CavinKare opens Garden Store in Chennai

TE Raja Simhan Chennai | Updated on October 23, 2019 Published on October 22, 2019

Manu Ranjith, Managing Director, CK Foods   -  Bijoy Ghosh

The company eyes local sweets and savouries business

After having acquired the 35-year-old Mumbai brand Garden — marketer of farsan (salty snacks), namkeens, wafers and sweets — in August 2009, CavinKare is now giving the brand a major facelift by expanding its retail footprint in South India. Garden Stores will offer sweets and savouries.

Through this move, the FMCG player will take on established players like Adyar Ananda Bhavan, Sri Krishna Sweets and Grand Sweets and Snacks.

However, unlike the established players, CK Foods, a part of CavinKare, will keep the Garden Stores small but will have all the items, especially Bengali sweets.


“This will give better return on investment, and the savings in operational cost will, in turn, be passed on to customers by offering products at a lesser price compared to competitors,” said Manu Ranjith, Managing Director, CK Foods, which also runs 100 CK's Cakes and Bakery in Chennai, Bengaluru, Coimbatore, Madurai, Tiruchi and Hyderabad.

Expansion mode

Garden is a namkeen brand focussed only in North India, and competing with players like Haldirams. “We thought it will have a positive impact in the South. Last year, we started a store in Thane, Mumbai, and experimented with it for the next six months. We have now decided to expand the retail footprint,” he told BusinessLine.

After its success in Thane, the company launched its second store in Triplicane, Chennai on October 18. “The response was phenomenal. In two hours, we sold out all our sweets. The subsequent days were also good,” he said.

To start with, the company plans to have five Garden stores each in Chennai and Mumbai.

Presently they are all owned, and the company is still debating whether it will continue that way, or move to a franchisee model (CK Cakes is fully franchisee run). “Investment in each Garden store will be ₹15-20 lakhs,” Manu Ranjith said. “Our goal is to have around 500 Garden stores in the next five years,” he said.

When asked what will be the differentiator that Garden will offer, Ranjith said, “good quality, more range and items at affordable prices”. “A competitor’s place will be 2,000 sq/ft, while Garden stores will be 300-400 sq/ft. So, the running expenses will be very low, and the saving will enable Garden to offer items at lesser price — say ₹50 per kg, when compared to competitors,” he said.

On the reasons for selecting Triplicane, Ranjith said any area that is packed and buzzing is an amazing place for retail. There are already two CK’s Cakes and Bakery stores in Triplicane and they were doing well. Another retail outlet will do well.

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Published on October 22, 2019
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