Britannia Bel Foods Private Limited, a joint venture between Britannia Industries Ltd. and French company Bel Groupe, aims to double down on its existing retail distribution by the end of this financial year, according to a top executive of the company. Currently, its products are available in more than 50,000 outlets across the country. 

The dairy division, which generated ₹600 crore in FY23, accounts for approximately 4-5 per cent of the company’s total business. Britannia reported annual net sales of ₹15,985 crore in FY23.

The cheese business operated by Britannia Bel Foods is focused on the retail cheese segment, which is a ₹1,500 crore category in India.

“Despite its potential, the cheese market remains under-penetrated and under-consumed, with only about 5 per cent household penetration in urban areas of the country. This shows a great opportunity for us,” Abhishek Sinha, the CEO, told businessline. Cheese contributes ₹250 crore to the overall dairy business.

Two products

With the objective of making Indian consumers experience differentiated products that they have never experienced before, it currently offers two products: a round box of portioned-size cream cheese called The Laughing Cow Portions and cheese in a sachet as part of its newly launched co-brand Britannia The Laughing Cow. 

“Both products are unique and highly differentiated and are the first in the country. We bought these from Bel’s portfolio of international markets. The cream cheese can be spread on any surface, and it comes in portion sizes, so you don’t have to open the whole thing to consume it,” he explained.

The second product is aimed at addressing the affordability factor. “Cheese is a category that is perceived to be expensive. We are bringing cheese in a sachet worth ₹10 per piece,” said Sinha. Currently, the company sells seven formats of cheese, such as slices, cubes, blocks, and more.

Future plans

As part of its future plans, the company will explore additional products from Bel’s extensive international portfolio to introduce to the Indian market.

Britannia has been in the dairy business for the last 25 years and currently operates in five major categories: cheese, beverages, powdered milk, ghee, and fresh dairy products.

Furthermore, it is also looking to double its existing turnover of cheese  in the next three years. Keeping that in mind, the company has completely integrated its back end with a new plant in Ranjangaon, close to Maharashtra, and it is an investment of ₹600 crore.

The plant is now fully set up, and efforts are underway to stabilise the factory to support the cheese business. As a result, production is expected to commence by the end of this year, he added.