Britannia wants rural markets to bring in 40% of sales by 2019

Abhishek Law Kolkata | Updated on January 09, 2018

Varun Berry, MD

Biscuit major focussing on weaker markets

Biscuit major Britannia, which has been able to gain a foothold in the rural markets, is now eyeing a bigger chunk there.

Over the last few years, the company has been working towards strengthening its presence in the hinterlands (and rural markets) and gaining market share in weaker territories and States. Historically, rural sales had been a weak point for the biscuit-major.

A report by Edelweiss maintains that Britannia’s rural revenues for FY17 stood at ₹1,556 crore, more than double the ₹753 crore it reported three years ago in FY14. On a year-on-year basis, the numbers moved up 30 per cent. In FY16, rural sales were at ₹1,204 crore.

According to Varun Berry, Managing Director, Britannia, rural sales should move up to 40 per cent of its turnover in two years time.

“Rural sales are around 30 per cent for us. But it should move up to 40 per cent in two years’ time. We are targeting the States where we have a weaker presence,” he told BusinessLine.

Market sources indicate that Britannia has had a strong presence in the South and East. The focussed markets now are Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan.

Rural offerings

For Britannia, one of its strategies is to leverage low unit price offerings, in the mass as well as premium offerings. In fact, if sources are to be believed, the company started gaining ground when it was successful in pushing ahead ₹5 packs of ‘Good Day’ biscuits.

This apart, what Berry ensured was ramping up distribution channels, putting products in shop shelves and ensuring that there was an option for customers to choose from.

“The strategy was to distribute. Put our products in the shelves so that the customers can buy,” he said.

“There is not a single outlet that I have gone to which has not said that they will not stock Britannia products. It was our inability to get to that market,” Berry added.

Foods company

Britannia, as Berry points out, is also exploring “adjacent categories” as it aims to be a foods company.

Apart from biscuits, the company’s product portfolio includes breads, rusk, cakes and dairy goods. It is also adding croissants to its basket of offerings now.

Published on August 15, 2017

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