufacturing plant in Andhra Pradesh with initial installed capacity of 60,000 TPA at an investment of nearly USD 190 million (approx Rs 1200 crore). By 2020, it plans to expand capacity to 2.50 lakh TPA.

Meanwhile, GCMMF sees a 20-25 per cent growth in its chocolate business this fiscal. However, it refused to divulge the details about the contribution of chocolates to the Federation's total revenues of Rs 23,005 crore in 2015-16.

Amul currently offers Dark Chocolate in flavours such as Fruit n Nut, Milk Chocolate, Orange, Mocha, Bitter, Crackers, among others. A latest variant, Belgian Chocolate will be launched by mid-May.

Besides chocolate, Amul claims to be a formidable player, when it comes to overall cocoa-based products manufacturing. Amul's in-house processing of cocoa beans into chocolates made it India's top Ice cream brand in early 2000s, while it is the largest chocolate player in India having cocoa-based drinks in its beverage portfolio like Amul Kool Koko and Amul PRO Chocolate drinks.

Known for milk cooperative structure, Amul introduced chocolates in the country in the 1970s to prevent exploitation of cocoa-bean producers of India at the hands of multinational companies.

Published on April 25, 2016
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