Best Foods to scale up presence in packaged biz

Abhishek Law Kolkata | Updated on February 19, 2015 Published on February 19, 2015

To increase focus on domestic market

Delhi-headquartered Best Foods Ltd is looking to expand its presence in the domestic packaged rice segment.

Over the next 2-3 years it is targeting a 50-50 contribution between exports and domestic consumption.

Exports contribute to nearly 65 per cent of its current ₹2,500-crore turnover.

According to Aayushman Gupta, CEO, Best Foods, the increased focus on the domestic market would come primarily on the back of its brand-building exercise and penetration into rural market.

He, however, did not elaborate on the strategy to tap the unorganised rural market that still has little penetration of branded or packaged rice.

“We are working on our rural strategy. Over the next two-three year period, domestic consumption would account for nearly half our turnover,” he told BusinessLine.

Best’s offerings include basmati, brown and non-basmati variants of rice with prices (per kg) ranging between ₹45 and ₹150, across the economy and premium variants. It has 17 rice mills with a combined capacity of 45,000 tonnes a month.

The branded rice segment also includes players such as Kohinoor and India Gate, amongst others.

Modern Trade

According to Gupta, focus would predominantly be on modern trade and not on “mom and pop” stores.

Sales in kirana stores would come as an add-on; mainly on account of the consumer demand for the same from their neighbourhood stores. This would give the company a “control” over its distribution network. So far, Best has a presence across 2,400 plus modern trade touch-points across 250-odd cities and towns. Best, Gupta said, was also in talks with PE players to fund its expansion and brand building plans.

Approximately, ₹50 crore has so far been spent on brand building over thee last two-to-three years.

Expansion plans

Apart from packaged rice offerings, the company also introduced ready-to-cook products and readymade sauces under the “Best” brand. However, their contribution to the turnover remains negligible.

“Over the next one year we will introduce these variants on a national basis. But right now our focus remains on rice,” he said.

Published on February 19, 2015
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